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An ontology-based approach to attribute management in ABAC environment

Description

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) mechanisms have been attracting a lot of interest from the research community in recent times. This is especially because of the flexibility and extensibility it provides by using attributes assigned to subjects as the basis

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) mechanisms have been attracting a lot of interest from the research community in recent times. This is especially because of the flexibility and extensibility it provides by using attributes assigned to subjects as the basis for access control. ABAC enables an administrator of a server to enforce access policies on the data, services and other such resources fairly easily. It also accommodates new policies and changes to existing policies gracefully, thereby making it a potentially good mechanism for implementing access control in large systems, particularly in today's age of Cloud Computing. However management of the attributes in ABAC environment is an area that has been little touched upon. Having a mechanism to allow multiple ABAC based systems to share data and resources can go a long way in making ABAC scalable. At the same time each system should be able to specify their own attribute sets independently. In the research presented in this document a new mechanism is proposed that would enable users to share resources and data in a cloud environment using ABAC techniques in a distributed manner. The focus is mainly on decentralizing the access policy specifications for the shared data so that each data owner can specify the access policy independent of others. The concept of ontologies and semantic web is introduced in the ABAC paradigm that would help in giving a scalable structure to the attributes and also allow systems having different sets of attributes to communicate and share resources.

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2014

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Detection of advanced bots in smartphones through user profiling

Description

This thesis addresses the ever increasing threat of botnets in the smartphone domain and focuses on the Android platform and the botnets using Online Social Networks (OSNs) as Command and Control (C&C;) medium. With any botnet, C&C; is one of

This thesis addresses the ever increasing threat of botnets in the smartphone domain and focuses on the Android platform and the botnets using Online Social Networks (OSNs) as Command and Control (C&C;) medium. With any botnet, C&C; is one of the components on which the survival of botnet depends. Individual bots use the C&C; channel to receive commands and send the data. This thesis develops active host based approach for identifying the presence of bot based on the anomalies in the usage patterns of the user before and after the bot is installed on the user smartphone and alerting the user to the presence of the bot. A profile is constructed for each user based on the regular web usage patterns (achieved by intercepting the http(s) traffic) and implementing machine learning techniques to continuously learn the user's behavior and changes in the behavior and all the while looking for any anomalies in the user behavior above a threshold which will cause the user to be notified of the anomalous traffic. A prototype bot which uses OSN s as C&C; channel is constructed and used for testing. Users are given smartphones(Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus) running Application proxy which intercepts http(s) traffic and relay it to a server which uses the traffic and constructs the model for a particular user and look for any signs of anomalies. This approach lays the groundwork for the future host-based counter measures for smartphone botnets using OSN s as C&C; channel.

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2013

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A framework for extended acquisition and uniform representation of forensic email evidence

Description

The digital forensics community has neglected email forensics as a process, despite the fact that email remains an important tool in the commission of crime. Current forensic practices focus mostly on that of disk forensics, while email forensics is left

The digital forensics community has neglected email forensics as a process, despite the fact that email remains an important tool in the commission of crime. Current forensic practices focus mostly on that of disk forensics, while email forensics is left as an analysis task stemming from that practice. As there is no well-defined process to be used for email forensics the comprehensiveness, extensibility of tools, uniformity of evidence, usefulness in collaborative/distributed environments, and consistency of investigations are hindered. At present, there exists little support for discovering, acquiring, and representing web-based email, despite its widespread use. To remedy this, a systematic process which includes discovering, acquiring, and representing web-based email for email forensics which is integrated into the normal forensic analysis workflow, and which accommodates the distinct characteristics of email evidence will be presented. This process focuses on detecting the presence of non-obvious artifacts related to email accounts, retrieving the data from the service provider, and representing email in a well-structured format based on existing standards. As a result, developers and organizations can collaboratively create and use analysis tools that can analyze email evidence from any source in the same fashion and the examiner can access additional data relevant to their forensic cases. Following, an extensible framework implementing this novel process-driven approach has been implemented in an attempt to address the problems of comprehensiveness, extensibility, uniformity, collaboration/distribution, and consistency within forensic investigations involving email evidence.

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Date Created
2013

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Towards seamless and secure mobile authentication

Description

With the rise of mobile technology, the personal lives and sensitive information of everyday citizens are carried about without a thought to the risks involved. Despite this high possibility of harm, many fail to use simple security to protect themselves

With the rise of mobile technology, the personal lives and sensitive information of everyday citizens are carried about without a thought to the risks involved. Despite this high possibility of harm, many fail to use simple security to protect themselves because they feel the benefits of securing their devices do not outweigh the cost to usability. The main issue is that beyond initial authentication, sessions are maintained using optional timeout mechanisms where a session will end if a user is inactive for a period of time. This interruption-based form of continuous authentication requires constant user intervention leading to frustration, which discourages its use. No solution currently exists that provides an implementation beyond the insecure and low usability of simple timeout and re-authentication. This work identifies the flaws of current mobile authentication techniques and provides a new solution that is not limiting to the user, has a system for secure, active continuous authentication, and increases the usability and security over current methods.

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Date Created
2014

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Adapting sensing and transmission times to improve secondary user throughput in cognitive radio ad hoc networks

Description

Cognitive Radios (CR) are designed to dynamically reconfigure their transmission and/or reception parameters to utilize the bandwidth efficiently. With a rapidly fluctuating radio environment, spectrum management becomes crucial for cognitive radios. In a Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Network (CRAHN) setting,

Cognitive Radios (CR) are designed to dynamically reconfigure their transmission and/or reception parameters to utilize the bandwidth efficiently. With a rapidly fluctuating radio environment, spectrum management becomes crucial for cognitive radios. In a Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Network (CRAHN) setting, the sensing and transmission times of the cognitive radio play a more important role because of the decentralized nature of the network. They have a direct impact on the throughput. Due to the tradeoff between throughput and the sensing time, finding optimal values for sensing time and transmission time is difficult. In this thesis, a method is proposed to improve the throughput of a CRAHN by dynamically changing the sensing and transmission times. To simulate the CRAHN setting, ns-2, the network simulator with an extension for CRAHN is used. The CRAHN extension module implements the required Primary User (PU) and Secondary User (SU) and other CR functionalities to simulate a realistic CRAHN scenario. First, this work presents a detailed analysis of various CR parameters, their interactions, their individual contributions to the throughput to understand how they affect the transmissions in the network. Based on the results of this analysis, changes to the system model in the CRAHN extension are proposed. Instantaneous throughput of the network is introduced in the new model, which helps to determine how the parameters should adapt based on the current throughput. Along with instantaneous throughput, checks are done for interference with the PUs and their transmission power, before modifying these CR parameters. Simulation results demonstrate that the throughput of the CRAHN with the adaptive sensing and transmission times is significantly higher as compared to that of non-adaptive parameters.

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Date Created
2012

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Systematic policy analysis and management

Description

With the advent of technologies such as web services, service oriented architecture and cloud computing, modern organizations have to deal with policies such as Firewall policies to secure the networks, XACML (eXtensible Access Control Markup Language) policies for controlling the

With the advent of technologies such as web services, service oriented architecture and cloud computing, modern organizations have to deal with policies such as Firewall policies to secure the networks, XACML (eXtensible Access Control Markup Language) policies for controlling the access to critical information as well as resources. Management of these policies is an extremely important task in order to avoid unintended security leakages via illegal accesses, while maintaining proper access to services for legitimate users. Managing and maintaining access control policies manually over long period of time is an error prone task due to their inherent complex nature. Existing tools and mechanisms for policy management use different approaches for different types of policies. This research thesis represents a generic framework to provide an unified approach for policy analysis and management of different types of policies. Generic approach captures the common semantics and structure of different access control policies with the notion of policy ontology. Policy ontology representation is then utilized for effectively analyzing and managing the policies. This thesis also discusses a proof-of-concept implementation of the proposed generic framework and demonstrates how efficiently this unified approach can be used for analysis and management of different types of access control policies.

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Date Created
2011

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Collaborative digital forensics: architecture, mechanisms, and case study

Description

In order to catch the smartest criminals in the world, digital forensics examiners need a means of collaborating and sharing information with each other and outside experts that is not prohibitively difficult. However, standard operating procedures and the rules of

In order to catch the smartest criminals in the world, digital forensics examiners need a means of collaborating and sharing information with each other and outside experts that is not prohibitively difficult. However, standard operating procedures and the rules of evidence generally disallow the use of the collaboration software and techniques that are currently available because they do not fully adhere to the dictated procedures for the handling, analysis, and disclosure of items relating to cases. The aim of this work is to conceive and design a framework that provides a completely new architecture that 1) can perform fundamental functions that are common and necessary to forensic analyses, and 2) is structured such that it is possible to include collaboration-facilitating components without changing the way users interact with the system sans collaboration. This framework is called the Collaborative Forensic Framework (CUFF). CUFF is constructed from four main components: Cuff Link, Storage, Web Interface, and Analysis Block. With the Cuff Link acting as a mediator between components, CUFF is flexible in both the method of deployment and the technologies used in implementation. The details of a realization of CUFF are given, which uses a combination of Java, the Google Web Toolkit, Django with Apache for a RESTful web service, and an Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud using Eucalyptus. The functionality of CUFF's components is demonstrated by the integration of an acquisition script designed for Android OS-based mobile devices that use the YAFFS2 file system. While this work has obvious application to examination labs which work under the mandate of judicial or investigative bodies, security officers at any organization would benefit from the improved ability to cooperate in electronic discovery efforts and internal investigations.

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Date Created
2011

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Secure sharing of electronic medical records in cloud computing

Description

In modern healthcare environments, there is a strong need to create an infrastructure that reduces time-consuming efforts and costly operations to obtain a patient's complete medical record and uniformly integrates this heterogeneous collection of medical data to deliver it to

In modern healthcare environments, there is a strong need to create an infrastructure that reduces time-consuming efforts and costly operations to obtain a patient's complete medical record and uniformly integrates this heterogeneous collection of medical data to deliver it to the healthcare professionals. As a result, healthcare providers are more willing to shift their electronic medical record (EMR) systems to clouds that can remove the geographical distance barriers among providers and patient. Even though cloud-based EMRs have received considerable attention since it would help achieve lower operational cost and better interoperability with other healthcare providers, the adoption of security-aware cloud systems has become an extremely important prerequisite for bringing interoperability and efficient management to the healthcare industry. Since a shared electronic health record (EHR) essentially represents a virtualized aggregation of distributed clinical records from multiple healthcare providers, sharing of such integrated EHRs may comply with various authorization policies from these data providers. In this work, we focus on the authorized and selective sharing of EHRs among several parties with different duties and objectives that satisfies access control and compliance issues in healthcare cloud computing environments. We present a secure medical data sharing framework to support selective sharing of composite EHRs aggregated from various healthcare providers and compliance of HIPAA regulations. Our approach also ensures that privacy concerns need to be accommodated for processing access requests to patients' healthcare information. To realize our proposed approach, we design and implement a cloud-based EHRs sharing system. In addition, we describe case studies and evaluation results to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach.

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Date Created
2012

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vLab-- a cloud based resource and service sharing platform for computer and network security education

Description

Cloud computing systems fundamentally provide access to large pools of data and computational resources through a variety of interfaces similar in spirit to existing grid and HPC resource management and programming systems. These types of systems offer a new programming

Cloud computing systems fundamentally provide access to large pools of data and computational resources through a variety of interfaces similar in spirit to existing grid and HPC resource management and programming systems. These types of systems offer a new programming target for scalable application developers and have gained popularity over the past few years. However, most cloud computing systems in operation today are proprietary and rely upon infrastructure that is invisible to the research community, or are not explicitly designed to be instrumented and modified by systems researchers. In this research, Xen Server Management API is employed to build a framework for cloud computing that implements what is commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); systems that give users the ability to run and control entire virtual machine instances deployed across a variety physical resources. The goal of this research is to develop a cloud based resource and service sharing platform for Computer network security education a.k.a Virtual Lab.

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Date Created
2010

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Representing the language of the causal calculator in answer set programming

Description

Action language C+ is a formalism for describing properties of actions, which is based on nonmonotonic causal logic. The definite fragment of C+ is implemented in the Causal Calculator (CCalc), which is based on the reduction of nonmonotonic causal

Action language C+ is a formalism for describing properties of actions, which is based on nonmonotonic causal logic. The definite fragment of C+ is implemented in the Causal Calculator (CCalc), which is based on the reduction of nonmonotonic causal logic to propositional logic. This thesis describes the language of CCalc in terms of answer set programming (ASP), based on the translation of nonmonotonic causal logic to formulas under the stable model semantics. I designed a standard library which describes the constructs of the input language of CCalc in terms of ASP, allowing a simple modular method to represent CCalc input programs in the language of ASP. Using the combination of system F2LP and answer set solvers, this method achieves functionality close to that of CCalc while taking advantage of answer set solvers to yield efficient computation that is orders of magnitude faster than CCalc for many benchmark examples. In support of this, I created an automated translation system Cplus2ASP that implements the translation and encoding method and automatically invokes the necessary software to solve the translated input programs.

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Date Created
2011