Initial Reference Architecture of an Intelligent Autonomous Agent for Cyber Defense

Report No. ARL-TR-8337
Authors: Alexander Kott, Luigi V Mancini, Paul Th?ron, Martin Dra?ar, Edlira Dushku, Heiko G?nther, Markus Kont, Beno?t LeBlanc, Agostino Panico, Mauno Pihelgas, Krzysztof Rzadca
Date/Pages: March 2018; 78 pages
Abstract: This report describes an initial reference architecture for intelligent software agents performing active, largely autonomous cyber defense actions on military networks of computing and communicating devices. The report is produced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Research Task Group (RTG) IST-152 "Intelligent Autonomous Agents for Cyber Defense and Resilience". In a conflict with a technically sophisticated adversary, NATO military tactical networks will operate in a heavily contested battlefield. Enemy software cyber agents—malware—will infiltrate friendly networks and attack friendly command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and computerized weapon systems. To fight them, NATO needs artificial cyber hunters—intelligent, autonomous, mobile agents specialized in active cyber defense. With this in mind, in 2016, NATO initiated RTG IST-152. Its objective is to help accelerate development and transition to practice of such software agents by producing a reference architecture and technical roadmap. This report presents the concept and architecture of an Autonomous Intelligent Cyber Defense Agent (AICA). We describe the rationale of the AICA concept, explain the methodology and purpose that drive the definition of the AICA Reference Architecture, and review some of the main features and challenges of the AICA.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2018