Professor Nicol and his students have been studying the security properties of large-scale systems through Project MOSES. The project is examining large-scale system behavior and developing simulation and modeling methodology that supports demonstration and evaluation of that behavior. Historically Prof. Nicol and his students have studied computer and communication networks. However, many of the techniques and tools they've developed have applications in other contexts. They use continuous, discrete-event, and hybrid models.
Their recent work looks at issues in network security. For example, one project is modeling worm propagation and its interaction with the Internet's routing infrastructure. Another is developing and modeling security mechanisms in a p2p network designed to support the survivability of networks running critical infrastructure (e.g., SCADA systems). Still another is developing an on-line real-time network simulator of large-scale systems for use in exercise and scenario games used to evaluate how organizations respond to cyber-attacks.