Matching Items (15)

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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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Assurance management framework for access control systems

Description

Access control is one of the most fundamental security mechanisms used in the design and management of modern information systems. However, there still exists an open question on how formal access control models can be automatically analyzed and fully realized

Access control is one of the most fundamental security mechanisms used in the design and management of modern information systems. However, there still exists an open question on how formal access control models can be automatically analyzed and fully realized in secure system development. Furthermore, specifying and managing access control policies are often error-prone due to the lack of effective analysis mechanisms and tools. In this dissertation, I present an Assurance Management Framework (AMF) that is designed to cope with various assurance management requirements from both access control system development and policy-based computing. On one hand, the AMF framework facilitates comprehensive analysis and thorough realization of formal access control models in secure system development. I demonstrate how this method can be applied to build role-based access control systems by adopting the NIST/ANSI RBAC standard as an underlying security model. On the other hand, the AMF framework ensures the correctness of access control policies in policy-based computing through automated reasoning techniques and anomaly management mechanisms. A systematic method is presented to formulate XACML in Answer Set Programming (ASP) that allows users to leverage off-the-shelf ASP solvers for a variety of analysis services. In addition, I introduce a novel anomaly management mechanism, along with a grid-based visualization approach, which enables systematic and effective detection and resolution of policy anomalies. I further evaluate the AMF framework through modeling and analyzing multiparty access control in Online Social Networks (OSNs). A MultiParty Access Control (MPAC) model is formulated to capture the essence of multiparty authorization requirements in OSNs. In particular, I show how AMF can be applied to OSNs for identifying and resolving privacy conflicts, and representing and reasoning about MPAC model and policy. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed methodology, a suite of proof-of-concept prototype systems is implemented as well.

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Created

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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Created

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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Created

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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Created

Date Created
2012

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Privacy preserving service discovery and ranking for multiple user QoS requirements in service-based software systems

Description

Service based software (SBS) systems are software systems consisting of services based on the service oriented architecture (SOA). Each service in SBS systems provides partial functionalities and collaborates with other services as workflows to provide the functionalities required by the

Service based software (SBS) systems are software systems consisting of services based on the service oriented architecture (SOA). Each service in SBS systems provides partial functionalities and collaborates with other services as workflows to provide the functionalities required by the systems. These services may be developed and/or owned by different entities and physically distributed across the Internet. Compared with traditional software system components which are usually specifically designed for the target systems and bound tightly, the interfaces of services and their communication protocols are standardized, which allow SBS systems to support late binding, provide better interoperability, better flexibility in dynamic business logics, and higher fault tolerance. The development process of SBS systems can be divided to three major phases: 1) SBS specification, 2) service discovery and matching, and 3) service composition and workflow execution. This dissertation focuses on the second phase, and presents a privacy preserving service discovery and ranking approach for multiple user QoS requirements. This approach helps service providers to register services and service users to search services through public, but untrusted service directories with the protection of their privacy against the service directories. The service directories can match the registered services with service requests, but do not learn any information about them. Our approach also enforces access control on services during the matching process, which prevents unauthorized users from discovering services. After the service directories match a set of services that satisfy the service users' functionality requirements, the service discovery approach presented in this dissertation further considers service users' QoS requirements in two steps. First, this approach optimizes services' QoS by making tradeoff among various QoS aspects with users' QoS requirements and preferences. Second, this approach ranks services based on how well they satisfy users' QoS requirements to help service users select the most suitable service to develop their SBSs.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Automated event-driven security assessment

Description

With the growth of IT products and sophisticated software in various operating systems, I observe that security risks in systems are skyrocketing constantly. Consequently, Security Assessment is now considered as one of primary security mechanisms to measure assurance of systems

With the growth of IT products and sophisticated software in various operating systems, I observe that security risks in systems are skyrocketing constantly. Consequently, Security Assessment is now considered as one of primary security mechanisms to measure assurance of systems since systems that are not compliant with security requirements may lead adversaries to access critical information by circumventing security practices. In order to ensure security, considerable efforts have been spent to develop security regulations by facilitating security best-practices. Applying shared security standards to the system is critical to understand vulnerabilities and prevent well-known threats from exploiting vulnerabilities. However, many end users tend to change configurations of their systems without paying attention to the security. Hence, it is not straightforward to protect systems from being changed by unconscious users in a timely manner. Detecting the installation of harmful applications is not sufficient since attackers may exploit risky software as well as commonly used software. In addition, checking the assurance of security configurations periodically is disadvantageous in terms of time and cost due to zero-day attacks and the timing attacks that can leverage the window between each security checks. Therefore, event-driven monitoring approach is critical to continuously assess security of a target system without ignoring a particular window between security checks and lessen the burden of exhausted task to inspect the entire configurations in the system. Furthermore, the system should be able to generate a vulnerability report for any change initiated by a user if such changes refer to the requirements in the standards and turn out to be vulnerable. Assessing various systems in distributed environments also requires to consistently applying standards to each environment. Such a uniformed consistent assessment is important because the way of assessment approach for detecting security vulnerabilities may vary across applications and operating systems. In this thesis, I introduce an automated event-driven security assessment framework to overcome and accommodate the aforementioned issues. I also discuss the implementation details that are based on the commercial-off-the-self technologies and testbed being established to evaluate approach. Besides, I describe evaluation results that demonstrate the effectiveness and practicality of the approaches.

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Created

Date Created
2014

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Discovering and using patterns for countering security challenges

Description

Most existing security decisions for both defending and attacking are made based on some deterministic approaches that only give binary answers. Even though these approaches can achieve low false positive rate for decision making, they have high false negative rates

Most existing security decisions for both defending and attacking are made based on some deterministic approaches that only give binary answers. Even though these approaches can achieve low false positive rate for decision making, they have high false negative rates due to the lack of accommodations to new attack methods and defense techniques. In this dissertation, I study how to discover and use patterns with uncertainty and randomness to counter security challenges. By extracting and modeling patterns in security events, I am able to handle previously unknown security events with quantified confidence, rather than simply making binary decisions. In particular, I cope with the following four real-world security challenges by modeling and analyzing with pattern-based approaches: 1) How to detect and attribute previously unknown shellcode? I propose instruction sequence abstraction that extracts coarse-grained patterns from an instruction sequence and use Markov chain-based model and support vector machines to detect and attribute shellcode; 2) How to safely mitigate routing attacks in mobile ad hoc networks? I identify routing table change patterns caused by attacks, propose an extended Dempster-Shafer theory to measure the risk of such changes, and use a risk-aware response mechanism to mitigate routing attacks; 3) How to model, understand, and guess human-chosen picture passwords? I analyze collected human-chosen picture passwords, propose selection function that models patterns in password selection, and design two algorithms to optimize password guessing paths; and 4) How to identify influential figures and events in underground social networks? I analyze collected underground social network data, identify user interaction patterns, and propose a suite of measures for systematically discovering and mining adversarial evidence. By solving these four problems, I demonstrate that discovering and using patterns could help deal with challenges in computer security, network security, human-computer interaction security, and social network security.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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Techniques for supporting prediction of security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures using Bayesian network and Markov decision process

Description

Emerging trends in cyber system security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures show that attackers have abundant resources (human and computing power), expertise and support of large organizations and possible foreign governments. In order to greatly improve the protection of critical

Emerging trends in cyber system security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures show that attackers have abundant resources (human and computing power), expertise and support of large organizations and possible foreign governments. In order to greatly improve the protection of critical cloud infrastructures, incorporation of human behavior is needed to predict potential security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures. To achieve such prediction, it is envisioned to develop a probabilistic modeling approach with the capability of accurately capturing system-wide causal relationship among the observed operational behaviors in the critical cloud infrastructure and accurately capturing probabilistic human (users’) behaviors on subsystems as the subsystems are directly interacting with humans. In our conceptual approach, the system-wide causal relationship can be captured by the Bayesian network, and the probabilistic human behavior in the subsystems can be captured by the Markov Decision Processes. The interactions between the dynamically changing state graphs of Markov Decision Processes and the dynamic causal relationships in Bayesian network are key components in such probabilistic modelling applications. In this thesis, two techniques are presented for supporting the above vision to prediction of potential security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures. The first technique is for evaluation of the conformance of the Bayesian network with the multiple MDPs. The second technique is to evaluate the dynamically changing Bayesian network structure for conformance with the rules of the Bayesian network using a graph checker algorithm. A case study and its simulation are presented to show how the two techniques support the specific parts in our conceptual approach to predicting system-wide security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Improving the Trustworthiness of Electronic Voting Systems Using Blockchain

Description

Many researchers have seen the value blockchain can add to the field of voting and many protocols have been proposed to allow voting to be conducted in a way that takes advantage of blockchains distributed and immutable structure. While blockchains

Many researchers have seen the value blockchain can add to the field of voting and many protocols have been proposed to allow voting to be conducted in a way that takes advantage of blockchains distributed and immutable structure. While blockchains immutable structure can take the place of paper records in preventing tampering it by itself is insufficient to construct a trustworthy voting system with eligibility, privacy, verifiability, and fairness requirements. Many of the protocols which strive to keep voters votes confidential, but also allow for verifiability and eligibility requirements rely on either a blind signature provided by a central authority to provide compliance with these requirements or ring signatures to prove membership in the set of voters. A blind signature issued by a central authority introduces a potential vulnerability as it allows a corrupt central authority to pass a large number of forged ballots into the mix without any detection. Ring signatures on the other hand tend to be overly resource intensive to allow for practical usage in large voting sets. The research in this thesis focuses on improving the trustworthiness of electronic voting systems by providing possible ways of avoiding or detecting corrupt central authorities while still relying upon the benefits of efficiency the blind signature provides.

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Created

Date Created
2020