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Senthivel, Saranyan, Dhungana, Shrey, Yoo, Hyunguk, Ahmed, Irfan, Roussev, Vassil.  2018.  Denial of Engineering Operations Attacks in Industrial Control Systems. Proceedings of the Eighth ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy. :319–329.
We present a new type of attack termed denial of engineering operations in which an attacker can interfere with the normal cycle of an engineering operation leading to a loss of situational awareness. Specifically, the attacker can deceive the engineering software during attempts to retrieve the ladder logic program from a programmable logic controller (PLC) by manipulating the ladder logic on the PLC, such that the software is unable to process it while the PLC continues to execute it successfully. This attack vector can provide sufficient cover for the attacker»s actual scenario to play out while the owner tries to understand the problem and reestablish positive operational control. To enable the forensic analysis and, eventually, eliminate the threat, we have developed the first decompiler for ladder logic programs. Ladder logic is a graphical programming language for PLCs that control physical processes such as power grid, pipelines, and chemical plants; PLCs are a common target of malicious modifications leading to the compromise of the control behavior (and potentially serious consequences). Our decompiler, Laddis, transforms a low-level representation to its corresponding high-level original representation comprising of graphical symbols and connections. The evaluation of the accuracy of the decompiler on the program of varying complexity demonstrates perfect reconstruction of the original program. We present three new attack scenarios on PLC-deployed ladder logic and demonstrate the effectiveness of the decompiler on these scenarios.
McCulley, Shane, Roussev, Vassil.  2018.  Latent Typing Biometrics in Online Collaboration Services. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference. :66–76.

The use of typing biometrics—the characteristic typing patterns of individual keyboard users—has been studied extensively in the context of enhancing multi-factor authentication services. The key starting point for such work has been the collection of high-fidelity local timing data, and the key (implicit) security assumption has been that such biometrics could not be obtained by other means. We show that the latter assumption to be false, and that it is entirely feasible to obtain useful typing biometric signatures from third-party timing logs. Specifically, we show that the logs produced by realtime collaboration services during their normal operation are of sufficient fidelity to successfully impersonate a user using remote data only. Since the logs are routinely shared as a byproduct of the services' operation, this creates an entirely new avenue of attack that few users would be aware of. As a proof of concept, we construct successful biometric attacks using only the log-based structure (complete editing history) of a shared Google Docs, or Zoho Writer, document which is readily available to all contributing parties. Using the largest available public data set of typing biometrics, we are able to create successful forgeries 100% of the time against a commercial biometric service. Our results suggest that typing biometrics are not robust against practical forgeries, and should not be given the same weight as other authentication factors. Another important implication is that the routine collection of detailed timing logs by various online services also inherently (and implicitly) contains biometrics. This not only raises obvious privacy concerns, but may also undermine the effectiveness of network anonymization solutions, such as ToR, when used with existing services.

Ahmed, Irfan, Roussev, Vassil, Johnson, William, Senthivel, Saranyan, Sudhakaran, Sneha.  2016.  A SCADA System Testbed for Cybersecurity and Forensic Research and Pedagogy. Proceedings of the 2Nd Annual Industrial Control System Security Workshop. :1–9.

This paper presents a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) testbed recently built at the University of New Orleans. The testbed consists of models of three industrial physical processes: a gas pipeline, a power transmission and distribution system, and a wastewater treatment plant–these systems are fully-functional and implemented at small-scale. It utilizes real-world industrial equipment such as transformers, programmable logic controllers (PLC), aerators, etc., bringing it closer to modeling real-world SCADA systems. Sensors, actuators, and PLCs are deployed at each physical process system for local control and monitoring, and the PLCs are also connected to a computer running human-machine interface (HMI) software for monitoring the status of the physical processes. The testbed is a useful resource for cybersecurity research, forensic research, and education on different aspects of SCADA systems such as PLC programming, protocol analysis, and demonstration of cyber attacks.