TALENT: dynamic platform heterogeneity for cyber survivability of mission critical applications
Despite the significant amount of effort that often goes into securing mission critical systems, many remain vulnerable to advanced, targeted cyber attacks. In this work, we design and implement TALENT (Trusted dynAmic Logical hEterogeNeity sysTem), a framework to live-migrate mission critical applications across heterogeneous platforms. TALENT enables us to change the hardware and operating system on top of which a sensitive application is running, thus providing cyber survivability through platform diversity. Using containers (a.k.a. operating system-level virtualization) and a portable checkpoint compiler, TALENT creates a virtual execution environment and migrates a running application across different platforms while preserving the state of the application. The state, here, refers to the execution state of the process as well as its open files and sockets. TALENT is designed to support a general C application. By changing the platform on-the-fly, TALENT creates a moving target against cyber attacks and significantly raises the bar for a successful attack against a critical application. Our measurements show that a full migration can be completed in about one second.