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Strategy Selection for Moving Target Defense in Incomplete Information Game

Huan Zhang1, Kangfeng Zheng1, *, Xiujuan Wang2, Shoushan Luo1, Bin Wu1

1 School of CyberSpace Security, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing, 100088, China.
2 College of Computer Sciences, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, 100124, China.

* Corresponding Author: Kangfeng Zheng. Email: email.

Computers, Materials & Continua 2020, 62(2), 763-786.


As a core component of the network, web applications have become one of the preferred targets for attackers because the static configuration of web applications simplifies the exploitation of vulnerabilities by attackers. Although the moving target defense (MTD) has been proposed to increase the attack difficulty for the attackers, there is no solo approach can cope with different attacks; in addition, it is impossible to implement all these approaches simultaneously due to the resource limitation. Thus, the selection of an optimal defense strategy based on MTD has become the focus of research. In general, the confrontation of two players in the security domain is viewed as a stochastic game, and the reward matrices are known to both players. However, in a real security confrontation, this scenario represents an incomplete information game. Each player can only observe the actions performed by the opponent, and the observed actions are not completely accurate. To accurately describe the attacker’s reward function to reach the Nash equilibrium, this work simulated and updated the strategy selection distribution of the attacker by observing and investigating the strategy selection history of the attacker. Next, the possible rewards of the attacker in each confrontation via the observation matrix were corrected. On this basis, the Nash-Q learning algorithm with reward quantification was proposed to select the optimal strategy. Moreover, the performances of the Minimax-Q learning algorithm and Naive-Q learning algorithm were compared and analyzed in the MTD environment. Finally, the experimental results showed that the strategy selection algorithm can enable defenders to select a more reasonable defensive strategy and achieve the maximum possible reward.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Zhang, H., Zheng, K., Wang, X., Luo, S., Wu, B. (2020). Strategy selection for moving target defense in incomplete information game. Computers, Materials & Continua, 62(2), 763-786.
Vancouver Style
Zhang H, Zheng K, Wang X, Luo S, Wu B. Strategy selection for moving target defense in incomplete information game. Comput Mater Contin. 2020;62(2):763-786
IEEE Style
H. Zhang, K. Zheng, X. Wang, S. Luo, and B. Wu "Strategy Selection for Moving Target Defense in Incomplete Information Game," Comput. Mater. Contin., vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 763-786. 2020.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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