Visible to the public Biblio

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Conference Paper
Zhang, Yuexin, Xiang, Yang, Huang, Xinyi.  2017.  A Cross-Layer Key Establishment Model for Wireless Devices in Cyber-Physical Systems. Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Workshop on Cyber-Physical System Security. :43–53.

Wireless communications in Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are vulnerable to many adversarial attacks such as eavesdropping. To secure the communications, secret session keys need to be established between wireless devices. In existing symmetric key establishment protocols, it is assumed that devices are pre-loaded with secrets. In the CPS, however, wireless devices are produced by different companies. It is not practical to assume that the devices are pre-loaded with certain secrets when they leave companies. As a consequence, existing symmetric key establishment protocols cannot be directly implemented in the CPS. Motivated by these observations, this paper presents a cross-layer key establishment model for heterogeneous wireless devices in the CPS. Specifically, by implementing our model, wireless devices extract master keys (shared with the system authority) at the physical layer using ambient wireless signals. Then, the system authority distributes secrets for devices (according to an existing symmetric key establishment protocol) by making use of the extracted master keys. Completing these operations, wireless devices can establish secret session keys at higher layers by calling the employed key establishment protocol. Additionally, we prove the security of the proposed model. We analyse the performance of the new model by implementing it and converting existing symmetric key establishment protocols into cross-layer key establishment protocols.

Liu, Shigang, Zhang, Jun, Wang, Yu, Zhou, Wanlei, Xiang, Yang, Vel., Olivier De.  2018.  A Data-driven Attack Against Support Vectors of SVM. Proceedings of the 2018 on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :723–734.
Machine learning (ML) is commonly used in multiple disciplines and real-world applications, such as information retrieval, financial systems, health, biometrics and online social networks. However, their security profiles against deliberate attacks have not often been considered. Sophisticated adversaries can exploit specific vulnerabilities exposed by classical ML algorithms to deceive intelligent systems. It is emerging to perform a thorough security evaluation as well as potential attacks against the machine learning techniques before developing novel methods to guarantee that machine learning can be securely applied in adversarial setting. In this paper, an effective attack strategy for crafting foreign support vectors in order to attack a classic ML algorithm, the Support Vector Machine (SVM) has been proposed with mathematical proof. The new attack can minimize the margin around the decision boundary and maximize the hinge loss simultaneously. We evaluate the new attack in different real-world applications including social spam detection, Internet traffic classification and image recognition. Experimental results highlight that the security of classifiers can be worsened by poisoning a small group of support vectors.
Coulter, Rory, Zhang, Jun, Pan, Lei, Xiang, Yang.  2020.  Unmasking Windows Advanced Persistent Threat Execution. 2020 IEEE 19th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom). :268—276.

The advanced persistent threat (APT) landscape has been studied without quantifiable data, for which indicators of compromise (IoC) may be uniformly analyzed, replicated, or used to support security mechanisms. This work culminates extensive academic and industry APT analysis, not as an incremental step in existing approaches to APT detection, but as a new benchmark of APT related opportunity. We collect 15,259 APT IoC hashes, retrieving subsequent sandbox execution logs across 41 different file types. This work forms an initial focus on Windows-based threat detection. We present a novel Windows APT executable (APT-EXE) dataset, made available to the research community. Manual and statistical analysis of the APT-EXE dataset is conducted, along with supporting feature analysis. We draw upon repeat and common APT paths access, file types, and operations within the APT-EXE dataset to generalize APT execution footprints. A baseline case analysis successfully identifies a majority of 117 of 152 live APT samples from campaigns across 2018 and 2019.

Journal Article
Shen, Jian, Gui, Ziyuan, Chen, Xiaofeng, Zhang, Jun, Xiang, Yang.  2020.  Lightweight and Certificateless Multi-Receiver Secure Data Transmission Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks. IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing. :1–1.
The rapid development of low-power integrated circuits, wireless communication, intelligent sensors and microelectronics has allowed the realization of wireless body area networks (WBANs), which can monitor patients' vital body parameters remotely in real time to offer timely treatment. These vital body parameters are related to patients' life and health; and these highly private data are subject to many security threats. To guarantee privacy, many secure communication protocols have been proposed. However, most of these protocols have a one-to-one structure in extra-body communication and cannot support multidisciplinary team (MDT). Hence, we propose a lightweight and certificateless multi-receiver secure data transmission protocol for WBANs to support MDT treatment in this paper. In particular, a novel multi-receiver certificateless generalized signcryption (MR-CLGSC) scheme is proposed that can adaptively use only one algorithm to implement one of three cryptographic primitives: signature, encryption or signcryption. Then, a multi-receiver secure data transmission protocol based on the MR-CLGSC scheme with many security properties, such as data integrity and confidentiality, non-repudiation, anonymity, forward and backward secrecy, unlinkability and data freshness, is designed. Both security analysis and performance analysis show that the proposed protocol for WBANs is secure, efficient and highly practical.
Zhang, Yuexin, Xiang, Yang, Huang, Xinyi.  2016.  Password-Authenticated Group Key Exchange: A Cross-Layer Design. ACM Trans. Internet Technol.. 16:24:1–24:20.
Two-party password-authenticated key exchange (2PAKE) protocols provide a natural mechanism for secret key establishment in distributed applications, and they have been extensively studied in past decades. However, only a few efforts have been made so far to design password-authenticated group key exchange (GPAKE) protocols. In a 2PAKE or GPAKE protocol, it is assumed that short passwords are preshared among users. This assumption, however, would be impractical in certain applications. Motivated by this observation, this article presents a GPAKE protocol without the password sharing assumption. To obtain the passwords, wireless devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and laptops, are used to extract short secrets at the physical layer. Using the extracted secrets, users in our protocol can establish a group key at higher layers with light computation consumptions. Thus, our GPAKE protocol is a cross-layer design. Additionally, our protocol is a compiler, that is, our protocol can transform any provably secure 2PAKE protocol into a GPAKE protocol with only one more round of communications. Besides, the proposed protocol is proved secure in the standard model.