Publications

Security features embedded in computer aided design (CAD) solid models for additive manufacturing

August 15, 2017

Fei Chen, Gary Mac, and Nikhil Gupta

The additive manufacturing (AM) process chain relies heavily on cloud based resources and software programs that are connected to the internet. Cybersecurity has become a major concern for cloud based resources. While network security is important and is the responsibility of the information technology departments of corporations, a second line of defense is necessary if the cybersecurity is breached and the computer aided design (CAD) files are stolen. The stolen CAD files can be used to print components in exactly the same quality as the original component. The present work aims at developing design features in CAD models that can be used for the purpose of security against counterfeiting.

CONGRESS: A Hybrid Reputation System for Coping with Rating Subjectivity

August 11, 2017

Yuan Liu, Jie Zhang, Quanyan Zhu and Xingwei Wang

In electronic commerce, buyers and sellers conduct transactions without physical interactions. In reputation systems, the trustworthiness of sellers is achieved by aggregating the ratings shared by other buyers with whom the sellers have ever conducted transactions. However, the ratings provided by buyers for evaluating the same seller could be diverse due to their different judgment criteria, which is referred as the subjectivity problem of reputation systems. It indicates that the ratings shared by some buyers may mislead other buyers with different personalities, making it challenging to aggregate the ratings properly in reputation systems.

PRNU-Based Camera Attribution from Multiple Seam-Carved Images

August 9, 2017

Samet Taspinar, Manoranjan Mohanty and Nasir Memon

Photo Response Non-Uniformity (PRNU) noisebased source attribution is a well known technique to verify the camera of an image or video. Researchers have proposed various countermeasures to prevent PRNU-based source camera attribution. Forced seam-carving is one such recently proposed counter forensics technique. This technique can disable PRNUbased source camera attribution by forcefully removing seams such that the size of most uncarved image blocks is less than 50 × 50 pixels. In this paper, we show that given multiple seamcarved images from the same camera, source attribution can still be possible even if the size of uncarved blocks in the image is less than the recommended size of 50 × 50 pixels.

A First Legislative Step in the IoT Security Battle

August 4, 2017

Lawfare-CCS

Randal Milch, Distinguished Fellow at the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law and the NYU Center for Cybersecurity, comments on the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvements Act of 2017:

The bill seeks to use the federal government’s purchasing power to drive much-needed cybersecurity improvements in internet-connected devices. In addition, the bill would amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to encourage research on device vulnerabilities. These are important first steps in combating a large and growing menace from billions of poorly secured devices.

Large-Scale 3D Chips: Challenges and Solutions for Design Automation, Testing, and Trustworthy Integration

August 2, 2017

Johann Knechtel, Ozgur Sinanoglu, Ibrahim (Abe) M. Elfadel, Jens Lienig and Cliff C. N. Sze

Three-dimensional (3D) integration of electronic chips has been advocated by both industry and academia for many years. It is acknowledged as one of the most promising approaches to meet ever-increasing demands on performance, functionality, and power consumption. Furthermore, 3D integration has been shown to be most effective and efficient once large-scale integration is targeted for. However, a multitude of challenges has thus far obstructed the mainstream transition from “classical 2D chips” to such large-scale 3D chips.

Adaptive and Resilient Revenue Maximizing Resource Allocation and Pricing in Cloud Computing Environments

July 27, 2017

Muhammad Junaid Farooq, Quanyan Zhu

Cloud computing is becoming an essential component of modern computer and communication systems. The available resources at the cloud such as computing nodes, storage, databases, etc. are often packaged in the form of virtual machines (VMs) to be used by remotely located client applications for computational tasks. However, the cloud has a limited number of VMs available, which have to be efficiently utilized to generate higher productivity and subsequently generate maximum revenue. Client applications generate requests with computational tasks at random times with random complexity to be processed by the cloud.

Optimal Timing in Dynamic and Robust Attacker Engagement During Advanced Persistent Threats

July 25, 2017

Jeffrey Pawlick, Thi Thu Hang Nguyen, Quanyan Zhu

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are stealthy attacks which make use of social engineering and deception to give adversaries insider access to networked systems. Against APTs, active defense technologies aim to create and exploit information asymmetry for defenders. In this paper, we study a scenario in which a powerful defender uses honeypots for active defense in order to observe an attacker who has penetrated the network. Rather than immediately eject the attacker, the defender may elect to gather information. We introduce a Markov decision process on a continuous state space in order to model the defender’s problem.

Quantitative Models of Imperfect Deception in Network Security using Signaling Games with Evidence

July 25, 2017

Jeffrey Pawlick and Quanyan Zhu

Deception plays a critical role in many interactions in communication and network security. Game-theoretic models called “cheap talk signaling games” capture the dynamic and information asymmetric nature of deceptive interactions. But signaling games inherently model undetectable deception. In this paper, we investigate a model of signaling games in which the receiver can detect deception with some probability. This model nests traditional signaling games and complete information Stack- elberg games as special cases. We present the pure strategy perfect Bayesian Nash equilibria of the game. Then we illustrate these analytical results with an application to active network defense.

MINIMAX GAME-THEORETIC APPROACH TO MULTISCALE H 1 OPTIMAL FILTERING

July 24, 2017

Hamza Anwar and Quanyan Zhu

Sensing in complex systems requires large-scale information exchange and on-the-go communications over heterogeneous networks and integrated processing platforms. Many networked cyber-physical systems exhibit hierarchical infrastructures of information flows, which naturally leads to a multi-level tree-like information structure in which each level corresponds to a particular scale of representation. This work focuses on the multiscale fusion of data collected at multiple levels of the system. We propose a multiscale state-space model to represent multi-resolution data over the hierarchical information system and formulate a multi-stage dynamic zero-sum game to design a multi-scale H robust filter.

A Dynamic Game Analysis and Design of Infrastructure Network Protection and Recovery

July 21, 2017

Juntao Chen, Corinne Touati, Quanyan Zhu

Infrastructure networks are vulnerable to both cyber and physical attacks. Building a secure and resilient networked system is essential for providing reliable and dependable services. To this end, we establish a two-player three-stage game framework to capture the dynamics in the infrastructure protection and recovery phases. Specifically, the goal of the infrastructure network designer is to keep the network connected before and after the attack, while the adversary aims to disconnect the network by compromising a set of links. With costs for creating and removing links, the two players aim to maximize their utilities while minimizing the costs.

Optimal Secure Multi-Layer IoT Network Design

July 21, 2017

Juntao Chen, Corinne Touati, Quanyan Zhu

With the remarkable growth of the Internet and communication technologies over the past few decades, Internet of Things (IoTs) is enabling the ubiquitous connectivity of heterogeneous physical devices with software, sensors, and actuators. IoT networks are naturally multi-layer with the cloud and cellular networks coexisting with the underlaid device-to-device (D2D) communications. The connectivity of IoTs plays an important role in information dissemination for mission-critical and civilian applications. However, IoT communication networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks including the denial-of-service (DoS) and jamming attacks, resulting in link removals in IoT network.

How Biometric Authentication Poses New Challenges to Our Security and Privacy

July 20, 2017

Nasir Memon

The use of biometric data—an individual’s measurable physical and behavioral characteristics—isn’t new. Government and law enforcement agencies have long used it. … Using biometric data to access our personal devices is increasing as a way to get around the limitations of the commonly used password-based mechanism: it’s easier, more convenient, and (theoretically) more secure. But biometric data can also be stolen and used in malicious ways.

Lock-in-Pop: Securing Privileged Operating System Kernels by Keeping on the Beaten Path

July 17, 2017

Yiwen Li, Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, Sam Weber, and Justin Cappos

Virtual machines (VMs) that try to isolate untrusted code are widely used in practice. However, it is often possible to trigger zero-day flaws in the host Operating System (OS) from inside of such virtualized systems. In this paper, we propose a new security metric showing strong correlation between “popular paths” and kernel vulnerabilities. We verify that the OS kernel paths accessed by popular applications in everyday use contain significantly fewer security bugs than less-used paths. We then demonstrate that this observation is useful in practice by building a prototype system which locks an application into using only popular OS kernel paths.

Smartwatches Locking Methods: A Comparative Study

July 14, 2017

Toan Nguyen and Nasir Memon

Smartwatches are rapidly emerging to be the next generation of personal devices from the smartphone era due to their novel form factor and broad applications. However, their emergence also poses new challenges to securing user information. An important challenge is preventing unauthorized access to private information stored on the watch, for which a locking method is typically used. Due to smartwatches’ limited display, the performance of locking methods offered on smartwatches may su er from the fat- finger problem and is currently unknown. In this paper, we present the first study to evaluate different locking methods for smartwatches.

New Me: Understanding Expert and Non-Expert Perceptions and Usage of the Tor Anonymity Network

July 14, 2017

Kevin Gallagher, Sameer Patil, Nasir Memon

Proper use of an anonymity system requires adequate understanding of how it functions. Yet, there is surprisingly little research that looks into user understanding and usage of anonymity software. Improper use stemming from a lack of sufficient knowledge of the system has the potential to lead to deanonymization, which may hold severe personal consequences for the user. We report on the understanding and the use of the Tor anonymity system. Via semistructured interviews with 17 individuals (6 experts and 11 non-experts) we found that experts and non-experts view, understand, and use Tor in notably different ways.

Mercury: Bandwidth-Effective Prevention of Rollback Attacks Against Community Repositories

July 14, 2017

Trishank Karthik Kuppusamy, Vladimir Diaz and Justin Cappos


A popular community repository such as Docker Hub, PyPI, or RubyGems distributes tens of thousands of software projects to millions of users. The large number of projects and users make these repositories attractive targets for exploitation. After a repository compromise, a malicious party can launch a number of attacks on unsuspecting users, including rollback attacks that revert projects to obsolete and vulnerable versions. Unfortunately, due to the rapid rate at which packages are updated, existing techniques that protect against rollback attacks would cause each user to download 2–3 times the size of an average package in metadata each month, making them impractical to deploy.

Optimal impulse control of bi-virus SIR epidemics with application to heterogeneous Internet of Things

July 13, 2017

Vladislav Taynitskiy, Elena Gubar and Quanyan Zhu

With the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, malware spreading over increasingly connected networks becomes a new security concern. To capture the heterogeneous nature of the IoT networks, we propose a continuous-time Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) epidemic model with two types of malware for heterogeneous populations over a large network of devices. The malware control mechanism is to patch an optimal fraction of the infected nodes at discrete points in time, which leads to an impulse controller. We use the Pontryagin’s minimum principle for impulsive systems to obtain an optimal structure of the controller and use numerical experiments to demonstrate the computation of the optimal control and the controlled dynamics.

Strategic Trust in Cloud-Enabled Cyber-Physical Systems with an Application to Glucose Control

July 11, 2017

Jeffrey Pawlick and Quanyan Zhu

Advances in computation, sensing, and networking have led to interest in the Internet of things (IoT) and cyberphysical systems (CPS). Developments concerning the IoT and CPS will improve critical infrastructure, vehicle networks, and personal health products. Unfortunately, these systems are vulnerable to attack. Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are a class of long-term attacks in which well-resourced adversaries infiltrate a network and use obfuscation to remain undetected. In a CPS under APTs, each device must decide whether to trust other components that may be compromised. In this paper, we propose a concept of trust (strategic trust) that uses game theory to capture the adversarial and strategic nature of CPS security.