Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Adam Robert Bryant (Committee Member), Michelle Andreen Cheatham (Committee Member), Junjie Zhang (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering (MSCE)


Designing secure cyber-physical systems (CPS) is fundamentally important. An indispensable step towards this end is to perform vulnerability assessment. This thesis discusses the design and implementation of a mission-aware CPS vulnerability assessment framework. The framework intends to accomplish three objectives including i) mapping CPS mission into infrastructural components, ii) evaluating global impact of each vulnerability, and iii) achieving verifiable results and high flexibility. In order to accomplish these objectives, a model-based analysis strategy is employed. Specifically, a CPS simulator is used to model dynamic behaviors of CPS components under different missions; the framework facilitates a bottom-up approach to traverse a holistic model of a CPS that aims at profiling relationships among all CPS components. In order to analyze the derived models, we have leveraged formal methods, including program symbolic execution, logic programming, and linear optimization. The framework first successfully identifies mission-critical components, then discovers all attack paths from system access points to mission-critical components, and finally recommends the optimized mitigation plan.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded