The Services have become increasingly dependent on their tactical networks for mission command functions, situational awareness, and target engagements (terminal weapon guidance). While the networks dramatically enhance the capability to conduct complex missions, they also make the mission operation more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Consequently, there is a critical need to accurately assess the cyber resilience of systems in the net-centric battlespace by investigating the operational impact of cyber attacks (e.g., denial-of-service, virus, wormhole, etc.) on these systems.
Current simulations of the net-centric battlespace do not accurately recreate impacts of network attacks due to lack of high-fidelity threat representations that include passive, active, and coordinated threats. StealthNet was designed to address this gap in the Department of Defense (DoD) testing infrastructure to realistically test the vulnerabilities and resilience of Blue Force communications against sophisticated cyber attacks, particularly on existing and emerging multi-domain networks. StealthNet is a Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC) framework that provides a real-time, hardware-in-the-loop capability for simulation of cyber threats to the entire net-centric infrastructure. It also provides the ability to quantify the degradation of Blue Force communications via key performance indicators, i.e., bandwidth, reliability, delay, and quality of service metrics.
The following figure provides a high-level operational view of the StealthNet framework which uses network digital twin technology to accurately represent the Network System Under Test (NSUT). Network digital twins utilize network emulation technology to provide a high fidelity, computationally efficient, and scalable environment for cyber operations. The Network System Under Test (NSUT) can be a tactical or enterprise network scalable to thousands of devices across distributed sites.