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Sun, R., Yuan, X., Lee, A., Bishop, M., Porter, D. E., Li, X., Gregio, A., Oliveira, D..  2017.  The dose makes the poison \#x2014; Leveraging uncertainty for effective malware detection. 2017 IEEE Conference on Dependable and Secure Computing. :123–130.

Malware has become sophisticated and organizations don't have a Plan B when standard lines of defense fail. These failures have devastating consequences for organizations, such as sensitive information being exfiltrated. A promising avenue for improving the effectiveness of behavioral-based malware detectors is to combine fast (usually not highly accurate) traditional machine learning (ML) detectors with high-accuracy, but time-consuming, deep learning (DL) models. The main idea is to place software receiving borderline classifications by traditional ML methods in an environment where uncertainty is added, while software is analyzed by time-consuming DL models. The goal of uncertainty is to rate-limit actions of potential malware during deep analysis. In this paper, we describe Chameleon, a Linux-based framework that implements this uncertain environment. Chameleon offers two environments for its OS processes: standard - for software identified as benign by traditional ML detectors - and uncertain - for software that received borderline classifications analyzed by ML methods. The uncertain environment will bring obstacles to software execution through random perturbations applied probabilistically on selected system calls. We evaluated Chameleon with 113 applications from common benchmarks and 100 malware samples for Linux. Our results show that at threshold 10%, intrusive and non-intrusive strategies caused approximately 65% of malware to fail accomplishing their tasks, while approximately 30% of the analyzed benign software to meet with various levels of disruption (crashed or hampered). We also found that I/O-bound software was three times more affected by uncertainty than CPU-bound software.

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Pan, C., Huang, J., Gong, J., Yuan, X..  2019.  Few-Shot Transfer Learning for Text Classification With Lightweight Word Embedding Based Models. IEEE Access. 7:53296–53304.
Many deep learning architectures have been employed to model the semantic compositionality for text sequences, requiring a huge amount of supervised data for parameters training, making it unfeasible in situations where numerous annotated samples are not available or even do not exist. Different from data-hungry deep models, lightweight word embedding-based models could represent text sequences in a plug-and-play way due to their parameter-free property. In this paper, a modified hierarchical pooling strategy over pre-trained word embeddings is proposed for text classification in a few-shot transfer learning way. The model leverages and transfers knowledge obtained from some source domains to recognize and classify the unseen text sequences with just a handful of support examples in the target problem domain. The extensive experiments on five datasets including both English and Chinese text demonstrate that the simple word embedding-based models (SWEMs) with parameter-free pooling operations are able to abstract and represent the semantic text. The proposed modified hierarchical pooling method exhibits significant classification performance in the few-shot transfer learning tasks compared with other alternative methods.
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Cai, C., Yuan, X., Wang, C..  2017.  Hardening Distributed and Encrypted Keyword Search via Blockchain. 2017 IEEE Symposium on Privacy-Aware Computing (PAC). :119–128.

Distributed storage platforms draw much attention due to their high reliability and scalability for handling a massive amount of data. To protect user and data privacy, encryption is considered as a necessary feature for production systems like Storj. But it prohibits the nodes from performing content search. To preserve the functionality, we observe that a protocol of integration with searchable encryption and keyword search via distributed hash table allows the nodes in a network to search over encrypted and distributed data. However, this protocol does not address a practical threat in a fully distributed scenario. Malicious nodes would sabotage search results, and easily infiltrate the system as the network grows. Using primitives such as MAC and verifiable data structure may empower the users to verify the search result, but the robustness of the overall system can hardly be ensured. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing a protocol that is seamlessly incorporated to encrypted search in distributed network to attest and monitor nodes. From the moment a node joins the system, it will be attested and continuously monitored through verifiable search queries. The result of each attestation is determined via a standard quorum-based voting protocol, and then recorded on the blockchain as a consensus view of trusted nodes. Based on the proposed protocols, malicious nodes can be detected and removed by a majority of nodes in a self-determining manner. To demonstrate the security and efficiency, we conduct robustness analysis against several potential attacks, and perform performance and overhead evaluation on the proposed protocol.

Liu, Y., Yuan, X., Li, M., Zhang, W., Zhao, Q., Zhong, J., Cao, Y., Li, Y., Chen, L., Li, H. et al..  2018.  High Speed Device-Independent Quantum Random Number Generation without Detection Loophole. 2018 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO). :1–2.

We report a an experimental study of device-independent quantum random number generation based on an detection-loophole free Bell test with entangled photons. After considering statistical fluctuations and applying an 80 Gb × 45.6 Mb Toeplitz matrix hashing, we achieve a final random bit rate of 114 bits/s, with a failure probability less than 10-5.

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Yuan, X., Zhang, T., Shama, A. A., Xu, J., Yang, L., Ellis, J., He, W., Waters, C..  2019.  Teaching Cybersecurity Using Guided Inquiry Collaborative Learning. 2019 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). :1—6.

This Innovate Practice Full Paper describes our experience with teaching cybersecurity topics using guided inquiry collaborative learning. The goal is to not only develop the students' in-depth technical knowledge, but also “soft skills” such as communication, attitude, team work, networking, problem-solving and critical thinking. This paper reports our experience with developing and using the Guided Inquiry Collaborative Learning materials on the topics of firewall and IPsec. Pre- and post-surveys were conducted to access the effectiveness of the developed materials and teaching methods in terms of learning outcome, attitudes, learning experience and motivation. Analysis of the survey data shows that students had increased learning outcome, participation in class, and interest with Guided Inquiry Collaborative Learning.