Risk Analysis and Policy Enforcement of Function Interactions in Robot Apps

by   Yuan Xu, et al.

Robot apps are becoming more automated, complex and diverse. An app usually consists of many functions, interacting with each other and the environment. This allows robots to conduct various tasks. However, it also opens a new door for cyber attacks: adversaries can leverage these interactions to threaten the safety of robot operations. Unfortunately, this issue is rarely explored in past works. We present the first systematic investigation about the function interactions in common robot apps. First, we disclose the potential risks and damages caused by malicious interactions. We introduce a comprehensive graph to model the function interactions in robot apps by analyzing 3,100 packages from the Robot Operating System (ROS) platform. From this graph, we identify and categorize three types of interaction risks. Second, we propose RTron, a novel system to detect and mitigate these risks and protect the operations of robot apps. We introduce security policies for each type of risks, and design coordination nodes to enforce the policies and regulate the interactions. We conduct extensive experiments on 110 robot apps from the ROS platform and two complex apps (Baidu Apollo and Autoware) widely adopted in industry. Evaluation results indicated RTron can correctly identify and mitigate all potential risks with negligible performance cost. To validate the practicality of the risks and solutions, we implement and evaluate RTron on a physical UGV (Turtlebot) with real-word apps and environments.


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