Visible to the public Biblio

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Fraunholz, Daniel, Schotten, Hans D..  2018.  Defending Web Servers with Feints, Distraction and Obfuscation. 2018 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC). :21—25.

In this paper we investigate deceptive defense strategies for web servers. Web servers are widely exploited resources in the modern cyber threat landscape. Often these servers are exposed in the Internet and accessible for a broad range of valid as well as malicious users. Common security strategies like firewalls are not sufficient to protect web servers. Deception based Information Security enables a large set of counter measures to decrease the efficiency of intrusions. In this work we depict several techniques out of the reconnaissance process of an attacker. We match these with deceptive counter measures. All proposed measures are implemented in an experimental web server with deceptive counter measure abilities. We also conducted an experiment with honeytokens and evaluated delay strategies against automated scanner tools.

Mohsen, Fadi, Jafaarian, Haadi.  2019.  Raising the Bar Really High: An MTD Approach to Protect Data in Embedded Browsers. 2019 IEEE 43rd Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC). 1:786—794.
The safety of web browsers is essential to the privacy of Internet users and the security of their computing systems. In the last few years, there have been several cyber attacks geared towards compromising surfers' data and systems via exploiting browser-based vulnerabilities. Android and a number of mobile operating systems have been supporting a UI component called WebView, which can be embedded in any mobile application to render the web contents. Yet, this mini-browser component has been found to be vulnerable to various kinds of attacks. For instance, an attacker in her WebView-Embedded app can inject malicious JavaScripts into the WebView to modify the web contents or to steal user's input values. This kind of attack is particularly challenging due to the full control of attackers over the content of the loaded pages. In this paper, we are proposing and testing a server-side moving target defense technique to counter the risk of JavaScript injection attacks on mobile WebViews. The solution entails creating redundant HTML forms, randomizing their attributes and values, and asserting stealthy prompts for the user data. The solution does not dictate any changes to the browser or applications codes, neither it requires key sharing with benign clients. The results of our performance and security analysis suggest that our proposed approach protects the confidentiality and integrity of user input values with minimum overhead.
Djoko, Judicael B., Lange, Jack, Lee, Adam J..  2019.  NeXUS: Practical and Secure Access Control on Untrusted Storage Platforms using Client-Side SGX. 2019 49th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN). :401–413.
With the rising popularity of file-sharing services such as Google Drive and Dropbox in the workflows of individuals and corporations alike, the protection of client-outsourced data from unauthorized access or tampering remains a major security concern. Existing cryptographic solutions to this problem typically require server-side support, involve non-trivial key management on the part of users, and suffer from severe re-encryption penalties upon access revocations. This combination of performance overheads and management burdens makes this class of solutions undesirable in situations where performant, platform-agnostic, dynamic sharing of user content is required. We present NEXUS, a stackable filesystem that leverages trusted hardware to provide confidentiality and integrity for user files stored on untrusted platforms. NEXUS is explicitly designed to balance security, portability, and performance: it supports dynamic sharing of protected volumes on any platform exposing a file access API without requiring server-side support, enables the use of fine-grained access control policies to allow for selective sharing, and avoids the key revocation and file re-encryption overheads associated with other cryptographic approaches to access control. This combination of features is made possible by the use of a client-side Intel SGX enclave that is used to protect and share NEXUS volumes, ensuring that cryptographic keys never leave enclave memory and obviating the need to reencrypt files upon revocation of access rights. We implemented a NEXUS prototype that runs on top of the AFS filesystem and show that it incurs ×2 overhead for a variety of common file and database operations.
Thapliyal, H., Ratajczak, N., Wendroth, O., Labrado, C..  2018.  Amazon Echo Enabled IoT Home Security System for Smart Home Environment. 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Smart Electronic Systems (iSES) (Formerly iNiS). :31–36.

Ever-driven by technological innovation, the Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing its exceptional evolution and growth into the common consumer space. In the wake of these developments, this paper proposes a framework for an IoT home security system that is secure, expandable, and accessible. Congruent with the ideals of the IoT, we are proposing a system utilizing an ultra-low-power wireless sensor network which would interface with a central hub via Bluetooth 4, commonly referred to as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), to monitor the home. Additionally, the system would interface with an Amazon Echo to accept user voice commands. The aforementioned central hub would also act as a web server and host an internet accessible configuration page from which users could monitor and customize their system. An internet-connected system would carry the capability to notify the users of system alarms via SMS or email. Finally, this proof of concept is intended to demonstrate expandability into other areas of home automation or building monitoring functions in general.

Carrasco, A., Ropero, J., Clavijo, P. Ruiz de, Benjumea, J., Luque, A..  2018.  A Proposal for a New Way of Classifying Network Security Metrics: Study of the Information Collected through a Honeypot. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Software Quality, Reliability and Security Companion (QRS-C). :633–634.

Nowadays, honeypots are a key tool to attract attackers and study their activity. They help us in the tasks of evaluating attacker's behaviour, discovering new types of attacks, and collecting information and statistics associated with them. However, the gathered data cannot be directly interpreted, but must be analyzed to obtain useful information. In this paper, we present a SSH honeypot-based system designed to simulate a vulnerable server. Thus, we propose an approach for the classification of metrics from the data collected by the honeypot along 19 months.

Pawlenka, T., Škuta, J..  2018.  Security system based on microcontrollers. 2018 19th International Carpathian Control Conference (ICCC). :344–347.
The article describes design and realization of security system based on single-chip microcontrollers. System includes sensor modules for unauthorized entrance detection based on magnetic contact, measuring carbon monoxide level, movement detection and measuring temperature and humidity. System also includes control unit, control panel and development board Arduino with ethernet interface connected for web server implementation.
Thakre, P. P., Sahare, V. N..  2017.  VM live migration time reduction using NAS based algorithm during VM live migration. 2017 Third International Conference on Sensing, Signal Processing and Security (ICSSS). :242–246.

Live migration is the process used in virtualization environment of datacenters in order to take the benefit of zero downtime during system maintenance. But during migrating live virtual machines along with system files and storage data, network traffic gets increases across network bandwidth and delays in migration time. There is need to reduce the migration time in order to maintain the system performance by analyzing and optimizing the storage overheads which mainly creates due to unnecessary duplicated data transferred during live migration. So there is need of such storage device which will keep the duplicated data residing in both the source as well as target physical host i.e. NAS. The proposed hash map based algorithm maps all I/O operations in order to track the duplicated data by assigning hash value to both NAS and RAM data. Only the unique data then will be sent data to the target host without affecting service level agreement (SLA), without affecting VM migration time, application downtime, SLA violations, VM pre-migration and downtime post migration overheads during pre and post migration of virtual machines.

Heckman, M. R., Schell, R. R., Reed, E. E..  2015.  A Multi-Level Secure File Sharing Server and Its Application to a Multi-Level Secure Cloud. MILCOM 2015 - 2015 IEEE Military Communications Conference. :1224–1229.
Contemporary cloud environments are built on low-assurance components, so they cannot provide a high level of assurance about the isolation and protection of information. A ``multi-level'' secure cloud environment thus typically consists of multiple, isolated clouds, each of which handles data of only one security level. Not only are such environments duplicative and costly, data ``sharing'' must be implemented by massive, wasteful copying of data from low-level domains to high-level domains. The requirements for certifiable, scalable, multi-level cloud security are threefold: 1) To have trusted, high-assurance components available for use in creating a multi-level secure cloud environment; 2) To design a cloud architecture that efficiently uses the high-assurance components in a scalable way, and 3) To compose the secure components within the scalable architecture while still verifiably maintaining the system security properties. This paper introduces a trusted, high-assurance file server and architecture that satisfies all three requirements. The file server is built on mature technology that was previously certified and deployed across domains from TS/SCI to Unclassified and that supports high-performance, low-to-high and high-to-low file sharing with verifiable security.
Ding, Y., Li, X..  2017.  Policy Based on Homomorphic Encryption and Retrieval Scheme in Cloud Computing. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) and IEEE International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing (EUC). 1:568–571.

Homomorphic encryption technology can settle a dispute of data privacy security in cloud environment, but there are many problems in the process of access the data which is encrypted by a homomorphic algorithm in the cloud. In this paper, on the premise of attribute encryption, we propose a fully homomorphic encrypt scheme which based on attribute encryption with LSSS matrix. This scheme supports fine-grained cum flexible access control along with "Query-Response" mechanism to enable users to efficiently retrieve desired data from cloud servers. In addition, the scheme should support considerable flexibility to revoke system privileges from users without updating the key client, it reduces the pressure of the client greatly. Finally, security analysis illustrates that the scheme can resist collusion attack. A comparison of the performance from existing CP-ABE scheme, indicates that our scheme reduces the computation cost greatly for users.

Najafabadi, M. M., Khoshgoftaar, T. M., Calvert, C., Kemp, C..  2017.  User Behavior Anomaly Detection for Application Layer DDoS Attacks. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration (IRI). :154–161.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a popular and inexpensive form of cyber attacks. Application layer DDoS attacks utilize legitimate application layer requests to overwhelm a web server. These attacks are a major threat to Internet applications and web services. The main goal of these attacks is to make the services unavailable to legitimate users by overwhelming the resources on a web server. They look valid in connection and protocol characteristics, which makes them difficult to detect. In this paper, we propose a detection method for the application layer DDoS attacks, which is based on user behavior anomaly detection. We extract instances of user behaviors requesting resources from HTTP web server logs. We apply the Principle Component Analysis (PCA) subspace anomaly detection method for the detection of anomalous behavior instances. Web server logs from a web server hosting a student resource portal were collected as experimental data. We also generated nine different HTTP DDoS attacks through penetration testing. Our performance results on the collected data show that using PCAsubspace anomaly detection on user behavior data can detect application layer DDoS attacks, even if they are trying to mimic a normal user's behavior at some level.

Moore, C..  2016.  Detecting Ransomware with Honeypot Techniques. 2016 Cybersecurity and Cyberforensics Conference (CCC). :77–81.

Attacks of Ransomware are increasing, this form of malware bypasses many technical solutions by leveraging social engineering methods. This means established methods of perimeter defence need to be supplemented with additional systems. Honeypots are bogus computer resources deployed by network administrators to act as decoy computers and detect any illicit access. This study investigated whether a honeypot folder could be created and monitored for changes. The investigations determined a suitable method to detect changes to this area. This research investigated methods to implement a honeypot to detect ransomware activity, and selected two options, the File Screening service of the Microsoft File Server Resource Manager feature and EventSentry to manipulate the Windows Security logs. The research developed a staged response to attacks to the system along with thresholds when there were triggered. The research ascertained that witness tripwire files offer limited value as there is no way to influence the malware to access the area containing the monitored files.

Sadasivam, G. K., Hota, C..  2015.  Scalable Honeypot Architecture for Identifying Malicious Network Activities. 2015 International Conference on Emerging Information Technology and Engineering Solutions. :27–31.

Server honey pots are computer systems that hide in a network capturing attack packets. As the name goes, server honey pots are installed in server machines running a set of services. Enterprises and government organisations deploy these honey pots to know the extent of attacks on their network. Since, most of the recent attacks are advanced persistent attacks there is much research work going on in building better peripheral security measures. In this paper, the authors have deployed several honey pots in a virtualized environment to gather traces of malicious activities. The network infrastructure is resilient and provides much information about hacker's activities. It is cost-effective and can be easily deployed in any organisation without specialized hardware.

Kolahi, S. S., Treseangrat, K., Sarrafpour, B..  2015.  Analysis of UDP DDoS flood cyber attack and defense mechanisms on Web Server with Linux Ubuntu 13. 2015 International Conference on Communications, Signal Processing, and their Applications (ICCSPA). :1–5.

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks is one of the major threats and among the hardest security problems in the Internet world. Of particular concern are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, whose impact can be proportionally severe. With little or no advance warning, an attacker can easily exhaust the computing resources of its victim within a short period of time. In this paper, we study the impact of a UDP flood attack on TCP throughput, round-trip time, and CPU utilization for a Web Server with the new generation of Linux platform, Linux Ubuntu 13. This paper also evaluates the impact of various defense mechanisms, including Access Control Lists (ACLs), Threshold Limit, Reverse Path Forwarding (IP Verify), and Network Load Balancing. Threshold Limit is found to be the most effective defense.

Treseangrat, K., Kolahi, S. S., Sarrafpour, B..  2015.  Analysis of UDP DDoS cyber flood attack and defense mechanisms on Windows Server 2012 and Linux Ubuntu 13. 2015 International Conference on Computer, Information and Telecommunication Systems (CITS). :1–5.

Distributed Denial of Service (DoS) attacks is one of the major threats and among the hardest security problems in the Internet world. In this paper, we study the impact of a UDP flood attack on TCP throughputs, round-trip time, and CPU utilization on the latest version of Windows and Linux platforms, namely, Windows Server 2012 and Linux Ubuntu 13. This paper also evaluates several defense mechanisms including Access Control Lists (ACLs), Threshold Limit, Reverse Path Forwarding (IP Verify), and Network Load Balancing. Threshold Limit defense gave better results than the other solutions.

Xinyi Huang, Yang Xiang, Bertino, E., Jianying Zhou, Li Xu.  2014.  Robust Multi-Factor Authentication for Fragile Communications. Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on. 11:568-581.

In large-scale systems, user authentication usually needs the assistance from a remote central authentication server via networks. The authentication service however could be slow or unavailable due to natural disasters or various cyber attacks on communication channels. This has raised serious concerns in systems which need robust authentication in emergency situations. The contribution of this paper is two-fold. In a slow connection situation, we present a secure generic multi-factor authentication protocol to speed up the whole authentication process. Compared with another generic protocol in the literature, the new proposal provides the same function with significant improvements in computation and communication. Another authentication mechanism, which we name stand-alone authentication, can authenticate users when the connection to the central server is down. We investigate several issues in stand-alone authentication and show how to add it on multi-factor authentication protocols in an efficient and generic way.

Peng Li, Song Guo.  2014.  Load balancing for privacy-preserving access to big data in cloud. Computer Communications Workshops (INFOCOM WKSHPS), 2014 IEEE Conference on. :524-528.

In the era of big data, many users and companies start to move their data to cloud storage to simplify data management and reduce data maintenance cost. However, security and privacy issues become major concerns because third-party cloud service providers are not always trusty. Although data contents can be protected by encryption, the access patterns that contain important information are still exposed to clouds or malicious attackers. In this paper, we apply the ORAM algorithm to enable privacy-preserving access to big data that are deployed in distributed file systems built upon hundreds or thousands of servers in a single or multiple geo-distributed cloud sites. Since the ORAM algorithm would lead to serious access load unbalance among storage servers, we study a data placement problem to achieve a load balanced storage system with improved availability and responsiveness. Due to the NP-hardness of this problem, we propose a low-complexity algorithm that can deal with large-scale problem size with respect to big data. Extensive simulations are conducted to show that our proposed algorithm finds results close to the optimal solution, and significantly outperforms a random data placement algorithm.