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Conference Paper
Abera, Tigist, Asokan, N., Davi, Lucas, Ekberg, Jan-Erik, Nyman, Thomas, Paverd, Andrew, Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza, Tsudik, Gene.  2016.  C-FLAT: Control-Flow Attestation for Embedded Systems Software. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :743–754.

Remote attestation is a crucial security service particularly relevant to increasingly popular IoT (and other embedded) devices. It allows a trusted party (verifier) to learn the state of a remote, and potentially malware-infected, device (prover). Most existing approaches are static in nature and only check whether benign software is initially loaded on the prover. However, they are vulnerable to runtime attacks that hijack the application's control or data flow, e.g., via return-oriented programming or data-oriented exploits. As a concrete step towards more comprehensive runtime remote attestation, we present the design and implementation of Control-FLow ATtestation (C-FLAT) that enables remote attestation of an application's control-flow path, without requiring the source code. We describe a full prototype implementation of C-FLAT on Raspberry Pi using its ARM TrustZone hardware security extensions. We evaluate C-FLAT's performance using a real-world embedded (cyber-physical) application, and demonstrate its efficacy against control-flow hijacking attacks.

Ibrahim, Ahmad, Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza, Tsudik, Gene, Zeitouni, Shaza.  2016.  DARPA: Device Attestation Resilient to Physical Attacks. Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. :171–182.

As embedded devices (under the guise of "smart-whatever") rapidly proliferate into many domains, they become attractive targets for malware. Protecting them from software and physical attacks becomes both important and challenging. Remote attestation is a basic tool for mitigating such attacks. It allows a trusted party (verifier) to remotely assess software integrity of a remote, untrusted, and possibly compromised, embedded device (prover). Prior remote attestation methods focus on software (malware) attacks in a one-verifier/one-prover setting. Physical attacks on provers are generally ruled out as being either unrealistic or impossible to mitigate. In this paper, we argue that physical attacks must be considered, particularly, in the context of many provers, e.g., a network, of devices. As- suming that physical attacks require capture and subsequent temporary disablement of the victim device(s), we propose DARPA, a light-weight protocol that takes advantage of absence detection to identify suspected devices. DARPA is resilient against a very strong adversary and imposes minimal additional hardware requirements. We justify and identify DARPA's design goals and evaluate its security and costs.

Mirzamohammadi, Saeed, Chen, Justin A., Sani, Ardalan Amiri, Mehrotra, Sharad, Tsudik, Gene.  2017.  Ditio: Trustworthy Auditing of Sensor Activities in Mobile & IoT Devices. Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Embedded Network Sensor Systems. :28:1–28:14.
Mobile and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, such as smartphones, tablets, wearables, smart home assistants (e.g., Google Home and Amazon Echo), and wall-mounted cameras, come equipped with various sensors, notably camera and microphone. These sensors can capture extremely sensitive and private information. There are several important scenarios where, for privacy reasons, a user might require assurance about the use (or non-use) of these sensors. For example, the owner of a home assistant might require assurance that the microphone on the device is not used during a given time of the day. Similarly, during a confidential meeting, the host needs assurance that attendees do not record any audio or video. Currently, there are no means to attain such assurance in modern mobile and IoT devices. To this end, this paper presents Ditio, a system approach for auditing sensor activities. Ditio records sensor activity logs that can be later inspected by an auditor and checked for compliance with a given policy. It is based on a hybrid security monitor architecture that leverages both ARM's virtualization hardware and TrustZone. Ditio includes an authentication protocol for establishing a logging session with a trusted server and a formally verified companion tool for log analysis. Ditio prototypes on ARM Juno development board and Nexus 5 smartphone show that it introduces negligible performance overhead for both the camera and microphone. However, it incurs up to 17% additional power consumption under heavy use for the Nexus 5 camera.
Compagno, Alberto, Conti, Mauro, Lain, Daniele, Tsudik, Gene.  2017.  Don'T Skype & Type!: Acoustic Eavesdropping in Voice-Over-IP. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :703–715.

Acoustic emanations of computer keyboards represent a serious privacy issue. As demonstrated in prior work, physical properties of keystroke sounds might reveal what a user is typing. However, previous attacks assumed relatively strong adversary models that are not very practical in many real-world settings. Such strong models assume: (i) adversary's physical proximity to the victim, (ii) precise profiling of the victim's typing style and keyboard, and/or (iii) significant amount of victim's typed information (and its corresponding sounds) available to the adversary. This paper presents and explores a new keyboard acoustic eavesdropping attack that involves Voice-over-IP (VoIP), called Skype & Type (S&T), while avoiding prior strong adversary assumptions. This work is motivated by the simple observation that people often engage in secondary activities (including typing) while participating in VoIP calls. As expected, VoIP software acquires and faithfully transmits all sounds, including emanations of pressed keystrokes, which can include passwords and other sensitive information. We show that one very popular VoIP software (Skype) conveys enough audio information to reconstruct the victim's input – keystrokes typed on the remote keyboard. Our results demonstrate that, given some knowledge on the victim's typing style and keyboard model, the attacker attains top-5 accuracy of 91.7% in guessing a random key pressed by the victim. Furthermore, we demonstrate that S&T is robust to various VoIP issues (e.g., Internet bandwidth fluctuations and presence of voice over keystrokes), thus confirming feasibility of this attack. Finally, it applies to other popular VoIP software, such as Google Hangouts.

Roeschlin, Marc, Sluganovic, Ivo, Martinovic, Ivan, Tsudik, Gene, Rasmussen, Kasper B..  2016.  Generating Secret Keys from Biometric Body Impedance Measurements. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM on Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society. :59–69.

Growing numbers of ubiquitous electronic devices and services motivate the need for effortless user authentication and identification. While biometrics are a natural means of achieving these goals, their use poses privacy risks, due mainly to the difficulty of preventing theft and abuse of biometric data. One way to minimize information leakage is to derive biometric keys from users' raw biometric measurements. Such keys can be used in subsequent security protocols and ensure that no sensitive biometric data needs to be transmitted or permanently stored. This paper is the first attempt to explore the use of human body impedance as a biometric trait for deriving secret keys. Building upon Randomized Biometric Templates as a key generation scheme, we devise a mechanism that supports consistent regeneration of unique keys from users' impedance measurements. The underlying set of biometric features are found using a feature learning technique based on Siamese networks. Compared to prior feature extraction methods, the proposed technique offers significantly improved recognition rates in the context of key generation. Besides computing experimental error rates, we tailor a known key guessing approach specifically to the used key generation scheme and assess security provided by the resulting keys. We give a very conservative estimate of the number of guesses an adversary must make to find a correct key. Results show that the proposed key generation approach produces keys comparable to those obtained by similar methods based on other biometrics.

Ghali, Cesar, Tsudik, Gene, Wood, Christopher A..  2016.  Network Names in Content-Centric Networking. Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Conference on Information-Centric Networking. :132–141.

Content-centric networking (CCN) is a networking paradigm that emphasizes request-response-based data transfer. A \\textbackslashem consumer\ issues a request explicitly referencing desired data by name. A \\textbackslashem producer\ assigns a name to each data it publishes. Names are used both to identify data to and route traffic between consumers and producers. The type, format, and representation of names are fundamental to CCN. Currently, names are represented as human-readable application-layer URIs. This has several important security and performance implications for the network. In this paper, we propose to transparently decouple application-layer names from their network-layer counterparts. We demonstrate a mapping between the two namespaces that can be deterministically computed by consumers and producers, using application names formatted according to the standard CCN URI scheme. Meanwhile, consumers and producers can continue to use application-layer names. We detail the computation and mapping function requirements and discuss their impact on consumers, producers, and routers. Finally, we comprehensively analyze several mapping functions to show their functional equivalence to standard application names and argue that they address several issues that stem from propagating application names into the network.

De Oliveira Nunes, Ivan, ElDefrawy, Karim, Rattanavipanon, Norrathep, Tsudik, Gene.  2019.  PURE: Using Verified Remote Attestation to Obtain Proofs of Update, Reset and Erasure in low-End Embedded Systems. 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD). :1–8.
Remote Attestation ( RA) is a security service that enables a trusted verifier ( Vrf) to measure current memory state of an untrusted remote prover ( Prv). If correctly implemented, RA allows Vrf to remotely detect if Prv's memory reflects a compromised state. However, RA by itself offers no means of remedying the situation once P rv is determined to be compromised. In this work we show how a secure RA architecture can be extended to enable important and useful security services for low-end embedded devices. In particular, we extend the formally verified RA architecture, VRASED, to implement provably secure software update, erasure, and system-wide resets. When (serially) composed, these features guarantee to Vrf that a remote Prv has been updated to a functional and malware-free state, and was properly initialized after such process. These services are provably secure against an adversary (represented by malware) that compromises Prv and exerts full control of its software state. Our results demonstrate that such services incur minimal additional overhead (0.4% extra hardware footprint, and 100-s milliseconds to generate combined proofs of update, erasure, and reset), making them practical even for the lowest-end embedded devices, e.g., those based on MSP430 or AVR ATMega micro-controller units (MCUs). All changes introduced by our new services to VRASED trusted components are also formally verified.
Brasser, Ferdinand, Rasmussen, Kasper B., Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza, Tsudik, Gene.  2016.  Remote Attestation for Low-end Embedded Devices: The Prover's Perspective. Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Design Automation Conference. :91:1–91:6.

Security of embedded devices is a timely and important issue, due to the proliferation of these devices into numerous and diverse settings, as well as their growing popularity as attack targets, especially, via remote malware infestations. One important defense mechanism is remote attestation, whereby a trusted, and possibly remote, party (verifier) checks the internal state of an untrusted, and potentially compromised, device (prover). Despite much prior work, remote attestation remains a vibrant research topic. However, most attestation schemes naturally focus on the scenario where the verifier is trusted and the prover is not. The opposite setting–-where the prover is benign, and the verifier is malicious–-has been side-stepped. To this end, this paper considers the issue of prover security, including: verifier impersonation, denial-of-service (DoS) and replay attacks, all of which result in unauthorized invocation of attestation functionality on the prover. We argue that protection of the prover from these attacks must be treated as an important component of any remote attestation method. We formulate a new roaming adversary model for this scenario and present the trade-offs involved in countering this threat. We also identify new features and methods needed to protect the prover with minimal additional requirements.

Tsudik, Gene.  2017.  Security in Personal Genomics: Lest We Forget. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :5–5.
Genomic privacy has attracted much attention from the research community, mainly since its risks are unique and breaches can lead to terrifying leakage of most personal and sensitive information. The much less explored topic of genomic security needs to mitigate threats of the digitized genome being altered by its owner or an outside party, which can have dire consequences, especially, in medical or legal settings. At the same time, many anticipated genomic applications (with varying degrees of trust) require only small amounts of genomic data. Supporting such applications requires a careful balance between security and privacy. Furthermore, genome's size raises performance concerns. We argue that genomic security must be taken seriously and explored as a research topic in its own right. To this end, we discuss the problem space, identify the stakeholders, discuss assumptions about them, and outline several simple approaches based on common cryptographic techniques, including signature variants and authenticated data structures. We also present some extensions and identify opportunities for future research. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the importance of genomic security as a research topic in its own right.
Ammar, Mahmoud, Crispo, Bruno, Tsudik, Gene.  2020.  SIMPLE: A Remote Attestation Approach for Resource-constrained IoT devices. 2020 ACM/IEEE 11th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS). :247—258.

Remote Attestation (RA) is a security service that detects malware presence on remote IoT devices by verifying their software integrity by a trusted party (verifier). There are three main types of RA: software (SW)-, hardware (HW)-, and hybrid (SW/HW)-based. Hybrid techniques obtain secure RA with minimal hardware requirements imposed on the architectures of existing microcontrollers units (MCUs). In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to hybrid techniques since prior software-based ones lack concrete security guarantees in a remote setting, while hardware-based approaches are too costly for low-end MCUs. However, one key problem is that many already deployed IoT devices neither satisfy minimal hardware requirements nor support hardware modifications, needed for hybrid RA. This paper bridges the gap between software-based and hybrid RA by proposing a novel RA scheme based on software virtualization. In particular, it proposes a new scheme, called SIMPLE, which meets the minimal hardware requirements needed for secure RA via reliable software. SIMPLE depends on a formally-verified software-based memory isolation technique, called Security MicroVisor (Sμ V). Its reliability is achieved by extending the formally-verified safety and correctness properties to cover the entire software architecture of SIMPLE. Furthermore, SIMPLE is used to construct SIMPLE+, an efficient swarm attestation scheme for static and dynamic heterogeneous IoT networks. We implement and evaluate SIMPLE and SIMPLE+ on Atmel AVR architecture, a common MCU platform.

Carpent, Xavier, ElDefrawy, Karim, Rattanavipanon, Norrathep, Tsudik, Gene.  2018.  Temporal Consistency of Integrity-Ensuring Computations and Applications to Embedded Systems Security. Proceedings of the 2018 on Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security. :313–327.
Assuring integrity of information (e.g., data and/or software) is usually accomplished by cryptographic means, such as hash functions or message authentication codes (MACs). Computing such integrity-ensuring functions can be time-consuming if the amount of input data is large and/or the computing platform is weak. At the same time, in real-time or safety-critical settings, it is often impractical or even undesirable to guarantee atomicity of computing a time-consuming integrity-ensuring function. Meanwhile, standard correctness and security definitions of such functions assume that input data (regardless of its size) remains consistent throughout computation. However, temporal consistency may be lost if another process interrupts execution of an integrity-ensuring function and modifies portions of input that either or both: (1) were already processed, or (2) were not processed yet. Lack of temporal consistency might yield an integrity result that is non-sensical or simply incorrect. Such subtleties and discrepancies between (implicit) assumptions in definitions and implementations can be a source of inconsistenceies, which might lead to vulnerabilities. In this paper, we systematically explore the notion of temporal consistency of cryptographic integrity-ensuring functions. We show that its lack in implementations of such functions can lead to inconsistent results and security violations in protocols and systems using them, e.g., remote attestation, remote updates and secure resets. We consider several mechanisms that guarantee temporal consistency of implementations of integrity-ensuring functions in embedded systems with a focus on remote attestation. We also assess performance of proposed mechanisms on two commodity hardware platforms: I.MX6-SabreLite and ODROID-XU4.
De Oliveira Nunes, Ivan, Dessouky, Ghada, Ibrahim, Ahmad, Rattanavipanon, Norrathep, Sadeghi, Ahmad-Reza, Tsudik, Gene.  2019.  Towards Systematic Design of Collective Remote Attestation Protocols. 2019 IEEE 39th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). :1188–1198.
Networks of and embedded (IoT) devices are becoming increasingly popular, particularly, in settings such as smart homes, factories and vehicles. These networks can include numerous (potentially diverse) devices that collectively perform certain tasks. In order to guarantee overall safety and privacy, especially in the face of remote exploits, software integrity of each device must be continuously assured. This can be achieved by Remote Attestation (RA) - a security service for reporting current software state of a remote and untrusted device. While RA of a single device is well understood, collective RA of large numbers of networked embedded devices poses new research challenges. In particular, unlike single-device RA, collective RA has not benefited from any systematic treatment. Thus, unsurprisingly, prior collective RA schemes are designed in an ad hoc fashion. Our work takes the first step toward systematic design of collective RA, in order to help place collective RA onto a solid ground and serve as a set of design guidelines for both researchers and practitioners. We explore the design space for collective RA and show how the notions of security and effectiveness can be formally defined according to a given application domain. We then present and evaluate a concrete collective RA scheme systematically designed to satisfy these goals.