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"Berke" is our codename for a tool which helps in the making of an analysis why a certain product/service is not vulnerable to an attacker of a certain strength. In the Common Criteria this analysis is called "vulnerability analysis (AVA_VAN)" if the evaluator performs it, or "security architecture (ADV_ARC)" if the developer performs it. In any case, the analysis why all attacks are stopped is the core deliverable of any good security evaluation.

Making such an analysis of the quality that it deserves requires from the human analyst almost superhuman skills at the same time:

  • Remembering all attack methods that could possibly apply.
  • Considering these for all places where they could be applicable.
  • Reasoning why the combination is not applicable, or if it might be, what its minimal costs would be and where that would leave the attacker.
  • Test any remaining items to determine their strength.
  • Repeat the above until there is no more attack to be considered.

The complexity of doing this crucial task correctly taxes the human analyst so much that the risk of mistakes and hence potentially undiscovered weaknesses becomes too high. Some form of computersupport to ease this task is clearly needed so that the analyst can focus on his added value: smart analysis and reasoning.

"Berke" seeks to help here by providing:

  • A convenient way to work with complex networks of attack steps, providing todo-lists and hints to the analyst.
  • An automated calculation of the cheapest attack paths currently available to the attacker (in Common Criteria attack potential and time/cost curves).
  • An extensive repository of attack steps with pre-defined minimum costs and suggested analysis techniques.

Currently "Berke" is in a stage where it is useful for us when providing our services, it still requires some work until it is a product we can confidently offer you. Should you be interested in being an early adopter, please contact us.

Still curious? See Wouter's ICCC10 presentation for some more details and insights gained already.

Foto of Berke, the inspiration