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Karras, Panagiotis, Nikitin, Artyom, Saad, Muhammad, Bhatt, Rudrika, Antyukhov, Denis, Idreos, Stratos.  2016.  Adaptive Indexing over Encrypted Numeric Data. Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Management of Data. :171–183.

Today, outsourcing query processing tasks to remote cloud servers becomes a viable option; such outsourcing calls for encrypting data stored at the server so as to render it secure against eavesdropping adversaries and/or an honest-but-curious server itself. At the same time, to be efficiently managed, outsourced data should be indexed, and even adaptively so, as a side-effect of query processing. Computationally heavy encryption schemes render such outsourcing unattractive; an alternative, Order-Preserving Encryption Scheme (OPES), intentionally preserves and reveals the order in the data, hence is unattractive from the security viewpoint. In this paper, we propose and analyze a scheme for lightweight and indexable encryption, based on linear-algebra operations. Our scheme provides higher security than OPES and allows for range and point queries to be efficiently evaluated over encrypted numeric data, with decryption performed at the client side. We implement a prototype that performs incremental, query-triggered adaptive indexing over encrypted numeric data based on this scheme, without leaking order information in advance, and without prohibitive overhead, as our extensive experimental study demonstrates.

Saad, Muhammad, Anwar, Afsah, Ahmad, Ashar, Alasmary, Hisham, Yuksel, Murat, Mohaisen, Aziz.  2019.  RouteChain: Towards Blockchain-Based Secure and Efficient BGP Routing. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (ICBC). :210–218.

Routing on the Internet is defined among autonomous systems (ASes) based on a weak trust model where it is assumed that ASes are honest. While this trust model strengthens the connectivity among ASes, it results in an attack surface which is exploited by malicious entities to hijacking routing paths. One such attack is known as the BGP prefix hijacking, in which a malicious AS broadcasts IP prefixes that belong to a target AS, thereby hijacking its traffic. In this paper, we proposeRouteChain: a blockchain-based secure BGP routing system that counters BGP hijacking and maintains a consistent view of the Internet routing paths. Towards that, we leverage provenance assurance and tamper-proof properties of blockchains to augment trust among ASes. We group ASes based on their geographical (network) proximity and construct a bihierarchical blockchain model that detects false prefixes prior to their spread over the Internet. We validate strengths of our design by simulations and show its effectiveness by drawing a case study with the Youtube hijacking of 2008. Our proposed scheme is a standalone service that can be incrementally deployed without the need of a central authority.

Saad, Muhammad, Khormali, Aminollah, Mohaisen, Aziz.  2019.  Dine and Dash: Static, Dynamic, and Economic Analysis of In-Browser Cryptojacking. 2019 APWG Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime). :1—12.

Cryptojacking is the permissionless use of a target device to covertly mine cryptocurrencies. With cryptojacking attackers use malicious JavaScript codes to force web browsers into solving proof-of-work puzzles, thus making money by exploiting resources of the website visitors. To understand and counter such attacks, we systematically analyze the static, dynamic, and economic aspects of in-browser cryptojacking. For static analysis, we perform content-, currency-, and code-based categorization of cryptojacking samples to 1) measure their distribution across websites, 2) highlight their platform affinities, and 3) study their code complexities. We apply unsupervised learning to distinguish cryptojacking scripts from benign and other malicious JavaScript samples with 96.4% accuracy. For dynamic analysis, we analyze the effect of cryptojacking on critical system resources, such as CPU and battery usage. Additionally, we perform web browser fingerprinting to analyze the information exchange between the victim node and the dropzone cryptojacking server. We also build an analytical model to empirically evaluate the feasibility of cryptojacking as an alternative to online advertisement. Our results show a large negative profit and loss gap, indicating that the model is economically impractical. Finally, by leveraging insights from our analyses, we build countermeasures for in-browser cryptojacking that improve upon the existing remedies.

Saad, Muhammad, Cook, Victor, Nguyen, Lan, Thai, My T., Mohaisen, Aziz.  2019.  Partitioning Attacks on Bitcoin: Colliding Space, Time, and Logic. 2019 IEEE 39th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). :1175—1187.
Bitcoin is the leading example of a blockchain application that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a trusted intermediary. This paper considers possible attacks related to the decentralized network architecture of Bitcoin. We perform a data driven study of Bitcoin and present possible attacks based on spatial and temporal characteristics of its network. Towards that, we revisit the prior work, dedicated to the study of centralization of Bitcoin nodes over the Internet, through a fine-grained analysis of network distribution, and highlight the increasing centralization of the Bitcoin network over time. As a result, we show that Bitcoin is vulnerable to spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal, and logical partitioning attacks with an increased attack feasibility due to network dynamics. We verify our observations by simulating attack scenarios and the implications of each attack on the Bitcoin . We conclude with suggested countermeasures.