Visible to the public Biblio

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2021-08-02
Kong, Tong, Wang, Liming, Ma, Duohe, Chen, Kai, Xu, Zhen, Lu, Yijun.  2020.  ConfigRand: A Moving Target Defense Framework against the Shared Kernel Information Leakages for Container-based Cloud. 2020 IEEE 22nd International Conference on High Performance Computing and Communications; IEEE 18th International Conference on Smart City; IEEE 6th International Conference on Data Science and Systems (HPCC/SmartCity/DSS). :794—801.
Lightweight virtualization represented by container technology provides a virtual environment for cloud services with more flexibility and efficiency due to the kernel-sharing property. However, the shared kernel also means that the system isolation mechanisms are incomplete. Attackers can scan the shared system configuration files to explore vulnerabilities for launching attacks. Previous works mainly eliminate the problem by fixing operating systems or using access control policies, but these methods require significant modifications and cannot meet the security needs of individual containers accurately. In this paper, we present ConfigRand, a moving target defense framework to prevent the information leakages due to the shared kernel in the container-based cloud. The ConfigRand deploys deceptive system configurations for each container, bounding the scan of attackers aimed at the shared kernel. In design of ConfigRand, we (1) propose a framework applying the moving target defense philosophy to periodically generate, distribute, and deploy the deceptive system configurations in the container-based cloud; (2) establish a model to formalize these configurations and quantify their heterogeneity; (3) present a configuration movement strategy to evaluate and optimize the variation of configurations. The results show that ConfigRand can effectively prevent the information leakages due to the shared kernel and apply to typical container applications with minimal system modification and performance degradation.
2021-05-13
Zhang, Yaqin, Ma, Duohe, Sun, Xiaoyan, Chen, Kai, Liu, Feng.  2020.  WGT: Thwarting Web Attacks Through Web Gene Tree-based Moving Target Defense. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS). :364–371.
Moving target defense (MTD) suggests a game-changing way of enhancing web security by increasing uncertainty and complexity for attackers. A good number of web MTD techniques have been investigated to counter various types of web attacks. However, in most MTD techniques, only fixed attributes of the attack surface are shifted, leaving the rest exploitable by the attackers. Currently, there are few mechanisms to support the whole attack surface movement and solve the partial coverage problem, where only a fraction of the possible attributes shift in the whole attack surface. To address this issue, this paper proposes a Web Gene Tree (WGT) based MTD mechanism. The key point is to extract all potential exploitable key attributes related to vulnerabilities as web genes, and mutate them using various MTD techniques to withstand various attacks. Experimental results indicate that, by randomly shifting web genes and diversely inserting deceptive ones, the proposed WGT mechanism outperforms other existing schemes and can significantly improve the security of web applications.
2020-10-29
Jiang, Jianguo, Li, Song, Yu, Min, Li, Gang, Liu, Chao, Chen, Kai, Liu, Hui, Huang, Weiqing.  2019.  Android Malware Family Classification Based on Sensitive Opcode Sequence. 2019 IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communications (ISCC). :1—7.

Android malware family classification is an advanced task in Android malware analysis, detection and forensics. Existing methods and models have achieved a certain success for Android malware detection, but the accuracy and the efficiency are still not up to the expectation, especially in the context of multiple class classification with imbalanced training data. To address those challenges, we propose an Android malware family classification model by analyzing the code's specific semantic information based on sensitive opcode sequence. In this work, we construct a sensitive semantic feature-sensitive opcode sequence using opcodes, sensitive APIs, STRs and actions, and propose to analyze the code's specific semantic information, generate a semantic related vector for Android malware family classification based on this feature. Besides, aiming at the families with minority, we adopt an oversampling technique based on the sensitive opcode sequence. Finally, we evaluate our method on Drebin dataset, and select the top 40 malware families for experiments. The experimental results show that the Total Accuracy and Average AUC (Area Under Curve, AUC) reach 99.50% and 98.86% with 45. 17s per Android malware, and even if the number of malware families increases, these results remain good.

2018-05-30
Chen, Yi, You, Wei, Lee, Yeonjoon, Chen, Kai, Wang, XiaoFeng, Zou, Wei.  2017.  Mass Discovery of Android Traffic Imprints Through Instantiated Partial Execution. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :815–828.
Monitoring network behaviors of mobile applications, controlling their resource access and detecting potentially harmful apps are becoming increasingly important for the security protection within today's organizational, ISP and carriers. For this purpose, apps need to be identified from their communication, based upon their individual traffic signatures (called imprints in our research). Creating imprints for a large number of apps is nontrivial, due to the challenges in comprehensively analyzing their network activities at a large scale, for millions of apps on today's rapidly-growing app marketplaces. Prior research relies on automatic exploration of an app's user interfaces (UIs) to trigger its network activities, which is less likely to scale given the cost of the operation (at least 5 minutes per app) and its effectiveness (limited coverage of an app's behaviors). In this paper, we present Tiger (Traffic Imprint Generator), a novel technique that makes comprehensive app imprint generation possible in a massive scale. At the center of Tiger is a unique instantiated slicing technique, which aggressively prunes the program slice extracted from the app's network-related code by evaluating each variable's impact on possible network invariants, and removing those unlikely to contribute through assigning them concrete values. In this way, Tiger avoids exploring a large number of program paths unrelated to the app's identifiable traffic, thereby reducing the cost of the code analysis by more than one order of magnitude, in comparison with the conventional slicing and execution approach. Our experiments show that Tiger is capable of recovering an app's full network activities within 18 seconds, achieving over 98% coverage of its identifiable packets and 0.742% false detection rate on app identification. Further running the technique on over 200,000 real-world Android apps (including 78.23% potentially harmful apps) leads to the discovery of surprising new types of traffic invariants, including fake device information, hardcoded time values, session IDs and credentials, as well as complicated trigger conditions for an app's network activities, such as human involvement, Intent trigger and server-side instructions. Our findings demonstrate that many network activities cannot easily be invoked through automatic UI exploration and code-analysis based approaches present a promising alternative.
2018-03-26
You, Wei, Zong, Peiyuan, Chen, Kai, Wang, XiaoFeng, Liao, Xiaojing, Bian, Pan, Liang, Bin.  2017.  SemFuzz: Semantics-Based Automatic Generation of Proof-of-Concept Exploits. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :2139–2154.

Patches and related information about software vulnerabilities are often made available to the public, aiming to facilitate timely fixes. Unfortunately, the slow paces of system updates (30 days on average) often present to the attackers enough time to recover hidden bugs for attacking the unpatched systems. Making things worse is the potential to automatically generate exploits on input-validation flaws through reverse-engineering patches, even though such vulnerabilities are relatively rare (e.g., 5% among all Linux kernel vulnerabilities in last few years). Less understood, however, are the implications of other bug-related information (e.g., bug descriptions in CVE), particularly whether utilization of such information can facilitate exploit generation, even on other vulnerability types that have never been automatically attacked. In this paper, we seek to use such information to generate proof-of-concept (PoC) exploits for the vulnerability types never automatically attacked. Unlike an input validation flaw that is often patched by adding missing sanitization checks, fixing other vulnerability types is more complicated, usually involving replacement of the whole chunk of code. Without understanding of the code changed, automatic exploit becomes less likely. To address this challenge, we present SemFuzz, a novel technique leveraging vulnerability-related text (e.g., CVE reports and Linux git logs) to guide automatic generation of PoC exploits. Such an end-to-end approach is made possible by natural-language processing (NLP) based information extraction and a semantics-based fuzzing process guided by such information. Running over 112 Linux kernel flaws reported in the past five years, SemFuzz successfully triggered 18 of them, and further discovered one zero-day and one undisclosed vulnerabilities. These flaws include use-after-free, memory corruption, information leak, etc., indicating that more complicated flaws can also be automatically attacked. This finding calls into question the way vulnerability-related information is shared today.