Visible to the public Biblio

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Zhang, Z., Yu, Q., Njilla, L., Kamhoua, C..  2018.  FPGA-oriented moving target defense against security threats from malicious FPGA tools. 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST). :163–166.
The imbalance relationship between FPGA hardware/software providers and FPGA users challenges the assurance of secure design on FPGAs. Existing efforts on FPGA security primarily focus on reverse engineering the downloaded FPGA configuration, retrieving the authentication code or crypto key stored on the embedded memory in FPGAs, and countermeasures for the security threats above. In this work, we investigate new security threats from malicious FPGA tools, and identify stealthy attacks that could occur during FPGA deployment. To address those attacks, we exploit the principles of moving target defense (MTD) and propose a FPGA-oriented MTD (FOMTD) method. Our method is composed of three defense lines, which are formed by an improved user constraint file, random selection of design replicas, and runtime submodule assembling, respectively. The FPGA emulation results show that the proposed FOMTD method reduces the hardware Trojan hit rate by 60% over the baseline, at the cost of 10.76% more power consumption.
Bobda, C., Whitaker, T. J. L., Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, K., Njilla, L..  2017.  Synthesis of Hardware Sandboxes for Trojan Mitigation in Systems on Chip. 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST). :172–172.

In this work, we propose a design flow for automatic generation of hardware sandboxes purposed for IP security in trusted system-on-chips (SoCs). Our tool CAPSL, the Component Authentication Process for Sandboxed Layouts, is capable of detecting trojan activation and nullifying possible damage to a system at run-time, avoiding complex pre-fabrication and pre-deployment testing for trojans. Our approach captures the behavioral properties of non-trusted IPs, typically from a third-party or components off the shelf (COTS), with the formalism of interface automata and the Property Specification Language's sequential extended regular expressions (SERE). Using the concept of hardware sandboxing, we translate the property specifications to checker automata and partition an untrusted sector of the system, with included virtualized resources and controllers, to isolate sandbox-system interactions upon deviation from the behavioral checkers. Our design flow is verified with benchmarks from, which show 100% trojan detection with reduced checker overhead compared to other run-time verification techniques.

Kamdem, G., Kamhoua, C., Lu, Y., Shetty, S., Njilla, L..  2017.  A Markov Game Theoritic Approach for Power Grid Security. 2017 IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW). :139–144.

The extensive use of information and communication technologies in power grid systems make them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. One class of cyber-attack is advanced persistent threats where highly skilled attackers can steal user authentication information's and then move laterally in the network, from host to host in a hidden manner, until they reach an attractive target. Once the presence of the attacker has been detected in the network, appropriate actions should be taken quickly to prevent the attacker going deeper. This paper presents a game theoretic approach to optimize the defense against an invader attempting to use a set of known vulnerabilities to reach critical nodes in the network. First, the network is modeled as a vulnerability multi-graph where the nodes represent physical hosts and edges the vulnerabilities that the attacker can exploit to move laterally from one host to another. Secondly, a two-player zero-sum Markov game is built where the states of the game represent the nodes of the vulnerability multi-graph graph and transitions correspond to the edge vulnerabilities that the attacker can exploit. The solution of the game gives the optimal strategy to disconnect vulnerable services and thus slow down the attack.

Ghosh, U., Chatterjee, P., Tosh, D., Shetty, S., Xiong, K., Kamhoua, C..  2017.  An SDN Based Framework for Guaranteeing Security and Performance in Information-Centric Cloud Networks. 2017 IEEE 10th International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD). :749–752.

Cloud data centers are critical infrastructures to deliver cloud services. Although security and performance of cloud data centers have been well studied in the past, their networking aspects are overlooked. Current network infrastructures in cloud data centers limit the ability of cloud provider to offer guaranteed cloud network resources to users. In order to ensure security and performance requirements as defined in the service level agreement (SLA) between cloud user and provider, cloud providers need the ability to provision network resources dynamically and on the fly. The main challenge for cloud provider in utilizing network resource can be addressed by provisioning virtual networks that support information centric services by separating the control plane from the cloud infrastructure. In this paper, we propose an sdn based information centric cloud framework to provision network resources in order to support elastic demands of cloud applications depending on SLA requirements. The framework decouples the control plane and data plane wherein the conceptually centralized control plane controls and manages the fully distributed data plane. It computes the path to ensure security and performance of the network. We report initial experiment on average round-trip delay between consumers and producers.

Dutta, R. G., Guo, Xiaolong, Zhang, Teng, Kwiat, K., Kamhoua, C., Njilla, L., Jin, Y..  2017.  Estimation of safe sensor measurements of autonomous system under attack. 2017 54th ACM/EDAC/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC). :1–6.
The introduction of automation in cyber-physical systems (CPS) has raised major safety and security concerns. One attack vector is the sensing unit whose measurements can be manipulated by an adversary through attacks such as denial of service and delay injection. To secure an autonomous CPS from such attacks, we use a challenge response authentication (CRA) technique for detection of attack in active sensors data and estimate safe measurements using the recursive least square algorithm. For demonstrating effectiveness of our proposed approach, a car-follower model is considered where the follower vehicle's radar sensor measurements are manipulated in an attempt to cause a collision.
Tosh, D., Sengupta, S., Kamhoua, C., Kwiat, K., Martin, A..  2015.  An evolutionary game-theoretic framework for cyber-threat information sharing. 2015 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC). :7341–7346.

The initiative to protect against future cyber crimes requires a collaborative effort from all types of agencies spanning industry, academia, federal institutions, and military agencies. Therefore, a Cybersecurity Information Exchange (CYBEX) framework is required to facilitate breach/patch related information sharing among the participants (firms) to combat cyber attacks. In this paper, we formulate a non-cooperative cybersecurity information sharing game that can guide: (i) the firms (players)1 to independently decide whether to “participate in CYBEX and share” or not; (ii) the CYBEX framework to utilize the participation cost dynamically as incentive (to attract firms toward self-enforced sharing) and as a charge (to increase revenue). We analyze the game from an evolutionary game-theoretic strategy and determine the conditions under which the players' self-enforced evolutionary stability can be achieved. We present a distributed learning heuristic to attain the evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) under various conditions. We also show how CYBEX can wisely vary its pricing for participation to increase sharing as well as its own revenue, eventually evolving toward a win-win situation.