SEA++: A Framework for Evaluating the Impact of Security Attacks in OMNeT++/INET

  • Marco TilocaEmail author
  • Gianluca Dini
  • Francesco Racciatti
  • Alexandra Stagkopoulou
Part of the EAI/Springer Innovations in Communication and Computing book series (EAISICC)


This chapter presents SEA++, a simulation framework that extends OMNeT++ and the INET Framework for evaluating the impact of security attacks on networks and applications in a flexible and user-friendly way. To this end, SEA++ relies on two fundamental building blocks. First, the user describes the attacks to be evaluated by using a high-level Attack Specification Language (ASL). In particular, only the final effects of such attacks are described, rather than their actual performance. Second, the Attack Simulation Engine (ASE) takes these high-level descriptions as input and accordingly injects attack events at runtime, by means of additional software modules that seamlessly and transparently operate with the other INET modules. This allows the user to quantitatively assess the impact of cyber/physical attacks in simulated network scenarios, and hence rank them according to their severity as a support to risk assessment and selection of countermeasures. As a further advantage, the user is not required to alter any software module or application, or to implement any adversary model for the actual execution of security attacks. Finally, this chapter also includes a step-by-step explicative example showing how to set up and use SEA++ for describing attacks and assessing their impact.



The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers as well as the editors Antonio Virdis and Michael Kirsche for their constructive feedback and comments.


  1. 1.
    Bonaci, T., Bushnell, L., Poovendran, R.: Node capture attacks in wireless sensor networks: a system theoretic approach. In: The 49th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC 2010), pp. 6765–6772 (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boulis, T.: Castalia. (2018)
  3. 3.
    Dini, G., Tiloca, M.: ASF: an attack simulation framework for wireless sensor networks. In: The 8th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications (WiMob 2012), pp. 203–210. IEEE, Ahmedabad (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dini, G., Tiloca, M.: On simulative analysis of attack impact in wireless sensor networks. In: 2013 IEEE 18th Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA), pp. 1–8. IEEE, Ahmedabad (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Open Networking Foundation: Software-defined networking: the new norm for networks, ONF White Paper (2012).
  6. 6.
    Genge, B., Siaterlis, C., Hohenadel, M.: AMICI: an assessment platform for multi-domain security experimentation on critical infrastructures. In: Critical Information Infrastructures Security. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 7722, pp. 228–239. Springer, Berlin (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huang, Y.L., Cárdenas, A.A., Amin, S., Lin, Z.S., Tsai, H.Y., Sastry, S.: Understanding the physical and economic consequences of attacks on control systems. Int. J. Crit. Infrastruct. Prot. 2(3), 73–83 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Klein, D., Jarschel, M.: An OpenFlow extension for the OMNeT++ INET framework. In: 6th International ICST Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques (SimuTools ’13), pp. 322–329 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kreutz, D., Ramos, F.M.V., Veríssimo, P.E., Rothenberg, C.E., Azodolmolky, S., Uhlig, S.: Software-defined networking: a comprehensive survey. Proc. IEEE 103(1), 14–76 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pitt, D.: Open Networking Foundation. (2012)
  11. 11.
    Queiroz, C., Mahmood, A., Tari, Z.: SCADASim–a framework for building SCADA simulations. IEEE Trans. Smart Grid 2(4), 589–597 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sánchez-Casado, L., Rodríguez-Gómez, R.A., Magán-Carrión, R., Maciá-Fernández, G.: NETA: evaluating the effects of NETwork attacks. MANETs as a case study. In: Advances in Security of Information and Communication Networks. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 381, pp. 1–10. Springer, Berlin (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Siaterlis, C., Garcia, A.P., Genge, B.: On the use of emulab testbeds for scientifically rigorous experiments. IEEE Commun. Surv. Tutorials 15(2), 929–942 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stoneburner, G., Goguen, A., Feringa, A.: Risk management guide for information technology systems - recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Technology Report, National Institute of Standards and Technologies (2002).
  15. 15.
    Tiloca, M., Racciatti, F., Dini, G.: Simulative evaluation of security attacks in networked critical infrastructures. In: 2nd International Workshop on Reliability and Security Aspects for Critical Infrastructure Protection (ReSA4CI 2015). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS, vol. 9338, pp. 314–323. Springer, Berlin (2015)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tiloca, M., Stagkopoulou, A., Dini, G.: Performance and security evaluation of SDN networks in OMNeT++/INET. In: OMNeT++ Community Summit 2016, pp. 9–14 (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tiloca, M., Racciatti, F., Stagkopoulou, A., Dini, G.: SEA++, a tool for Simulative Evaluation of Attacks. (2017)
  18. 18.
    Wang, Y.T., Bagrodia, R.: SenSec: a scalable and accurate framework for wireless sensor network security evaluation. In: The 31st International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW 2011), pp. 230–239 (2011)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Xu, Y., Chen, G., Ford, J., Makedon, F.: Detecting wormhole attacks in wireless sensor networks. In: Goetz, E., Shenoi, S. (eds.) Critical Infrastructure Protection, Post-Proceedings of the First Annual IFIP Working Group 11.10 International Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection, IFIP, vol. 253, pp. 267–279. Springer, Berlin (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Tiloca
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gianluca Dini
    • 2
  • Francesco Racciatti
    • 2
  • Alexandra Stagkopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Security Lab – RISE SICSKistaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Information EngineeringUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

Personalised recommendations