Visible to the public Biblio

Filters: Author is Jianwei Niu  [Clear All Filters]
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
T
R
Rocky Slavin, Hui Shen, Jianwei Niu.  2012.  Characterizations and boundaries of security requirements patterns. 2012 Second IEEE International Workshop on Requirements Patterns (RePa).

Very often in the software development life cycle, security is applied too late or important security aspects are overlooked. Although the use of security patterns is gaining popularity, the current state of security requirements patterns is such that there is not much in terms of a defining structure. To address this issue, we are working towards defining the important characteristics as well as the boundaries for security requirements patterns in order to make them more effective. By examining an existing general pattern format that describes how security patterns should be structured and comparing it to existing security requirements patterns, we are deriving characterizations and boundaries for security requirements patterns. From these attributes, we propose a defining format. We hope that these can reduce user effort in elicitation and specification of security requirements patterns.

Rocky Slavin, Jean-Michel Lehker, Jianwei Niu, Travis Breaux.  2014.  Managing security requirements patterns using feature diagram hierarchies. 2014 IEEE 22nd International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE).

Security requirements patterns represent reusable security practices that software engineers can apply to improve security in their system. Reusing best practices that others have employed could have a number of benefits, such as decreasing the time spent in the requirements elicitation process or improving the quality of the product by reducing product failure risk. Pattern selection can be difficult due to the diversity of applicable patterns from which an analyst has to choose. The challenge is that identifying the most appropriate pattern for a situation can be cumbersome and time-consuming. We propose a new method that combines an inquiry-cycle based approach with the feature diagram notation to review only relevant patterns and quickly select the most appropriate patterns for the situation. Similar to patterns themselves, our approach captures expert knowledge to relate patterns based on decisions made by the pattern user. The resulting pattern hierarchies allow users to be guided through these decisions by questions, which introduce related patterns in order to help the pattern user select the most appropriate patterns for their situation, thus resulting in better requirement generation. We evaluate our approach using access control patterns in a pattern user study.

Rocky Slavin, Xiaoyin Wang, Mitra Bokaei Hosseini, James Hester, Ram Krishnan, Jaspreet Bhatia, Travis Breaux, Jianwei Niu.  2016.  Toward a framework for detecting privacy policy violations in android application code. ICSE '16 Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering.

Mobile applications frequently access sensitive personal information to meet user or business requirements. Because such information is sensitive in general, regulators increasingly require mobile-app developers to publish privacy policies that describe what information is collected. Furthermore, regulators have fined companies when these policies are inconsistent with the actual data practices of mobile apps. To help mobile-app developers check their privacy policies against their apps' code for consistency, we propose a semi-automated framework that consists of a policy terminology-API method map that links policy phrases to API methods that produce sensitive information, and information flow analysis to detect misalignments. We present an implementation of our framework based on a privacy-policy-phrase ontology and a collection of mappings from API methods to policy phrases. Our empirical evaluation on 477 top Android apps discovered 341 potential privacy policy violations.

M
Mitra Bokaei Hosseini, Sudarshan Wadkar, Travis Breaux, Jianwei Niu.  2016.  Lexical Similarity of Information Type Hypernyms, Meronyms and Synonyms in Privacy Policies. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Privacy policies are used to communicate company data practices to consumers and must be accurate and comprehensive. Each policy author is free to use their own nomenclature when describing data practices, which leads to different ways in which similar information types are described across policies. A formal ontology can help policy authors, users and regulators consistently check how data practice descriptions relate to other interpretations of information types. In this paper, we describe an empirical method for manually constructing an information type ontology from privacy policies. The method consists of seven heuristics that explain how to infer hypernym, meronym and synonym relationships from information type phrases, which we discovered using grounded analysis of five privacy policies. The method was evaluated on 50 mobile privacy policies which produced an ontology consisting of 355 unique information type names. Based on the manual results, we describe an automated technique consisting of 14 reusable semantic rules to extract hypernymy, meronymy, and synonymy relations from information type phrases. The technique was evaluated on the manually constructed ontology to yield .95 precision and .51 recall.

J
Jonathan Shahen, Jianwei Niu, Mahesh Tripunitara.  2015.  Mohawk+T: Efficient Analysis of Administrative Temporal Role-Based Access Control (ATRBAC) Policies. SACMAT '15 Proceedings of the 20th ACM Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies.

Safety analysis is recognized as a fundamental problem in access control. It has been studied for various access control schemes in the literature. Recent work has proposed an administrative model for Temporal Role-Based Access Control (TRBAC) policies called Administrative TRBAC (ATRBAC). We address ATRBAC-safety. We first identify that the problem is PSPACE-Complete. This is a much tighter identification of the computational complexity of the problem than prior work, which shows only that the problem is decidable. With this result as the basis, we propose an approach that leverages an existing open-source software tool called Mohawk to address ATRBAC-safety. Our approach is to efficiently reduce ATRBAC-safety to ARBAC-safety, and then use Mohawk. We have conducted a thorough empirical assessment. In the course of our assessment, we came up with a "reduction toolkit," which allows us to reduce Mohawk+T input instances to instances that existing tools support. Our results suggest that there are some input classes for which Mohawk+T outperforms existing tools, and others for which existing tools outperform Mohawk+T. The source code for Mohawk+T is available for public download.

H
Hui Shen, Ram Krishnan, Rocky Slavin, Jianwei Niu.  2016.  Sequence Diagram Aided Privacy Policy Specification. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON DEPENDABLE AND SECURE COMPUTING. 13(3)

A fundamental problem in the specification of regulatory privacy policies such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in a computer system is to state the policies precisely, consistent with their high-level intuition. In this paper, we propose UML sequence diagrams as a practical means to graphically express privacy policies. A graphical representation allows decision-makers such as application domain experts and security architects to easily verify and confirm the expected behavior. Once intuitively confirmed, our work in this article introduces an algorithmic approach to formalizing the semantics of sequence diagrams in terms of linear temporal logic (LTL) templates. In all the templates, different semantic aspects are expressed as separate, yet simple LTL formulas that can be composed to define the complex semantics of sequence diagrams. The formalization enables us to leverage the analytical powers of automated decision procedures for LTL formulas to determine if a collection of sequence diagrams is consistent, independent, etc. and also to verify if a system design conforms to the privacy policies. We evaluate our approach by modeling and analyzing a substantial subset of HIPAA rules using sequence diagrams.

Hanan Hibshi, Rocky Slavin, Jianwei Niu, Travis Breaux.  2014.  Rethinking Security Requirements in RE Research .

As information security became an increasing concern for software developers and users, requirements engineering (RE) researchers brought new insight to security requirements. Security requirements aim to address security at the early stages of system design while accommodating the complex needs of different stakeholders. Meanwhile, other research communities, such as usable privacy and security, have also examined these requirements with specialized goal to make security more usable for stakeholders from product owners, to system users and administrators. In this paper we report results from conducting a literature survey to compare security requirements research from RE Conferences with the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). We report similarities between the two research areas, such as common goals, technical definitions, research problems, and directions. Further, we clarify the differences between these two communities to understand how they can leverage each other’s insights. From our analysis, we recommend new directions in security requirements research mainly to expand the meaning of security requirements in RE to reflect the technological advancements that the broader field of security is experiencing. These recommendations to encourage crosscollaboration with other communities are not limited to the security requirements area; in fact, we believe they can be generalized to other areas of RE. 

A
Ashwini Rao, Hanan Hibshi, Travis Breaux, Jean-Michel Lehker, Jianwei Niu.  2014.  Less is More? Investigating the Role of Examples in Security Studies using Analogical Transfer HotSoS '14 Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security.

Information system developers and administrators often overlook critical security requirements and best practices. This may be due to lack of tools and techniques that allow practitioners to tailor security knowledge to their particular context. In order to explore the impact of new security methods, we must improve our ability to study the impact of security tools and methods on software and system development. In this paper, we present early findings of an experiment to assess the extent to which the number and type of examples used in security training stimuli can impact security problem solving. To motivate this research, we formulate hypotheses from analogical transfer theory in psychology. The independent variables include number of problem surfaces and schemas, and the dependent variable is the answer accuracy. Our study results do not show a statistically significant difference in performance when the number and types of examples are varied. We discuss the limitations, threats to validity and opportunities for future studies in this area.