Visible to the public Biblio

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2019-02-13
Carpent, X., Tsudik, G., Rattanavipanon, N..  2018.  ERASMUS: Efficient remote attestation via self-measurement for unattended settings. 2018 Design, Automation Test in Europe Conference Exhibition (DATE). :1191–1194.
Remote attestation (RA) is a popular means of detecting malware in embedded and IoT devices. RA is usually realized as a protocol via which a trusted verifier measures software integrity of an untrusted remote device called prover. All prior RA techniques require on-demand operation. We identify two drawbacks of this approach in the context of unattended devices: First, it fails to detect mobile malware that enters and leaves the prover between successive RA instances. Second, it requires the prover to engage in a potentially expensive computation, which can negatively impact safety-critical or real-time devices. To this end, we introduce the concept of self-measurement whereby a prover periodically (and securely) measures and records its own software state. A verifier then collects and verifies these measurements. We demonstrate a concrete technique called ERASMUS, justify its features, and evaluate its performance. We show that ERASMUS is well-suited for safety-critical applications. We also define a new metric - Quality of Attestation (QoA).
2019-01-31
Mahboubi, A., Camtepe, S., Morarji, H..  2018.  Reducing USB Attack Surface: A Lightweight Authentication and Delegation Protocol. 2018 International Conference on Smart Computing and Electronic Enterprise (ICSCEE). :1–7.

A privately owned smart device connected to a corporate network using a USB connection creates a potential channel for malware infection and its subsequent spread. For example, air-gapped (a.k.a. isolated) systems are considered to be the most secure and safest places for storing critical datasets. However, unlike network communications, USB connection streams have no authentication and filtering. Consequently, intentional or unintentional piggybacking of a malware infected USB storage or a mobile device through the air-gap is sufficient to spread infection into such systems. Our findings show that the contact rate has an exceptional impact on malware spread and destabilizing free malware equilibrium. This work proposes a USB authentication and delegation protocol based on radiofrequency identification (RFID) in order to stabilize the free malware equilibrium in air-gapped networks. The proposed protocol is modelled using Coloured Petri nets (CPN) and the model is verified and validated through CPN tools.

2017-09-19
Holmes, Ashton, Desai, Sunny, Nahapetian, Ani.  2016.  LuxLeak: Capturing Computing Activity Using Smart Device Ambient Light Sensors. Proceedings of the 2Nd Workshop on Experiences in the Design and Implementation of Smart Objects. :47–52.

In this paper, we consider side-channel mechanisms, specifically using smart device ambient light sensors, to capture information about user computing activity. We distinguish keyboard keystrokes using only the ambient light sensor readings from a smart watch worn on the user's non-dominant hand. Additionally, we investigate the feasibility of capturing screen emanations for determining user browser usage patterns. The experimental results expose privacy and security risks, as well as the potential for new mobile user interfaces and applications.

2017-04-24
Spreitzer, Raphael, Griesmayr, Simone, Korak, Thomas, Mangard, Stefan.  2016.  Exploiting Data-Usage Statistics for Website Fingerprinting Attacks on Android. Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. :49–60.

The browsing behavior of a user allows to infer personal details, such as health status, political interests, sexual orientation, etc. In order to protect this sensitive information and to cope with possible privacy threats, defense mechanisms like SSH tunnels and anonymity networks (e.g., Tor) have been established. A known shortcoming of these defenses is that website fingerprinting attacks allow to infer a user's browsing behavior based on traffic analysis techniques. However, website fingerprinting typically assumes access to the client's network or to a router near the client, which restricts the applicability of these attacks. In this work, we show that this rather strong assumption is not required for website fingerprinting attacks. Our client-side attack overcomes several limitations and assumptions of network-based fingerprinting attacks, e.g., network conditions and traffic noise, disabled browser caches, expensive training phases, etc. Thereby, we eliminate assumptions used for academic purposes and present a practical attack that can be implemented easily and deployed on a large scale. Eventually, we show that an unprivileged application can infer the browsing behavior by exploiting the unprotected access to the Android data-usage statistics. More specifically, we are able to infer 97% of 2,500 page visits out of a set of 500 monitored pages correctly. Even if the traffic is routed through Tor by using the Orbot proxy in combination with the Orweb browser, we can infer 95% of 500 page visits out of a set of 100 monitored pages correctly. Thus, the READ\_HISTORY\_BOOKMARKS permission, which is supposed to protect the browsing behavior, does not provide protection.

2017-03-08
Sarkisyan, A., Debbiny, R., Nahapetian, A..  2015.  WristSnoop: Smartphone PINs prediction using smartwatch motion sensors. 2015 IEEE International Workshop on Information Forensics and Security (WIFS). :1–6.

Smartwatches, with motion sensors, are becoming a common utility for users. With the increasing popularity of practical wearable computers, and in particular smartwatches, the security risks linked with sensors on board these devices have yet to be fully explored. Recent research literature has demonstrated the capability of using a smartphone's own accelerometer and gyroscope to infer tap locations; this paper expands on this work to demonstrate a method for inferring smartphone PINs through the analysis of smartwatch motion sensors. This study determines the feasibility and accuracy of inferring user keystrokes on a smartphone through a smartwatch worn by the user. Specifically, we show that with malware accessing only the smartwatch's motion sensors, it is possible to recognize user activity and specific numeric keypad entries. In a controlled scenario, we achieve results no less than 41% and up to 92% accurate for PIN prediction within 5 guesses.

2015-05-06
Zhuo Lu, Wenye Wang, Wang, C..  2014.  How can botnets cause storms? Understanding the evolution and impact of mobile botnets INFOCOM, 2014 Proceedings IEEE. :1501-1509.

A botnet in mobile networks is a collection of compromised nodes due to mobile malware, which are able to perform coordinated attacks. Different from Internet botnets, mobile botnets do not need to propagate using centralized infrastructures, but can keep compromising vulnerable nodes in close proximity and evolving organically via data forwarding. Such a distributed mechanism relies heavily on node mobility as well as wireless links, therefore breaks down the underlying premise in existing epidemic modeling for Internet botnets. In this paper, we adopt a stochastic approach to study the evolution and impact of mobile botnets. We find that node mobility can be a trigger to botnet propagation storms: the average size (i.e., number of compromised nodes) of a botnet increases quadratically over time if the mobility range that each node can reach exceeds a threshold; otherwise, the botnet can only contaminate a limited number of nodes with average size always bounded above. This also reveals that mobile botnets can propagate at the fastest rate of quadratic growth in size, which is substantially slower than the exponential growth of Internet botnets. To measure the denial-of-service impact of a mobile botnet, we define a new metric, called last chipper time, which is the last time that service requests, even partially, can still be processed on time as the botnet keeps propagating and launching attacks. The last chipper time is identified to decrease at most on the order of 1/√B, where B is the network bandwidth. This result reveals that although increasing network bandwidth can help with mobile services; at the same time, it can indeed escalate the risk for services being disrupted by mobile botnets.

2014-09-26
Yajin Zhou, Xuxian Jiang.  2012.  Dissecting Android Malware: Characterization and Evolution. Security and Privacy (SP), 2012 IEEE Symposium on. :95-109.

The popularity and adoption of smart phones has greatly stimulated the spread of mobile malware, especially on the popular platforms such as Android. In light of their rapid growth, there is a pressing need to develop effective solutions. However, our defense capability is largely constrained by the limited understanding of these emerging mobile malware and the lack of timely access to related samples. In this paper, we focus on the Android platform and aim to systematize or characterize existing Android malware. Particularly, with more than one year effort, we have managed to collect more than 1,200 malware samples that cover the majority of existing Android malware families, ranging from their debut in August 2010 to recent ones in October 2011. In addition, we systematically characterize them from various aspects, including their installation methods, activation mechanisms as well as the nature of carried malicious payloads. The characterization and a subsequent evolution-based study of representative families reveal that they are evolving rapidly to circumvent the detection from existing mobile anti-virus software. Based on the evaluation with four representative mobile security software, our experiments show that the best case detects 79.6% of them while the worst case detects only 20.2% in our dataset. These results clearly call for the need to better develop next-generation anti-mobile-malware solutions.