Visible to the public Biblio

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Torkura, Kennedy A., Sukmana, Muhammad I.H., Cheng, Feng, Meinel, Christoph.  2019.  Security Chaos Engineering for Cloud Services: Work In Progress. 2019 IEEE 18th International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications (NCA). :1–3.
The majority of security breaches in cloud infrastructure in recent years are caused by human errors and misconfigured resources. Novel security models are imperative to overcome these issues. Such models must be customer-centric, continuous, not focused on traditional security paradigms like intrusion detection and adopt proactive techniques. Thus, this paper proposes CloudStrike, a cloud security system that implements the principles of Chaos Engineering to enable the aforementioned properties. Chaos Engineering is an emerging discipline employed to prevent non-security failures in cloud infrastructure via Fault Injection Testing techniques. CloudStrike employs similar techniques with a focus on injecting failures that impact security i.e. integrity, confidentiality and availability. Essentially, CloudStrike leverages the relationship between dependability and security models. Preliminary experiments provide insightful and prospective results.
Waqar Ali, Heechul Yun.  2019.  RT-Gang: Real-Time Gang Scheduling Framework for Safety-Critical Systems. Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS). :143-155.

In this paper, we present RT-Gang: a novel real-time gang scheduling framework that enforces a one-gang-at-a-time policy. We find that, in a multicore platform, co-scheduling multiple parallel real-time tasks would require highly pessimistic worst-case execution time (WCET) and schedulability analysis - even when there are enough cores - due to contention in shared hardware resources such as cache and DRAM controller. In RT-Gang, all threads of a parallel real-time task form a real-time gang and the scheduler globally enforces the one-gang-at-a-time scheduling policy to guarantee tight and accurate task WCET. To minimize under-utilization, we integrate a state-of-the-art memory bandwidth throttling framework to allow safe execution of best-effort tasks. Specifically, any idle cores, if exist, are used to schedule best-effort tasks but their maximum memory bandwidth usages are strictly throttled to tightly bound interference to real-time gang tasks. We implement RT-Gang in the Linux kernel and evaluate it on two representative embedded multicore platforms using both synthetic and real-world DNN workloads. The results show that RT-Gang dramatically improves system predictability and the overhead is negligible.

Farzad Farshchi, Qijing Huang, Heechul Yun.  2019.  Integrating NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) with RISC-V SoC on FireSim. Workshop on Energy Efficient Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing for Embedded Applications.

NVDLA is an open-source deep neural network (DNN) accelerator which has received a lot of attention by the community since its introduction by Nvidia. It is a full-featured hardware IP and can serve as a good reference for conducting research and development of SoCs with integrated accelerators. However, an expensive FPGA board is required to do experiments with this IP in a real SoC. Moreover, since NVDLA is clocked at a lower frequency on an FPGA, it would be hard to do accurate performance analysis with such a setup. To overcome these limitations, we integrate NVDLA into a real RISC-V SoC on the Amazon could FPGA using FireSim, a cycle-exact FPGA-accelerated simulator. We then evaluate the performance of NVDLA by running YOLOv3 object-detection algorithm. Our results show that NVDLA can sustain 7.5 fps when running YOLOv3. We further analyze the performance by showing that sharing the last-level cache with NVDLA can result in up to 1.56x speedup. We then identify that sharing the memory system with the accelerator can result in unpredictable execution time for the real-time tasks running on this platform. We believe this is an important issue that must be addressed in order for on-chip DNN accelerators to be incorporated in real-time embedded systems.

Michael Bechtel, Heechul Yun.  2019.  Denial-of-Service Attacks on Shared Cache in Multicore: Analysis and Prevention. Real-Time and Embedded Technology and Applications Symposium (RTAS). :357-367.

In this paper we investigate the feasibility of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on shared caches in multicore platforms. With carefully engineered attacker tasks, we are able to cause more than 300X execution time increases on a victim task running on a dedicated core on a popular embedded multicore platform, regardless of whether we partition its shared cache or not. Based on careful experimentation on real and simulated multicore platforms, we identify an internal hardware structure of a non-blocking cache, namely the cache writeback buffer, as a potential target of shared cache DoS attacks. We propose an OS-level solution to prevent such DoS attacks by extending a state-of-the-art memory bandwidth regulation mechanism. We implement the proposed mechanism in Linux on a real multicore platform and show its effectiveness in protecting against cache DoS attacks.

Jacob Fustos, Farzad Farshchi, Heechul Yun.  2019.  SpectreGuard: An Efficient Data-Centric Defense Mechanism against Spectre Attacks. Proceedings of the 56th Annual Design Automation Conference 2019.

Speculative execution is an essential performance enhancing technique in modern processors, but it has been shown to be insecure. In this paper, we propose SpectreGuard, a novel defense mechanism against Spectre attacks. In our approach, sensitive memory blocks (e.g., secret keys) are marked using simple OS/library API, which are then selectively protected by hardware from Spectre attacks via low-cost micro-architecture extension. This technique allows microprocessors to maintain high performance, while restoring the control to software developers to make security and performance trade-offs.

Chuchu Fan, Sayan Mitra.  2019.  Data-Driven Safety Verification of Complex Cyber-Physical Systems. Design Automation of Cyber-Physical Systems. :107–142.

Data-driven verification methods utilize execution data together with models for establishing safety requirements. These are often the only tools available for analyzing complex, nonlinear cyber-physical systems, for which purely model-based analysis is currently infeasible. In this chapter, we outline the key concepts and algorithmic approaches for data-driven verification and discuss the guarantees they provide. We introduce some of the software tools that embody these ideas and present several practical case studies demonstrating their application in safety analysis of autonomous vehicles, advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), satellite control, and engine control systems.

Potteiger, Bradley, Zhang, Zhenkai, Koutsoukos, Xenofon.  2018.  Integrated Instruction Set Randomization and Control Reconfiguration for Securing Cyber-physical Systems. Proceedings of the 5th Annual Symposium and Bootcamp on Hot Topics in the Science of Security. :5:1–5:10.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) have been increasingly subject to cyber-attacks including code injection attacks. Zero day attacks further exasperate the threat landscape by requiring a shift to defense in depth approaches. With the tightly coupled nature of cyber components with the physical domain, these attacks have the potential to cause significant damage if safety-critical applications such as automobiles are compromised. Moving target defense techniques such as instruction set randomization (ISR) have been commonly proposed to address these types of attacks. However, under current implementations an attack can result in system crashing which is unacceptable in CPS. As such, CPS necessitate proper control reconfiguration mechanisms to prevent a loss of availability in system operation. This paper addresses the problem of maintaining system and security properties of a CPS under attack by integrating ISR, detection, and recovery capabilities that ensure safe, reliable, and predictable system operation. Specifically, we consider the problem of detecting code injection attacks and reconfiguring the controller in real-time. The developed framework is demonstrated with an autonomous vehicle case study.

Heechul Yun, Michael Bechtel, Elise McEllhiney, Minje Kim.  2018.  DeepPicar: A Low-cost Deep Neural Network-based Autonomous Car. IEEE International Conference on Embedded and Real-Time Computing Systems and Applications (RTCSA). :11-21.

We present DeepPicar, a low-cost deep neural network based autonomous car platform. DeepPicar is a small scale replication of a real self-driving car called DAVE-2 by NVIDIA. DAVE-2 uses a deep convolutional neural network (CNN), which takes images from a front-facing camera as input and produces car steering angles as output. DeepPicar uses the same network architecture—9 layers, 27 million connections and 250K parameters—and can drive itself in real-time using a web camera and a Raspberry Pi 3 quad-core platform. Using DeepPicar, we analyze the Pi 3’s computing capabilities to support end-to-end deep learning based real-time control of autonomous vehicles. We also systematically compare other contemporary embedded computing platforms using the DeepPicar’s CNN-based real-time control workload. We find that all tested platforms, including the Pi 3, are capable of supporting the CNN-based real-time control, from 20 Hz up to 100 Hz, depending on hardware platform. However, we find that shared resource contention remains an important issue that must be considered in applying CNN models on shared memory based embedded computing platforms; we observe up to 11.6X execution time increase in the CNN based control loop due to shared resource contention. To protect the CNN workload, we also evaluate state-of-the-art cache partitioning and memory bandwidth throttling techniques on the Pi 3. We find that cache partitioning is ineffective, while memory bandwidth throttling is an effective solution.

Aron Laszka, Waseem Abbas, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, Xenofon Koutsoukos.  2018.  Synergistic Security for the Industrial Internet of Things: Integrating Redundancy, Diversity, and Hardening.

As the Industrial Internet of Things (IIot) becomes more prevalent in critical application domains, ensuring security and resilience in the face of cyber-attacks is becoming an issue of paramount importance. Cyber-attacks against critical infrastructures, for example, against smart water-distribution and transportation systems, pose serious threats to public health and safety. Owing to the severity of these threats, a variety of security techniques are available. However, no single technique can address the whole spectrum of cyber-attacks that may be launched by a determined and resourceful attacker. In light of this, we consider a multi-pronged approach for designing secure and resilient IIoT systems, which integrates redundancy, diversity, and hardening techniques. We introduce a framework for quantifying cyber-security risks and optimizing IIoT design by determining security investments in redundancy, diversity, and hardening. To demonstrate the applicability of our framework, we present two case studies in water distribution and transportation a case study in water-distribution systems. Our numerical evaluation shows that integrating redundancy, diversity, and hardening can lead to reduced security risk at the same cost.

Amin Ghafouri, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik, Xenofon D. Koutsoukos.  2018.  Adversarial Regression for Detecting Attacks in Cyber-Physical Systems. CoRR. abs/1804.11022

Attacks in cyber-physical systems (CPS) which manipulate sensor readings can cause enormous physical damage if undetected. Detection of attacks on sensors is crucial to mitigate this issue. We study supervised regression as a means to detect anomalous sensor readings, where each sensor's measurement is predicted as a function of other sensors. We show that several common learning approaches in this context are still vulnerable to \emph{stealthy attacks}, which carefully modify readings of compromised sensors to cause desired damage while remaining undetected. Next, we model the interaction between the CPS defender and attacker as a Stackelberg game in which the defender chooses detection thresholds, while the attacker deploys a stealthy attack in response. We present a heuristic algorithm for finding an approximately optimal threshold for the defender in this game, and show that it increases system resilience to attacks without significantly increasing the false alarm rate.

Yang, Lei, Li, Fengjun.  2018.  Cloud-Assisted Privacy-Preserving Classification for IoT Applications. IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security.

The explosive proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is generating an incomprehensible amount of data. Machine learning plays an imperative role in aggregating this data and extracting valuable information for improving operational and decision-making processes. In particular, emerging machine intelligence platforms that host pre-trained machine learning models are opening up new opportunities for IoT industries. While those platforms facilitate customers to analyze IoT data and deliver faster and accurate insights, end users and machine learning service providers (MLSPs) have raised concerns regarding security and privacy of IoT data as well as the pre-trained machine learning models for certain applications such as healthcare, smart energy, etc. In this paper, we propose a cloud-assisted, privacy-preserving machine learning classification scheme over encrypted data for IoT devices. Our scheme is based on a three-party model coupled with a two-stage decryption Paillier-based cryptosystem, which allows a cloud server to interact with MLSPs on behalf of the resource-constrained IoT devices in a privacy-preserving manner, and shift load of computation-intensive classification operations from them. The detailed security analysis and the extensive simulations with different key lengths and number of features and classes demonstrate that our scheme can effectively reduce the overhead for IoT devices in machine learning classification applications.

Uttam Thakore, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ahmed Fawaz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, William H. Sanders, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2018.  Detecting Monitor Compromise using Evidential Reasoning.

Stealthy attackers often disable or tamper with system monitors to hide their tracks and evade detection. In this poster, we present a data-driven technique to detect such monitor compromise using evidential reasoning. Leveraging the fact that hiding from multiple, redundant monitors is difficult for an attacker, to identify potential monitor compromise, we combine alerts from different sets of monitors by using Dempster-Shafer theory, and compare the results to find outliers. We describe our ongoing work in this area.

Carmen Cheh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ken Keefe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brett Feddersen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Binbin Chen, Advanced Digital Sciences Center Singapre, William G. Temple, Advance Digital Science Center Singapore, William H. Sanders, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  2017.  Developing Models for Physical Attacks in Cyber-Physical Systems Security and Privacy. ACM Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems Security and Privacy.

In this paper, we analyze the security of cyber-physical systems using the ADversary VIew Security Evaluation (ADVISE) meta modeling approach, taking into consideration the efects of physical attacks. To build our model of the system, we construct an ontology that describes the system components and the relationships among them. The ontology also deines attack steps that represent cyber and physical actions that afect the system entities. We apply the ADVISE meta modeling approach, which admits as input our deined ontology, to a railway system use case to obtain insights regarding the system’s security. The ADVISE Meta tool takes in a system model of a railway station and generates an attack execution graph that shows the actions that adversaries may take to reach their goal. We consider several adversary proiles, ranging from outsiders to insider staf members, and compare their attack paths in terms of targeted assets, time to achieve the goal, and probability of detection. The generated results show that even adversaries with access to noncritical assets can afect system service by intelligently crafting their attacks to trigger a physical sequence of efects. We also identify the physical devices and user actions that require more in-depth monitoring to reinforce the system’s security.

Yangfend Qu, Illinois Institute of Technology, Xin Liu, Illinois Institute of Technology, Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Yuan Hong, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chen Chen, Argonne National Laboratory.  2018.  Enabling a Resilient and Self-healing PMU Infrastructure Using Centralized Network Control. 2018 ACM International Workshop on Security in Software Defined Networks & Network Function Virtualization.

Many of the emerging wide-area monitoring protection and control (WAMPAC) applications in modern electrical grids rely heavily on the availability and integrity of widespread phasor measurement unit (PMU) data. Therefore, it is critical to protect PMU networks against growing cyber-attacks and system faults. In this paper, we present a self-healing PMU network design that considers both power system observability and communication network characteristics. Our design utilizes centralized network control, such as the emerging software-defined networking (SDN) technology, to design resilient network self-healing algorithms against cyber-attacks. Upon detection of a cyber-attack, the PMU network can reconfigure itself to isolate compromised devices and re-route measurement
data with the goal of preserving the power system observability. We have developed a proof-of-concept system in a container-based network testbed using integer linear programming to solve a graphbased PMU system model.We also evaluate the system performance regarding the self-healing plan generation and installation using the IEEE 30-bus system.

Shu, Rui, Wang, Peipei, Gorski III, Sigmund A, Andow, Benjamin, Nadkarni, Adwait, Deshotels, Luke, Gionta, Jason, Enck, William, Gu, Xiaohui.  2016.  A Study of Security Isolation Techniques. ACM Comput. Surv.. 49:50:1–50:37.

Security isolation is a foundation of computing systems that enables resilience to different forms of attacks. This article seeks to understand existing security isolation techniques by systematically classifying different approaches and analyzing their properties. We provide a hierarchical classification structure for grouping different security isolation techniques. At the top level, we consider two principal aspects: mechanism and policy. Each aspect is broken down into salient dimensions that describe key properties. We break the mechanism into two dimensions, enforcement location and isolation granularity, and break the policy aspect down into three dimensions: policy generation, policy configurability, and policy lifetime. We apply our classification to a set of representative articles that cover a breadth of security isolation techniques and discuss tradeoffs among different design choices and limitations of existing approaches.

Akond Rahman, Priysha Pradhan, Asif Parthoϕ, Laurie Williams.  2017.  Predicting Android Application Security and Privacy Risk With Static Code Metrics. 4th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems.

Android applications pose security and privacy risks for end-users. These risks are often quantified by performing dynamic analysis and permission analysis of the Android applications after release. Prediction of security and privacy risks associated with Android applications at early stages of application development, e.g. when the developer (s) are
writing the code of the application, might help Android application developers in releasing applications to end-users that have less security and privacy risk. The goal of this paper
is to aid Android application developers in assessing the security and privacy risk associated with Android applications by using static code metrics as predictors. In our paper, we consider security and privacy risk of Android application as how susceptible the application is to leaking private information of end-users and to releasing vulnerabilities. We investigate how effectively static code metrics that are extracted from the source code of Android applications, can be used to predict security and privacy risk of Android applications. We collected 21 static code metrics of 1,407 Android applications, and use the collected static code metrics to predict security and privacy risk of the applications. As the oracle of security and privacy risk, we used Androrisk, a tool that quantifies the amount of security and privacy risk of an Android application using analysis of Android permissions and dynamic analysis. To accomplish our goal, we used statistical learners such as, radial-based support vector machine (r-SVM). For r-SVM, we observe a precision of 0.83. Findings from our paper suggest that with proper selection of static code metrics, r-SVM can be used effectively to predict security and privacy risk of Android applications

Rui Shu, Peipei Wang, Sigmund A. Gorski III, Benjamin Andow, Adwait Nadkarni, Luke Deshotels, Jason Gionta, William Enck, Xiaohui Gu.  2016.  A Study of Security Isolation Techniques. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR).

Security isolation is a foundation of computing systems that enables resilience to different forms of attacks. This article seeks to understand existing security isolation techniques by systematically classifying different approaches and analyzing their properties. We provide a hierarchical classification structure for grouping different security  isolation techniques.  At the top level, we consider two principal aspects: mechanism and policy. Each aspect is broken down into salient dimensions that describe key properties. We break the mechanism into two dimensions: enforcement location and isolation granularity, and break the policy aspect  down into three dimensions: policy generation, policy configurability, and policy lifetime. We apply our classification to a set of representative papers that cover a breadth of security isolation techniques and discuss trade-offs among different design choices and limitations of existing  approaches.


Adwait Nadkarni, Benjamin Andow, William Enck, Somesh Jha.  2016.  Practical DIFC Enforcement on Android. USENIX Security Symposium.

Smartphone users often use private and enterprise data with untrusted third party applications.  The fundamental lack of secrecy guarantees in smartphone OSes, such as Android, exposes this data to the risk of unauthorized exfiltration.  A natural solution is the integration of secrecy guarantees into the OS.  In this paper, we describe the challenges for decentralized information flow control (DIFC) enforcement on Android.  We propose context-sensitive DIFC enforcement via lazy polyinstantiation and practical and secure network export through domain declassification.  Our DIFC system, Weir, is backwards compatible by design, and incurs less than 4 ms overhead for component startup.  With Weir,  we demonstrate practical and secure DIFC enforcement on Android.

Waqar Ahmad, Joshua Sunshine, Christian Kästner, Adam Wynne.  2015.  Enforcing Fine-Grained Security and Privacy Policies in an Ecosystem within an Ecosystem. MobileDeLi 2015 .

Smart home automation and IoT promise to bring many advantages but they also expose their users to certain security and privacy vulnerabilities. For example, leaking the information about the absence of a person from home or the medicine somebody is taking may have serious security and privacy consequences for home users and potential legal implications for providers of home automation and IoT platforms. We envision that a new ecosystem within an existing smartphone ecosystem will be a suitable platform for distribution of apps for smart home and IoT devices. Android is increasingly becoming a popular platform for smart home and IoT devices and applications. Built-in security mechanisms in ecosystems such as Android have limitations that can be exploited by malicious apps to leak users’ sensitive data to unintended recipients. For instance, Android enforces that an app requires the Internet permissions in order to access a web server but it does not control which servers the app talks to or what data it shares with other apps. Therefore, sub-ecosystems that enforce additional fine-grained custom policies on top of existing policies of the smartphone ecosystems are necessary for smart home or IoT platforms. To this end, we have built a tool that enforces additional policies on inter-app interactions and permissions of Android apps. We have done preliminary testing of our tool on three proprietary apps developed by a future provider of a home automation platform. Our initial evaluation demonstrates that it is possible to develop mechanisms that allow definition and enforcement of custom security policies appropriate for ecosystems of the like smart home automation and IoT.

Kim, Donghoon, Schaffer, Henry E., Vouk, Mladen A..  2015.  About PaaS Security. 3rd International IBM Cloud Academy Conference (ICACON 2015).

Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides middleware resources to cloud customers. As demand for PaaS services increases, so do concerns about the security of PaaS. This paper discusses principal PaaS security and integrity requirements, and vulnerabilities and the corresponding countermeasures. We consider three core cloud elements: multi-tenancy, isolation, and virtualization and how they relate to PaaS services and security trends and concerns such as user and resource isolation, side-channel vulnerabilities in multi-tenant environments, and protection of sensitive data

Heorhiadi, Victor, Fayaz, SeyedKaveh, Reiter, Michael K., Sekar, Vyas.  2014.  SNIPS: A Software-Defined Approach for Scaling Intrusion Prevention Systems via Offloading. 10th International Conference on Information Systems Security, ICISS 2014. 8880

Growing traffic volumes and the increasing complexity of attacks pose a constant scaling challenge for network intrusion prevention systems (NIPS). In this respect, offloading NIPS processing to compute clusters offers an immediately deployable alternative to expensive hardware upgrades. In practice, however, NIPS offloading is challenging on three fronts in contrast to passive network security functions: (1) NIPS offloading can impact other traffic engineering objectives; (2) NIPS offloading impacts user perceived latency; and (3) NIPS actively change traffic volumes by dropping unwanted traffic. To address these challenges, we present the SNIPS system. We design a formal optimization framework that captures tradeoffs across scalability, network load, and latency. We provide a practical implementation using recent advances in software-defined networking without requiring modifications to NIPS hardware. Our evaluations on realistic topologies show that SNIPS can reduce the maximum load by up to 10× while only increasing the latency by 2%.