I got inspired by meshed communications that I learned about a few weeks ago at the Smart Metro Congress in Paris. Instead of relying on a heavy backbone, Trains could communicate with assets and one another directly and the closer they are, the busier it gets, the better the network becomes. The campaign by Network Rail about “It’s OK to as I’m OK” to prevent suicide attempts on the stations also inspired me for the peer assessment. This was the inspiration and it evolved with the involvement of the other team members.

What it does

In short, assets on the network, would compare themselves with their “siblings”. As they know their own state, they know what good should look like, and this is approved from the start. The communication between the assets are encrypted for security purposes. As assets compare themselves with many others, they are able to identify “rogue” ones, which need to be checked by maintainers. If this asset is critical to the railway, only an alert is raised. If it is not critical for the railway to run, then the other assets stop communicating with it to avoid spreading potential infection.

How we built it

We developed it in Java and Python in a development environment. Assets variables were extracted using Java to create a profile of the asset attributes consisting of variables such as OS, Java Run time environment version and many more. Encryption was developed on the fly.

Challenges we ran into

As we didn’t have datapacks, we simulated assets with virtual machines running linux.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We managed to all contribute to the project even if it wasn’t evident at first. We are pleased with the result of our collaborative work. Most importantly, we got to stretch ourselves and work outside of our comfort zone.

What we learned

We learned a lot about encryption, the railway and Hackathons (2 of us were completely new to this).

What's next for Cyberus

We did a proof of concept so we’d like to run it on a simulated environment using real equipment. We would need to investigate the cost to develop it to SIL 2 and viability in the railway. It would be nice to work with Network Rail on it.

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