Covert Cognizance: A Novel Monitoring and Modeling Paradigm for Critical Systems

Event Date: October 13, 2021
Speaker: Dr. Hany Abdel-Khalik
Speaker Affiliation: Purdue University
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: PHYS 112
Priority: No
School or Program: Nuclear Engineering
College Calendar: Hide


Can industrial systems be made self-aware, alert operators to misuse while cleverly lulling capable adversaries into a false sense of superiority? Achieving these goals forms the focus of covert cognizance (C2 ). The C 2 paradigm is an active cyber defense that aims to serve as an additional layer of physical process defense against highly sophisticated attacks such as advanced persistent threats where the attack vector has privileged access at the human-system interface level, representing the top of the hierarchy in terms of component access and sophistication. C 2 perturbs systems in a manner that induces cognizance by storing incorruptible information about the process such as its execution history in the process itself. It does so in a covert manner by exploiting the vast redundant space inherent to dynamical systems without the introduction of additional variables that may leave a footprint. Moreover, the perturbations are designed to be impervious to pattern-detection techniques like AI and ML to further reinforce the covertness requirement. This work falls under the broad framework of cyber-informed engineering approach adopted by the nuclear community.


  • Ph.D., 2004, Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • M.Sc., 2002, Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • B.Sc., 2000, Nuclear Engineering, University of Alexandria, Egypt
Research Interests:
  • Validation and Uncertainty Quantification
  • Big Data Analytics and Data Assimilation
  • Cyberattack-resilient Control Systems
  • LWR Computational Reactor Physics


2021-10-13 15:30:00 2021-10-13 16:30:00 America/Indiana/Indianapolis Covert Cognizance: A Novel Monitoring and Modeling Paradigm for Critical Systems PHYS 112