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Pasquier, Thomas, Bacon, Jean, Singh, Jatinder, Eyers, David.  2016.  Data-Centric Access Control for Cloud Computing. Proceedings of the 21st ACM on Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies. :81–88.

The usual approach to security for cloud-hosted applications is strong separation. However, it is often the case that the same data is used by different applications, particularly given the increase in data-driven (`big data' and IoT) applications. We argue that access control for the cloud should no longer be application-specific but should be data-centric, associated with the data that can flow between applications. Indeed, the data may originate outside cloud services from diverse sources such as medical monitoring, environmental sensing etc. Information Flow Control (IFC) potentially offers data-centric, system-wide data access control. It has been shown that IFC can be provided at operating system level as part of a PaaS offering, with an acceptable overhead. In this paper we consider how IFC can be integrated with application-specific access control, transparently from application developers, while building from simple IFC primitives, access control policies that align with the data management obligations of cloud providers and tenants.

Pasquier, Thomas, Han, Xueyuan, Goldstein, Mark, Moyer, Thomas, Eyers, David, Seltzer, Margo, Bacon, Jean.  2017.  Practical Whole-System Provenance Capture. Proceedings of the 2017 Symposium on Cloud Computing. :405–418.

Data provenance describes how data came to be in its present form. It includes data sources and the transformations that have been applied to them. Data provenance has many uses, from forensics and security to aiding the reproducibility of scientific experiments. We present CamFlow, a whole-system provenance capture mechanism that integrates easily into a PaaS offering. While there have been several prior whole-system provenance systems that captured a comprehensive, systemic and ubiquitous record of a system's behavior, none have been widely adopted. They either A) impose too much overhead, B) are designed for long-outdated kernel releases and are hard to port to current systems, C) generate too much data, or D) are designed for a single system. CamFlow addresses these shortcoming by: 1) leveraging the latest kernel design advances to achieve efficiency; 2) using a self-contained, easily maintainable implementation relying on a Linux Security Module, NetFilter, and other existing kernel facilities; 3) providing a mechanism to tailor the captured provenance data to the needs of the application; and 4) making it easy to integrate provenance across distributed systems. The provenance we capture is streamed and consumed by tenant-built auditor applications. We illustrate the usability of our implementation by describing three such applications: demonstrating compliance with data regulations; performing fault/intrusion detection; and implementing data loss prevention. We also show how CamFlow can be leveraged to capture meaningful provenance without modifying existing applications.

Aublin, Pierre-Louis, Kelbert, Florian, O'Keeffe, Dan, Muthukumaran, Divya, Priebe, Christian, Lind, Joshua, Krahn, Robert, Fetzer, Christof, Eyers, David, Pietzuch, Peter.  2018.  LibSEAL: Revealing Service Integrity Violations Using Trusted Execution. Proceedings of the Thirteenth EuroSys Conference. :24:1–24:15.
Users of online services such as messaging, code hosting and collaborative document editing expect the services to uphold the integrity of their data. Despite providers' best efforts, data corruption still occurs, but at present service integrity violations are excluded from SLAs. For providers to include such violations as part of SLAs, the competing requirements of clients and providers must be satisfied. Clients need the ability to independently identify and prove service integrity violations to claim compensation. At the same time, providers must be able to refute spurious claims. We describe LibSEAL, a SEcure Audit Library for Internet services that creates a non-repudiable audit log of service operations and checks invariants to discover violations of service integrity. LibSEAL is a drop-in replacement for TLS libraries used by services, and thus observes and logs all service requests and responses. It runs inside a trusted execution environment, such as Intel SGX, to protect the integrity of the audit log. Logs are stored using an embedded relational database, permitting service invariant violations to be discovered using simple SQL queries. We evaluate LibSEAL with three popular online services (Git, ownCloud and Dropbox) and demonstrate that it is effective in discovering integrity violations, while reducing throughput by at most 14%.