Publications

Optimal Active Social Network De-anonymization Using Information Thresholds

January 19, 2018

Farhad Shirani, Siddharth Garg and Elza Erkip.

In this paper, de-anonymizing internet users by actively querying their group memberships in social networks is considered. In this problem, an anonymous victim visits the attacker’s website, and the attacker uses the victim’s browser history to query her social media activity for the purpose of de-anonymization using the minimum number of queries. A stochastic model of the problem is considered where the attacker has partial prior knowledge of the group membership graph and receives noisy responses to its real-time queries.

The Cyber and Critical Infrastructures Nexus: Interdependencies, Dependencies and Their Impacts on Public Services

December 27, 2017

Rae Zimmerman

Critical infrastructures (CI) provide fundamental services in ways that are essential to the social and economic fabric of society. These infrastructures are apparently becoming increasingly interconnected with one another (Saidi et al. 2018: 1), and these interconnections appear in the form of interdependencies and dependencies. Information technologies or information and communications technologies (ICT) are often a major location point for that interconnectivity and have been increasingly so for some CI sectors, not only within single infrastructure sectors, subsectors, or subsector components, but also among different infrastructure sectors.

A Hybrid Stochastic Game for Secure Control of Cyber-Physical Systems

December 27, 2017

Fei Miao, Quanyan Zhu, Miroslav Pajic and George J. Pappas

In this paper, we establish a zero-sum, hybrid state stochastic game model for designing defense policies for cyber-physical systems against different types of attacks. With the increasingly integrated properties of cyber-physical systems (CPS) today, security is a challenge for critical infrastructures. Though resilient control and detecting techniques for a specific model of attack have been proposed, to analyze and design detection and defense mechanisms against multiple types of attacks for CPSs requires new system frameworks. Besides security, other requirements such as optimal control cost also need to be considered.

TERMinator Suite: Benchmarking Privacy-Preserving Architectures

December 14, 2017

Dimitris Mouris, Nektarios Georgios Tsoutsos, and Michail Maniatakos

Security and privacy are fundamental objectives characterizing contemporary cloud computing. Despite the wide adoption of encryption for protecting data in transit and at rest, data in use remains unencrypted inside cloud processors and memories, as computation is not applicable on encrypted values. This limitation introduces security risks, as unencrypted values can be leaked through side-channels or hardware Trojans. To address this problem, encrypted architectures have recently been proposed, which leverage homomorphic encryption to natively process encrypted data using datapaths of thousands of bits.

A Game-Theoretic Taxonomy and Survey of Defensive Deception for Cybersecurity and Privacy

December 14, 2017

Jeffrey Pawlick, Edward Colbert and Quanyan Zhu.

Cyber attacks on both databases and critical infrastructure have threatened public and private sectors. Meanwhile, ubiquitous tracking and wearable computing have infringed upon privacy. Advocates and engineers have recently proposed using defensive deception as a means to leverage the information asymmetry typically enjoyed by attackers as a tool for defenders. The term deception, however, has been employed broadly and with a variety of meanings. In this paper, we survey 24 articles from 2007–2017 that use game theory to model defensive deception for cybersecurity and privacy.

Image Carving with Missing Headers and Missing Fragments

December 7, 2017

Emre Durmus, Manoranjan Mohanty, Samet Taspinar, Erkam Uzun and Nasir Memon

Although some remarkable advancements have been made in image carving, even in the presence of fragmentation, existing methods are not effective when parts (fragments) of an image are missing. This paper addresses this problem and proposes a PRNU (Photo Response Non-Uniformity)-based image carving method. The proposed technique assumes that the underlying camera fingerprint (camera sensor noise) is available prior to the carving process. Given a large number of image fragments, the camera fingerprint is used to find the position of fragments in a to-be-carved image.

Evolution of Logic Locking

November 29, 2017

Muhammad Yasin and Ozgur Sinanoglu

The globalization of integrated circuit (IC) supply chain and the emergence of threats, such as intellectual property (IP) piracy, reverse engineering, and hardware Trojans, have forced semiconductor companies to revisit the trust in the supply chain. Logic locking is emerging as a popular and effective countermeasure against these threats. Over the years, multiple logic techniques have been developed. Moreover, a number of attacks have been proposed that expose the security vulnerabilities of these techniques. This paper highlights the key developments in the logic locking research and presents a comprehensive literature review of logic locking.

Seeded Graph Matching: Efficient Algorithms and Theoretical Guarantees

November 28, 2017

Farhad Shirani, Siddharth Garg, and Elza Erkip

In this paper, a new information theoretic framework for graph matching is introduced. Using this framework, the graph isomorphism and seeded graph matching problems are studied. The maximum degree algorithm for graph isomorphism is analyzed and sufficient conditions for successful matching are rederived using type analysis. Furthermore, a new seeded matching algorithm with polynomial time complexity is introduced. The algorithm uses `typicality matching’ and techniques from point-to-point communications for reliable matching.

Securing Hardware Accelerators: a New Challenge for High-Level Synthesis (Perspective Paper)

November 17, 2017

Christian Pilato, Siddharth Garg, Kaijie Wu, Ramesh Karri and Francesco Regazzoni

High-level synthesis (HLS) tools have made significant progress in the past few years, improving the design productivity for hardware accelerators and becoming mainstream in industry to create specialized System-on-Chip (SoC) architectures. Increasing the level of security of these heterogeneous architectures is becoming critical. However, state-of-the-art security countermeasures are still applied only to the code executing on the processor cores or manually implemented into the generated components, leading to suboptimal and sometimes even insecure designs.

Obfuscating the Interconnects: Low-Cost and Resilient Full-Chip Layout Camouflaging

November 14, 2017

Satwik Patnaik, Mohammed Ashraf, Johann Knechtel, and Ozgur Sinanoglu

Layout camouflaging (LC) is a promising technique to protect chip design intellectual property (IP) from reverse engineers. Most prior art, however, cannot leverage the full potential of LC due to excessive overheads and/or their limited scope on an FEOL-centric and accordingly customized manufacturing process. If at all, most existing techniques can be reasonably applied only to selected parts of a chip— we argue that such “small-scale or custom camouflaging” will eventually be circumvented, irrespective of the underlying technique.

Special session: emerging (Un-)reliability based security threats and mitigations for embedded systems

November 9, 2017

Hussam Amrouch, Prashanth Krishnamurthy, Naman Patel, Jörg Henkel, Ramesh Karri and Farshad Khorrami

This paper addresses two reliability-based security threats and mitigations for embedded systems namely, aging and thermal side channels. Device aging can be used as a hardware attack vector by using voltage scaling or specially crafted instruction sequences to violate embedded processor guard bands. Short-term aging effects can be utilized to cause transient degradation of the embedded device without leaving any trace of the attack. (Thermal) side channels can be used as an attack vector and as a defense. Specifically, thermal side channels are an effective and secure way to remotely monitor code execution on an embedded processor and/or to possibly leak information.

Identifying Synthesis Approaches for IP Piracy of Reversible Circuits

November 8, 2017

Samah Mohamed Saeed, Nithin Mahendran, Alwin Zulehner, Robert Wille and Ramesh Karri.

Reversible circuits are vulnerable to intellectual property and integrated circuit piracy. To show these vulnerabilities, a detailed understanding on how to identify the function embedded in a reversible circuit is crucial. To obtain the embedded function, one needs to know the synthesis approach used to generate the reversible circuit in the first place. We present a machine learning based scheme to identify the synthesis approach using telltale signs in the design.

Optimal Checkpointing for Secure Intermittently-Powered IoT Devices

November 4, 2017

Zahra Ghodsi, Siddharth Garg and Ramesh Karri

Energy harvesting is a promising solution to power Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Due to the intermittent nature of these energy sources, one cannot guarantee forward progress of program execution. Prior work has advocated for checkpointing the intermediate state to off-chip non-volatile memory (NVM). Encrypting checkpoints addresses the security concern, but significantly increases the checkpointing overheads. In this paper, we propose a new online checkpointing policy that judiciously determines when to checkpoint so as to minimize application time to completion while guaranteeing security. Compared to state-of-the-art checkpointing schemes that do not account for the overheads of encrypted checkpoints we improve execution time up to 1.4x.

Detecting Structurally Anomalous Logins Within Enterprise Networks

November 3, 2017

Hossein Siadati and Nasir Memon

Many network intrusion detection systems use byte sequences to detect lateral movements that exploit remote vulnerabilities. Attackers bypass such detection by stealing valid credentials and using them to transmit from one computer to another without creating abnormal network traffic. We call this method Credential-based Lateral Movement. To detect this type of lateral movement, we develop the concept of a Network Login Structure that specifies normal logins within a given network.

Boolean Circuit Camouflage: Cryptographic Models, Limitations, Provable Results and a Random Oracle Realization

November 3, 2017

Giovanni Di Crescenzo, Jeyavijayan Rajendran, Ramesh Karri and Nasir Memon

Recent hardware advances, called gate camouflaging, have opened the possibility of protecting integrated circuits against reverse-engineering attacks. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of provably boosting the capability of physical camouflaging of a single Boolean gate into physical camouflaging of a larger Boolean circuit. We first propose rigorous definitions, borrowing approaches from modern cryptography and program obfuscation areas, for circuit camouflage.

Fifteen Minutes of Unwanted Fame: Detecting and Characterizing Doxing

November 3, 2017

Peter Snyder, Periwinkle Doerfler, Chris Kanich and Damon McCoy.

Doxing is online abuse where a malicious party attempts to harm another by releasing identifying or sensitive information. Motivations for doxing include personal, competitive, and political reasons, and web users of all ages, genders and internet experience have been targeted. Existing research on doxing is primarily qualitative. This work improves our understanding of doxing by being the first to take a quantitative approach. We do so by designing and deploying a tool which can detect dox files and measure the frequency, content, targets, and effects of doxing occurring on popular dox-posting sites.

Provably-Secure Logic Locking: From Theory To Practice

November 1, 2017

Muhammad Yasin, Abhrajit Sengupta, Mohammed Thari Nabeel, Mohammed Ashraf, Jeyavijayan (JV) Rajendran and Ozgur Sinanoglu

Logic locking has been conceived as a promising proactive defense strategy against intellectual property (IP) piracy, counterfeiting, hardware Trojans, reverse engineering, and overbuilding attacks. Yet, various attacks that use a working chip as an oracle have been launched on logic locking to successfully retrieve its secret key, undermining the defense of all existing locking techniques. In this paper, we propose stripped-functionality logic locking (SFLL), which strips some of the functionality of the design and hides it in the form of a secret key(s), thereby rendering on-chip implementation functionally different from the original one.

A Large-Scale Markov Game Approach to Dynamic Protection of Interdependent Infrastructure Networks

October 28, 2017

Linan Huang, Juntao Chen, and Quanyan Zhu

The integration of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) into critical infrastructures (CIs) improves its connectivity and functionalities yet also brings cyber threats. It is thus essential to understand the risk of ICTs on CIs holistically as a cyberphysical system and design efficient security hardening mechanisms. To this end, we capture the system behaviors of the CIs under malicious attacks and the protection strategies by a zero-sum game. We further propose a computationally tractable approximation for large-scale networks which builds on the factored graph that exploits the dependency structure of the nodes of CIs and the approximate dynamic programming tools for stochastic Markov games.