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2017-12-12
Alcorn, J., Melton, S., Chow, C. E..  2017.  SDN data path confidence analysis. 2017 IEEE Conference on Dependable and Secure Computing. :209–216.

The unauthorized access or theft of sensitive, personal information is becoming a weekly news item. The illegal dissemination of proprietary information to media outlets or competitors costs industry untold millions in remediation costs and losses every year. The 2013 data breach at Target, Inc. that impacted 70 million customers is estimated to cost upwards of 1 billion dollars. Stolen information is also being used to damage political figures and adversely influence foreign and domestic policy. In this paper, we offer some techniques for better understanding the health and security of our networks. This understanding will help professionals to identify network behavior, anomalies and other latent, systematic issues in their networks. Software-Defined Networks (SDN) enable the collection of network operation and configuration metrics that are not readily available, if available at all, in traditional networks. SDN also enables the development of software protocols and tools that increases visibility into the network. By accumulating and analyzing a time series data repository (TSDR) of SDN and traditional metrics along with data gathered from our tools we can establish behavior and security patterns for SDN and SDN hybrid networks. Our research helps provide a framework for a range of techniques for administrators and automated system protection services that give insight into the health and security of the network. To narrow the scope of our research, this paper focuses on a subset of those techniques as they apply to the confidence analysis of a specific network path at the time of use or inspection. This confidence analysis allows users, administrators and autonomous systems to decide whether a network path is secure enough for sending their sensitive information. Our testing shows that malicious activity can be identified quickly as a single metric indicator and consistently within a multi-factor indicator analysis. Our research includes the implementation of - hese techniques in a network path confidence analysis service, called Confidence Assessment as a Service. Using our behavior and security patterns, this service evaluates a specific network path and provides a confidence score for that path before, during and after the transmission of sensitive data. Our research and tools give administrators and autonomous systems a much better understanding of the internal operation and configuration of their networks. Our framework will also provide other services that will focus on detecting latent, systemic network problems. By providing a better understanding of network configuration and operation our research enables a more secure and dependable network and helps prevent the theft of information by malicious actors.

2020-07-16
Bovo, Cristian, Ilea, Valentin, Rolandi, Claudio.  2018.  A Security-Constrained Islanding Feasibility Optimization Model in the Presence of Renewable Energy Sources. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering and 2018 IEEE Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Europe (EEEIC / I CPS Europe). :1—6.

The massive integration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) into power systems is a major challenge but it also provides new opportunities for network operation. For example, with a large amount of RES available at HV subtransmission level, it is possible to exploit them as controlling resources in islanding conditions. Thus, a procedure for off-line evaluation of islanded operation feasibility in the presence of RES is proposed. The method finds which generators and loads remain connected after islanding to balance the island's real power maximizing the amount of supplied load and assuring the network's long-term security. For each possible islanding event, the set of optimal control actions (load/generation shedding) to apply in case of actual islanding, is found. The procedure is formulated as a Mixed Integer Non-Linear Problem (MINLP) and is solved using Genetic Algorithms (GAs). Results, including dynamic simulations, are shown for a representative HV subtransmission grid.

2020-08-14
Walla, Sebastian, Rossow, Christian.  2019.  MALPITY: Automatic Identification and Exploitation of Tarpit Vulnerabilities in Malware. 2019 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS P). :590—605.
Law enforcement agencies regularly take down botnets as the ultimate defense against global malware operations. By arresting malware authors, and simultaneously infiltrating or shutting down a botnet's network infrastructures (such as C2 servers), defenders stop global threats and mitigate pending infections. In this paper, we propose malware tarpits, an orthogonal defense that does not require seizing botnet infrastructures, and at the same time can also be used to slow down malware spreading and infiltrate its monetization techniques. A tarpit is a network service that causes a client to stay busy with a network operation. Our work aims to automatically identify network operations used by malware that will block the malware either forever or for a significant amount of time. We describe how to non-intrusively exploit such tarpit vulnerabilities in malware to slow down or, ideally, even stop malware. Using dynamic malware analysis, we monitor how malware interacts with the POSIX and Winsock socket APIs. From this, we infer network operations that would have blocked when provided certain network inputs. We augment this vulnerability search with an automated generation of tarpits that exploit the identified vulnerabilities. We apply our prototype MALPITY on six popular malware families and discover 12 previously-unknown tarpit vulnerabilities, revealing that all families are susceptible to our defense. We demonstrate how to, e.g., halt Pushdo's DGA-based C2 communication, hinder SalityP2P peers from receiving commands or updates, and stop Bashlite's spreading engine.
2020-12-14
Wang, H., Ma, L., Bai, H..  2020.  A Three-tier Scheme for Sybil Attack Detection in Wireless Sensor Networks. 2020 5th International Conference on Computer and Communication Systems (ICCCS). :752–756.
Wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless self-organizing multi-hop network that can sense and collect the information of the monitored environment through a certain number of sensor nodes which deployed in a certain area and transmit the collected information to the client. Due to the limited power and data capacity stored by the micro sensor, it is weak in communication with other nodes, data storage and calculation, and is very vulnerable to attack and harm to the entire network. The Sybil attack is a classic example. Sybil attack refers to the attack in which malicious nodes forge multiple node identities to participate in network operation. Malicious attackers can forge multiple node identities to participate in data forwarding. So that the data obtained by the end user without any use value. In this paper, we propose a three-tier detection scheme for the Sybil node in the severe environment. Every sensor node will determine whether they are Sybil nodes through the first-level and second-level high-energy node detection. Finally, the base station determines whether the Sybil node detected by the first two stages is true Sybil node. The simulation results show that our proposed scheme significantly improves network lifetime, and effectively improves the accuracy of Sybil node detection.
2021-03-09
Tran, M., Choi, I., Moon, G. J., Vu, A. V., Kang, M. S..  2020.  A Stealthier Partitioning Attack against Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Network. 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). :894—909.

Network adversaries, such as malicious transit autonomous systems (ASes), have been shown to be capable of partitioning the Bitcoin's peer-to-peer network via routing-level attacks; e.g., a network adversary exploits a BGP vulnerability and performs a prefix hijacking attack (viz. Apostolaki et al. [3]). Due to the nature of BGP operation, such a hijacking is globally observable and thus enables immediate detection of the attack and the identification of the perpetrator. In this paper, we present a stealthier attack, which we call the EREBUS attack, that partitions the Bitcoin network without any routing manipulations, which makes the attack undetectable to control-plane and even to data-plane detectors. The novel aspect of EREBUS is that it makes the adversary AS a natural man-in-the-middle network of all the peer connections of one or more targeted Bitcoin nodes by patiently influencing the targeted nodes' peering decision. We show that affecting the peering decision of a Bitcoin node, which is believed to be infeasible after a series of bug patches against the earlier Eclipse attack [29], is possible for the network adversary that can use abundant network address resources (e.g., spoofing millions of IP addresses in many other ASes) reliably for an extended period of time at a negligible cost. The EREBUS attack is readily available for large ASes, such as Tier-1 and large Tier-2 ASes, against the vast majority of 10K public Bitcoin nodes with only about 520 bit/s of attack traffic rate per targeted Bitcoin node and a modest (e.g., 5-6 weeks) attack execution period. The EREBUS attack can be mounted by nation-state adversaries who would be willing to execute sophisticated attack strategies patiently to compromise cryptocurrencies (e.g., control the consensus, take down a cryptocurrency, censor transactions). As the attack exploits the topological advantage of being a network adversary but not the specific vulnerabilities of Bitcoin core, no quick patches seem to be available. We discuss that some naive solutions (e.g., whitelisting, rate-limiting) are ineffective and third-party proxy solutions may worsen the Bitcoin's centralization problem. We provide some suggested modifications to the Bitcoin core and show that they effectively make the EREBUS attack significantly harder; yet, their non-trivial changes to the Bitcoin's network operation (e.g., peering dynamics, propagation delays) should be examined thoroughly before their wide deployment.