Architecture-Centric Testing for Security [chapter]

Sarah Al-Azzani, Ahmad Al-Natour, Rami Bahsoon
2014 Agile Software Architecture  
This thesis presents a novel architecture-centric approach, which uses Implied Scenarios (IS) to detect design-vulnerabilities in the software architecture. It reviews security testing approaches, and draws on their limitations in addressing unpredictable behaviour in the face of evolution. The thesis introduces the concept of Security IS as unanticipated (possibly malicious) behaviours that indicate potential insecurities in the architecture. The IS approach uses the architecture as the
more » ... iate level of abstraction to tackle the complexity of testing. It provides potential for scalability to test large scale complex applications. It proposes a three-phased method for security testing: (1) Detecting design-level vulnerabilities in the architecture in an incremental manner. This is done via investigating emergent behaviours (i.e. ISs) in the composition of functionalities as functionalities evolve. (2) Classifying the impact of detected ISs on the security of the architecture. (3) Using the detected ISs and their impact to guide the refinement of the architecture. The refinement is test-driven and incremental, where refinements are tested before they are committed. The thesis also presents SecArch, an extension to the IS approach to enhance its search-space to detect hidden race conditions. It is concerned with predicting further valid conditions in the face of real parallelism in distributed systems with respect to non-FIFO queues. The thesis reports on the applications of the proposed approach and its extension to three case studies for testing the security of distributed and cloud architectures in the presence of uncertainty in the operating environment, unpredictability of interaction and possible security IS. The applications demonstrate novelty in the way security testing addresses emergent behaviour in applications which are characterised with dynamism, heterogeneity, openness, scale and unpredictability in operation and their evolution trends. We have drawn on these case studies to evaluate the thesis. Acknowledgement I owe my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Rami Bahsoon, for his endless support and guidance. His enthusiastic encouragement, useful critiques, and willingness to give time so generously have been very much appreciated. Without his consistent support this thesis would not have materialised. I am grateful to my RSMG member Prof. Xin Yao for his constructive comments and insightful suggestions.
doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-407772-0.00009-5 fatcat:k764y7cq7bgavplxl2ovqbbdji