Visible to the public Biblio

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2020-03-02
Shrestha, Babins, Mohamed, Manar, Saxena, Nitesh.  2019.  ZEMFA: Zero-Effort Multi-Factor Authentication based on Multi-Modal Gait Biometrics. 2019 17th International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST). :1–10.
In this paper, we consider the problem of transparently authenticating a user to a local terminal (e.g., a desktop computer) as she approaches towards the terminal. Given its appealing usability, such zero-effort authentication has already been deployed in the real-world where a computer terminal or a vehicle can be unlocked by the mere proximity of an authentication token (e.g., a smartphone). However, existing systems based on a single authentication factor contains one major security weakness - unauthorized physical access to the token, e.g., during lunch-time or upon theft, allows the attacker to have unfettered access to the terminal. We introduce ZEMFA, a zero-effort multi-factor authentication system based on multiple authentication tokens and multi-modal behavioral biometrics. Specifically, ZEMFA utilizes two types of authentication tokens, a smartphone and a smartwatch (or a bracelet) and two types of gait patterns captured by these tokens, mid/lower body movements measured by the phone and wrist/arm movements captured by the watch. Since a user's walking or gait pattern is believed to be unique, only that user (no impostor) would be able to gain access to the terminal even when the impostor is given access to both of the authentication tokens. We present the design and implementation of ZEMFA. We demonstrate that ZEMFA offers a high degree of detection accuracy, based on multi-sensor and multi-device fusion. We also show that ZEMFA can resist active attacks that attempt to mimic a user's walking pattern, especially when multiple devices are used.
2020-02-17
Pandelea, Alexandru-Ionut, Chiroiu, Mihai-Daniel.  2019.  Password Guessing Using Machine Learning on Wearables. 2019 22nd International Conference on Control Systems and Computer Science (CSCS). :304–311.
Wearables are now ubiquitous items equipped with a multitude of sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, or Bluetooth. The raw data from this sensors are typically used in a health context. However, we can also use it for security purposes. In this paper, we present a solution that aims at using data from the sensors of a wearable device to identify the password a user is typing on a keyboard by using machine learning algorithms. Hence, the purpose is to determine whether a malicious third party application could extract sensitive data through the raw data that it has access to.
2019-01-21
Shen, Sheng, Roy, Nirupam, Guan, Junfeng, Hassanieh, Haitham, Choudhury, Romit Roy.  2018.  MUTE: Bringing IoT to Noise Cancellation. Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication. :282–296.

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is a classical area where noise in the environment is canceled by producing anti-noise signals near the human ears (e.g., in Bose's noise cancellation headphones). This paper brings IoT to active noise cancellation by combining wireless communication with acoustics. The core idea is to place an IoT device in the environment that listens to ambient sounds and forwards the sound over its wireless radio. Since wireless signals travel much faster than sound, our ear-device receives the sound in advance of its actual arrival. This serves as a glimpse into the future, that we call lookahead, and proves crucial for real-time noise cancellation, especially for unpredictable, wide-band sounds like music and speech. Using custom IoT hardware, as well as lookahead-aware cancellation algorithms, we demonstrate MUTE, a fully functional noise cancellation prototype that outperforms Bose's latest ANC headphone. Importantly, our design does not need to block the ear - the ear canal remains open, making it comfortable (and healthier) for continuous use.

2019-01-16
Lowens, Byron M..  2018.  Toward Privacy Enhanced Solutions For Granular Control Over Health Data Collected by Wearable Devices. Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on MobiSys 2018 Ph.D. Forum. :5–6.
The advent of wearable technologies has engendered novel ways to understand human behavior as it relates to personalized healthcare and health management. As the availability of these technologies expand and proliferate among users, concerns about threats to data privacy have been raised, specifically, regarding the collection and dissemination of data from wearable devices. These factors point to the urgency to better understand user sharing preferences to formulate personalized solutions that give users granular control of the data collected by their wearable devices. The goal of my dissertation is to design and build human-centered solutions that address the need for granular privacy control over data generated by wearable devices.
Nachtigall, Troy Robert, Andersen, Kristina.  2018.  Making Secret Pockets. Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. :LBW574:1–LBW574:6.
This paper describes an early design research exploration into the potential of folds and pockets to serve as places for safekeeping and secrecy in wearables. We explore what such secrecy may mean through woven data codes. We report on early material exploration, a pilot study with ten participants, and the personalization of a data object. We then outline, how we will make use of these early indications to build future stages of the project.
2018-09-12
Mohan, Manisha, Sra, Misha, Schmandt, Chris.  2017.  Technological Interventions to Detect, Communicate and Deter Sexual Assault. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers. :126–129.
Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Our work explores the use of on-body sensors to detect, communicate and prevent sexual assault. We present a stick-on clothing sensor which responds to initial signs of sexual assault such as disrobing to deter sexual abuse. The smart clothing operates in two modes: an active mode for instances when the victim is unconscious, and a passive mode where the victim can self-actuate the safety mechanism. Both modes alert the victim's friends and family, actuate an auditory alarm, activate odor-emitting capsules to create an immediate repulsion effect, and call emergency services. Our design is based on input from sexual assault survivors and college students who evaluated the clothing for aesthetic appeal, functionality, cultural sensitivity and their sense of personal safety. We show the practicality of our unobtrusive design with two user studies to demonstrate that our techno-social approach can help improve user safety and prevent sexual assault.
2018-04-02
Kolamunna, H., Chauhan, J., Hu, Y., Thilakarathna, K., Perino, D., Makaroff, D., Seneviratne, A..  2017.  Are Wearables Ready for HTTPS? On the Potential of Direct Secure Communication on Wearables 2017 IEEE 42nd Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN). :321–329.

The majority of available wearable computing devices require communication with Internet servers for data analysis and storage, and rely on a paired smartphone to enable secure communication. However, many wearables are equipped with WiFi network interfaces, enabling direct communication with the Internet. Secure communication protocols could then run on these wearables themselves, yet it is not clear if they can be efficiently supported.,,,,In this paper, we show that wearables are ready for direct and secure Internet communication by means of experiments with both controlled local web servers and Internet servers. We observe that the overall energy consumption and communication delay can be reduced with direct Internet connection via WiFi from wearables compared to using smartphones as relays via Bluetooth. We also show that the additional HTTPS cost caused by TLS handshake and encryption is closely related to the number of parallel connections, and has the same relative impact on wearables and smartphones.

2017-09-05
Ranjan, Juhi, Whitehouse, Kamin.  2016.  Automatic Authentication of Smartphone Touch Interactions Using Smartwatch. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing: Adjunct. :361–364.

In this demo, we will display a smartphone authentication system that can automatically validate every touch interaction made on a smartphone using a smart watch worn by the phone's owner. The IMU sensors on a smart watch monitor the motion of the hand for specific signal characteristics, which is relayed to the phone. If the signal features match certain criteria then the touch is authenticated and the phone responds appropriately. If not, the phone's screen remains locked/unresponsive to the touch action. The challenge here is to be able to validate every touch gesture within acceptable limits of human perception.

2017-05-17
Walter, Charles, Hale, Matthew L., Gamble, Rose F..  2016.  Imposing Security Awareness on Wearables. Proceedings of the 2Nd International Workshop on Software Engineering for Smart Cyber-Physical Systems. :29–35.

Bluetooth reliant devices are increasingly proliferating into various industry and consumer sectors as part of a burgeoning wearable market that adds convenience and awareness to everyday life. Relying primarily on a constantly changing hop pattern to reduce data sniffing during transmission, wearable devices routinely disconnect and reconnect with their base station (typically a cell phone), causing a connection repair each time. These connection repairs allow an adversary to determine what local wearable devices are communicating to what base stations. In addition, data transmitted to a base station as part of a wearable app may be forwarded onward to an awaiting web API even if the base station is in an insecure environment (e.g. a public Wi-Fi). In this paper, we introduce an approach to increase the security and privacy associated with using wearable devices by imposing transmission changes given situational awareness of the base station. These changes are asserted via policy rules based on the sensor information from the wearable devices collected and aggregated by the base system. The rules are housed in an application on the base station that adapts the base station to a state in which it prevents data from being transmitted by the wearable devices without disconnecting the devices. The policies can be updated manually or through an over the air update as determined by the user.

Das, Aveek K., Pathak, Parth H., Chuah, Chen-Nee, Mohapatra, Prasant.  2016.  Uncovering Privacy Leakage in BLE Network Traffic of Wearable Fitness Trackers. Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. :99–104.

There has been a tremendous increase in popularity and adoption of wearable fitness trackers. These fitness trackers predominantly use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for communicating and syncing the data with user's smartphone. This paper presents a measurement-driven study of possible privacy leakage from BLE communication between the fitness tracker and the smartphone. Using real BLE traffic traces collected in the wild and in controlled experiments, we show that majority of the fitness trackers use unchanged BLE address while advertising, making it feasible to track them. The BLE traffic of the fitness trackers is found to be correlated with the intensity of user's activity, making it possible for an eavesdropper to determine user's current activity (walking, sitting, idle or running) through BLE traffic analysis. Furthermore, we also demonstrate that the BLE traffic can represent user's gait which is known to be distinct from user to user. This makes it possible to identify a person (from a small group of users) based on the BLE traffic of her fitness tracker. As BLE-based wearable fitness trackers become widely adopted, our aim is to identify important privacy implications of their usage and discuss prevention strategies.