Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Committee Chair

Graham, James H.


Digital control systems


The purpose of this project is to study the benefits that the Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) approach can provide to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) remote terminal units. This is accomplished through a heavy focus on MILS concepts such as resource separation, verification, and kernel minimization and reduction. Two architectures are leveraged to study the application of reduced kernel concepts for a remote terminal unit (RTU). The first is the LynxOS embedded operating system, which is used to create a bootable image of a working RTU. The second is the Pistachio microkernel, the features and development environment of which are analyzed and catalogued to provide the basis for a future RTU. A survey of recent literature is included that focuses on the state of SCADA security, the MILS standard, and microkernel research. The design methodology for a MILS compliant RTU is outlined, including a benefit analysis of applying MILS in an industrial network setting. Also included are analyses of the concepts of MILS which are relevant to the design and how LynxOS and Pistachio can be used to study some of these concepts. A section detailing the prototyping of RTUs on LynxOS and Pistachio is also included, followed by an initial security and performance analysis for both systems.