Visible to the public Biblio

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2021-05-13
Lit, Yanyan, Kim, Sara, Sy, Eric.  2021.  A Survey on Amazon Alexa Attack Surfaces. 2021 IEEE 18th Annual Consumer Communications Networking Conference (CCNC). :1–7.
Since being launched in 2014, Alexa, Amazon's versatile cloud-based voice service, is now active in over 100 million households worldwide [1]. Alexa's user-friendly, personalized vocal experience offers customers a more natural way of interacting with cutting-edge technology by allowing the ability to directly dictate commands to the assistant. Now in the present year, the Alexa service is more accessible than ever, available on hundreds of millions of devices from not only Amazon but third-party device manufacturers. Unfortunately, that success has also been the source of concern and controversy. The success of Alexa is based on its effortless usability, but in turn, that has led to a lack of sufficient security. This paper surveys various attacks against Amazon Alexa ecosystem including attacks against the frontend voice capturing and the cloud backend voice command recognition and processing. Overall, we have identified six attack surfaces covering the lifecycle of Alexa voice interaction that spans several stages including voice data collection, transmission, processing and storage. We also discuss the potential mitigation solutions for each attack surface to better improve Alexa or other voice assistants in terms of security and privacy.
2021-05-03
Marechal, Emeline, Donnet, Benoit.  2020.  Network Fingerprinting: Routers under Attack. 2020 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroS PW). :594–599.
Nowadays, simple tools such as traceroute can be used by attackers to acquire topology knowledge remotely. Worse still, attackers can use a lightweight fingerprinting technique, based on traceroute and ping, to retrieve the routers brand, and use that knowledge to launch targeted attacks. In this paper, we show that the hardware ecosystem of network operators can greatly vary from one to another, with all potential security implications it brings. Indeed, depending on the autonomous system (AS), not all brands play the same role in terms of network connectivity. An attacker could find an interest in targeting a specific hardware vendor in a particular AS, if known defects are present in this hardware, and if the AS relies heavily on it for forwarding its traffic.
2021-04-27
Byabazaire, J., O'Hare, G., Delaney, D..  2020.  Data Quality and Trust : A Perception from Shared Data in IoT. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications Workshops (ICC Workshops). :1—6.

Internet of Things devices and data sources areseeing increased use in various application areas. The pro-liferation of cheaper sensor hardware has allowed for widerscale data collection deployments. With increased numbers ofdeployed sensors and the use of heterogeneous sensor typesthere is increased scope for collecting erroneous, inaccurate orinconsistent data. This in turn may lead to inaccurate modelsbuilt from this data. It is important to evaluate this data asit is collected to determine its validity. This paper presents ananalysis of data quality as it is represented in Internet of Things(IoT) systems and some of the limitations of this representation. The paper discusses the use of trust as a heuristic to drive dataquality measurements. Trust is a well-established metric that hasbeen used to determine the validity of a piece or source of datain crowd sourced or other unreliable data collection techniques. The analysis extends to detail an appropriate framework forrepresenting data quality effectively within the big data modeland why a trust backed framework is important especially inheterogeneously sourced IoT data streams.

Giannoutakis, K. M., Spathoulas, G., Filelis-Papadopoulos, C. K., Collen, A., Anagnostopoulos, M., Votis, K., Nijdam, N. A..  2020.  A Blockchain Solution for Enhancing Cybersecurity Defence of IoT. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain (Blockchain). :490—495.

The growth of IoT devices during the last decade has led to the development of smart ecosystems, such as smart homes, prone to cyberattacks. Traditional security methodologies support to some extend the requirement for preserving privacy and security of such deployments, but their centralized nature in conjunction with low computational capabilities of smart home gateways make such approaches not efficient. Last achievements on blockchain technologies allowed the use of such decentralized architectures to support cybersecurity defence mechanisms. In this work, a blockchain framework is presented to support the cybersecurity mechanisms of smart homes installations, focusing on the immutability of users and devices that constitute such environments. The proposed methodology provides also the appropriate smart contracts support for ensuring the integrity of the smart home gateway and IoT devices, as well as the dynamic and immutable management of blocked malicious IPs. The framework has been deployed on a real smart home environment demonstrating its applicability and efficiency.

Kondracki, B., Aliyeva, A., Egele, M., Polakis, J., Nikiforakis, N..  2020.  Meddling Middlemen: Empirical Analysis of the Risks of Data-Saving Mobile Browsers. 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :810—824.
Mobile browsers have become one of the main mediators of our online activities. However, as web pages continue to increase in size and streaming media on-the-go has become commonplace, mobile data plan constraints remain a significant concern for users. As a result, data-saving features can be a differentiating factor when selecting a mobile browser. In this paper, we present a comprehensive exploration of the security and privacy threat that data-saving functionality presents to users. We conduct the first analysis of Android's data-saving browser (DSB) ecosystem across multiple dimensions, including the characteristics of the various browsers' infrastructure, their application and protocol-level behavior, and their effect on users' browsing experience. Our research unequivocally demonstrates that enabling data-saving functionality in major browsers results in significant degradation of the user's security posture by introducing severe vulnerabilities that are not otherwise present in the browser during normal operation. In summary, our experiments show that enabling data savings exposes users to (i) proxy servers running outdated software, (ii) man-in-the-middle attacks due to problematic validation of TLS certificates, (iii) weakened TLS cipher suite selection, (iv) lack of support of security headers like HSTS, and (v) a higher likelihood of being labelled as bots. While the discovered issues can be addressed, we argue that data-saving functionality presents inherent risks in an increasingly-encrypted Web, and users should be alerted of the critical savings-vs-security trade-off that they implicitly accept every time they enable such functionality.
Obaidat, M., Brown, J., Hayajneh, A. A..  2020.  Web Browser Extension User-Script XSS Vulnerabilities. 2020 IEEE Intl Conf on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing, Intl Conf on Pervasive Intelligence and Computing, Intl Conf on Cloud and Big Data Computing, Intl Conf on Cyber Science and Technology Congress (DASC/PiCom/CBDCom/CyberSciTech). :316—321.

Browser extensions have by and large become a normal and accepted omnipresent feature within modern browsers. However, since their inception, browser extensions have remained under scrutiny for opening vulnerabilities for users. While a large amount of effort has been dedicated to patching such issues as they arise, including the implementation of extension sandboxes and explicit permissions, issues remain within the browser extension ecosystem through user-scripts. User-scripts, or micro-script extensions hosted by a top-level extension, are largely unregulated but inherit the permissions of the top-level application manager, which popularly includes extensions such as Greasemonkey, Tampermonkey, or xStyle. While most user-scripts are docile and serve a specific beneficial functionality, due to their inherently open nature and the unregulated ecosystem, they are easy for malicious parties to exploit. Common attacks through this method involve hijacking of DOM elements to execute malicious javascript and/or XSS attacks, although other more advanced attacks can be deployed as well. User-scripts have not received much attention, and this vulnerability has persisted despite attempts to make browser extensions more secure. This ongoing vulnerability remains an unknown threat to many users who employ user-scripts, and circumvents security mechanisms otherwise put in place by browsers. This paper discusses this extension derivative vulnerability as it pertains to current browser security paradigms.

2021-03-29
Naik, N., Jenkins, P..  2020.  Governing Principles of Self-Sovereign Identity Applied to Blockchain Enabled Privacy Preserving Identity Management Systems. 2020 IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering (ISSE). :1—6.

Digital identity is the key element of digital transformation in representing any real-world entity in the digital form. To ensure a successful digital future the requirement for an effective digital identity is paramount, especially as demand increases for digital services. Several Identity Management (IDM) systems are developed to cope with identity effectively, nonetheless, existing IDM systems have some limitations corresponding to identity and its management such as sovereignty, storage and access control, security, privacy and safeguarding, all of which require further improvement. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is an emerging IDM system which incorporates several required features to ensure that identity is sovereign, secure, reliable and generic. It is an evolving IDM system, thus it is essential to analyse its various features to determine its effectiveness in coping with the dynamic requirements of identity and its current challenges. This paper proposes numerous governing principles of SSI to analyse any SSI ecosystem and its effectiveness. Later, based on the proposed governing principles of SSI, it performs a comparative analysis of the two most popular SSI ecosystems uPort and Sovrin to present their effectiveness and limitations.

2021-03-09
Oosthoek, K., Doerr, C..  2020.  From Hodl to Heist: Analysis of Cyber Security Threats to Bitcoin Exchanges. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (ICBC). :1—9.

Bitcoin is gaining traction as an alternative store of value. Its market capitalization transcends all other cryptocurrencies in the market. But its high monetary value also makes it an attractive target to cyber criminal actors. Hacking campaigns usually target the weakest points in an ecosystem. In Bitcoin, these are currently the exchange platforms. As each exchange breach potentially decreases Bitcoin's market value by billions, it is a threat not only to direct victims, but to everyone owning Bitcoin. Based on an extensive analysis of 36 breaches of Bitcoin exchanges, we show the attack patterns used to exploit Bitcoin exchange platforms using an industry standard for reporting intelligence on cyber security breaches. Based on this we are able to provide an overview of the most common attack vectors, showing that all except three hacks were possible due to relatively lax security. We also show that while the security regimen of Bitcoin exchanges is not on par with other financial service providers, the use of stolen credentials, which does not require any hacking, is decreasing. We also show that the amount of BTC taken during a breach is decreasing, as well as the exchanges that terminate after being breached. With exchanges being targeted by nation-state hacking groups, security needs to be a first concern.

2021-02-23
Gamba, J., Rashed, M., Razaghpanah, A., Tapiador, J., Vallina-Rodriguez, N..  2020.  An Analysis of Pre-installed Android Software. 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :1039—1055.

The open-source nature of the Android OS makes it possible for manufacturers to ship custom versions of the OS along with a set of pre-installed apps, often for product differentiation. Some device vendors have recently come under scrutiny for potentially invasive private data collection practices and other potentially harmful or unwanted behavior of the preinstalled apps on their devices. Yet, the landscape of preinstalled software in Android has largely remained unexplored, particularly in terms of the security and privacy implications of such customizations. In this paper, we present the first large- scale study of pre-installed software on Android devices from more than 200 vendors. Our work relies on a large dataset of real-world Android firmware acquired worldwide using crowd-sourcing methods. This allows us to answer questions related to the stakeholders involved in the supply chain, from device manufacturers and mobile network operators to third- party organizations like advertising and tracking services, and social network platforms. Our study allows us to also uncover relationships between these actors, which seem to revolve primarily around advertising and data-driven services. Overall, the supply chain around Android's open source model lacks transparency and has facilitated potentially harmful behaviors and backdoored access to sensitive data and services without user consent or awareness. We conclude the paper with recommendations to improve transparency, attribution, and accountability in the Android ecosystem.

2021-02-10
Tizio, G. Di, Ngo, C. Nam.  2020.  Are You a Favorite Target For Cryptojacking? A Case-Control Study On The Cryptojacking Ecosystem 2020 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroS PW). :515—520.
Illicitly hijacking visitors' computational resources for mining cryptocurrency via compromised websites is a consolidated activity.Previous works mainly focused on large-scale analysis of the cryptojacking ecosystem, technical means to detect browser-based mining as well as economic incentives of cryptojacking. So far, no one has studied if certain technical characteristics of a website can increase (decrease) the likelihood of being compromised for cryptojacking campaigns.In this paper, we propose to address this unanswered question by conducting a case-control study with cryptojacking websites obtained crawling the web using Minesweeper. Our preliminary analysis shows some association for certain website characteristics, however, the results obtained are not statistically significant. Thus, more data must be collected and further analysis must be conducted to obtain a better insight into the impact of these relations.
2021-02-08
Wang, Y., Wen, M., Liu, Y., Wang, Y., Li, Z., Wang, C., Yu, H., Cheung, S.-C., Xu, C., Zhu, Z..  2020.  Watchman: Monitoring Dependency Conflicts for Python Library Ecosystem. 2020 IEEE/ACM 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). :125–135.
The PyPI ecosystem has indexed millions of Python libraries to allow developers to automatically download and install dependencies of their projects based on the specified version constraints. Despite the convenience brought by automation, version constraints in Python projects can easily conflict, resulting in build failures. We refer to such conflicts as Dependency Conflict (DC) issues. Although DC issues are common in Python projects, developers lack tool support to gain a comprehensive knowledge for diagnosing the root causes of these issues. In this paper, we conducted an empirical study on 235 real-world DC issues. We studied the manifestation patterns and fixing strategies of these issues and found several key factors that can lead to DC issues and their regressions. Based on our findings, we designed and implemented Watchman, a technique to continuously monitor dependency conflicts for the PyPI ecosystem. In our evaluation, Watchman analyzed PyPI snapshots between 11 Jul 2019 and 16 Aug 2019, and found 117 potential DC issues. We reported these issues to the developers of the corresponding projects. So far, 63 issues have been confirmed, 38 of which have been quickly fixed by applying our suggested patches.
2020-09-14
Widergren, Steve, Melton, Ron, Khandekar, Aditya, Nordman, Bruce, Knight, Mark.  2019.  The Plug-and-Play Electricity Era: Interoperability to Integrate Anything, Anywhere, Anytime. IEEE Power and Energy Magazine. 17:47–58.
The inforrmation age continues to transform the mechanics of integrating electric power devices and systems, from coordinated operations based purely on the physics of electric power engineering to an increasing blend of power with information and communication technology. Integrating electric system components is not just about attaching wires. It requires the connection of computer-based automation systems to associated sensing and communication equipment. The architectural impacts are significant. Well-considered and commonly held concepts, principles, and organizational structures continue to emerge to address the complexity of the integrated operational challenges that drive our society to expect more flexibility in configuring the electric power system, while simultaneously achieving greater efficiency, reliability, and resilience. Architectural concepts, such as modularity and composability, contribute to the creation of structures that enable the connection of power system equipment characterized by clearly defined interfaces consisting of physical and cyberlinks. The result of successful electric power system component connection is interoperation: the discipline that drives integration to be simple and reliable.
2020-04-20
Hu, Boyang, Yan, Qiben, Zheng, Yao.  2018.  Tracking location privacy leakage of mobile ad networks at scale. IEEE INFOCOM 2018 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops (INFOCOM WKSHPS). :1–2.
The online advertising ecosystem is built upon the massive data collection of ad networks to learn the properties of users for targeted ad deliveries. Existing efforts have investigated the privacy leakage behaviors of mobile ad networks. However, there lacks a large-scale measurement study to evaluate the scale of privacy leakage through mobile ads. In this work, we present a study of the potential privacy leakage in location-based mobile advertising services based on a large-scale measurement. We first introduce a threat model in the mobile ad ecosystem, and then design a measurement system to perform extensive threat measurements and assessments. To counteract the privacy leakage threats, we design and implement an adaptive location obfuscation mechanism, which can be used to obfuscate location data in real-time while minimizing the impact to mobile ad businesses.
Hu, Boyang, Yan, Qiben, Zheng, Yao.  2018.  Tracking location privacy leakage of mobile ad networks at scale. IEEE INFOCOM 2018 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops (INFOCOM WKSHPS). :1–2.
The online advertising ecosystem is built upon the massive data collection of ad networks to learn the properties of users for targeted ad deliveries. Existing efforts have investigated the privacy leakage behaviors of mobile ad networks. However, there lacks a large-scale measurement study to evaluate the scale of privacy leakage through mobile ads. In this work, we present a study of the potential privacy leakage in location-based mobile advertising services based on a large-scale measurement. We first introduce a threat model in the mobile ad ecosystem, and then design a measurement system to perform extensive threat measurements and assessments. To counteract the privacy leakage threats, we design and implement an adaptive location obfuscation mechanism, which can be used to obfuscate location data in real-time while minimizing the impact to mobile ad businesses.
2020-04-17
Stark, Emily, Sleevi, Ryan, Muminovic, Rijad, O'Brien, Devon, Messeri, Eran, Felt, Adrienne Porter, McMillion, Brendan, Tabriz, Parisa.  2019.  Does Certificate Transparency Break the Web? Measuring Adoption and Error Rate 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :211—226.
Certificate Transparency (CT) is an emerging system for enabling the rapid discovery of malicious or misissued certificates. Initially standardized in 2013, CT is now finally beginning to see widespread support. Although CT provides desirable security benefits, web browsers cannot begin requiring all websites to support CT at once, due to the risk of breaking large numbers of websites. We discuss challenges for deployment, analyze the adoption of CT on the web, and measure the error rates experienced by users of the Google Chrome web browser. We find that CT has so far been widely adopted with minimal breakage and warnings. Security researchers often struggle with the tradeoff between security and user frustration: rolling out new security requirements often causes breakage. We view CT as a case study for deploying ecosystem-wide change while trying to minimize end user impact. We discuss the design properties of CT that made its success possible, as well as draw lessons from its risks and pitfalls that could be avoided in future large-scale security deployments.
Oest, Adam, Safaei, Yeganeh, Doupé, Adam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Wardman, Brad, Tyers, Kevin.  2019.  PhishFarm: A Scalable Framework for Measuring the Effectiveness of Evasion Techniques against Browser Phishing Blacklists. 2019 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :1344—1361.

Phishing attacks have reached record volumes in recent years. Simultaneously, modern phishing websites are growing in sophistication by employing diverse cloaking techniques to avoid detection by security infrastructure. In this paper, we present PhishFarm: a scalable framework for methodically testing the resilience of anti-phishing entities and browser blacklists to attackers' evasion efforts. We use PhishFarm to deploy 2,380 live phishing sites (on new, unique, and previously-unseen .com domains) each using one of six different HTTP request filters based on real phishing kits. We reported subsets of these sites to 10 distinct anti-phishing entities and measured both the occurrence and timeliness of native blacklisting in major web browsers to gauge the effectiveness of protection ultimately extended to victim users and organizations. Our experiments revealed shortcomings in current infrastructure, which allows some phishing sites to go unnoticed by the security community while remaining accessible to victims. We found that simple cloaking techniques representative of real-world attacks- including those based on geolocation, device type, or JavaScript- were effective in reducing the likelihood of blacklisting by over 55% on average. We also discovered that blacklisting did not function as intended in popular mobile browsers (Chrome, Safari, and Firefox), which left users of these browsers particularly vulnerable to phishing attacks. Following disclosure of our findings, anti-phishing entities are now better able to detect and mitigate several cloaking techniques (including those that target mobile users), and blacklisting has also become more consistent between desktop and mobile platforms- but work remains to be done by anti-phishing entities to ensure users are adequately protected. Our PhishFarm framework is designed for continuous monitoring of the ecosystem and can be extended to test future state-of-the-art evasion techniques used by malicious websites.

2020-02-10
Oakes, Edward, Kline, Jeffery, Cahn, Aaron, Funkhouser, Keith, Barford, Paul.  2019.  A Residential Client-Side Perspective on SSL Certificates. 2019 Network Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference (TMA). :185–192.

SSL certificates are a core component of the public key infrastructure that underpins encrypted communication in the Internet. In this paper, we report the results of a longitudinal study of the characteristics of SSL certificate chains presented to clients during secure web (HTTPS) connection setup. Our data set consists of 23B SSL certificate chains collected from a global panel consisting of over 2M residential client machines over a period of 6 months. The data informing our analyses provide perspective on the entire chain of trust, including root certificates, across a wide distribution of client machines. We identify over 35M unique certificate chains with diverse relationships at all levels of the PKI hierarchy. We report on the characteristics of valid certificates, which make up 99.7% of the total corpus. We also examine invalid certificate chains, finding that 93% of them contain an untrusted root certificate and we find they have shorter average chain length than their valid counterparts. Finally, we examine two unintended but prevalent behaviors in our data: the deprecation of root certificates and secure traffic interception. Our results support aspects of prior, scan-based studies on certificate characteristics but contradict other findings, highlighting the importance of the residential client-side perspective.

2020-01-21
Rana, Rima, Zaeem, Razieh Nokhbeh, Barber, K. Suzanne.  2019.  An Assessment of Blockchain Identity Solutions: Minimizing Risk and Liability of Authentication. 2019 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI). :26–33.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is often used to perform authentication and acts as a gateway to personal and organizational information. One weak link in the architecture of identity management services is sufficient to cause exposure and risk identity. Recently, we have witnessed a shift in identity management solutions with the growth of blockchain. Blockchain-the decentralized ledger system-provides a unique answer addressing security and privacy with its embedded immutability. In a blockchain-based identity solution, the user is given the control of his/her identity by storing personal information on his/her device and having the choice of identity verification document used later to create blockchain attestations. Yet, the blockchain technology alone is not enough to produce a better identity solution. The user cannot make informed decisions as to which identity verification document to choose if he/she is not presented with tangible guidelines. In the absence of scientifically created practical guidelines, these solutions and the choices they offer may become overwhelming and even defeat the purpose of providing a more secure identity solution.We analyze different PII options given to users for authentication on current blockchain-based solutions. Based on our Identity Ecosystem model, we evaluate these options and their risk and liability of exposure. Powered by real world data of about 6,000 identity theft and fraud stories, our model recommends some authentication choices and discourages others. Our work paves the way for a truly effective identity solution based on blockchain by helping users make informed decisions and motivating blockchain identity solution providers to introduce better options to their users.
2019-11-18
Ahmed, Abu Shohel, Aura, Tuomas.  2018.  Turning Trust Around: Smart Contract-Assisted Public Key Infrastructure. 2018 17th IEEE International Conference On Trust, Security And Privacy In Computing And Communications/ 12th IEEE International Conference On Big Data Science And Engineering (TrustCom/BigDataSE). :104–111.
In past, several Certificate Authority (CA) compromise and subsequent mis-issue of certificate raise the importance of certificate transparency and dynamic trust management for certificates. Certificate Transparency (CT) provides transparency for issued certificates, thus enabling corrective measure for a mis-issued certificate by a CA. However, CT and existing mechanisms cannot convey the dynamic trust state for a certificate. To address this weakness, we propose Smart Contract-assisted PKI (SCP) - a smart contract based PKI extension - to manage dynamic trust network for PKI. SCP enables distributed trust in PKI, provides a protocol for managing dynamic trust, assures trust state of a certificate, and provides a better trust experience for end-users.
2019-10-30
Bugeja, Joseph, Vogel, Bahtijar, Jacobsson, Andreas, Varshney, Rimpu.  2019.  IoTSM: An End-to-End Security Model for IoT Ecosystems. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PerCom Workshops). :267-272.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is growing rapidly, allowing continuous evolution of new technologies. Alongside this development, most IoT devices are easy to compromise, as security is often not a prioritized characteristic. This paper proposes a novel IoT Security Model (IoTSM) that can be used by organizations to formulate and implement a strategy for developing end-to-end IoT security. IoTSM is grounded by the Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM) framework, however it expands it with new security practices and empirical data gathered from IoT practitioners. Moreover, we generalize the model into a conceptual framework. This approach allows the formal analysis for security in general and evaluates an organization's security practices. Overall, our proposed approach can help researchers, practitioners, and IoT organizations, to discourse about IoT security from an end-to-end perspective.

2019-03-04
Hejderup, J., Deursen, A. v, Gousios, G..  2018.  Software Ecosystem Call Graph for Dependency Management. 2018 IEEE/ACM 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: New Ideas and Emerging Technologies Results (ICSE-NIER). :101–104.
A popular form of software reuse is the use of open source software libraries hosted on centralized code repositories, such as Maven or npm. Developers only need to declare dependencies to external libraries, and automated tools make them available to the workspace of the project. Recent incidents, such as the Equifax data breach and the leftpad package removal, demonstrate the difficulty in assessing the severity, impact and spread of bugs in dependency networks. While dependency checkers are being adapted as a counter measure, they only provide indicative information. To remedy this situation, we propose a fine-grained dependency network that goes beyond packages and into call graphs. The result is a versioned ecosystem-level call graph. In this paper, we outline the process to construct the proposed graph and present a preliminary evaluation of a security issue from a core package to an affected client application.
2018-05-01
Korczynski, M., Tajalizadehkhoob, S., Noroozian, A., Wullink, M., Hesselman, C., v Eeten, M..  2017.  Reputation Metrics Design to Improve Intermediary Incentives for Security of TLDs. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :579–594.

Over the years cybercriminals have misused the Domain Name System (DNS) - a critical component of the Internet - to gain profit. Despite this persisting trend, little empirical information about the security of Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and of the overall 'health' of the DNS ecosystem exists. In this paper, we present security metrics for this ecosystem and measure the operational values of such metrics using three representative phishing and malware datasets. We benchmark entire TLDs against the rest of the market. We explicitly distinguish these metrics from the idea of measuring security performance, because the measured values are driven by multiple factors, not just by the performance of the particular market player. We consider two types of security metrics: occurrence of abuse and persistence of abuse. In conjunction, they provide a good understanding of the overall health of a TLD. We demonstrate that attackers abuse a variety of free services with good reputation, affecting not only the reputation of those services, but of entire TLDs. We find that, when normalized by size, old TLDs like .com host more bad content than new generic TLDs. We propose a statistical regression model to analyze how the different properties of TLD intermediaries relate to abuse counts. We find that next to TLD size, abuse is positively associated with domain pricing (i.e. registries who provide free domain registrations witness more abuse). Last but not least, we observe a negative relation between the DNSSEC deployment rate and the count of phishing domains.

2018-04-30
Korczynski, M., Tajalizadehkhoob, S., Noroozian, A., Wullink, M., Hesselman, C., v Eeten, M..  2017.  Reputation Metrics Design to Improve Intermediary Incentives for Security of TLDs. 2017 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :579–594.

Over the years cybercriminals have misused the Domain Name System (DNS) - a critical component of the Internet - to gain profit. Despite this persisting trend, little empirical information about the security of Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and of the overall 'health' of the DNS ecosystem exists. In this paper, we present security metrics for this ecosystem and measure the operational values of such metrics using three representative phishing and malware datasets. We benchmark entire TLDs against the rest of the market. We explicitly distinguish these metrics from the idea of measuring security performance, because the measured values are driven by multiple factors, not just by the performance of the particular market player. We consider two types of security metrics: occurrence of abuse and persistence of abuse. In conjunction, they provide a good understanding of the overall health of a TLD. We demonstrate that attackers abuse a variety of free services with good reputation, affecting not only the reputation of those services, but of entire TLDs. We find that, when normalized by size, old TLDs like .com host more bad content than new generic TLDs. We propose a statistical regression model to analyze how the different properties of TLD intermediaries relate to abuse counts. We find that next to TLD size, abuse is positively associated with domain pricing (i.e. registries who provide free domain registrations witness more abuse). Last but not least, we observe a negative relation between the DNSSEC deployment rate and the count of phishing domains.

2018-03-05
Yin, H. Sun, Vatrapu, R..  2017.  A First Estimation of the Proportion of Cybercriminal Entities in the Bitcoin Ecosystem Using Supervised Machine Learning. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data). :3690–3699.

Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency, is often involved in illicit activities such as scamming, ransomware attacks, illegal goods trading, and thievery. At the time of writing, the Bitcoin ecosystem has not yet been mapped and as such there is no estimate of the share of illicit activities. This paper provides the first estimation of the portion of cyber-criminal entities in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Our dataset consists of 854 observations categorised into 12 classes (out of which 5 are cybercrime-related) and a total of 100,000 uncategorised observations. The dataset was obtained from the data provider who applied three types of clustering of Bitcoin transactions to categorise entities: co-spend, intelligence-based, and behaviour-based. Thirteen supervised learning classifiers were then tested, of which four prevailed with a cross-validation accuracy of 77.38%, 76.47%, 78.46%, 80.76% respectively. From the top four classifiers, Bagging and Gradient Boosting classifiers were selected based on their weighted average and per class precision on the cybercrime-related categories. Both models were used to classify 100,000 uncategorised entities, showing that the share of cybercrime-related is 29.81% according to Bagging, and 10.95% according to Gradient Boosting with number of entities as the metric. With regard to the number of addresses and current coins held by this type of entities, the results are: 5.79% and 10.02% according to Bagging; and 3.16% and 1.45% according to Gradient Boosting.

2018-02-15
Arora, A., Khanna, A., Rastogi, A., Agarwal, A..  2017.  Cloud security ecosystem for data security and privacy. 2017 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing, Data Science Engineering - Confluence. :288–292.

In the past couple of years Cloud Computing has become an eminent part of the IT industry. As a result of its economic benefits more and more people are heading towards Cloud adoption. In present times there are numerous Cloud Service providers (CSP) allowing customers to host their applications and data onto Cloud. However Cloud Security continues to be the biggest obstacle in Cloud adoption and thereby prevents customers from accessing its services. Various techniques have been implemented by provides in order to mitigate risks pertaining to Cloud security. In this paper, we present a Hybrid Cryptographic System (HCS) that combines the benefits of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption thus resulting in a secure Cloud environment. The paper focuses on creating a secure Cloud ecosystem wherein we make use of multi-factor authentication along with multiple levels of hashing and encryption. The proposed system along with the algorithm are simulated using the CloudSim simulator. To this end, we illustrate the working of our proposed system along with the simulated results.