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Kesidis, G., Shan, Y., Fleck, D., Stavrou, A., Konstantopoulos, T..  2018.  An adversarial coupon-collector model of asynchronous moving-target defense against botnet reconnaissance*. 2018 13th International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software (MALWARE). :61–67.

We consider a moving-target defense of a proxied multiserver tenant of the cloud where the proxies dynamically change to defeat reconnaissance activity by a botnet planning a DDoS attack targeting the tenant. Unlike the system of [4] where all proxies change simultaneously at a fixed rate, we consider a more “responsive” system where the proxies may change more rapidly and selectively based on the current session request intensity, which is expected to be abnormally large during active reconnaissance. In this paper, we study a tractable “adversarial” coupon-collector model wherein proxies change after a random period of time from the latest request, i.e., asynchronously. In addition to determining the stationary mean number of proxies discovered by the attacker, we study the age of a proxy (coupon type) when it has been identified (requested) by the botnet. This gives us the rate at which proxies change (cost to the defender) when the nominal client request load is relatively negligible.

Johnson, R., Kiourtis, N., Stavrou, A., Sritapan, V..  2015.  Analysis of content copyright infringement in mobile application markets. 2015 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime). :1–10.

As mobile devices increasingly become bigger in terms of display and reliable in delivering paid entertainment and video content, we also see a rise in the presence of mobile applications that attempt to profit by streaming pirated content to unsuspected end-users. These applications are both paid and free and in the case of free applications, the source of funding appears to be advertisements that are displayed while the content is streamed to the device. In this paper, we assess the extent of content copyright infringement for mobile markets that span multiple platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile) and cover both official and unofficial mobile markets located across the world. Using a set of search keywords that point to titles of paid streaming content, we discovered 8,592 Android, 5,550 iOS, and 3,910 Windows mobile applications that matched our search criteria. Out of those applications, hundreds had links to either locally or remotely stored pirated content and were not developed, endorsed, or, in many cases, known to the owners of the copyrighted contents. We also revealed the network locations of 856,717 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) pointing to back-end servers and cyber-lockers used to communicate the pirated content to the mobile application.

Quan Jia, Huangxin Wang, Fleck, D., Fei Li, Stavrou, A., Powell, W..  2014.  Catch Me If You Can: A Cloud-Enabled DDoS Defense. Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), 2014 44th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on. :264-275.

We introduce a cloud-enabled defense mechanism for Internet services against network and computational Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. Our approach performs selective server replication and intelligent client re-assignment, turning victim servers into moving targets for attack isolation. We introduce a novel system architecture that leverages a "shuffling" mechanism to compute the optimal re-assignment strategy for clients on attacked servers, effectively separating benign clients from even sophisticated adversaries that persistently follow the moving targets. We introduce a family of algorithms to optimize the runtime client-to-server re-assignment plans and minimize the number of shuffles to achieve attack mitigation. The proposed shuffling-based moving target mechanism enables effective attack containment using fewer resources than attack dilution strategies using pure server expansion. Our simulations and proof-of-concept prototype using Amazon EC2 [1] demonstrate that we can successfully mitigate large-scale DDoS attacks in a small number of shuffles, each of which incurs a few seconds of user-perceived latency.