We are here to help. Contact us.

Cyber Virtual Ad hoc Network (CyberVAN)

Overview: High Fidelity Wireless and Wired Network Experimentation

Applied Communication Sciences (ACS) is developing a cyber experimentation testbed called CyberVAN (Cyber Virtual Ad hoc Network) with funding from the U.S. Army Research Laboratories (ARL), under the 5-year ARL Cyber Security Applied Research and Experimentation Partner (AREP) program. This testbed, previously known as VAN, leverages capabilities developed under an earlier 5-year program funded by the OSD and the U.S. Army CERDEC.

CyberVAN provides sophisticated capabilities for cyber experimentation in tactical as well as strategic environments. It enables arbitrary applications (including tactical as well as enterprise applications) running on Xen-based virtual machines (VMs) to communicate transparently via a simulated network implemented in OPNET, QualNet, ns-2, or ns-3. Our main contribution has been to enable point-to-point, multicast, and broadcast communication between Xen-based virtual hosts via a simulated network. Resource scalability is achieved through Xen-based virtualization, by hosting multiple VMs on a single hardware blade.

In contrast with other existing testbeds such as GENI, DETER, and NCR (National Cyber Range), CyberVAN provides a proven, high-fidelity tactical experimentation environment. A very important point to note is that although CyberVAN has primarily been used for tactical network experimentation, it also provides a high-fidelity environment for strategic network experimentation. By leveraging models of Internet protocols such as OSPF and BGP, we have conducted large-scale experiments in CyberVAN where the simulated network represented large strategic networks. As an example, ACS researchers used CyberVAN to run experiments for a network topology approximating a large ISP network running eBGP between Autonomous Systems (AS) and iBGP within each AS. We generated representative background traffic based on nfdump traces from the provider’s network, creating a mix of ~60,000 TCP, UDP, and ICMP flows over approximately 1 minute, generating 66 Mbps of traffic on average. We ran real-time IDS components for traffic analysis, and modeled and launched attacks (SYN floods, geographical distribution, IP spoofing, denial of service) to assess the accuracy of the IDS.

Read more about the design, capabilities and benefits of the ACS CyberVAN testbed.