Visible to the public Biblio

Filters: First Letter Of Title is M  [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   [Show ALL]
M
Slavin, Rocky, Lehker, J.M., Niu, Jianwei, Breaux, Travis.  2014.  Managing Security Requirement Patterns Using Feature Diagram Hierarchies. IEEE 22nd International Requirements Engineering Conference.

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, 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.

Jeffrey Gennari, David Garlan.  2012.  Measuring Attack Surface in Software Architecture.

In this report we show how to adapt the notion of “attack surface” to formally evaluate security properties at the architectural level of design and to identify vulnerabilities in architectural designs. Further we explore the application of this metric in the context of architecture-based transformations to improve security by reducing the attack surface. These transformations are described in detail and validated with a simple experiment.

West, Andrew, Aviv, Adam.  2014.  Measuring Privacy Disclosures in URL Query Strings. IEEE Internet Computing. 18(6)
Eric Yuan, Sam Malek.  2016.  Mining Software Component Interactions to Detect Security Threats at the Architectural Level. 13th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA 2016).

Conventional security mechanisms at network, host, and source code levels are no longer sufficient in detecting and responding to increasingly dynamic and sophisticated cyber threats today. Detecting anomalous behavior at the architectural level can help better explain the intent of the threat and strengthen overall system security posture. To that end, we present a framework that mines software component interactions from system execution history and applies a detection algorithm to identify anomalous behavior. The framework uses unsupervised learning at runtime, can perform fast anomaly detection “on the fly”, and can quickly adapt to system load fluctuations and user behavior shifts. Our evaluation of the approach against a real Emergency Deployment System has demonstrated very promising results, showing the framework can effectively detect covert attacks, including insider threats, that may be easily missed by traditional intrusion detection methods. 

Alireza Sadeghi, Naeem Esfahani, Sam Malek.  2014.  Mining the Categorized Software Repositories to Improve the Analysis of Security Vulnerabilities. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering . 8411

Security has become the Achilles’ heel of most modern software systems. Techniques ranging from the manual inspection to automated static and dynamic analyses are commonly employed to identify security vulnerabilities prior to the release of the software. However, these techniques are time consuming and cannot keep up with the complexity of ever-growing software repositories (e.g., Google Play and Apple App Store). In this paper, we aim to improve the status quo and increase the efficiency of static analysis by mining relevant information from vulnerabilities found in the categorized software repositories. The approach relies on the fact that many modern software systems are developed using rich application development frameworks (ADF), allowing us to raise the level of abstraction for detecting vulnerabilities and thereby making it possible to classify the types of vulnerabilities that are encountered in a given category of application. We used open-source software repositories comprising more than 7 million lines of code to demonstrate how our approach can improve the efficiency of static analysis, and in turn, vulnerability detection.

Hemank Lamba, Thomas J. Glazier, Bradley Schmerl, Javier Camara, David Garlan, Jurgen Pfeffer.  2016.  A Model-based Approach to Anomaly Detection in Software Architectures. Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security (HotSoS).

In an organization, the interactions users have with software leave patterns or traces of the parts of the systems accessed. These interactions can be associated with the underlying software architecture. The first step in detecting problems like insider threat is to detect those traces that are anomalous. Here, we propose a method to find anomalous users leveraging these interaction traces, categorized by user roles. We propose a model based approach to cluster user sequences and find outliers. We show that the approach works on a simulation of a large scale system based on and Amazon Web application style.

Vishal Dwivedi, David Garlan, Jurgen Pfeffer, Bradley Schmerl.  2014.  Model-based Assistance for Making Time/Fidelity Trade-offs in Component Compositions. ITNG '14 - Proceedings of the 2014 11th International Conference on Information Technology: New Generations. :235-240.

In many scientific fields, simulations and analyses require compositions of computational entities such as web-services, programs, and applications. In such fields, users may want various trade-offs between different qualities. Examples include: (i) performing a quick approximation vs. an accurate, but slower, experiment, (ii) using local slower execution environments vs. remote, but advanced, computing facilities, (iii) using quicker approximation algorithms vs. computationally expensive algorithms with smaller data. However, such trade-offs are difficult to make as many such decisions today are either (a) wired into a fixed configuration and cannot be changed, or (b) require detailed systems knowledge and experimentation to determine what configuration to use. In this paper we propose an approach that uses architectural models coupled with automated design space generation for making fidelity and timeliness trade-offs. We illustrate this approach through an example in the intelligence analysis domain.

Hemank Lamba, Thomas J. Glazier, Javier Camara, Bradley Schmerl, David Garlan, Jurgen Pfeffer.  2017.  Model-based Cluster Analysis for Identifying Suspicious Activity Sequences in Software. IWSPA '17 Proceedings of the 3rd ACM on International Workshop on Security And Privacy Analytics.

Large software systems have to contend with a significant number of users who interact with different components of the system in various ways. The sequences of components that are used as part of an interaction define sets of behaviors that users have with the system. These can be large in number. Among these users, it is possible that there are some who exhibit anomalous behaviors -- for example, they may have found back doors into the system and are doing something malicious. These anomalous behaviors can be hard to distinguish from normal behavior because of the number of interactions a system may have, or because traces may deviate only slightly from normal behavior. In this paper we describe a model-based approach to cluster sequences of user behaviors within a system and to find suspicious, or anomalous, sequences. We exploit the underlying software architecture of a system to define these sequences. We further show that our approach is better at detecting suspicious activities than other approaches, specifically those that use unigrams and bigrams for anomaly detection. We show this on a simulation of a large scale system based on Amazon Web application style architecture.

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.

Rahman, Mohammad Ashiqur, Al-Shaer, Ehab, Bobba, Rakesh B..  2014.  Moving Target Defense for Hardening the Security of the Power System State Estimation. First ACM Workshop on Moving Target Defense.

State estimation plays a critically important role in ensuring the secure and reliable operation of the electric grid. Recent works have shown that the state estimation process is vulnerable to stealthy attacks where an adversary can alter certain measurements to corrupt the solution of the process, but evade the existing bad data detection algorithms and remain invisible to the system operator. Since the state estimation result is used to compute optimal power flow and perform contingency analysis, incorrect estimation can undermine economic and secure system operation. However, an adversary needs sufficient resources as well as necessary knowledge to achieve a desired attack outcome. The knowledge that is required to launch an attack mainly includes the measurements considered in state estimation, the connectivity among the buses, and the power line admittances. Uncertainty in information limits the potential attack space for an attacker. This advantage of uncertainty enables us to apply moving target defense (MTD) strategies for developing a proactive defense mechanism for state estimation.

In this paper, we propose an MTD mechanism for securing state estimation, which has several characteristics: (i) increase the knowledge uncertainty for attackers, (ii) reduce the window of attack opportunity, and (iii) increase the attack cost. In this mechanism, we apply controlled randomization on the power grid system properties, mainly on the set of measurements that are considered in state estimation, and the topology, especially the line admittances. We thoroughly analyze the performance of the proposed mechanism on the standard IEEE 14- and 30-bus test systems.