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Secure Cyber Testbed

Scalable Emulated Cyber Range Environment (SECuRE) is a cyber-physical testbed that seeks to provide industry, academia, and government institutions the ability to develop and test new, proactive risk-mitigation strategies.

SECuRE is module-based with distinct elements of critical infrastructure, such as power transmission, power generation and water industrial control systems, within each module inside a single testbed. This combination of separate modules allows for modeling and evaluation of critical dependencies using a variety of simulated and actual physical infrastructure. While SECuRE can be used for dependency analysis of various connected infrastructures, its uniqueness lies in its focus on proactive defenses mechanisms. For the purposes of this testbed, proactive defense mechanisms are defined as non-offensive deterrence measures such as moving target defenses (MTD) or active defenses. Due to the nature in which the testbed is set up, the ability tohighlight potential compromises (introduction of malware) and critical nodes utilizing various proactive and reactive actions can be taken such as seen in MTDs.

SECuRE leverages a variety of tools to deliver networks and systems that researchers require to gather data for the improvement of proactive defense technologies. The current version of SECuRE is based on OpenStack, an open-source application stack for hosting and managing virtual environments. To continue to reduce costs, Argonne plans to keep using open-source or government available technologies.

SECuRE provides a configurable environment of interconnected modules, combining simulated and physical infrastructure. For example, the water treatment plant module can be customized by changing the programmable logic controller (PLC) software. Additionally, it will provide simulated real-world network conditions, such as variations in latency or service availability, while collecting state and traffic information for all devices.

Initial testing on SECuRE began with the current moving target defense (MTD) technologies developed by Argonne in collaboration with AFRL including Multiple Operation System Rotational Environment (MORE-MTD) and Stream Splitting MTD.


  • Corporate IT – This module comprises basic information-technology setups to include websites, email servers, and file servers. It is planned to be broken into two configurations: one that simulates a small business and another that simulates a large enterprise.
  • Power Generation – This module will include a simulation of a nuclear power generation plant. Argonne, capitalizing on expertise around the laboratory, will identify a nuclear-generation plant simulation as well as a physical model and integrate it into SECuRE.
  • Power Distribution – This module will include a traditional power distribution network and will model the distributed energy resources that are utilized throughout.
  • Water Industrial Control System – This module includes a PLC configured for water PLC and its human-machine interface control.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – This module will include instances with common, pre-installed IoT operating systems and will support common IoT interface protocols (mDNS, MQTT, Homekit, Zig-bee). The cloud infrastructure will be designed to enable the future addition of hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
  • Manufacturing – This module includes a model of a factory floor and the needed infrastructure to control that floor. Argonne will leverage the partnership of their Materials Engineering Research Facility to connect it to a live factory.