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Hwang, JeeHyun, Williams, Laurie, Vouk, Mladen.  2014.  Access Control Policy Evolution: An Empirical Study. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :28:1–28:2.

Access Control Policies (ACPs) evolve. Understanding the trends and evolution patterns of ACPs could provide guidance about the reliability and maintenance of ACPs. Our research goal is to help policy authors improve the quality of ACP evolution based on the understanding of trends and evolution patterns in ACPs We performed an empirical study by analyzing the ACP changes over time for two systems: Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux), and an open-source virtual computing platform (VCL). We measured trends in terms of the number of policy lines and lines of code (LOC), respectively. We observed evolution patterns. For example, an evolution pattern st1 → st2 says that st1 (e.g., "read") evolves into st2 (e.g., "read" and "write"). This pattern indicates that policy authors add "write" permission in addition to existing "read" permission. We found that some of evolution patterns appear to occur more frequently.

Das, Anupam, Borisov, Nikita, Caesar, Matthew.  2014.  Analyzing an Adaptive Reputation Metric for Anonymity Systems. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :11:1–11:11.

Low-latency anonymity systems such as Tor rely on intermediate relays to forward user traffic; these relays, however, are often unreliable, resulting in a degraded user experience. Worse yet, malicious relays may introduce deliberate failures in a strategic manner in order to increase their chance of compromising anonymity. In this paper we propose using a reputation metric that can profile the reliability of relays in an anonymity system based on users' past experience. The two main challenges in building a reputation-based system for an anonymity system are: first, malicious participants can strategically oscillate between good and malicious nature to evade detection, and second, an observed failure in an anonymous communication cannot be uniquely attributed to a single relay. Our proposed framework addresses the former challenge by using a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller-based reputation metric that ensures malicious relays adopting time-varying strategic behavior obtain low reputation scores over time, and the latter by introducing a filtering scheme based on the evaluated reputation score to effectively discard relays mounting attacks. We collect data from the live Tor network and perform simulations to validate the proposed reputation-based filtering scheme. We show that an attacker does not gain any significant benefit by performing deliberate failures in the presence of the proposed reputation framework.

Feigenbaum, Joan, Jaggard, Aaron D., Wright, Rebecca N..  2014.  Open vs. Closed Systems for Accountability. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :4:1–4:11.

The relationship between accountability and identity in online life presents many interesting questions. Here, we first systematically survey the various (directed) relationships among principals, system identities (nyms) used by principals, and actions carried out by principals using those nyms. We also map these relationships to corresponding accountability-related properties from the literature. Because punishment is fundamental to accountability, we then focus on the relationship between punishment and the strength of the connection between principals and nyms. To study this particular relationship, we formulate a utility-theoretic framework that distinguishes between principals and the identities they may use to commit violations. In doing so, we argue that the analogue applicable to our setting of the well known concept of quasilinear utility is insufficiently rich to capture important properties such as reputation. We propose more general utilities with linear transfer that do seem suitable for this model. In our use of this framework, we define notions of "open" and "closed" systems. This distinction captures the degree to which system participants are required to be bound to their system identities as a condition of participating in the system. This allows us to study the relationship between the strength of identity binding and the accountability properties of a system.