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SAS ‘04. Reducing Software Security Risk through an Integrated Approach David P. Gilliam and John D. Powell. Acknowledgement. NOTE:

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Sas 04

SAS ‘04

Reducing Software Security Risk through an Integrated Approach

David P. Gilliam and John D. Powell


  • NOTE:

    • This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    • The work was sponsored by the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance under the Software Assurance Research Program lead by the NASA Software IV&V Facility

    • This activity is managed locally at JPL through the Assurance and Technology Program Office

Current collaborators
Current Collaborators

  • David Gilliam – Principle Investigator, JPL

  • John Powell – JPL Software Engineer

  • Matt Bishop – Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of California at Davis

  • Eric Haugh – UC Davis Researcher



  • Reduce security risk to the computing environment by mitigating vulnerabilities in the software development and maintenance life cycles

  • Provide an instrument and tools to help avoid vulnerabilities and exposures in software

  • To aid in complying with security requirements and best practices


  • Lack of Experts: Brooks – “No Silver Bullet” is still valid (IEEE Software Engineering, 1987)

  • Poor Security Requirements

  • Poor System Engineering

    • Leads to poor design, coding, and testing

  • Cycle of Penetrate and Patch

  • Piecemeal Approach to Security Assurance

Reducing software security risk through an integrated approach
Reducing Software Security Risk Through an Integrated Approach


  • Software Vulnerabilities Expose IT Systems and Infrastructure to Security Risks

  • Goal: Reduce Security Risk in Software and Protect IT Systems, Data, and Infrastructure

    • Security Training for System Engineers and Developers

    • Software Security Checklist for end-to-end life cycle

    • Software Security Assessment Instrument (SSAI)

  • Security Instrument Includes:

    • Model-Based Verification

    • Property-Based Testing

    • Security Checklist

    • Vulnerability Matrix

    • Collection of security tools

Womb to tomb process
Womb-to-Tomb Process

  • Coincides with Organizational Polices and Requirements

  • Software Lifecycle Integration

    • Software Security Checklist

      • Phase 1

        • Provide instrument to integrate security as a formal approach to the software life cycle

        • Requirements Driven

      • Phase 2:

        • External Release of Software

        • Release Process

    • Vulnerability Matrix – NASA Top 20

    • Security Assurance Instruments

      • Early Development – Model Checking / FMF

      • Implementation – Property Based Testing

    • Security Assessment Tools (SATs)

      • Description of available SATs

      • Pros and Cons of each and related tools with web sites

  • Notification to Users and Functional Areas when Software or Systems are De-Commissioned

Current work
Current Work

  • Model-Based Verification of SSL Protocol

    • Report Submitted to IV&V Center

  • Integration of Security into Software Quality Improvement (SQI) at JPL

    • Inclusion of Security in Life Cycle Process

    • Security Risk Assessment – Potential Use of Defect Detection and Prevention Tool

  • Formal Verification of Patchlink Patch Management Software Agent

    • Used in All NASA Centers

Note on future work
Note on Future Work

  • Training Course for SSC and Use of Security Assessment Tools

  • Experts and Expert Center Available to Assist with the Instrument and Tools

  • Integrate with Deep Space Mission Systems (DSMS)

    • Verifying SSL and use in DSMS

    • Potential to Verify Space Link Extension (SLE) Protocol

    • Potential to Verify Space Communication Protocol Standard (SCPS) implementations

  • Developing an Approach to Project Life Cycle Security Risk Assessment at JPL


David Gilliam


400 Oak Grove Dr., MS 144-210

Pasadena, CA 91109

Phone: (818) 354-0900 FAX: (818) 393-1377

Email: [email protected]

John Powell

MS 125-233

Phone: (818) 393-1377

Email: [email protected]