LANL | Cyber Security Research

Cyber Security Science

Communications Network Modeling & Simulation

LANL models national-scale Internet and telecommunications infrastructure and cyber activity on that infrastructure. We integrate multiple scales ranging from packet-level simulation to flow-based approaches and multiple inter-dependent technologies as a single network:

  • PSTN: MIITS has a detailed representation of the PSTN across the United States. This model includes cell phone communication and a detailed protocol model of SONET rings and the SS7 signaling system.
  • Internet: MIITS’ Internet model consists of backbone routers (about 200K) and end devices (around 300M) that exchange traffic.
  • Wireless: MIITS has implemented key wireless protocols, such as 802.11, and Bluetooth to simulate Internet access through modern wireless networks.
  • BotSim: MIITS BotSim is an extension that models malicious botnet operations across the Internet.

We do this work with SimX, our open-source parallel discrete event simulation system that runs on MPI or PrimeSSF. SimX is the open-source version of SimCore. It is used as the basis for the Multi-Scale Integrated Information and Telecommunications System (MIITS) and other components of DHS's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC). Discrete simulation at LANL has tracked the development of high-performance computing (including clusters, GPUs, and FPGAs) and traces back to discrete fluid simulation in the 1980's.

We couple these technology simulations to realistic human activity models originally developed for LANL's TRANSIMS transportation simulator developed in the 1990's. TRANSIMS persists today as an open-source project managed by the Department of Transportation.

Bibliography generated from includes/lanl-lanlsim.bib

SimX’s modular architecture (yellow boxes) allows for efficient extensions to other network types. SimX takes detailed population data as key input, supplemented by various network topology and communication device use surveys(left blue boxes). Output is a set of analyses (right green boxes).

In this plot of Internet traffic in and near Chicago, the red, blue, and green dots are Internet nodes within, bordering, and outside of Chicago, respectively. The bright green lines are Internet connections such as electrical and fiber optic cables. The faint green lines are streets.

In this plot of the aggregate call volumes at each of the roughly 25,000 PSTN wire centers in the continental U.S., each wire center is represented by a vertical bar whose height denotes the call volume. The top 100 wire centers are shown in orange, the remaining wire centers in purple.

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