arXiv daily: Cryptography and Security

arXiv daily: Cryptography and Security (cs.CR)

1.Commercial Anti-Smishing Tools and Their Comparative Effectiveness Against Modern Threats

Authors:Daniel Timko, Muhammad Lutfor Rahman

Abstract: Smishing, also known as SMS phishing, is a type of fraudulent communication in which an attacker disguises SMS communications to deceive a target into providing their sensitive data. Smishing attacks use a variety of tactics; however, they have a similar goal of stealing money or personally identifying information (PII) from a victim. In response to these attacks, a wide variety of anti-smishing tools have been developed to block or filter these communications. Despite this, the number of phishing attacks continue to rise. In this paper, we developed a test bed for measuring the effectiveness of popular anti-smishing tools against fresh smishing attacks. To collect fresh smishing data, we introduce Smishtank.com, a collaborative online resource for reporting and collecting smishing data sets. The SMS messages were validated by a security expert and an in-depth qualitative analysis was performed on the collected messages to provide further insights. To compare tool effectiveness, we experimented with 20 smishing and benign messages across 3 key segments of the SMS messaging delivery ecosystem. Our results revealed significant room for improvement in all 3 areas against our smishing set. Most anti-phishing apps and bulk messaging services didn't filter smishing messages beyond the carrier blocking. The 2 apps that blocked the most smish also blocked 85-100\% of benign messages. Finally, while carriers did not block any benign messages, they were only able to reach a 25-35\% blocking rate for smishing messages. Our work provides insights into the performance of anti-smishing tools and the roles they play in the message blocking process. This paper would enable the research community and industry to be better informed on the current state of anti-smishing technology on the SMS platform.

2.Detecting Unknown Attacks in IoT Environments: An Open Set Classifier for Enhanced Network Intrusion Detection

Authors:Yasir Ali Farrukh, Syed Wali, Irfan Khan, Nathaniel D. Bastian

Abstract: The widespread integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices across all facets of life has ushered in an era of interconnectedness, creating new avenues for cybersecurity challenges and underscoring the need for robust intrusion detection systems. However, traditional security systems are designed with a closed-world perspective and often face challenges in dealing with the ever-evolving threat landscape, where new and unfamiliar attacks are constantly emerging. In this paper, we introduce a framework aimed at mitigating the open set recognition (OSR) problem in the realm of Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS) tailored for IoT environments. Our framework capitalizes on image-based representations of packet-level data, extracting spatial and temporal patterns from network traffic. Additionally, we integrate stacking and sub-clustering techniques, enabling the identification of unknown attacks by effectively modeling the complex and diverse nature of benign behavior. The empirical results prominently underscore the framework's efficacy, boasting an impressive 88\% detection rate for previously unseen attacks when compared against existing approaches and recent advancements. Future work will perform extensive experimentation across various openness levels and attack scenarios, further strengthening the adaptability and performance of our proposed solution in safeguarding IoT environments.

3.Keep your Identity Small: Privacy-preserving Client-side Fingerprinting

Authors:Alberto Fernandez-de-Retana, Igor Santos-Grueiro

Abstract: Device fingerprinting is a widely used technique that allows a third party to identify a particular device. Applications of device fingerprinting include authentication, attacker identification, or software license binding. Device fingerprinting is also used on the web as a method for identifying users. Unfortunately, one of its most widespread uses is to identify users visiting different websites and thus build their browsing history. This constitutes a specific type of web tracking that poses a threat to users' privacy. While many anti-tracking solutions have been proposed, all of them block or tamper with device fingerprinting techniques rather than just blocking their web tracking application. Therefore, users may be limited in their experience while using a website. In this paper, we propose \textit{Privacy-preserving Client-side Fingerprinting} (PCF), a new method that allows device fingerprinting on the web, while blocks the possibility of performing web tracking. To this end, PCF is built upon fingerprinting transparency: any website ought to declare its fingerprinting scripts while users will compute them in a privacy-preserving manner, limiting the resultant fingerprints for each different domain and, therefore, making web tracking not feasible.

4.Do Not Give Away My Secrets: Uncovering the Privacy Issue of Neural Code Completion Tools

Authors:Yizhan Huang, Yichen Li, Weibin Wu, Jianping Zhang, Michael R. Lyu

Abstract: Neural Code Completion Tools (NCCTs) have reshaped the field of software development, which accurately suggest contextually-relevant code snippets benefiting from language modeling techniques. However, language models may emit the training data verbatim during inference with appropriate prompts. This memorization property raises privacy concerns of commercial NCCTs about the hard-coded credential leakage, leading to unauthorized access to systems. Therefore, to answer whether NCCTs will inadvertently emit the hard-coded credential, we propose an evaluation tool called Hard-coded Credential Revealer (HCR). HCR effectively constructs test prompts from GitHub code files with credentials to trigger memorization phenomenon of commercial NCCTs. Then, HCR extracts credentials with pre-defined format from the responses by four designed filters. We apply HCR to evaluate two representative commercial NCCTs: GitHub Copilot and Amazon CodeWhisperer and successfully extracted 2,702 hard-coded credentials from Copilot and 129 secrets from CodeWhisper under the black-box setting, among which at least 3.6% and 5.4% secrets are real strings from GitHub repositories. Moreover, two operational credentials were identified. The experimental results raise the severe privacy concern of the potential leakage of hard-coded credentials in the training data of commercial NCCTs.

5.Sync+Sync: A Covert Channel Built on fsync with Storage

Authors:Qisheng Jiang, Chundong Wang

Abstract: Scientists have built a variety of covert channels for secretive information transmission with CPU cache and main memory. In this paper, we turn to a lower level in the memory hierarchy, i.e., persistent storage. Most programs store intermediate or eventual results in the form of files and some of them call fsync to synchronously persist a file with storage device for orderly persistence. Our quantitative study shows that one program would undergo significantly longer response time for fsync call if the other program is concurrently calling fsync, although they do not share any data. We further find that, concurrent fsync calls contend at multiple levels of storage stack due to sharing software structures (e.g., Ext4's journal) and hardware resources (e.g., disk's I/O dispatch queue). We accordingly build a covert channel named Sync+Sync. Sync+Sync delivers a transmission bandwidth of 20,000 bits per second at an error rate of about 0.40% with an ordinary solid-state drive. Sync+Sync can be conducted in cross-disk partition, cross-file system, cross-container, cross-virtual machine, and even cross-disk drive fashions, without sharing data between programs. Next, we launch side-channel attacks with Sync+Sync and manage to precisely detect operations of a victim database (e.g., insert/update and B-Tree node split). We also leverage Sync+Sync to distinguish applications and websites with high accuracy by detecting and analyzing their fsync frequencies and flushed data volumes. These attacks are useful to support further fine-grained information leakage.

6.From Compliance to Impact: Tracing the Transformation of an Organizational Security Awareness Program

Authors:Julie M. Haney, Wayne Lutters

Abstract: There is a growing recognition of the need for a transformation from organizational security awareness programs focused on compliance -- measured by training completion rates -- to those resulting in behavior change. However, few prior studies have begun to unpack the organizational practices of the security awareness teams tasked with executing program transformation. We conducted a year-long case study of a security awareness program in a United States (U.S.) government agency, collecting data via field observations, interviews, and documents. Our findings reveal the challenges and practices involved in the progression of a security awareness program from being compliance-focused to emphasizing impact on workforce attitudes and behaviors. We uniquely capture transformational organizational security awareness practices in action via a longitudinal study involving multiple workforce perspectives. Our study insights can serve as a resource for other security awareness programs and workforce development initiatives aimed at better defining the security awareness work role.

7.AIDPS:Adaptive Intrusion Detection and Prevention System for Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks

Authors:Soumadeep Das, Aryan Mohammadi Pasikhani, Prosanta Gope, John A. Clark, Chintan Patel, Biplab Sikdar

Abstract: Underwater Acoustic Sensor Networks (UW-ASNs) are predominantly used for underwater environments and find applications in many areas. However, a lack of security considerations, the unstable and challenging nature of the underwater environment, and the resource-constrained nature of the sensor nodes used for UW-ASNs (which makes them incapable of adopting security primitives) make the UW-ASN prone to vulnerabilities. This paper proposes an Adaptive decentralised Intrusion Detection and Prevention System called AIDPS for UW-ASNs. The proposed AIDPS can improve the security of the UW-ASNs so that they can efficiently detect underwater-related attacks (e.g., blackhole, grayhole and flooding attacks). To determine the most effective configuration of the proposed construction, we conduct a number of experiments using several state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms (e.g., Adaptive Random Forest (ARF), light gradient-boosting machine, and K-nearest neighbours) and concept drift detection algorithms (e.g., ADWIN, kdqTree, and Page-Hinkley). Our experimental results show that incremental ARF using ADWIN provides optimal performance when implemented with One-class support vector machine (SVM) anomaly-based detectors. Furthermore, our extensive evaluation results also show that the proposed scheme outperforms state-of-the-art bench-marking methods while providing a wider range of desirable features such as scalability and complexity.

8.RIS-Assisted Physical Layer Authentication for 6G Endogenous Security

Authors:Ning Gao, Cen Li, Shengguo Meng, Wankai Tang, Shuchen Meng, Shi Jin, Michail Matthaiou

Abstract: The physical layer authentication (PLA) is a promising technology which can enhance the access security of a massive number of devices in the near future. In this paper, we propose a reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS)-assisted PLA system, in which the legitimate transmitter can customize the channel fingerprints during PLA by controlling the ON-OFF state of the RIS. Without loss of generality, we use the received signal strength (RSS) based spoofing detection approach to analyze the feasibility of the proposed architecture. Specifically, based on the RSS, we derive the statistical properties of PLA and give some interesting insights, which showcase that the RIS-assisted PLA is theoretically feasible. Then, we derive the optimal detection threshold to maximize the performance in the context of the presented performance metrics. Next, the actual feasibility of the proposed system is verified via proof-of-concept experiments on a RIS-assisted PLA prototype platform. The experiment results show that there are 3.5% and 76% performance improvements when the transmission sources are at different locations and at the same location, respectively.

9.TGh: A TEE/GC Hybrid Enabling Confidential FaaS Platforms

Authors:James Choncholas, Ketan Bhardwaj, Ada Gavrilovska

Abstract: Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) suffer from performance issues when executing certain management instructions, such as creating an enclave, context switching in and out of protected mode, and swapping cached pages. This is especially problematic for short-running, interactive functions in Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) platforms, where existing techniques to address enclave overheads are insufficient. We find FaaS functions can spend more time managing the enclave than executing application instructions. In this work, we propose a TEE/GC hybrid (TGh) protocol to enable confidential FaaS platforms. TGh moves computation out of the enclave onto the untrusted host using garbled circuits (GC), a cryptographic construction for secure function evaluation. Our approach retains the security guarantees of enclaves while avoiding the performance issues associated with enclave management instructions.

10.The Nonce-nce of Web Security: an Investigation of CSP Nonces Reuse

Authors:Matteo Golinelli, Francesco Bonomi, Bruno Crispo

Abstract: Content Security Policy (CSP) is an effective security mechanism that prevents the exploitation of Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities on websites by specifying the sources from which their web pages can load resources, such as scripts and styles. CSP nonces enable websites to allow the execution of specific inline scripts and styles without relying on a whitelist. In this study, we measure and analyze the use of CSP nonces in the wild, specifically looking for nonce reuse, short nonces, and invalid nonces. We find that, of the 2271 sites that deploy a nonce-based policy, 598 of them reuse the same nonce value in more than one response, potentially enabling attackers to bypass protection offered by the CSP against XSS attacks. We analyze the causes of the nonce reuses to identify whether they are introduced by the server-side code or if the nonces are being cached by web caches. Moreover, we investigate whether nonces are only reused within the same session or for different sessions, as this impacts the effectiveness of CSP in preventing XSS attacks. Finally, we discuss the possibilities for attackers to bypass the CSP and achieve XSS in different nonce reuse scenarios.

11.Two Timin': Repairing Smart Contracts With A Two-Layered Approach

Authors:Abhinav Jain, Ehan Masud, Michelle Han, Rohan Dhillon, Sumukh Rao, Arya Joshi, Salar Cheema, Saurav Kumar

Abstract: Due to the modern relevance of blockchain technology, smart contracts present both substantial risks and benefits. Vulnerabilities within them can trigger a cascade of consequences, resulting in significant losses. Many current papers primarily focus on classifying smart contracts for malicious intent, often relying on limited contract characteristics, such as bytecode or opcode. This paper proposes a novel, two-layered framework: 1) classifying and 2) directly repairing malicious contracts. Slither's vulnerability report is combined with source code and passed through a pre-trained RandomForestClassifier (RFC) and Large Language Models (LLMs), classifying and repairing each suggested vulnerability. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of fine-tuned and prompt-engineered LLMs. The smart contract repair models, built from pre-trained GPT-3.5-Turbo and fine-tuned Llama-2-7B models, reduced the overall vulnerability count by 97.5% and 96.7% respectively. A manual inspection of repaired contracts shows that all retain functionality, indicating that the proposed method is appropriate for automatic batch classification and repair of vulnerabilities in smart contracts.

1.DP-Forward: Fine-tuning and Inference on Language Models with Differential Privacy in Forward Pass

Authors:Minxin Du, Xiang Yue, Sherman S. M. Chow, Tianhao Wang, Chenyu Huang, Huan Sun

Abstract: Differentially private stochastic gradient descent (DP-SGD) adds noise to gradients in back-propagation, safeguarding training data from privacy leakage, particularly membership inference. It fails to cover (inference-time) threats like embedding inversion and sensitive attribute inference. It is also costly in storage and computation when used to fine-tune large pre-trained language models (LMs). We propose DP-Forward, which directly perturbs embedding matrices in the forward pass of LMs. It satisfies stringent local DP requirements for training and inference data. To instantiate it using the smallest matrix-valued noise, we devise an analytic matrix Gaussian~mechanism (aMGM) by drawing possibly non-i.i.d. noise from a matrix Gaussian distribution. We then investigate perturbing outputs from different hidden (sub-)layers of LMs with aMGM noises. Its utility on three typical tasks almost hits the non-private baseline and outperforms DP-SGD by up to 7.7pp at a moderate privacy level. It saves 3$\times$ time and memory costs compared to DP-SGD with the latest high-speed library. It also reduces the average success rates of embedding inversion and sensitive attribute inference by up to 88pp and 41pp, respectively, whereas DP-SGD fails.

2.ZKROWNN: Zero Knowledge Right of Ownership for Neural Networks

Authors:Nojan Sheybani, Zahra Ghodsi, Ritvik Kapila, Farinaz Koushanfar

Abstract: Training contemporary AI models requires investment in procuring learning data and computing resources, making the models intellectual property of the owners. Popular model watermarking solutions rely on key input triggers for detection; the keys have to be kept private to prevent discovery, forging, and removal of the hidden signatures. We present ZKROWNN, the first automated end-to-end framework utilizing Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP) that enable an entity to validate their ownership of a model, while preserving the privacy of the watermarks. ZKROWNN permits a third party client to verify model ownership in less than a second, requiring as little as a few KBs of communication.

3.Robustness for Spectral Clustering of General Graphs under Local Differential Privacy

Authors:Sayan Mukherjee, Vorapong Suppakitpaisarn

Abstract: Spectral clustering is a widely used algorithm to find clusters in networks. Several researchers have studied the stability of spectral clustering under local differential privacy with the additional assumption that the underlying networks are generated from the stochastic block model (SBM). However, we argue that this assumption is too restrictive since social networks do not originate from the SBM. Thus, delve into an analysis for general graphs in this work. Our primary focus is the edge flipping method -- a common technique for protecting local differential privacy. On a positive side, our findings suggest that even when the edges of an $n$-vertex graph satisfying some reasonable well-clustering assumptions are flipped with a probability of $O(\log n/n)$, the clustering outcomes are largely consistent. Empirical tests further corroborate these theoretical findings. Conversely, although clustering outcomes have been stable for dense and well-clustered graphs produced from the SBM, we show that in general, spectral clustering may yield highly erratic results on certain dense and well-clustered graphs when the flipping probability is $\omega(\log n/n)$. This indicates that the best privacy budget obtainable for general graphs is $\Theta(\log n)$.

4.PhantomSound: Black-Box, Query-Efficient Audio Adversarial Attack via Split-Second Phoneme Injection

Authors:Hanqing Guo, Guangjing Wang, Yuanda Wang, Bocheng Chen, Qiben Yan, Li Xiao

Abstract: In this paper, we propose PhantomSound, a query-efficient black-box attack toward voice assistants. Existing black-box adversarial attacks on voice assistants either apply substitution models or leverage the intermediate model output to estimate the gradients for crafting adversarial audio samples. However, these attack approaches require a significant amount of queries with a lengthy training stage. PhantomSound leverages the decision-based attack to produce effective adversarial audios, and reduces the number of queries by optimizing the gradient estimation. In the experiments, we perform our attack against 4 different speech-to-text APIs under 3 real-world scenarios to demonstrate the real-time attack impact. The results show that PhantomSound is practical and robust in attacking 5 popular commercial voice controllable devices over the air, and is able to bypass 3 liveness detection mechanisms with >95% success rate. The benchmark result shows that PhantomSound can generate adversarial examples and launch the attack in a few minutes. We significantly enhance the query efficiency and reduce the cost of a successful untargeted and targeted adversarial attack by 93.1% and 65.5% compared with the state-of-the-art black-box attacks, using merely ~300 queries (~5 minutes) and ~1,500 queries (~25 minutes), respectively.

5.MASTERKEY: Practical Backdoor Attack Against Speaker Verification Systems

Authors:Hanqing Guo, Xun Chen, Junfeng Guo, Li Xiao, Qiben Yan

Abstract: Speaker Verification (SV) is widely deployed in mobile systems to authenticate legitimate users by using their voice traits. In this work, we propose a backdoor attack MASTERKEY, to compromise the SV models. Different from previous attacks, we focus on a real-world practical setting where the attacker possesses no knowledge of the intended victim. To design MASTERKEY, we investigate the limitation of existing poisoning attacks against unseen targets. Then, we optimize a universal backdoor that is capable of attacking arbitrary targets. Next, we embed the speaker's characteristics and semantics information into the backdoor, making it imperceptible. Finally, we estimate the channel distortion and integrate it into the backdoor. We validate our attack on 6 popular SV models. Specifically, we poison a total of 53 models and use our trigger to attack 16,430 enrolled speakers, composed of 310 target speakers enrolled in 53 poisoned models. Our attack achieves 100% attack success rate with a 15% poison rate. By decreasing the poison rate to 3%, the attack success rate remains around 50%. We validate our attack in 3 real-world scenarios and successfully demonstrate the attack through both over-the-air and over-the-telephony-line scenarios.

6.Communication-Efficient Laplace Mechanism for Differential Privacy via Random Quantization

Authors:Ali Moradi Shahmiri, Chih Wei Ling, Cheuk Ting Li

Abstract: We propose the first method that realizes the Laplace mechanism exactly (i.e., a Laplace noise is added to the data) that requires only a finite amount of communication (whereas the original Laplace mechanism requires the transmission of a real number) while guaranteeing privacy against the server and database. Our mechanism can serve as a drop-in replacement for local or centralized differential privacy applications where the Laplace mechanism is used. Our mechanism is constructed using a random quantization technique. Unlike the simple and prevalent Laplace-mechanism-then-quantize approach, the quantization in our mechanism does not result in any distortion or degradation of utility. Unlike existing dithered quantization and channel simulation schemes for simulating additive Laplacian noise, our mechanism guarantees privacy not only against the database and downstream, but also against the honest but curious server which attempts to decode the data using the dither signals.

7.Cryptography: Against AI and QAI Odds

Authors:Sheetal Harris, Hassan Jalil Hadi, Umer Zukaib

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents prodigious technological prospects for development, however, all that glitters is not gold! The cyber-world faces the worst nightmare with the advent of AI and quantum computers. Together with Quantum Artificial Intelligence (QAI), they pose a catastrophic threat to modern cryptography. It would also increase the capability of cryptanalysts manifold, with its built-in persistent and extensive predictive intelligence. This prediction ability incapacitates the constrained message space in device cryptography. With the comparison of these assumptions and the intercepted ciphertext, the code-cracking process will considerably accelerate. Before the vigorous and robust developments in AI, we have never faced and never had to prepare for such a plaintext-originating attack. The supremacy of AI can be challenged by creating ciphertexts that would give the AI attacker erroneous responses stymied by randomness and misdirect them. AI threat is deterred by deviating from the conventional use of small, known-size keys and pattern-loaded ciphers. The strategy is vested in implementing larger secret size keys, supplemented by ad-hoc unilateral randomness of unbound limitations and a pattern-devoid technique. The very large key size can be handled with low processing and computational burden to achieve desired unicity distances. The strategy against AI odds is feasible by implementing non-algorithmic randomness, large and inexpensive memory chips, and wide-area communication networks. The strength of AI, i.e., randomness and pattern detection can be used to generate highly optimized ciphers and algorithms. These pattern-devoid, randomness-rich ciphers also provide a timely and plausible solution for NIST's proactive approach toward the quantum challenge.

8.A Comprehensive Analysis of the Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Modern Digital Forensics and Incident Response

Authors:Dipo Dunsin, Mohamed C. Ghanem, Karim Ouazzane, Vassil Vassilev

Abstract: In the dynamic landscape of digital forensics, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) stands as a transformative technology, poised to amplify the efficiency and precision of digital forensics investigations. However, the use of ML and AI in digital forensics is still in its nascent stages. As a result, this paper gives a thorough and in-depth analysis that goes beyond a simple survey and review. The goal is to look closely at how AI and ML techniques are used in digital forensics and incident response. This research explores cutting-edge research initiatives that cross domains such as data collection and recovery, the intricate reconstruction of cybercrime timelines, robust big data analysis, pattern recognition, safeguarding the chain of custody, and orchestrating responsive strategies to hacking incidents. This endeavour digs far beneath the surface to unearth the intricate ways AI-driven methodologies are shaping these crucial facets of digital forensics practice. While the promise of AI in digital forensics is evident, the challenges arising from increasing database sizes and evolving criminal tactics necessitate ongoing collaborative research and refinement within the digital forensics profession. This study examines the contributions, limitations, and gaps in the existing research, shedding light on the potential and limitations of AI and ML techniques. By exploring these different research areas, we highlight the critical need for strategic planning, continual research, and development to unlock AI's full potential in digital forensics and incident response. Ultimately, this paper underscores the significance of AI and ML integration in digital forensics, offering insights into their benefits, drawbacks, and broader implications for tackling modern cyber threats.

1.CToMP: A Cycle-task-oriented Memory Protection Scheme for Unmanned Systems

Authors:Chengyan Ma, Ning Xi, Di Lu, Yebo Feng, Jianfeng Ma

Abstract: Memory corruption attacks (MCAs) refer to malicious behaviors of system intruders that modify the contents of a memory location to disrupt the normal operation of computing systems, causing leakage of sensitive data or perturbations to ongoing processes. Unlike general-purpose systems, unmanned systems cannot deploy complete security protection schemes, due to their limitations in size, cost and performance. MCAs in unmanned systems are particularly difficult to defend against. Furthermore, MCAs have diverse and unpredictable attack interfaces in unmanned systems, severely impacting digital and physical sectors. In this paper, we first generalize, model and taxonomize MCAs found in unmanned systems currently, laying the foundation for designing a portable and general defense approach. According to different attack mechanisms, we found that MCAs are mainly categorized into two types--return2libc and return2shellcode. To tackle return2libc attacks, we model the erratic operation of unmanned systems with cycles and then propose a cycle-task-oriented memory protection (CToMP) approach to protect control flows from tampering. To defend against return2shellcode attacks, we introduce a secure process stack with a randomized memory address by leveraging the memory pool to prevent Shellcode from being executed. Moreover, we discuss the mechanism by which CToMP resists the ROP attack, a novel variant of return2libc attacks. Finally, we implement CToMP on CUAV V5+ with Ardupilot and Crazyflie. The evaluation and security analysis results demonstrate that the proposed approach CToMP is resilient to various MCAs in unmanned systems with low footprints and system overhead.

2.Backdoor Attacks and Countermeasures in Natural Language Processing Models: A Comprehensive Security Review

Authors:Pengzhou Cheng, Zongru Wu, Wei Du, Gongshen Liu

Abstract: Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) have led to unprecedented progress in various natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Owing to limited data and computation resources, using third-party data and models has become a new paradigm for adapting various tasks. However, research shows that it has some potential security vulnerabilities because attackers can manipulate the training process and data source. Such a way can set specific triggers, making the model exhibit expected behaviors that have little inferior influence on the model's performance for primitive tasks, called backdoor attacks. Hence, it could have dire consequences, especially considering that the backdoor attack surfaces are broad. To get a precise grasp and understanding of this problem, a systematic and comprehensive review is required to confront various security challenges from different phases and attack purposes. Additionally, there is a dearth of analysis and comparison of the various emerging backdoor countermeasures in this situation.In this paper, we conduct a timely review of backdoor attacks and countermeasures to sound the red alarm for the NLP security community. According to the affected stage of the machine learning pipeline, the attack surfaces are recognized to be wide and then formalized into three categorizations: attacking pre-trained model with fine-tuning (APMF) or prompt-tuning (APMP), and attacking final model with training (AFMT), where AFMT can be subdivided into different attack aims. Thus, attacks under each categorization are combed. The countermeasures are categorized into two general classes: sample inspection and model inspection. Overall, the research on the defense side is far behind the attack side, and there is no single defense that can prevent all types of backdoor attacks. An attacker can intelligently bypass existing defenses with a more invisible attack. ......

3.Verifiable Fairness: Privacy-preserving Computation of Fairness for Machine Learning Systems

Authors:Ehsan Toreini, Maryam Mehrnezhad, Aad van Moorsel

Abstract: Fair machine learning is a thriving and vibrant research topic. In this paper, we propose Fairness as a Service (FaaS), a secure, verifiable and privacy-preserving protocol to computes and verify the fairness of any machine learning (ML) model. In the deisgn of FaaS, the data and outcomes are represented through cryptograms to ensure privacy. Also, zero knowledge proofs guarantee the well-formedness of the cryptograms and underlying data. FaaS is model--agnostic and can support various fairness metrics; hence, it can be used as a service to audit the fairness of any ML model. Our solution requires no trusted third party or private channels for the computation of the fairness metric. The security guarantees and commitments are implemented in a way that every step is securely transparent and verifiable from the start to the end of the process. The cryptograms of all input data are publicly available for everyone, e.g., auditors, social activists and experts, to verify the correctness of the process. We implemented FaaS to investigate performance and demonstrate the successful use of FaaS for a publicly available data set with thousands of entries.

4.HoneyEVSE: An Honeypot to emulate Electric Vehicle Supply Equipments

Authors:Massimiliano Baldo, Tommaso Bianchi, Mauro Conti, Alessio Trevisan, Federico Turrin

Abstract: To fight climate change, new "green" technology are emerging, most of them using electricity as a power source. Among the solutions, Electric Vehicles (EVs) represent a central asset in the future transport system. EVs require a complex infrastructure to enable the so-called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) paradigm to manage the charging process between the smart grid and the EV. In this paradigm, the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), or charging station, is the end device that authenticates the vehicle and delivers the power to charge it. However, since an EVSE is publicly exposed and connected to the Internet, recent works show how an attacker with physical tampering and remote access can target an EVSE, exposing the security of the entire infrastructure and the final user. For this reason, it is important to develop novel strategies to secure such infrastructures. In this paper we present HoneyEVSE, the first honeypot conceived to simulate an EVSE. HoneyEVSE can simulate with high fidelity the EV charging process and, at the same time, enables a user to interact with it through a dashboard. Furthermore, based on other charging columns exposed on the Internet, we emulate the login and device information pages to increase user engagement. We exposed HoneyEVSE for 30 days to the Internet to assess its capability and measured the interaction received with its Shodan Honeyscore. Results show that HoneyEVSE can successfully evade the Shodan honeyscore metric while attracting a high number of interactions on the exposed services.

5.Unveiling Signle-Bit-Flip Attacks on DNN Executables

Authors:Yanzuo Chen The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Zhibo Liu The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Yuanyuan Yuan The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Sihang Hu Huawei Technologies, Tianxiang Li Huawei Technologies, Shuai Wang The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Abstract: Recent research has shown that bit-flip attacks (BFAs) can manipulate deep neural networks (DNNs) via DRAM Rowhammer exploitations. Existing attacks are primarily launched over high-level DNN frameworks like PyTorch and flip bits in model weight files. Nevertheless, DNNs are frequently compiled into low-level executables by deep learning (DL) compilers to fully leverage low-level hardware primitives. The compiled code is usually high-speed and manifests dramatically distinct execution paradigms from high-level DNN frameworks. In this paper, we launch the first systematic study on the attack surface of BFA specifically for DNN executables compiled by DL compilers. We design an automated search tool to identify vulnerable bits in DNN executables and identify practical attack vectors that exploit the model structure in DNN executables with BFAs (whereas prior works make likely strong assumptions to attack model weights). DNN executables appear more "opaque" than models in high-level DNN frameworks. Nevertheless, we find that DNN executables contain extensive, severe (e.g., single-bit flip), and transferrable attack surfaces that are not present in high-level DNN models and can be exploited to deplete full model intelligence and control output labels. Our finding calls for incorporating security mechanisms in future DNN compilation toolchains.

6.Systematic Evaluation of Geolocation Privacy Mechanisms

Authors:Alban Héon, Ryan Sheatsley, Quinn Burke, Blaine Hoak, Eric Pauley, Yohan Beugin, Patrick McDaniel

Abstract: Location data privacy has become a serious concern for users as Location Based Services (LBSs) have become an important part of their life. It is possible for malicious parties having access to geolocation data to learn sensitive information about the user such as religion or political views. Location Privacy Preserving Mechanisms (LPPMs) have been proposed by previous works to ensure the privacy of the shared data while allowing the users to use LBSs. But there is no clear view of which mechanism to use according to the scenario in which the user makes use of a LBS. The scenario is the way the user is using a LBS (frequency of reports, number of reports). In this paper, we study the sensitivity of LPPMs on the scenario on which they are used. We propose a framework to systematically evaluate LPPMs by considering an exhaustive combination of LPPMs, attacks and metrics. Using our framework we compare a selection of LPPMs including an improved mechanism that we introduce. By evaluating over a variety of scenarios, we find that the efficacy (privacy, utility, and robustness) of the studied mechanisms is dependent on the scenario: for example the privacy of Planar Laplace geo-indistinguishability is greatly reduced in a continuous scenario. We show that the scenario is essential to consider when choosing an obfuscation mechanism for a given application.

1.FuzzLLM: A Novel and Universal Fuzzing Framework for Proactively Discovering Jailbreak Vulnerabilities in Large Language Models

Authors:Dongyu Yao, Jianshu Zhang, Ian G. Harris, Marcel Carlsson

Abstract: Jailbreak vulnerabilities in Large Language Models (LLMs), which exploit meticulously crafted prompts to elicit content that violates service guidelines, have captured the attention of research communities. While model owners can defend against individual jailbreak prompts through safety training strategies, this relatively passive approach struggles to handle the broader category of similar jailbreaks. To tackle this issue, we introduce FuzzLLM, an automated fuzzing framework designed to proactively test and discover jailbreak vulnerabilities in LLMs. We utilize templates to capture the structural integrity of a prompt and isolate key features of a jailbreak class as constraints. By integrating different base classes into powerful combo attacks and varying the elements of constraints and prohibited questions, FuzzLLM enables efficient testing with reduced manual effort. Extensive experiments demonstrate FuzzLLM's effectiveness and comprehensiveness in vulnerability discovery across various LLMs.

2.Unveiling the Sentinels: Assessing AI Performance in Cybersecurity Peer Review

Authors:Liang Niu, Nian Xue, Christina Pöpper

Abstract: Peer review is the method employed by the scientific community for evaluating research advancements. In the field of cybersecurity, the practice of double-blind peer review is the de-facto standard. This paper touches on the holy grail of peer reviewing and aims to shed light on the performance of AI in reviewing for academic security conferences. Specifically, we investigate the predictability of reviewing outcomes by comparing the results obtained from human reviewers and machine-learning models. To facilitate our study, we construct a comprehensive dataset by collecting thousands of papers from renowned computer science conferences and the arXiv preprint website. Based on the collected data, we evaluate the prediction capabilities of ChatGPT and a two-stage classification approach based on the Doc2Vec model with various classifiers. Our experimental evaluation of review outcome prediction using the Doc2Vec-based approach performs significantly better than the ChatGPT and achieves an accuracy of over 90%. While analyzing the experimental results, we identify the potential advantages and limitations of the tested ML models. We explore areas within the paper-reviewing process that can benefit from automated support approaches, while also recognizing the irreplaceable role of human intellect in certain aspects that cannot be matched by state-of-the-art AI techniques.

3.Classification of Quantum Computer Fault Injection Attacks

Authors:Chuanqi Xu, Ferhat Erata, Jakub Szefer

Abstract: The rapid growth of interest in quantum computing has brought about the need to secure these powerful machines against a range of physical attacks. As qubit counts increase and quantum computers achieve higher levels of fidelity, their potential to execute novel algorithms and generate sensitive intellectual property becomes more promising. However, there is a significant gap in our understanding of the vulnerabilities these computers face in terms of security and privacy attacks. Among the potential threats are physical attacks, including those orchestrated by malicious insiders within data centers where the quantum computers are located, which could compromise the integrity of computations and resulting data. This paper presents an exploration of fault-injection attacks as one class of physical attacks on quantum computers. This work first introduces a classification of fault-injection attacks and strategies, including the domain of fault-injection attacks, the fault targets, and fault manifestations in quantum computers. The resulting classification highlights the potential threats that exist. By shedding light on the vulnerabilities of quantum computers to fault-injection attacks, this work contributes to the development of robust security measures for this emerging technology.

4.D2WFP: A Novel Protocol for Forensically Identifying, Extracting, and Analysing Deep and Dark Web Browsing Activities

Authors:Mohamed Chahine Ghanem, Patrick Mulvihill, Karim Ouazzane, Ramzi Djemai, Dipo Dunsin

Abstract: The use of the un-indexed web, commonly known as the deep web and dark web, to commit or facilitate criminal activity has drastically increased over the past decade. The dark web is an in-famously dangerous place where all kinds of criminal activities take place [1-2], despite advances in web forensics techniques, tools, and methodologies, few studies have formally tackled the dark and deep web forensics and the technical differences in terms of investigative techniques and artefacts identification and extraction. This research proposes a novel and comprehensive protocol to guide and assist digital forensics professionals in investigating crimes committed on or via the deep and dark web, The protocol named D2WFP establishes a new sequential approach for performing investigative activities by observing the order of volatility and implementing a systemic approach covering all browsing related hives and artefacts which ultimately resulted into improv-ing the accuracy and effectiveness. Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research has been conducted by assessing D2WFP following a scientifically-sound and comprehensive process in different scenarios and the obtained results show an apparent increase in the number of artefacts re-covered when adopting D2WFP which outperform any current industry or opensource browsing forensics tools. The second contribution of D2WFP is the robust formulation of artefact correlation and cross-validation within D2WFP which enables digital forensics professionals to better document and structure their analysis of host-based deep and dark web browsing artefacts.

5.Multiplierless Design of High-Speed Very Large Constant Multiplications

Authors:Levent Aksoy, Debapriya Basu Roy, Malik Imran, Samuel Pagliarini

Abstract: In cryptographic algorithms, the constants to be multiplied by a variable can be very large due to security requirements. Thus, the hardware complexity of such algorithms heavily depends on the design architecture handling large constants. In this paper, we introduce an electronic design automation tool, called LEIGER, which can automatically generate the realizations of very large constant multiplications for low-complexity and high-speed applications, targeting the ASIC design platform. LEIGER can utilize the shift-adds architecture and use 3-input operations, i.e., carry-save adders (CSAs), where the number of CSAs is reduced using a prominent optimization algorithm. It can also generate constant multiplications under a hybrid design architecture, where 2-and 3-input operations are used at different stages. Moreover, it can describe constant multiplications under a design architecture using compressor trees. As a case study, high-speed Montgomery multiplication, which is a fundamental operation in cryptographic algorithms, is designed with its constant multiplication block realized under the proposed architectures. Experimental results indicate that LEIGER enables a designer to explore the trade-off between area and delay of the very large constant and Montgomery multiplications and leads to designs with area-delay product, latency, and energy consumption values significantly better than those obtained by a recently proposed algorithm.

6.Privacy Side Channels in Machine Learning Systems

Authors:Edoardo Debenedetti, Giorgio Severi, Nicholas Carlini, Christopher A. Choquette-Choo, Matthew Jagielski, Milad Nasr, Eric Wallace, Florian Tramèr

Abstract: Most current approaches for protecting privacy in machine learning (ML) assume that models exist in a vacuum, when in reality, ML models are part of larger systems that include components for training data filtering, output monitoring, and more. In this work, we introduce privacy side channels: attacks that exploit these system-level components to extract private information at far higher rates than is otherwise possible for standalone models. We propose four categories of side channels that span the entire ML lifecycle (training data filtering, input preprocessing, output post-processing, and query filtering) and allow for either enhanced membership inference attacks or even novel threats such as extracting users' test queries. For example, we show that deduplicating training data before applying differentially-private training creates a side-channel that completely invalidates any provable privacy guarantees. Moreover, we show that systems which block language models from regenerating training data can be exploited to allow exact reconstruction of private keys contained in the training set -- even if the model did not memorize these keys. Taken together, our results demonstrate the need for a holistic, end-to-end privacy analysis of machine learning.

7.A Novel Supervised Deep Learning Solution to Detect Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Edge Systems using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)

Authors:Vedanth Ramanathan, Krish Mahadevan, Sejal Dua

Abstract: Cybersecurity attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pose a growing threat to individuals, and private and public sectors. Distributed Denial of Service attacks are one of the most harmful of these threats in today's internet, disrupting the availability of essential services. This project presents a novel deep learning-based approach for detecting DDoS attacks in network traffic using the industry-recognized DDoS evaluation dataset from the University of New Brunswick, which contains packet captures from real-time DDoS attacks, creating a broader and more applicable model for the real world. The algorithm employed in this study exploits the properties of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and common deep learning algorithms to build a novel mitigation technique that classifies benign and malicious traffic. The proposed model preprocesses the data by extracting packet flows and normalizing them to a fixed length which is fed into a custom architecture containing layers regulating node dropout, normalization, and a sigmoid activation function to out a binary classification. This allows for the model to process the flows effectively and look for the nodes that contribute to DDoS attacks while dropping the "noise" or the distractors. The results of this study demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in detecting DDOS attacks, achieving an accuracy of .9883 on 2000 unseen flows in network traffic, while being scalable for any network environment.

1.Blockchain-enabled Data Governance for Privacy-Preserved Sharing of Confidential Data

Authors:Jingchi Zhang, Anwitaman Datta

Abstract: In a traditional cloud storage system, users benefit from the convenience it provides but also take the risk of certain security and privacy issues. To ensure confidentiality while maintaining data sharing capabilities, the Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-based Encryption (CP-ABE) scheme can be used to achieve fine-grained access control in cloud services. However, existing approaches are impaired by three critical concerns: illegal authorization, key disclosure, and privacy leakage. To address these, we propose a blockchain-based data governance system that employs blockchain technology and attribute-based encryption to prevent privacy leakage and credential misuse. First, our ABE encryption system can handle multi-authority use cases while protecting identity privacy and hiding access policy, which also protects data sharing against corrupt authorities. Second, applying the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for data encryption makes the whole system efficient and responsive to real-world conditions. Furthermore, the encrypted data is stored in a decentralized storage system such as IPFS, which does not rely on any centralized service provider and is, therefore, resilient against single-point failures. Third, illegal authorization activity can be readily identified through the logged on-chain data. Besides the system design, we also provide security proofs to demonstrate the robustness of the proposed system.

2.Two-Dimensional Dynamic Fusion for Continuous Authentication

Authors:Nuttapong Attrapadung, Goichiro Hanaoka, Haochen M. Kotoi-Xie, Takahiro Matsuda, Takumi Moriyama, Takao Murakami, Hidenori Nakamura, Jacob C. N. Schuldt, Masaaki Tokuyama, Jing Zhang

Abstract: Continuous authentication has been widely studied to provide high security and usability for mobile devices by continuously monitoring and authenticating users. Recent studies adopt multibiometric fusion for continuous authentication to provide high accuracy even when some of captured biometric data are of a low quality. However, existing continuous fusion approaches are resource-heavy as they rely on all classifiers being activated all the time and may not be suitable for mobile devices. In this paper, we propose a new approach to multibiometric continuous authentication: two-dimensional dynamic fusion. Our key insight is that multibiometric continuous authentication calculates two-dimensional matching scores over classifiers and over time. Based on this, we dynamically select a set of classifiers based on the context in which authentication is taking place, and fuse matching scores by multi-classifier fusion and multi-sample fusion. Through experimental evaluation, we show that our approach provides a better balance between resource usage and accuracy than the existing fusion methods. In particular, we show that our approach provides higher accuracy than the existing methods with the same number of score calculations by adopting multi-sample fusion.

1.The Adversarial Implications of Variable-Time Inference

Authors:Dudi Biton, Aditi Misra, Efrat Levy, Jaidip Kotak, Ron Bitton, Roei Schuster, Nicolas Papernot, Yuval Elovici, Ben Nassi

Abstract: Machine learning (ML) models are known to be vulnerable to a number of attacks that target the integrity of their predictions or the privacy of their training data. To carry out these attacks, a black-box adversary must typically possess the ability to query the model and observe its outputs (e.g., labels). In this work, we demonstrate, for the first time, the ability to enhance such decision-based attacks. To accomplish this, we present an approach that exploits a novel side channel in which the adversary simply measures the execution time of the algorithm used to post-process the predictions of the ML model under attack. The leakage of inference-state elements into algorithmic timing side channels has never been studied before, and we have found that it can contain rich information that facilitates superior timing attacks that significantly outperform attacks based solely on label outputs. In a case study, we investigate leakage from the non-maximum suppression (NMS) algorithm, which plays a crucial role in the operation of object detectors. In our examination of the timing side-channel vulnerabilities associated with this algorithm, we identified the potential to enhance decision-based attacks. We demonstrate attacks against the YOLOv3 detector, leveraging the timing leakage to successfully evade object detection using adversarial examples, and perform dataset inference. Our experiments show that our adversarial examples exhibit superior perturbation quality compared to a decision-based attack. In addition, we present a new threat model in which dataset inference based solely on timing leakage is performed. To address the timing leakage vulnerability inherent in the NMS algorithm, we explore the potential and limitations of implementing constant-time inference passes as a mitigation strategy.

2.Second International Workshop on Adaptive Cyber Defense, 2023

Authors:Li Li, Jean-Pierre S. El Rami, Ryan Kerr, Adrian Taylor, Grant Vandenberghe

Abstract: Recently, reinforcement and deep reinforcement learning (RL/DRL) have been applied to develop autonomous agents for cyber network operations(CyOps), where the agents are trained in a representative environment using RL and particularly DRL algorithms. The training environment must simulate CyOps with high fidelity, which the agent aims to learn and accomplish. A good simulator is hard to achieve due to the extreme complexity of the cyber environment. The trained agent must also be generalizable to network variations because operational cyber networks change constantly. The red agent case is taken to discuss these two issues in this work. We elaborate on their essential requirements and potential solution options, illustrated by some preliminary experimentations in a Cyber Gym for Intelligent Learning (CyGIL) testbed.

3.MAFIA: Protecting the Microarchitecture of Embedded Systems Against Fault Injection Attacks

Authors:Thomas Chamelot, Damien Couroussé, Karine Heydemann

Abstract: Fault injection attacks represent an effective threat to embedded systems. Recently, Laurent et al. have reported that fault injection attacks can leverage faults inside the microarchitecture. However, state-of-the-art counter-measures, hardwareonly or with hardware support, do not consider the integrity of microarchitecture control signals that are the target of these faults. We present MAFIA, a microarchitecture protection against fault injection attacks. MAFIA ensures integrity of pipeline control signals through a signature-based mechanism, and ensures fine-grained control-flow integrity with a complete indirect branch support and code authenticity. We analyse the security properties of two different implementations with different security/overhead trade-offs: one with a CBC-MAC/Prince signature function, and another one with a CRC32. We present our implementation of MAFIA in a RISC-V processor, supported by a dedicated compiler toolchain based on LLVM/Clang. We report a hardware area overhead of 23.8 % and 6.5 % for the CBC-MAC/Prince and CRC32 respectively. The average code size and execution time overheads are 29.4 % and 18.4 % respectively for the CRC32 implementation and are 50 % and 39 % for the CBC-MAC/Prince.

4.Smoothening block rewards: How much should miners pay for mining pools?

Authors:Axel Cortes-Cubero, Juan P. Madrigal-Cianci, Kiran Karra, Zixuan Zhang

Abstract: The rewards a blockchain miner earns vary with time. Most of the time is spent mining without receiving any rewards, and only occasionally the miner wins a block and earns a reward. Mining pools smoothen the stochastic flow of rewards, and in the ideal case, provide a steady flow of rewards over time. Smooth block rewards allow miners to choose an optimal mining power growth strategy that will result in a higher reward yield for a given investment. We quantify the economic advantage for a given miner of having smooth rewards, and use this to define a maximum percentage of rewards that a miner should be willing to pay for the mining pool services.

5.Empirical Review of Smart Contract and DeFi Security: Vulnerability Detection and Automated Repair

Authors:Peng Qian, Rui Cao, Wenqing Li, Ming Li, Lun Zhang, Eskil, Jianhai Chen, Qinming He

Abstract: Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is emerging as a peer-to-peer financial ecosystem, enabling participants to trade products on a permissionless blockchain. Built on blockchain and smart contracts, the DeFi ecosystem has experienced explosive growth in recent years. Unfortunately, smart contracts hold a massive amount of value, making them an attractive target for attacks. So far, attacks against smart contracts and DeFi protocols have resulted in billions of dollars in financial losses, severely threatening the security of the entire DeFi ecosystem. Researchers have proposed various security tools for smart contracts and DeFi protocols as countermeasures. However, a comprehensive investigation of these efforts is still lacking, leaving a crucial gap in our understanding of how to enhance the security posture of the smart contract and DeFi landscape. To fill the gap, this paper reviews the progress made in the field of smart contract and DeFi security from the perspective of both vulnerability detection and automated repair. First, we analyze the DeFi smart contract security issues and challenges. Specifically, we lucubrate various DeFi attack incidents and summarize the attacks into six categories. Then, we present an empirical study of 42 state-of-the-art techniques that can detect smart contract and DeFi vulnerabilities. In particular, we evaluate the effectiveness of traditional smart contract bug detection tools in analyzing complex DeFi protocols. Additionally, we investigate 8 existing automated repair tools for smart contracts and DeFi protocols, providing insight into their advantages and disadvantages. To make this work useful for as wide of an audience as possible, we also identify several open issues and challenges in the DeFi ecosystem that should be addressed in the future.

6.Black-Box Attacks against Signed Graph Analysis via Balance Poisoning

Authors:Jialong Zhou, Yuni Lai, Jian Ren, Kai Zhou

Abstract: Signed graphs are well-suited for modeling social networks as they capture both positive and negative relationships. Signed graph neural networks (SGNNs) are commonly employed to predict link signs (i.e., positive and negative) in such graphs due to their ability to handle the unique structure of signed graphs. However, real-world signed graphs are vulnerable to malicious attacks by manipulating edge relationships, and existing adversarial graph attack methods do not consider the specific structure of signed graphs. SGNNs often incorporate balance theory to effectively model the positive and negative links. Surprisingly, we find that the balance theory that they rely on can ironically be exploited as a black-box attack. In this paper, we propose a novel black-box attack called balance-attack that aims to decrease the balance degree of the signed graphs. We present an efficient heuristic algorithm to solve this NP-hard optimization problem. We conduct extensive experiments on five popular SGNN models and four real-world datasets to demonstrate the effectiveness and wide applicability of our proposed attack method. By addressing these challenges, our research contributes to a better understanding of the limitations and resilience of robust models when facing attacks on SGNNs. This work contributes to enhancing the security and reliability of signed graph analysis in social network modeling. Our PyTorch implementation of the attack is publicly available on GitHub: https://github.com/JialongZhou666/Balance-Attack.git.

1.Account Abstraction, Analysed

Authors:Qin Wang, Shiping Chen

Abstract: Ethereum recently unveiled its upcoming roadmap's \textit{Splurge} phase, highlighting the integration of EIP-\hlhref{https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-3074}{4337} as a foundational standard for account abstraction (AA). AA aims to enhance user accessibility and facilitate the expansion of functionalities. Anticipatedly, the deployment of AA is poised to attract a broad spectrum of new users and ignite further innovation in DApps. In this paper, we elucidate the underlying operating mechanisms of this new concept, as well as provide a review of concurrent advancements in accounts, wallets, and standards related to its development. We step further by conducting a preliminary security evaluation to qualitatively assess the extent of security enhancements achieved through AA updates.

2.Privacy Attacks and Defenses for Digital Twin Migrations in Vehicular Metaverses

Authors:Xiaofeng Luo, Jinbo Wen, Jiawen Kang, Jiangtian Nie, Zehui Xiong, Yang Zhang, Zhaohui Yang, Shengli Xie

Abstract: The gradual fusion of intelligent transportation systems with metaverse technologies is giving rise to vehicular metaverses, which blend virtual spaces with physical space. As indispensable components for vehicular metaverses, Vehicular Twins (VTs) are digital replicas of Vehicular Metaverse Users (VMUs) and facilitate customized metaverse services to VMUs. VTs are established and maintained in RoadSide Units (RSUs) with sufficient computing and storage resources. Due to the limited communication coverage of RSUs and the high mobility of VMUs, VTs need to be migrated among RSUs to ensure real-time and seamless services for VMUs. However, during VT migrations, physical-virtual synchronization and massive communications among VTs may cause identity and location privacy disclosures of VMUs and VTs. In this article, we study privacy issues and the corresponding defenses for VT migrations in vehicular metaverses. We first present four kinds of specific privacy attacks during VT migrations. Then, we propose a VMU-VT dual pseudonym scheme and a synchronous pseudonym change framework to defend against these attacks. Additionally, we evaluate average privacy entropy for pseudonym changes and optimize the number of pseudonym distribution based on inventory theory. Numerical results show that the average utility of VMUs under our proposed schemes is 33.8% higher than that under the equal distribution scheme, demonstrating the superiority of our schemes.

1.Privacy-Preserving Medical Image Classification through Deep Learning and Matrix Decomposition

Authors:Andreea Bianca Popescu, Cosmin Ioan Nita, Ioana Antonia Taca, Anamaria Vizitiu, Lucian Mihai Itu

Abstract: Deep learning (DL)-based solutions have been extensively researched in the medical domain in recent years, enhancing the efficacy of diagnosis, planning, and treatment. Since the usage of health-related data is strictly regulated, processing medical records outside the hospital environment for developing and using DL models demands robust data protection measures. At the same time, it can be challenging to guarantee that a DL solution delivers a minimum level of performance when being trained on secured data, without being specifically designed for the given task. Our approach uses singular value decomposition (SVD) and principal component analysis (PCA) to obfuscate the medical images before employing them in the DL analysis. The capability of DL algorithms to extract relevant information from secured data is assessed on a task of angiographic view classification based on obfuscated frames. The security level is probed by simulated artificial intelligence (AI)-based reconstruction attacks, considering two threat actors with different prior knowledge of the targeted data. The degree of privacy is quantitatively measured using similarity indices. Although a trade-off between privacy and accuracy should be considered, the proposed technique allows for training the angiographic view classifier exclusively on secured data with satisfactory performance and with no computational overhead, model adaptation, or hyperparameter tuning. While the obfuscated medical image content is well protected against human perception, the hypothetical reconstruction attack proved that it is also difficult to recover the complete information of the original frames.

2.The Power of MEME: Adversarial Malware Creation with Model-Based Reinforcement Learning

Authors:Maria Rigaki, Sebastian Garcia

Abstract: Due to the proliferation of malware, defenders are increasingly turning to automation and machine learning as part of the malware detection tool-chain. However, machine learning models are susceptible to adversarial attacks, requiring the testing of model and product robustness. Meanwhile, attackers also seek to automate malware generation and evasion of antivirus systems, and defenders try to gain insight into their methods. This work proposes a new algorithm that combines Malware Evasion and Model Extraction (MEME) attacks. MEME uses model-based reinforcement learning to adversarially modify Windows executable binary samples while simultaneously training a surrogate model with a high agreement with the target model to evade. To evaluate this method, we compare it with two state-of-the-art attacks in adversarial malware creation, using three well-known published models and one antivirus product as targets. Results show that MEME outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in terms of evasion capabilities in almost all cases, producing evasive malware with an evasion rate in the range of 32-73%. It also produces surrogate models with a prediction label agreement with the respective target models between 97-99%. The surrogate could be used to fine-tune and improve the evasion rate in the future.

3.MONDEO: Multistage Botnet Detection

Authors:Duarte Dias, Bruno Sousa, Nuno Antunes

Abstract: Mobile devices have widespread to become the most used piece of technology. Due to their characteristics, they have become major targets for botnet-related malware. FluBot is one example of botnet malware that infects mobile devices. In particular, FluBot is a DNS-based botnet that uses Domain Generation Algorithms (DGA) to establish communication with the Command and Control Server (C2). MONDEO is a multistage mechanism with a flexible design to detect DNS-based botnet malware. MONDEO is lightweight and can be deployed without requiring the deployment of software, agents, or configuration in mobile devices, allowing easy integration in core networks. MONDEO comprises four detection stages: Blacklisting/Whitelisting, Query rate analysis, DGA analysis, and Machine learning evaluation. It was created with the goal of processing streams of packets to identify attacks with high efficiency, in the distinct phases. MONDEO was tested against several datasets to measure its efficiency and performance, being able to achieve high performance with RandomForest classifiers. The implementation is available at github.

4.Design Challenges for the Implementation of Smart Homes

Authors:Nesreen Mufid

Abstract: Home automation for many years had faced challenges that limit its spreading around the world. These challenges caused by the high cost of Own such a home, inflexibility system (cannot be monitored outside the home) and issues to achieve optimal security. Our main objective is to design and implement a smart home model that is simple, affordable to the users. The proposed system provide flexibility to monitor the home, using the reliable cellular network. The user will be able what is inside the home when he /she is away from home. In addition to that, our model overcome the issue of the security by providing different sensors that detects smoke, gas, leakage of water and incases of burglary. Moreover, a camera will be available in the home to give a full view for the user when he/she is outside the home. The user will be informed by an application on his/she phone incase if there is a fire, water leakage and if someone break into the house. This will give the user a chance to take an action if such cases happened. Furthermore, the user can monitor the lighting system of the home, by giving the user a chance to turn the lights on and off remotely.

5.Fault Injection on Embedded Neural Networks: Impact of a Single Instruction Skip

Authors:Clement Gaine, Pierre-Alain Moellic, Olivier Potin, Jean-Max Dutertre

Abstract: With the large-scale integration and use of neural network models, especially in critical embedded systems, their security assessment to guarantee their reliability is becoming an urgent need. More particularly, models deployed in embedded platforms, such as 32-bit microcontrollers, are physically accessible by adversaries and therefore vulnerable to hardware disturbances. We present the first set of experiments on the use of two fault injection means, electromagnetic and laser injections, applied on neural networks models embedded on a Cortex M4 32-bit microcontroller platform. Contrary to most of state-of-the-art works dedicated to the alteration of the internal parameters or input values, our goal is to simulate and experimentally demonstrate the impact of a specific fault model that is instruction skip. For that purpose, we assessed several modification attacks on the control flow of a neural network inference. We reveal integrity threats by targeting several steps in the inference program of typical convolutional neural network models, which may be exploited by an attacker to alter the predictions of the target models with different adversarial goals.

6.Study of Zero-Knowledge protocols and Elliptic Curve Cryptography and their implementation in Smart Card environments using Java Card

Authors:Carlos Andres Agudelo Serna

Abstract: This paper studies the problem of Zero-Knowledge Protocol (ZKP) and elliptic curve cryptographic implementation in a computationally limited environment, such as, the smart cards, using Java Card. Besides that, it is explained how the zero-knowledge protocol was selected to implement it on a smart card and how the benchmarking was conducted to select this protocol. The paper also shows a theoretical development to implement the ZKP protocol using elliptic curve cryptography. Keywords: Authentication; Zero-knowledge; Cryptography; Elliptic Curve; Java card; Smart cards

7.Everyone Can Attack: Repurpose Lossy Compression as a Natural Backdoor Attack

Authors:Sze Jue Yang, Quang Nguyen, Chee Seng Chan, Khoa Doan

Abstract: The vulnerabilities to backdoor attacks have recently threatened the trustworthiness of machine learning models in practical applications. Conventional wisdom suggests that not everyone can be an attacker since the process of designing the trigger generation algorithm often involves significant effort and extensive experimentation to ensure the attack's stealthiness and effectiveness. Alternatively, this paper shows that there exists a more severe backdoor threat: anyone can exploit an easily-accessible algorithm for silent backdoor attacks. Specifically, this attacker can employ the widely-used lossy image compression from a plethora of compression tools to effortlessly inject a trigger pattern into an image without leaving any noticeable trace; i.e., the generated triggers are natural artifacts. One does not require extensive knowledge to click on the "convert" or "save as" button while using tools for lossy image compression. Via this attack, the adversary does not need to design a trigger generator as seen in prior works and only requires poisoning the data. Empirically, the proposed attack consistently achieves 100% attack success rate in several benchmark datasets such as MNIST, CIFAR-10, GTSRB and CelebA. More significantly, the proposed attack can still achieve almost 100% attack success rate with very small (approximately 10%) poisoning rates in the clean label setting. The generated trigger of the proposed attack using one lossy compression algorithm is also transferable across other related compression algorithms, exacerbating the severity of this backdoor threat. This work takes another crucial step toward understanding the extensive risks of backdoor attacks in practice, urging practitioners to investigate similar attacks and relevant backdoor mitigation methods.

8.Exact and Efficient Bayesian Inference for Privacy Risk Quantification (Extended Version)

Authors:Rasmus C. Rønneberg, Raúl Pardo, Andrzej Wąsowski

Abstract: Data analysis has high value both for commercial and research purposes. However, disclosing analysis results may pose severe privacy risk to individuals. Privug is a method to quantify privacy risks of data analytics programs by analyzing their source code. The method uses probability distributions to model attacker knowledge and Bayesian inference to update said knowledge based on observable outputs. Currently, Privug uses Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) to perform inference, which is a flexible but approximate solution. This paper presents an exact Bayesian inference engine based on multivariate Gaussian distributions to accurately and efficiently quantify privacy risks. The inference engine is implemented for a subset of Python programs that can be modeled as multivariate Gaussian models. We evaluate the method by analyzing privacy risks in programs to release public statistics. The evaluation shows that our method accurately and efficiently analyzes privacy risks, and outperforms existing methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of our engine to analyze the effect of differential privacy in public statistics.

9.Fault Injection and Safe-Error Attack for Extraction of Embedded Neural Network Models

Authors:Kevin Hector, Pierre-Alain Moellic, Mathieu Dumont, Jean-Max Dutertre

Abstract: Model extraction emerges as a critical security threat with attack vectors exploiting both algorithmic and implementation-based approaches. The main goal of an attacker is to steal as much information as possible about a protected victim model, so that he can mimic it with a substitute model, even with a limited access to similar training data. Recently, physical attacks such as fault injection have shown worrying efficiency against the integrity and confidentiality of embedded models. We focus on embedded deep neural network models on 32-bit microcontrollers, a widespread family of hardware platforms in IoT, and the use of a standard fault injection strategy - Safe Error Attack (SEA) - to perform a model extraction attack with an adversary having a limited access to training data. Since the attack strongly depends on the input queries, we propose a black-box approach to craft a successful attack set. For a classical convolutional neural network, we successfully recover at least 90% of the most significant bits with about 1500 crafted inputs. These information enable to efficiently train a substitute model, with only 8% of the training dataset, that reaches high fidelity and near identical accuracy level than the victim model.

10.Proof of Deep Learning: Approaches, Challenges, and Future Directions

Authors:Mahmoud Salhab, Khaleel Mershad

Abstract: The rise of computational power has led to unprecedented performance gains for deep learning models. As more data becomes available and model architectures become more complex, the need for more computational power increases. On the other hand, since the introduction of Bitcoin as the first cryptocurrency and the establishment of the concept of blockchain as a distributed ledger, many variants and approaches have been proposed. However, many of them have one thing in common, which is the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. PoW is mainly used to support the process of new block generation. While PoW has proven its robustness, its main drawback is that it requires a significant amount of processing power to maintain the security and integrity of the blockchain. This is due to applying brute force to solve a hashing puzzle. To utilize the computational power available in useful and meaningful work while keeping the blockchain secure, many techniques have been proposed, one of which is known as Proof of Deep Learning (PoDL). PoDL is a consensus mechanism that uses the process of training a deep learning model as proof of work to add new blocks to the blockchain. In this paper, we survey the various approaches for PoDL. We discuss the different types of PoDL algorithms, their advantages and disadvantages, and their potential applications. We also discuss the challenges of implementing PoDL and future research directions.

11.Towards Low-Barrier Cybersecurity Research and Education for Industrial Control Systems

Authors:Colman McGuan, Chansu Yu, Qin Lin

Abstract: The protection of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that are employed in public critical infrastructures is of utmost importance due to catastrophic physical damages cyberattacks may cause. The research community requires testbeds for validation and comparing various intrusion detection algorithms to protect ICS. However, there exist high barriers to entry for research and education in the ICS cybersecurity domain due to expensive hardware, software, and inherent dangers of manipulating real-world systems. To close the gap, built upon recently developed 3D high-fidelity simulators, we further showcase our integrated framework to automatically launch cyberattacks, collect data, train machine learning models, and evaluate for practical chemical and manufacturing processes. On our testbed, we validate our proposed intrusion detection model called Minimal Threshold and Window SVM (MinTWin SVM) that utilizes unsupervised machine learning via a one-class SVM in combination with a sliding window and classification threshold. Results show that MinTWin SVM minimizes false positives and is responsive to physical process anomalies. Furthermore, we incorporate our framework with ICS cybersecurity education by using our dataset in an undergraduate machine learning course where students gain hands-on experience in practicing machine learning theory with a practical ICS dataset. All of our implementations have been open-sourced.

12.IoMT-Blockchain based Secured Remote Patient Monitoring Framework for Neuro-Stimulation Device

Authors:Md Sakib Ullah Sourav, Mohammad Sultan Mahmud, Md Simul Hasan Talukder, Rejwan Bin Sulaiman, Abdullah Yasin

Abstract: Biomedical Engineering's Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is helping to improve the accuracy, dependability, and productivity of electronic equipment in the healthcare business. Real-time sensory data from patients may be delivered and subsequently analyzed through rapid development of wearable IoMT devices, such as neuro-stimulation devices with a range of functions. Data from the Internet of Things is gathered, analyzed, and stored in a single location. However, single-point failure, data manipulation, privacy difficulties, and other challenges might arise as a result of centralization. Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain (BC) can alleviate these issues. The viability of establishing a non-invasive remote neurostimulation system employing IoMT-based transcranial Direct Current Stimulation is investigated in this work (tDCS). A hardware-based prototype tDCS device has been developed that can be operated over the internet using an android application. Our suggested framework addresses the problems of IoMTBC-based systems, meets the criteria of real-time remote patient monitoring systems, and incorporates literature best practices in the relevant fields.

13.Facing Unknown: Open-World Encrypted Traffic Classification Based on Contrastive Pre-Training

Authors:Xiang Li, Beibei Feng, Tianning Zang, Shuyuan Zhao, Jingrun Ma

Abstract: Traditional Encrypted Traffic Classification (ETC) methods face a significant challenge in classifying large volumes of encrypted traffic in the open-world assumption, i.e., simultaneously classifying the known applications and detecting unknown applications. We propose a novel Open-World Contrastive Pre-training (OWCP) framework for this. OWCP performs contrastive pre-training to obtain a robust feature representation. Based on this, we determine the spherical mapping space to find the marginal flows for each known class, which are used to train GANs to synthesize new flows similar to the known parts but do not belong to any class. These synthetic flows are assigned to Softmax's unknown node to modify the classifier, effectively enhancing sensitivity towards known flows and significantly suppressing unknown ones. Extensive experiments on three datasets show that OWCP significantly outperforms existing ETC and generic open-world classification methods. Furthermore, we conduct comprehensive ablation studies and sensitivity analyses to validate each integral component of OWCP.

14.Accountable Safety Implies Finality

Authors:Joachim Neu, Ertem Nusret Tas, David Tse

Abstract: Motivated by proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains such as Ethereum, two key desiderata have recently been studied for Byzantine-fault tolerant (BFT) state-machine replication (SMR) consensus protocols: Finality means that the protocol retains consistency, as long as less than a certain fraction of validators are malicious, even in partially-synchronous environments that allow for temporary violations of assumed network delay bounds. Accountable safety means that in any case of inconsistency, a certain fraction of validators can be identified to have provably violated the protocol. Earlier works have developed impossibility results and protocol constructions for these properties separately. We show that accountable safety implies finality, thereby unifying earlier results.

1.Cryptanalysis of a Cayley Hash Function Based on Affine Maps

Authors:Bianca Sosnovski

Abstract: Cayley hash functions are cryptographic hashes constructed from Cayley graphs of groups. The hash function proposed by Shpilrain and Sosnovski (2016), based on linear functions over a finite field, was proven insecure. This paper shows that the proposal by Ghaffari and Mostaghim (2018) that uses the Shpilrain and Sosnovski's hash in its construction is also insecure. We demonstrate its security vulnerability by constructing collisions.

2.Split Without a Leak: Reducing Privacy Leakage in Split Learning

Authors:Khoa Nguyen, Tanveer Khan, Antonis Michalas

Abstract: The popularity of Deep Learning (DL) makes the privacy of sensitive data more imperative than ever. As a result, various privacy-preserving techniques have been implemented to preserve user data privacy in DL. Among various privacy-preserving techniques, collaborative learning techniques, such as Split Learning (SL) have been utilized to accelerate the learning and prediction process. Initially, SL was considered a promising approach to data privacy. However, subsequent research has demonstrated that SL is susceptible to many types of attacks and, therefore, it cannot serve as a privacy-preserving technique. Meanwhile, countermeasures using a combination of SL and encryption have also been introduced to achieve privacy-preserving deep learning. In this work, we propose a hybrid approach using SL and Homomorphic Encryption (HE). The idea behind it is that the client encrypts the activation map (the output of the split layer between the client and the server) before sending it to the server. Hence, during both forward and backward propagation, the server cannot reconstruct the client's input data from the intermediate activation map. This improvement is important as it reduces privacy leakage compared to other SL-based works, where the server can gain valuable information about the client's input. In addition, on the MIT-BIH dataset, our proposed hybrid approach using SL and HE yields faster training time (about 6 times) and significantly reduced communication overhead (almost 160 times) compared to other HE-based approaches, thereby offering improved privacy protection for sensitive data in DL.

3.How does post-quantum cryptography affect Central Bank Digital Currency?

Authors:Lars Hupel, Makan Rafiee

Abstract: Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is an emerging trend in digital payments, with the vast majority of central banks around the world researching, piloting, or even operating a digital version of cash. While design choices differ broadly, such as accounts vs. tokens, the wallets are generally protected through cryptographic algorithms that safeguard against double spending and ensure non-repudiation. But with the advent of quantum computing, these algorithms are threatened by new attack vectors. To better understand those threats, we conducted a study of typical assets in a CBDC system, describe which ones are most amenable to post-quantum cryptography, and propose an upgrade strategy.

4.Securing Blockchain Systems: A Novel Collaborative Learning Framework to Detect Attacks in Transactions and Smart Contracts

Authors:Tran Viet Khoa, Do Hai Son, Chi-Hieu Nguyen, Dinh Thai Hoang, Diep N. Nguyen, Nguyen Linh Trung, Tran Thi Thuy Quynh, Trong-Minh Hoang, Nguyen Viet Ha, Eryk Dutkiewicz

Abstract: With the escalating prevalence of malicious activities exploiting vulnerabilities in blockchain systems, there is an urgent requirement for robust attack detection mechanisms. To address this challenge, this paper presents a novel collaborative learning framework designed to detect attacks in blockchain transactions and smart contracts by analyzing transaction features. Our framework exhibits the capability to classify various types of blockchain attacks, including intricate attacks at the machine code level (e.g., injecting malicious codes to withdraw coins from users unlawfully), which typically necessitate significant time and security expertise to detect. To achieve that, the proposed framework incorporates a unique tool that transforms transaction features into visual representations, facilitating efficient analysis and classification of low-level machine codes. Furthermore, we propose a customized collaborative learning model to enable real-time detection of diverse attack types at distributed mining nodes. In order to create a comprehensive dataset, we deploy a pilot system based on a private Ethereum network and conduct multiple attack scenarios. To the best of our knowledge, our dataset is the most comprehensive and diverse collection of transactions and smart contracts synthesized in a laboratory for cyberattack detection in blockchain systems. Our framework achieves a detection accuracy of approximately 94\% through extensive simulations and real-time experiments with a throughput of over 1,100 transactions per second. These compelling results validate the efficacy of our framework and showcase its adaptability in addressing real-world cyberattack scenarios.

5.Exploring Cybercriminal Activities, Behaviors and Profiles

Authors:Maria Bada, Jason R. C. Nurse

Abstract: While modern society benefits from a range of technological advancements, it also is exposed to an ever-increasing set of cybersecurity threats. These affect all areas of life including business, government, and individuals. To complement technology solutions to this problem, it is crucial to understand more about cybercriminal perpetrators themselves, their use of technology, psychological aspects, and profiles. This is a topic that has received little socio-technical research emphasis in the technology community, has few concrete research findings, and is thus a prime area for development. The aim of this article is to explore cybercriminal activities and behavior from a psychology and human aspects perspective, through a series of notable case studies. We examine motivations, psychological and other interdisciplinary concepts as they may impact/influence cybercriminal activities. We expect this paper to be of value and particularly insightful for those studying technology, psychology, and criminology, with a focus on cybersecurity and cybercrime.

6.Conti Inc.: Understanding the Internal Discussions of a large Ransomware-as-a-Service Operator with Machine Learning

Authors:Estelle Ruellan, Masarah Paquet-Clouston, Sebastian Garcia

Abstract: Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is increasing the scale and complexity of ransomware attacks. Understanding the internal operations behind RaaS has been a challenge due to the illegality of such activities. The recent chat leak of the Conti RaaS operator, one of the most infamous ransomware operators on the international scene, offers a key opportunity to better understand the inner workings of such organizations. This paper analyzes the main topic discussions in the Conti chat leak using machine learning techniques such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), as well as visualization strategies. Five discussion topics are found: 1) Business, 2) Technical, 3) Internal tasking/Management, 4) Malware, and 5) Customer Service/Problem Solving. Moreover, the distribution of topics among Conti members shows that only 4% of individuals have specialized discussions while almost all individuals (96%) are all-rounders, meaning that their discussions revolve around the five topics. The results also indicate that a significant proportion of Conti discussions are non-tech related. This study thus highlights that running such large RaaS operations requires a workforce skilled beyond technical abilities, with individuals involved in various tasks, from management to customer service or problem solving. The discussion topics also show that the organization behind the Conti RaaS oper5086933ator shares similarities with a large firm. We conclude that, although RaaS represents an example of specialization in the cybercrime industry, only a few members are specialized in one topic, while the rest runs and coordinates the RaaS operation.

1.A Closer Look at the Security Risks in the Rust Ecosystem

Authors:Xiaoye Zheng Zhejiang University, Zhiyuan Wan Zhejiang University, Yun Zhang Hangzhou City University, Rui Chang Zhejiang University, David Lo Singapore Management University

Abstract: Rust is an emerging programming language designed for the development of systems software. To facilitate the reuse of Rust code, crates.io, as a central package registry of the Rust ecosystem, hosts thousands of third-party Rust packages. The openness of crates.io enables the growth of the Rust ecosystem but comes with security risks by severe security advisories. Although Rust guarantees a software program to be safe via programming language features and strict compile-time checking, the unsafe keyword in Rust allows developers to bypass compiler safety checks for certain regions of code. Prior studies empirically investigate the memory safety and concurrency bugs in the Rust ecosystem, as well as the usage of unsafe keywords in practice. Nonetheless, the literature lacks a systematic investigation of the security risks in the Rust ecosystem. In this paper, we perform a comprehensive investigation into the security risks present in the Rust ecosystem, asking ``what are the characteristics of the vulnerabilities, what are the characteristics of the vulnerable packages, and how are the vulnerabilities fixed in practice?''. To facilitate the study, we first compile a dataset of 433 vulnerabilities, 300 vulnerable code repositories, and 218 vulnerability fix commits in the Rust ecosystem, spanning over 7 years. With the dataset, we characterize the types, life spans, and evolution of the disclosed vulnerabilities. We then characterize the popularity, categorization, and vulnerability density of the vulnerable Rust packages, as well as their versions and code regions affected by the disclosed vulnerabilities. Finally, we characterize the complexity of vulnerability fixes and localities of corresponding code changes, and inspect how practitioners fix vulnerabilities in Rust packages with various localities.

2.Better Prefix Authentication

Authors:Aljoscha Meyer

Abstract: We present new schemes for solving prefix authentication and secure relative timestamping. By casting a new light on antimonotone linking schemes, we improve upon the state of the art in prefix authentication, and in timestamping with rounds of bounded length. Our designs can serve as more efficient alternatives to certificate transparency logs.

3.Area Efficient Modular Reduction in Hardware for Arbitrary Static Moduli

Authors:Robin Müller, Willi Meier, Christoph F. Wildfeuer

Abstract: Modular reduction is a crucial operation in many post-quantum cryptographic schemes, including the Kyber key exchange method or Dilithium signature scheme. However, it can be computationally expensive and pose a performance bottleneck in hardware implementations. To address this issue, we propose a novel approach for computing modular reduction efficiently in hardware for arbitrary static moduli. Unlike other commonly used methods such as Barrett or Montgomery reduction, the method does not require any multiplications. It is not dependent on properties of any particular choice of modulus for good performance and low area consumption. Its major strength lies in its low area consumption, which was reduced by 60% for optimized and up to 90% for generic Barrett implementations for Kyber and Dilithium. Additionally, it is well suited for parallelization and pipelining and scales linearly in hardware resource consumption with increasing operation width. All operations can be performed in the bit-width of the modulus, rather than the size of the number being reduced. This shortens carry chains and allows for faster clocking. Moreover, our method can be executed in constant time, which is essential for cryptography applications where timing attacks can be used to obtain information about the secret key.

4.FedChain: An Efficient and Secure Consensus Protocol based on Proof of Useful Federated Learning for Blockchain

Authors:Peiran Wang

Abstract: Blockchain has become a popular decentralized paradigm for various applications in the zero-trust environment. The core of the blockchain is the consensus protocol, which establishes consensus among all the participants. PoW (Proof-of-Work) is one of the most popular consensus protocols. However, the PoW consensus protocol which incentives the participants to use their computing power to solve a meaningless hash puzzle is continuously questioned as energy-wasting. To address these issues, we propose an efficient and secure consensus protocol based on proof of useful federated learning for blockchain (called FedChain). We first propose a secure and robust blockchain architecture that takes federated learning tasks as proof of work. Then a pool aggregation mechanism is integrated to improve the efficiency of the FedChain architecture. To protect model parameter privacy for each participant within a mining pool, a secret sharing-based ring-all reduce architecture is designed. We also introduce a data distribution-based federated learning model optimization algorithm to improve the model performance of FedChain. At last, a zero-knowledge proof-based federated learning model verification is introduced to preserve the privacy of federated learning participants while proving the model performance of federated learning participants. Our approach has been tested and validated through extensive experiments, demonstrating its performance.

5.LoVe is in the Air -- Location Verification of ADS-B Signals using Distributed Public Sensors

Authors:Johanna Ansohn McDougall, Alessandro Brighente, Willi Großmann, Ben Ansohn McDougall, Joshua Stock, Hannes Federrath

Abstract: The Automatic Dependant Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) message scheme was designed without any authentication or encryption of messages in place. It is therefore easily possible to attack it, e.g., by injecting spoofed messages or modifying the transmitted Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) coordinates. In order to verify the integrity of the received information, various methods have been suggested, such as multilateration, the use of Kalman filters, group certification, and many others. However, solutions based on modifications of the standard may be difficult and too slow to be implemented due to legal and regulatory issues. A vantage far less explored is the location verification using public sensor data. In this paper, we propose LoVe, a lightweight message verification approach that uses a geospatial indexing scheme to evaluate the trustworthiness of publicly deployed sensors and the ADS-B messages they receive. With LoVe, new messages can be evaluated with respect to the plausibility of their reported coordinates in a location privacy-preserving manner, while using a data-driven and lightweight approach. By testing our approach on two open datasets, we show that LoVe achieves very low false positive rates (between 0 and 0.00106) and very low false negative rates (between 0.00065 and 0.00334) while providing a real-time compatible approach that scales well even with a large sensor set. Compared to currently existing approaches, LoVe neither requires a large number of sensors, nor for messages to be recorded by as many sensors as possible simultaneously in order to verify location claims. Furthermore, it can be directly applied to currently deployed systems thus being backward compatible.

6.PTTS: Zero-Knowledge Proof-based Private Token Transfer System on Ethereum Blockchain and its Network Flow Based Balance Range Privacy Attack Analysis

Authors:Goshgar Ismayilov, Can Ozturan

Abstract: Blockchains are decentralized and immutable databases that are shared among the nodes of the network. Although blockchains have attracted a great scale of attention in the recent years by disrupting the traditional financial systems, the transaction privacy is still a challenging issue that needs to be addressed and analysed. We propose a Private Token Transfer System (PTTS) for the Ethereum public blockchain in the first part of this paper. For the proposed framework, zero-knowledge based protocol has been designed using Zokrates and integrated into our private token smart contract. With the help of web user interface designed, the end users can interact with the smart contract without any third-party setup. In the second part of the paper, we provide security and privacy analysis including the replay attack and the balance range privacy attack which has been modelled as a network flow problem. It is shown that in case some balance ranges are deliberately leaked out to particular organizations or adversial entities, it is possible to extract meaningful information about the user balances by employing minimum cost flow network algorithms that have polynomial complexity. The experimental study reports the Ethereum gas consumption and proof generation times for the proposed framework. It also reports network solution times and goodness rates for a subset of addresses under the balance range privacy attack with respect to number of addresses, number of transactions and ratio of leaked transfer transaction amounts.

7.Evaluation of Real-World Risk-Based Authentication at Online Services Revisited: Complexity Wins

Authors:Jan-Phillip Makowski, Daniela Pöhn

Abstract: Risk-based authentication (RBA) aims to protect end-users against attacks involving stolen or otherwise guessed passwords without requiring a second authentication method all the time. Online services typically set limits on what is still seen as normal and what is not, as well as the actions taken afterward. Consequently, RBA monitors different features, such as geolocation and device during login. If the features' values differ from the expected values, then a second authentication method might be requested. However, only a few online services publish information about how their systems work. This hinders not only RBA research but also its development and adoption in organizations. In order to understand how the RBA systems online services operate, black box testing is applied. To verify the results, we re-evaluate the three large providers: Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Based on our test setup and the test cases, we notice differences in RBA based on account creation at Google. Additionally, several test cases rarely trigger the RBA system. Our results provide new insights into RBA systems and raise several questions for future work.

8.TASEP: A Collaborative Social Engineering Tabletop Role-Playing Game to Prevent Successful Social Engineering Attacks

Authors:Lukas Hafner, Florian Wutz, Daniela Pöhn, Wolfgang Hommel

Abstract: Data breaches resulting from targeted attacks against organizations, e.g., by advanced persistent threat groups, often involve social engineering (SE) as the initial attack vector before malicious software is used, e.g., for persistence, lateral movement, and data exfiltration. While technical security controls, such as the automated detection of phishing emails, can contribute to mitigating SE risks, raising awareness for SE attacks through education and motivation of personnel is an important building block to increasing an organization's resilience. To facilitate hands-on SE awareness training as one component of broader SE awareness campaigns, we created a SE tabletop game called Tabletop As Social Engineering Prevention (TASEP) in two editions for (a) small and medium enterprises and (b) large corporations, respectively. Its game design is inspired by Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games and facilitates LEGO models of the in-game target organizations. Participants switch roles by playing a group of SE penetration testers and conducting a security audit guided by the game master. We evaluated the created game with different student groups, achieving highly immersive and flexible training, resulting in an entertaining way of learning about SE and raising awareness.

9.Needle in the Haystack: Analyzing the Right of Access According to GDPR Article 15 Five Years after the Implementation

Authors:Daniela Pöhn, Niklas Mörsdorf, Wolfgang Hommel

Abstract: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in 2018 to strengthen and harmonize the data protection of individuals within the European Union. One key aspect is Article 15, which gives individuals the right to access their personal data in an understandable format. Organizations offering services to Europeans had five years' time to optimize their processes and functions to comply with Article 15. This study aims to explore the process of submitting and receiving the responses of organizations to GDPR Article 15 requests. A quantitative analysis obtains data from various websites to understand the level of conformity, the data received, and the challenges faced by individuals who request their data. The study differentiates organizations operating worldwide and in Germany, browser website- and app-based usage, and different types of websites. Thereby, we conclude that some websites still compile the data manually, resulting in longer waiting times. A few exceptions did not respond with any data or deliver machine-readable data (GDRP Article 20). The findings of the study additionally reveal ten patterns individuals face when requesting and accessing their data.

10.A Study of Different Awareness Campaigns in a Company

Authors:Laura Gamisch, Daniela Pöhn

Abstract: Phishing is a major cyber threat to organizations that can cause financial and reputational damage, threatening their existence. The technical measures against phishing should be complemented by awareness training for employees. However, there is little validation of awareness measures. Consequently, organizations have an additional burden when integrating awareness training, as there is no consensus on which method brings the best success. This paper examines how awareness concepts can be successfully implemented and validated. For this purpose, various factors, such as requirements and possible combinations of methods, are taken into account in our case study at a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME). To measure success, phishing exercises are conducted. The study suggests that pleasant campaigns result in better performance in the simulated phishing exercise. In addition, significant improvements and differences in the target groups could be observed. The implementation of awareness training with integrated key performance indicators can be used as a basis for other organizations.

11.State of the Art Report: Verified Computation

Authors:Jim Woodcock, Mikkel Schimdt Andersen, Diego F. Aranha, Stefan Hallerstede, Simon Thrane Hansen, Nikolaj Kuhne Jakobsen, Tomas Kulik, Peter Gorm Larsen, Hugo Daniel Macedo, Carlos Ignacio Isasa Martin, Victor Alexander Mtsimbe Norrild

Abstract: This report describes the state of the art in verifiable computation. The problem being solved is the following: The Verifiable Computation Problem (Verifiable Computing Problem) Suppose we have two computing agents. The first agent is the verifier, and the second agent is the prover. The verifier wants the prover to perform a computation. The verifier sends a description of the computation to the prover. Once the prover has completed the task, the prover returns the output to the verifier. The output will contain proof. The verifier can use this proof to check if the prover computed the output correctly. The check is not required to verify the algorithm used in the computation. Instead, it is a check that the prover computed the output using the computation specified by the verifier. The effort required for the check should be much less than that required to perform the computation. This state-of-the-art report surveys 128 papers from the literature comprising more than 4,000 pages. Other papers and books were surveyed but were omitted. The papers surveyed were overwhelmingly mathematical. We have summarised the major concepts that form the foundations for verifiable computation. The report contains two main sections. The first, larger section covers the theoretical foundations for probabilistically checkable and zero-knowledge proofs. The second section contains a description of the current practice in verifiable computation. Two further reports will cover (i) military applications of verifiable computation and (ii) a collection of technical demonstrators. The first of these is intended to be read by those who want to know what applications are enabled by the current state of the art in verifiable computation. The second is for those who want to see practical tools and conduct experiments themselves.

12.Assessing Cyclostationary Malware Detection via Feature Selection and Classification

Authors:Mike Nkongolo

Abstract: Cyclostationarity involves periodic statistical variations in signals and processes, commonly used in signal analysis and network security. In the context of attacks, cyclostationarity helps detect malicious behaviors within network traffic, such as traffic patterns in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or hidden communication channels in malware. This approach enhances security by identifying abnormal patterns and informing Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDSs) to recognize potential attacks, enhancing protection against both known and novel threats. This research focuses on identifying cyclostationary malware behavior and its detection. The main goal is to pinpoint essential cyclostationary features used in NIDSs. These features are extracted using algorithms such as Boruta and Principal Component Analysis (PCA), and then categorized to find the most significant cyclostationary patterns. The aim of this article is to reveal periodically changing malware behaviors through cyclostationarity. The study highlights the importance of spotting cyclostationary malware in NIDSs by using established datasets like KDD99, NSL-KDD, and the UGRansome dataset. The UGRansome dataset is designed for anomaly detection research and includes both normal and abnormal network threat categories of zero-day attacks. A comparison is made using the Random Forest (RF) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithms, while also evaluating the effectiveness of Boruta and PCA. The findings show that PCA is more promising than using Boruta alone for extracting cyclostationary network feature patterns. Additionally, the analysis identifies the internet protocol as the most noticeable cyclostationary feature pattern used by malware. Notably, the UGRansome dataset outperforms the KDD99 and NSL-KDD, achieving 99% accuracy in signature malware detection using the RF algorithm and 98% with the SVM.

13.Shedding Light on CVSS Scoring Inconsistencies: A User-Centric Study on Evaluating Widespread Security Vulnerabilities

Authors:Julia Wunder, Andreas Kurtz, Christian Eichenmüller, Freya Gassmann, Zinaida Benenson

Abstract: The Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) is a popular method for evaluating the severity of vulnerabilities in vulnerability management. In the evaluation process, a numeric score between 0 and 10 is calculated, 10 being the most severe (critical) value. The goal of CVSS is to provide comparable scores across different evaluators. However, previous works indicate that CVSS might not reach this goal: If a vulnerability is evaluated by several analysts, their scores often differ. This raises the following questions: Are CVSS evaluations consistent? Which factors influence CVSS assessments? We systematically investigate these questions in an online survey with 196 CVSS users. We show that specific CVSS metrics are inconsistently evaluated for widespread vulnerability types, including Top 3 vulnerabilities from the ''2022 CWE Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses'' list. In a follow-up survey with 59 participants, we found that for the same vulnerabilities from the main study, 68% of these users gave different severity ratings. Our study reveals that most evaluators are aware of the problematic aspects of CVSS, but they still see CVSS as a useful tool for vulnerability assessment. Finally, we discuss possible reasons for inconsistent evaluations and provide recommendations on improving the consistency of scoring.

14.Trustless Privacy-Preserving Data Aggregation on Ethereum with Hypercube Network Topology

Authors:Goshgar Ismayilov, Can Ozturan

Abstract: The privacy-preserving data aggregation is a critical problem for many applications where multiple parties need to collaborate with each other privately to arrive at certain results. Blockchain, as a database shared across the network, provides an underlying platform on which such aggregations can be carried out with a decentralized manner. Therefore, in this paper, we have proposed a scalable privacy-preserving data aggregation protocol for summation on the Ethereum blockchain by integrating several cryptographic primitives including commitment scheme, asymmetric encryption and zero-knowledge proof along with the hypercube network topology. The protocol consists of four stages as contract deployment, user registration, private submission and proof verification. The analysis of the protocol is made with respect to two main perspectives as security and scalability including computational, communicational and storage overheads. In the paper, the zero-knowledge proof, smart contract and web user interface models for the protocol are provided. We have performed an experimental study in order to identify the required gas costs per individual and per system. The general formulation is provided to characterize the changes in gas costs for the increasing number of users. The zero-knowledge proof generation and verification times are also measured.

15.Longest-chain Attacks: Difficulty Adjustment and Timestamp Verifiability

Authors:Tzuo Hann Law, Selman Erol, Lewis Tseng

Abstract: We study an adversary who attacks a Proof-of-Work (POW) blockchain by selfishly constructing an alternative longest chain. We characterize optimal strategies employed by the adversary when a difficulty adjustment rule al\`a Bitcoin applies. As time (namely the times-tamp specified in each block) in most permissionless POW blockchains is somewhat subjective, we focus on two extreme scenarios: when time is completely verifiable, and when it is completely unverifiable. We conclude that an adversary who faces a difficulty adjustment rule will find a longest-chain attack very challenging when timestamps are verifiable. POW blockchains with frequent difficulty adjustments relative to time reporting flexibility will be substantially more vulnerable to longest-chain attacks. Our main fining provides guidance on the design of difficulty adjustment rules and demonstrates the importance of timestamp verifiability.

16.Masquerade: Simple and Lightweight Transaction Reordering Mitigation in Blockchains

Authors:Arti Vedula, Shaileshh Bojja Venkatakrishnan, Abhishek Gupta

Abstract: Blockchains offer strong security gurarantees, but cannot protect users against the ordering of transactions. Players such as miners, bots and validators can reorder various transactions and reap significant profits, called the Maximal Extractable Value (MEV). In this paper, we propose an MEV aware protocol design called Masquerade, and show that it will increase user satisfaction and confidence in the system. We propose a strict per-transaction level of ordering to ensure that a transaction is committed either way even if it is revealed. In this protocol, we introduce the notion of a "token" to mitigate the actions taken by an adversary in an attack scenario. Such tokens can be purchased voluntarily by users, who can then choose to include the token numbers in their transactions. If the users include the token in their transactions, then our protocol requires the block-builder to order the transactions strictly according to token numbers. We show through extensive simulations that this reduces the probability that the adversaries can benefit from MEV transactions as compared to existing current practices.

1.A Comprehensive Overview of Backdoor Attacks in Large Language Models within Communication Networks

Authors:Haomiao Yang, Kunlan Xiang, Hongwei Li, Rongxing Lu

Abstract: The Large Language Models (LLMs) are becoming an integral part of modern communication networks due to their superior proficiency in language comprehension and generation. In the context of these networks, where limited data and computing resources often necessitate the use of third-party data and computing resources, the risk of backdoor attacks becomes highly significant. Such strategies may expose the model within the network to maliciously manipulated training data and processing, providing an opportunity for attackers to embed a hidden backdoor into the model, termed a backdoor attack. Backdoor attack in LLMs refers to embedding a hidden backdoor in LLMs that causes the model to perform normally on benign samples but exhibit degraded performance on poisoned ones. This issue is particularly concerning within communication networks where reliability and security are paramount. Despite the extensive research on backdoor attacks, there remains a lack of in-depth exploration specifically within the context of LLMs employed in communication networks, and a systematic review of such attacks is currently absent. In this survey, we systematically propose a taxonomy of backdoor attacks in LLMs as used in communication networks, dividing them into four major categories: input-triggered, prompt-triggered, instruction-triggered, and demonstration-triggered attacks. Furthermore, we conduct a comprehensive analysis of the benchmark datasets within the network domain. Finally, we identify potential problems and open challenges, offering valuable insights into future research directions for enhancing the security and integrity of LLMs in communication networks.

2.Evaluation of Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

Authors:Priyanshu Lohar, Kiran Rathi

Abstract: The derivative of token standard of Ethereum blockchain, termed as Non Fungible Token is distinguishable token. These tokens are bound with digital properties that provide them unique identification which helps in fulfilling the aim of distinguishable tokens. These tokens are used as an evidence of ownership for the digital asset, with which they are bound to. And it is with these non fungible tokens that the problem of proving ownership of digital asset is being solved and with this technique, it is with hope that developers are looking forward to solve many more problems of the real world with it, may it be providing tradability solutions for arts, real estate and many other sectors. During the time of writing this, the NFT has shown unpredictable growth in the recent years and this has caused the stimulation of prosperity of DApps(Decentralized Application).With an unpredictable growth and garnering attention worldwide with many mainstream key people investing in it , the NFT is still in developing stage and is still premature. This paper is an attempt to squeeze the NFT developments systematically, so the aspiring developers can have the resource to start with and aid the development process further

3.Using ChatGPT as a Static Application Security Testing Tool

Authors:Atieh Bakhshandeh, Abdalsamad Keramatfar, Amir Norouzi, Mohammad Mahdi Chekidehkhoun

Abstract: In recent years, artificial intelligence has had a conspicuous growth in almost every aspect of life. One of the most applicable areas is security code review, in which a lot of AI-based tools and approaches have been proposed. Recently, ChatGPT has caught a huge amount of attention with its remarkable performance in following instructions and providing a detailed response. Regarding the similarities between natural language and code, in this paper, we study the feasibility of using ChatGPT for vulnerability detection in Python source code. Toward this goal, we feed an appropriate prompt along with vulnerable data to ChatGPT and compare its results on two datasets with the results of three widely used Static Application Security Testing tools (Bandit, Semgrep and SonarQube). We implement different kinds of experiments with ChatGPT and the results indicate that ChatGPT reduces the false positive and false negative rates and has the potential to be used for Python source code vulnerability detection.

4.CryptoBap: A Binary Analysis Platform for Cryptographic Protocols

Authors:Faezeh Nasrabadi, Robert künnemann, Hamed Nemati

Abstract: We introduce CryptoBap, a platform to verify weak secrecy and authentication for the (ARMv8 and RISC-V) machine code of cryptographic protocols. We achieve this by first transpiling the binary of protocols into an intermediate representation and then performing a crypto-aware symbolic execution to automatically extract a model of the protocol that represents all its execution paths. Our symbolic execution resolves indirect jumps and supports bounded loops using the loop-summarization technique, which we fully automate. The extracted model is then translated into models amenable to automated verification via ProVerif and CryptoVerif using a third-party toolchain. We prove the soundness of the proposed approach and used CryptoBap to verify multiple case studies ranging from toy examples to real-world protocols, TinySSH, an implementation of SSH, and WireGuard, a modern VPN protocol.

5.Zip to Zip-it: Compression to Achieve Local Differential Privacy

Authors:Francesco Taurone, Daniel Lucani, Qi Zhang

Abstract: Local differential privacy techniques for numerical data typically transform a dataset to ensure a bound on the likelihood that, given a query, a malicious user could infer information on the original samples. Queries are often solely based on users and their requirements, limiting the design of the perturbation to processes that, while privatizing the results, do not jeopardize their usefulness. In this paper, we propose a privatization technique called Zeal, where perturbator and aggregator are designed as a unit, resulting in a locally differentially private mechanism that, by-design, improves the compressibility of the perturbed dataset compared to the original, saves on transmitted bits for data collection and protects against a privacy vulnerabilities due to floating point arithmetic that affect other state-of-the-art schemes. We prove that the utility error on querying the average is invariant to the bias introduced by Zeal in a wide range of conditions, and that under the same circumstances, Zeal also guarantee protection against the aforementioned vulnerability. Our numerical results show up to 94% improvements in compression and up to 95% more efficient data transmissions, while keeping utility errors within 2%.

6.Composition in Differential Privacy for General Granularity Notions (Long Version)

Authors:Patricia Guerra-Balboa, Àlex Miranda-Pascual, Javier Parra-Arnau, Thorsten Strufe

Abstract: The composition theorems of differential privacy (DP) allow data curators to combine different algorithms to obtain a new algorithm that continues to satisfy DP. However, new granularity notions (i.e., neighborhood definitions), data domains, and composition settings have appeared in the literature that the classical composition theorems do not cover. For instance, the parallel composition theorem does not apply to general granularity notions. This complicates the opportunity of composing DP mechanisms in new settings and obtaining accurate estimates of the incurred privacy loss after composition. To overcome these limitations, we study the composability of DP in a general framework and for any kind of data domain or neighborhood definition. We give a general composition theorem in both independent and adaptive versions and we provide analogous composition results for approximate, zero-concentrated, and Gaussian DP. Besides, we study the hypothesis needed to obtain the best composition bounds. Our theorems cover both parallel and sequential composition settings. Importantly, they also cover every setting in between, allowing us to compute the final privacy loss of a composition with greatly improved accuracy.

7.Differentially Private Aggregation via Imperfect Shuffling

Authors:Badih Ghazi, Ravi Kumar, Pasin Manurangsi, Jelani Nelson, Samson Zhou

Abstract: In this paper, we introduce the imperfect shuffle differential privacy model, where messages sent from users are shuffled in an almost uniform manner before being observed by a curator for private aggregation. We then consider the private summation problem. We show that the standard split-and-mix protocol by Ishai et. al. [FOCS 2006] can be adapted to achieve near-optimal utility bounds in the imperfect shuffle model. Specifically, we show that surprisingly, there is no additional error overhead necessary in the imperfect shuffle model.

8.Advancement on Security Applications of Private Intersection Sum Protocol

Authors:Yuvaray Athur Raghuvir, Senthil Govindarajan, Sanjeevi Vijayakumar, Pradeep Yadlapalli, Fabio Di Troia

Abstract: Secure computation protocols combine inputs from involved parties to generate an output while keeping their inputs private. Private Set Intersection (PSI) is a secure computation protocol that allows two parties, who each hold a set of items, to learn the intersection of their sets without revealing anything else about the items. Private Intersection Sum (PIS) extends PSI when the two parties want to learn the cardinality of the intersection, as well as the sum of the associated integer values for each identifier in the intersection, but nothing more. Finally, Private Join and Compute (PJC) is a scalable extension of PIS protocol to help organizations work together with confidential data sets. The extensions proposed in this paper include: (a) extending PJC protocol to additional data columns and applying columnar aggregation based on supported homomorphic operations, (b) exploring Ring Learning with Errors (RLWE) homomorphic encryption schemes to apply arithmetic operations such as sum and sum of squares, (c) ensuring stronger security using mutual authentication of communicating parties using certificates, and (d) developing a Website to operationalize such a service offering. We applied our results to develop a Proof-of-Concept solution called JingBing, a voter list validation service that allows different states to register, acquire secure communication modules, install it, and then conduct authenticated peer-to-peer communication. We conclude our paper with directions for future research to make such a solution scalable for practical real-life scenarios.

1.Falcon: Accelerating Homomorphically Encrypted Convolutions for Efficient Private Mobile Network Inference

Authors:Tianshi Xu, Meng Li, Runsheng Wang, Ru Huang

Abstract: Efficient networks, e.g., MobileNetV2, EfficientNet, etc, achieves state-of-the-art (SOTA) accuracy with lightweight computation. However, existing homomorphic encryption (HE)-based two-party computation (2PC) frameworks are not optimized for these networks and suffer from a high inference overhead. We observe the inefficiency mainly comes from the packing algorithm, which ignores the computation characteristics and the communication bottleneck of homomorphically encrypted depthwise convolutions. Therefore, in this paper, we propose Falcon, an effective dense packing algorithm for HE-based 2PC frameworks. Falcon features a zero-aware greedy packing algorithm and a communication-aware operator tiling strategy to improve the packing density for depthwise convolutions. Compared to SOTA HE-based 2PC frameworks, e.g., CrypTFlow2, Iron and Cheetah, Falcon achieves more than 15.6x, 5.1x and 1.8x latency reduction, respectively, at operator level. Meanwhile, at network level, Falcon allows for 1.4% and 4.2% accuracy improvement over Cheetah on CIFAR-100 and TinyImagenet datasets with iso-communication, respecitvely.

2.On the Practicality of Dynamic Updates in Fast Searchable Encryption

Authors:Steven Willoughby

Abstract: Searchable encrypted (SE) indexing systems are a useful tool for utilizing cloud services to store and manage sensitive information. However, much of the work on SE systems to date has remained theoretical. In order to make them of practical use, more work is needed to develop optimal protocols and working models for them. This includes, in particular, the creation of a working update model in order to maintain an encrypted index of a dynamic document set such as an email inbox. I have created a working, real-world end-to-end SE implementation that satisfies these needs, including the first empirical performance evaluation of the dynamic SE update operation. In doing so, I show a viable path to move from the theoretical concepts described by previous researchers to a future production-worthy implementation and identify issues for follow-on investigation.

1.Introducing a New Alert Data Set for Multi-Step Attack Analysis

Authors:Max Landauer, Florian Skopik, Markus Wurzenberger

Abstract: Intrusion detection systems (IDS) reinforce cyber defense by autonomously monitoring various data sources for traces of attacks. However, IDSs are also infamous for frequently raising false positives and alerts that are difficult to interpret without context. This results in high workloads on security operators who need to manually verify all reported alerts, often leading to fatigue and incorrect decisions. To generate more meaningful alerts and alleviate these issues, the research domain focused on multi-step attack analysis proposes approaches for filtering, clustering, and correlating IDS alerts, as well as generation of attack graphs. Unfortunately, existing data sets are outdated, unreliable, narrowly focused, or only suitable for IDS evaluation. Since hardly any suitable benchmark data sets are publicly available, researchers often resort to private data sets that prevent reproducibility of evaluations. We therefore generate a new alert data set that we publish alongside this paper. The data set contains alerts from three distinct IDSs monitoring eight executions of a multi-step attack as well as simulations of normal user behavior. To illustrate the potential of our data set, we experiment with alert prioritization as well as two open-source tools for meta-alert generation and attack graph extraction.

2.Security Assessment and Hardening of Fog Computing Systems

Authors:Carmine Cesarano

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a shift in computing architectures, moving away from centralized cloud computing towards decentralized edge and fog computing. This shift is driven by factors such as the increasing volume of data generated at the edge, the growing demand for real-time processing and low-latency applications, and the need for improved privacy and data locality. Although this new paradigm offers numerous advantages, it also introduces significant security and reliability challenges. This paper aims to review the architectures and technologies employed in fog computing and identify opportunities for developing novel security assessment and security hardening techniques. These techniques include secure configuration and debloating to enhance the security of middleware, testing techniques to assess secure communication mechanisms, and automated rehosting to speed up the security testing of embedded firmware.

1.PARseL: Towards a Verified Root-of-Trust over seL4

Authors:Ivan De Oliveira Nunes, Seoyeon Hwang, Sashidhar Jakkamsetti, Norrathep Rattanavipanon, Gene Tsudik

Abstract: Widespread adoption and growing popularity of embedded/IoT/CPS devices make them attractive attack targets. On low-to-mid-range devices, security features are typically few or none due to various constraints. Such devices are thus subject to malware-based compromise. One popular defensive measure is Remote Attestation (RA) which allows a trusted entity to determine the current software integrity of an untrusted remote device. For higher-end devices, RA is achievable via secure hardware components. For low-end (bare metal) devices, minimalistic hybrid (hardware/software) RA is effective, which incurs some hardware modifications. That leaves certain mid-range devices (e.g., ARM Cortex-A family) equipped with standard hardware components, e.g., a memory management unit (MMU) and perhaps a secure boot facility. In this space, seL4 (a verified microkernel with guaranteed process isolation) is a promising platform for attaining RA. HYDRA made a first step towards this, albeit without achieving any verifiability or provable guarantees. This paper picks up where HYDRA left off by constructing a PARseL architecture, that separates all user-dependent components from the TCB. This leads to much stronger isolation guarantees, based on seL4 alone, and facilitates formal verification. In PARseL, We use formal verification to obtain several security properties for the isolated RA TCB, including: memory safety, functional correctness, and secret independence. We implement PARseL in F* and specify/prove expected properties using Hoare logic. Next, we automatically translate the F* implementation to C using KaRaMeL, which preserves verified properties of PARseL C implementation (atop seL4). Finally, we instantiate and evaluate PARseL on a commodity platform -- a SabreLite embedded device.

2.Unleashing IoT Security: Assessing the Effectiveness of Best Practices in Protecting Against Threats

Authors:Philipp Pütz, Richard Mitev, Markus Miettinen, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi

Abstract: The Internet of Things (IoT) market is rapidly growing and is expected to double from 2020 to 2025. The increasing use of IoT devices, particularly in smart homes, raises crucial concerns about user privacy and security as these devices often handle sensitive and critical information. Inadequate security designs and implementations by IoT vendors can lead to significant vulnerabilities. To address these IoT device vulnerabilities, institutions, and organizations have published IoT security best practices (BPs) to guide manufacturers in ensuring the security of their products. However, there is currently no standardized approach for evaluating the effectiveness of individual BP recommendations. This leads to manufacturers investing effort in implementing less effective BPs while potentially neglecting measures with greater impact. In this paper, we propose a methodology for evaluating the security impact of IoT BPs and ranking them based on their effectiveness in protecting against security threats. Our approach involves translating identified BPs into concrete test cases that can be applied to real-world IoT devices to assess their effectiveness in mitigating vulnerabilities. We applied this methodology to evaluate the security impact of nine commodity IoT products, discovering 18 vulnerabilities. By empirically assessing the actual impact of BPs on device security, IoT designers and implementers can prioritize their security investments more effectively, improving security outcomes and optimizing limited security budgets.

3.Out of the Cage: How Stochastic Parrots Win in Cyber Security Environments

Authors:Maria Rigaki, Ondřej Lukáš, Carlos A. Catania, Sebastian Garcia

Abstract: Large Language Models (LLMs) have gained widespread popularity across diverse domains involving text generation, summarization, and various natural language processing tasks. Despite their inherent limitations, LLM-based designs have shown promising capabilities in planning and navigating open-world scenarios. This paper introduces a novel application of pre-trained LLMs as agents within cybersecurity network environments, focusing on their utility for sequential decision-making processes. We present an approach wherein pre-trained LLMs are leveraged as attacking agents in two reinforcement learning environments. Our proposed agents demonstrate similar or better performance against state-of-the-art agents trained for thousands of episodes in most scenarios and configurations. In addition, the best LLM agents perform similarly to human testers of the environment without any additional training process. This design highlights the potential of LLMs to efficiently address complex decision-making tasks within cybersecurity. Furthermore, we introduce a new network security environment named NetSecGame. The environment is designed to eventually support complex multi-agent scenarios within the network security domain. The proposed environment mimics real network attacks and is designed to be highly modular and adaptable for various scenarios.

4.DarkDiff: Explainable web page similarity of TOR onion sites

Authors:Pieter Hartel, Eljo Haspels, Mark van Staalduinen, Octavio Texeira

Abstract: In large-scale data analysis, near-duplicates are often a problem. For example, with two near-duplicate phishing emails, a difference in the salutation (Mr versus Ms) is not essential, but whether it is bank A or B is important. The state-of-the-art in near-duplicate detection is a black box approach (MinHash), so one only knows that emails are near-duplicates, but not why. We present DarkDiff, which can efficiently detect near-duplicates while providing the reason why there is a near-duplicate. We have developed DarkDiff to detect near-duplicates of homepages on the Darkweb. DarkDiff works well on those pages because they resemble the clear web of the past.

5.Devising and Detecting Phishing: large language models vs. Smaller Human Models

Authors:Fredrik Heiding, Bruce Schneier, Arun Vishwanath, Jeremy Bernstein

Abstract: AI programs, built using large language models, make it possible to automatically create phishing emails based on a few data points about a user. They stand in contrast to traditional phishing emails that hackers manually design using general rules gleaned from experience. The V-Triad is an advanced set of rules for manually designing phishing emails to exploit our cognitive heuristics and biases. In this study, we compare the performance of phishing emails created automatically by GPT-4 and manually using the V-Triad. We also combine GPT-4 with the V-Triad to assess their combined potential. A fourth group, exposed to generic phishing emails, was our control group. We utilized a factorial approach, sending emails to 112 randomly selected participants recruited for the study. The control group emails received a click-through rate between 19-28%, the GPT-generated emails 30-44%, emails generated by the V-Triad 69-79%, and emails generated by GPT and the V-Triad 43-81%. Each participant was asked to explain for why they pressed or did not press a link in the email. These answers often contradict each other, highlighting the need for personalized content. The cues that make one person avoid phishing emails make another person fall for them. Next, we used four popular large language models (GPT, Claude, PaLM, and LLaMA) to detect the intention of phishing emails and compare the results to human detection. The language models demonstrated a strong ability to detect malicious intent, even in non-obvious phishing emails. They sometimes surpassed human detection, although often being slightly less accurate than humans.

1.Adaptive White-Box Watermarking with Self-Mutual Check Parameters in Deep Neural Networks

Authors:Zhenzhe Gao, Zhaoxia Yin, Hongjian Zhan, Heng Yin, Yue Lu

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found wide application, but also poses risks due to unintentional or malicious tampering during deployment. Regular checks are therefore necessary to detect and prevent such risks. Fragile watermarking is a technique used to identify tampering in AI models. However, previous methods have faced challenges including risks of omission, additional information transmission, and inability to locate tampering precisely. In this paper, we propose a method for detecting tampered parameters and bits, which can be used to detect, locate, and restore parameters that have been tampered with. We also propose an adaptive embedding method that maximizes information capacity while maintaining model accuracy. Our approach was tested on multiple neural networks subjected to attacks that modified weight parameters, and our results demonstrate that our method achieved great recovery performance when the modification rate was below 20%. Furthermore, for models where watermarking significantly affected accuracy, we utilized an adaptive bit technique to recover more than 15% of the accuracy loss of the model.

2.Up-to-date Threat Modelling for Soft Privacy on Smart Cars

Authors:Mario Raciti, Giampaolo Bella

Abstract: Physical persons playing the role of car drivers consume data that is sourced from the Internet and, at the same time, themselves act as sources of relevant data. It follows that citizens' privacy is potentially at risk while they drive, hence the need to model privacy threats in this application domain. This paper addresses the privacy threats by updating a recent threat-modelling methodology and by tailoring it specifically to the soft privacy target property, which ensures citizens' full control on their personal data. The methodology now features the sources of documentation as an explicit variable that is to be considered. It is demonstrated by including a new version of the de-facto standard LINDDUN methodology as well as an additional source by ENISA which is found to be relevant to soft privacy. The main findings are a set of 23 domain-independent threats, 43 domain-specific assets and 525 domain-dependent threats for the target property in the automotive domain. While these exceed their previous versions, their main value is to offer self-evident support to at least two arguments. One is that LINDDUN has evolved much the way our original methodology already advocated because a few of our previously suggested extensions are no longer outstanding. The other one is that ENISA's treatment of privacy aboard smart cars should be extended considerably because our 525 threats fall in the same scope.

1.Static Application Security Testing of Consensus-Critical Code in the Cosmos Network

Authors:Jasper Surmont, Weihong Wang, Tom Van Cutsem

Abstract: Blockchains require deterministic execution in order to reach consensus. This is often guaranteed in languages designed to write smart contracts, such as Solidity. Application-specific blockchains or ``appchains'' allow the blockchain application logic to be written using general-purpose programming languages, giving developers more flexibility but also additional responsibilities. In particular, developers must ensure that their blockchain application logic does not contain any sources of non-determinism. Any source of non-determinism may be a potential source of vulnerabilities. This paper focuses on the use of Static Application Security Testing (SAST) tools to detect such sources of non-determinism at development time. We focus on Cosmos, a prominent open-source project that lets developers build interconnected networks of application-specific blockchains. Cosmos provides a Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows these chains to be implemented in the Go programming language. We create a corpus of 11 representative Cosmos-based appchains to analyze for sources of non-determinism in Go. As part of our study, we identified cosmos-sdk-codeql, a set of CodeQL code analysis rules for Cosmos applications. We find that these rules generate many false positives and propose a refactored set of rules that more precisely detects sources of non-determinism only in code that runs as part of the blockchain logic. We demonstrate a significant increase in the precision of the rules, making the SAST tool more effective and hence potentially contributing to enhanced security for Cosmos-based blockchains.

2.Backdooring Textual Inversion for Concept Censorship

Authors:Yutong wu, Jie Zhang, Florian Kerschbaum, Tianwei Zhang

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed success in AIGC (AI Generated Content). People can make use of a pre-trained diffusion model to generate images of high quality or freely modify existing pictures with only prompts in nature language. More excitingly, the emerging personalization techniques make it feasible to create specific-desired images with only a few images as references. However, this induces severe threats if such advanced techniques are misused by malicious users, such as spreading fake news or defaming individual reputations. Thus, it is necessary to regulate personalization models (i.e., concept censorship) for their development and advancement. In this paper, we focus on the personalization technique dubbed Textual Inversion (TI), which is becoming prevailing for its lightweight nature and excellent performance. TI crafts the word embedding that contains detailed information about a specific object. Users can easily download the word embedding from public websites like Civitai and add it to their own stable diffusion model without fine-tuning for personalization. To achieve the concept censorship of a TI model, we propose leveraging the backdoor technique for good by injecting backdoors into the Textual Inversion embeddings. Briefly, we select some sensitive words as triggers during the training of TI, which will be censored for normal use. In the subsequent generation stage, if the triggers are combined with personalized embeddings as final prompts, the model will output a pre-defined target image rather than images including the desired malicious concept. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, we conduct extensive experiments on Stable Diffusion, a prevailing open-sourced text-to-image model. Our code, data, and results are available at https://concept-censorship.github.io.

3.A Modular and Adaptive System for Business Email Compromise Detection

Authors:Jan Brabec, Filip Šrajer, Radek Starosta, Tomáš Sixta, Marc Dupont, Miloš Lenoch, Jiří Menšík, Florian Becker, Jakub Boros, Tomáš Pop, Pavel Novák

Abstract: The growing sophistication of Business Email Compromise (BEC) and spear phishing attacks poses significant challenges to organizations worldwide. The techniques featured in traditional spam and phishing detection are insufficient due to the tailored nature of modern BEC attacks as they often blend in with the regular benign traffic. Recent advances in machine learning, particularly in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), offer a promising avenue for combating such attacks but in a practical system, due to limitations such as data availability, operational costs, verdict explainability requirements or a need to robustly evolve the system, it is essential to combine multiple approaches together. We present CAPE, a comprehensive and efficient system for BEC detection that has been proven in a production environment for a period of over two years. Rather than being a single model, CAPE is a system that combines independent ML models and algorithms detecting BEC-related behaviors across various email modalities such as text, images, metadata and the email's communication context. This decomposition makes CAPE's verdicts naturally explainable. In the paper, we describe the design principles and constraints behind its architecture, as well as the challenges of model design, evaluation and adapting the system continuously through a Bayesian approach that combines limited data with domain knowledge. Furthermore, we elaborate on several specific behavioral detectors, such as those based on Transformer neural architectures.

4.Neural Networks Optimizations Against Concept and Data Drift in Malware Detection

Authors:William Maillet, Benjamin Marais

Abstract: Despite the promising results of machine learning models in malware detection, they face the problem of concept drift due to malware constant evolution. This leads to a decline in performance over time, as the data distribution of the new files differs from the training one, requiring regular model update. In this work, we propose a model-agnostic protocol to improve a baseline neural network to handle with the drift problem. We show the importance of feature reduction and training with the most recent validation set possible, and propose a loss function named Drift-Resilient Binary Cross-Entropy, an improvement to the classical Binary Cross-Entropy more effective against drift. We train our model on the EMBER dataset (2018) and evaluate it on a dataset of recent malicious files, collected between 2020 and 2023. Our improved model shows promising results, detecting 15.2% more malware than a baseline model.

5.SRSS: A New Chaos-Based Single-Round Single S-Box Image Encryption Scheme for Highly Auto-Correlated Data

Authors:Muhammad Shahbaz Khan, Jawad Ahmad, Hisham Ali, Nikolaos Pitropakis, Ahmed Al-Dubai, Baraq Ghaleb, William J. Buchanan

Abstract: With the advent of digital communication, securing digital images during transmission and storage has become a critical concern. The traditional s-box substitution methods often fail to effectively conceal the information within highly auto-correlated regions of an image. This paper addresses the security issues presented by three prevalent S-box substitution methods, i.e., single S-box, multiple S-boxes, and multiple rounds with multiple S-boxes, especially when handling images with highly auto-correlated pixels. To resolve the addressed security issues, this paper proposes a new scheme SRSS-the Single Round Single S-Box encryption scheme. SRSS uses a single S-box for substitution in just one round to break the pixel correlations and encrypt the plaintext image effectively. Additionally, this paper introduces a new Chaos-based Random Operation Selection System-CROSS, which nullifies the requirement for multiple S-boxes, thus reducing the encryption scheme's complexity. By randomly selecting the operation to be performed on each pixel, driven by a chaotic sequence, the proposed scheme effectively scrambles even high auto-correlation areas. When compared to the substitution methods mentioned above, the proposed encryption scheme exhibited exceptionally well in just a single round with a single S-box. The close-to-ideal statistical security analysis results, i.e., an entropy of 7.89 and a correlation coefficient of 0.007, validate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme. This research offers an innovative path forward for securing images in applications requiring low computational complexity and fast encryption and decryption speeds.

1.Blockchain-Based and Fuzzy Logic-Enabled False Data Discovery for the Intelligent Autonomous Vehicular System

Authors:Ziaur Rahman, Xun Yi, Ibrahim Khalil, Adnan Anwar, Shantanu Pal

Abstract: Since the beginning of this decade, several incidents report that false data injection attacks targeting intelligent connected vehicles cause huge industrial damage and loss of lives. Data Theft, Flooding, Fuzzing, Hijacking, Malware Spoofing and Advanced Persistent Threats have been immensely growing attack that leads to end-user conflict by abolishing trust on autonomous vehicle. Looking after those sensitive data that contributes to measure the localisation factors of the vehicle, conventional centralised techniques can be misused to update the legitimate vehicular status maliciously. As investigated, the existing centralized false data detection approach based on state and likelihood estimation has a reprehensible trade-off in terms of accuracy, trust, cost, and efficiency. Blockchain with Fuzzy-logic Intelligence has shown its potential to solve localisation issues, trust and false data detection challenges encountered by today's autonomous vehicular system. The proposed Blockchain-based fuzzy solution demonstrates a novel false data detection and reputation preservation technique. The illustrated proposed model filters false and anomalous data based on the vehicles' rules and behaviours. Besides improving the detection accuracy and eliminating the single point of failure, the contributions include appropriating fuzzy AI functions within the Road-side Unit node before authorizing status data by a Blockchain network. Finally, thorough experimental evaluation validates the effectiveness of the proposed model.

2.SHAPFUZZ: Efficient Fuzzing via Shapley-Guided Byte Selection

Authors:Kunpeng Zhang, Xiaogang Zhu, Xiao Xi, Minhui Xue, Chao Zhang, Sheng Wen

Abstract: Mutation-based fuzzing is popular and effective in discovering unseen code and exposing bugs. However, only a few studies have concentrated on quantifying the importance of input bytes, which refers to the degree to which a byte contributes to the discovery of new code. They often focus on obtaining the relationship between input bytes and path constraints, ignoring the fact that not all constraint-related bytes can discover new code. In this paper, we conduct Shapely analysis to understand the effect of byte positions on fuzzing performance, and find that some byte positions contribute more than others and this property often holds across seeds. Based on this observation, we propose a novel fuzzing solution, ShapFuzz, to guide byte selection and mutation. Specifically, ShapFuzz updates Shapley values (importance) of bytes when each input is tested during fuzzing with a low overhead, and utilizes contextual multi-armed bandit to trade off between mutating high Shapley value bytes and low-frequently chosen bytes. We implement a prototype of this solution based on AFL++, i.e., ShapFuzz. We evaluate ShapFuzz against ten state-of-the-art fuzzers, including five byte schedule-reinforced fuzzers and five commonly used fuzzers. Compared with byte schedule-reinforced fuzzers, ShapFuzz discovers more edges and exposes more bugs than the best baseline on three different sets of initial seeds. Compared with commonly used fuzzers, ShapFuzz exposes 20 more bugs than the best comparison fuzzer, and discovers 6 more CVEs than the best baseline on MAGMA. Furthermore, ShapFuzz discovers 11 new bugs on the latest versions of programs, and 3 of them are confirmed by vendors.

3.Attacking logo-based phishing website detectors with adversarial perturbations

Authors:Jehyun Lee, Zhe Xin, Melanie Ng Pei See, Kanav Sabharwal, Giovanni Apruzzese, Dinil Mon Divakaran

Abstract: Recent times have witnessed the rise of anti-phishing schemes powered by deep learning (DL). In particular, logo-based phishing detectors rely on DL models from Computer Vision to identify logos of well-known brands on webpages, to detect malicious webpages that imitate a given brand. For instance, Siamese networks have demonstrated notable performance for these tasks, enabling the corresponding anti-phishing solutions to detect even "zero-day" phishing webpages. In this work, we take the next step of studying the robustness of logo-based phishing detectors against adversarial ML attacks. We propose a novel attack exploiting generative adversarial perturbations to craft "adversarial logos" that evade phishing detectors. We evaluate our attacks through: (i) experiments on datasets containing real logos, to evaluate the robustness of state-of-the-art phishing detectors; and (ii) user studies to gauge whether our adversarial logos can deceive human eyes. The results show that our proposed attack is capable of crafting perturbed logos subtle enough to evade various DL models-achieving an evasion rate of up to 95%. Moreover, users are not able to spot significant differences between generated adversarial logos and original ones.

4.Polyglot Code Smell Detection for Infrastructure as Code with GLITCH

Authors:Nuno Saavedra, João Gonçalves, Miguel Henriques, João F. Ferreira, Alexandra Mendes

Abstract: This paper presents GLITCH, a new technology-agnostic framework that enables automated polyglot code smell detection for Infrastructure as Code scripts. GLITCH uses an intermediate representation on which different code smell detectors can be defined. It currently supports the detection of nine security smells and nine design & implementation smells in scripts written in Ansible, Chef, Docker, Puppet, or Terraform. Studies conducted with GLITCH not only show that GLITCH can reduce the effort of writing code smell analyses for multiple IaC technologies, but also that it has higher precision and recall than current state-of-the-art tools. A video describing and demonstrating GLITCH is available at: https://youtu.be/E4RhCcZjWbk

5.Poison Dart Frog: A Clean-Label Attack with Low Poisoning Rate and High Attack Success Rate in the Absence of Training Data

Authors:Binhao Ma, Jiahui Wang, Dejun Wang, Bo Meng

Abstract: To successfully launch backdoor attacks, injected data needs to be correctly labeled; otherwise, they can be easily detected by even basic data filters. Hence, the concept of clean-label attacks was introduced, which is more dangerous as it doesn't require changing the labels of injected data. To the best of our knowledge, the existing clean-label backdoor attacks largely relies on an understanding of the entire training set or a portion of it. However, in practice, it is very difficult for attackers to have it because of training datasets often collected from multiple independent sources. Unlike all current clean-label attacks, we propose a novel clean label method called 'Poison Dart Frog'. Poison Dart Frog does not require access to any training data; it only necessitates knowledge of the target class for the attack, such as 'frog'. On CIFAR10, Tiny-ImageNet, and TSRD, with a mere 0.1\%, 0.025\%, and 0.4\% poisoning rate of the training set size, respectively, Poison Dart Frog achieves a high Attack Success Rate compared to LC, HTBA, BadNets, and Blend. Furthermore, compared to the state-of-the-art attack, NARCISSUS, Poison Dart Frog achieves similar attack success rates without any training data. Finally, we demonstrate that four typical backdoor defense algorithms struggle to counter Poison Dart Frog.

6.Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Adaptive Cyber Defense

Authors:Marco Carvalho, Damian Marriott, Mark Bilinski, Ahmad Ridley

Abstract: The 2nd International Workshop on Adaptive Cyber Defense was held at the Florida Institute of Technology, Florida. This workshop was organized to share research that explores unique applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as foundational capabilities for the pursuit of adaptive cyber defense. The cyber domain cannot currently be reliably and effectively defended without extensive reliance on human experts. Skilled cyber defenders are in short supply and often cannot respond fast enough to cyber threats. Building on recent advances in AI and ML the Cyber defense research community has been motivated to develop new dynamic and sustainable defenses through the adoption of AI and ML techniques to cyber settings. Bridging critical gaps between AI and Cyber researchers and practitioners can accelerate efforts to create semi-autonomous cyber defenses that can learn to recognize and respond to cyber attacks or discover and mitigate weaknesses in cooperation with other cyber operation systems and human experts. Furthermore, these defenses are expected to be adaptive and able to evolve over time to thwart changes in attacker behavior, changes in the system health and readiness, and natural shifts in user behavior over time. The workshop was comprised of invited keynote talks, technical presentations and a panel discussion about how AI/ML can enable autonomous mitigation of current and future cyber attacks. Workshop submissions were peer reviewed by a panel of domain experts with a proceedings consisting of six technical articles exploring challenging problems of critical importance to national and global security. Participation in this workshop offered new opportunities to stimulate research and innovation in the emerging domain of adaptive and autonomous cyber defense.

7.Intrusion Detection based on Federated Learning: a systematic review

Authors:Jose L. Hernandez-Ramos, Georgios Karopoulos, Efstratios Chatzoglou, Vasileios Kouliaridis, Enrique Marmol, Aurora Gonzalez-Vidal, Georgios Kambourakis

Abstract: The evolution of cybersecurity is undoubtedly associated and intertwined with the development and improvement of artificial intelligence (AI). As a key tool for realizing more cybersecure ecosystems, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) have evolved tremendously in recent years by integrating machine learning (ML) techniques for the detection of increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity attacks hidden in big data. However, these approaches have traditionally been based on centralized learning architectures, in which data from end nodes are shared with data centers for analysis. Recently, the application of federated learning (FL) in this context has attracted great interest to come up with collaborative intrusion detection approaches where data does not need to be shared. Due to the recent rise of this field, this work presents a complete, contemporary taxonomy for FL-enabled IDS approaches that stems from a comprehensive survey of the literature in the time span from 2018 to 2022. Precisely, our discussion includes an analysis of the main ML models, datasets, aggregation functions, as well as implementation libraries, which are employed by the proposed FL-enabled IDS approaches. On top of everything else, we provide a critical view of the current state of the research around this topic, and describe the main challenges and future directions based on the analysis of the literature and our own experience in this area.

8.Privacy-Preserving 3-Layer Neural Network Training using Mere Homomorphic Encryption Technique

Authors:John Chiang

Abstract: In this manuscript, we consider the problem of privacy-preserving training of neural networks in the mere homomorphic encryption setting. We combine several exsiting techniques available, extend some of them, and finally enable the training of 3-layer neural networks for both the regression and classification problems using mere homomorphic encryption technique.

9.Compensating Removed Frequency Components: Thwarting Voice Spectrum Reduction Attacks

Authors:Shu Wang, Kun Sun, Qi Li

Abstract: Automatic speech recognition (ASR) provides diverse audio-to-text services for humans to communicate with machines. However, recent research reveals ASR systems are vulnerable to various malicious audio attacks. In particular, by removing the non-essential frequency components, a new spectrum reduction attack can generate adversarial audios that can be perceived by humans but cannot be correctly interpreted by ASR systems. It raises a new challenge for content moderation solutions to detect harmful content in audio and video available on social media platforms. In this paper, we propose an acoustic compensation system named ACE to counter the spectrum reduction attacks over ASR systems. Our system design is based on two observations, namely, frequency component dependencies and perturbation sensitivity. First, since the Discrete Fourier Transform computation inevitably introduces spectral leakage and aliasing effects to the audio frequency spectrum, the frequency components with similar frequencies will have a high correlation. Thus, considering the intrinsic dependencies between neighboring frequency components, it is possible to recover more of the original audio by compensating for the removed components based on the remaining ones. Second, since the removed components in the spectrum reduction attacks can be regarded as an inverse of adversarial noise, the attack success rate will decrease when the adversarial audio is replayed in an over-the-air scenario. Hence, we can model the acoustic propagation process to add over-the-air perturbations into the attacked audio. We implement a prototype of ACE and the experiments show ACE can effectively reduce up to 87.9% of ASR inference errors caused by spectrum reduction attacks. Also, by analyzing residual errors, we summarize six general types of ASR inference errors and investigate the error causes and potential mitigation solutions.

10.Attesting Distributional Properties of Training Data for Machine Learning

Authors:Vasisht Duddu, Anudeep Das, Nora Khayata, Hossein Yalame, Thomas Schneider, N. Asokan

Abstract: The success of machine learning (ML) has been accompanied by increased concerns about its trustworthiness. Several jurisdictions are preparing ML regulatory frameworks. One such concern is ensuring that model training data has desirable distributional properties for certain sensitive attributes. For example, draft regulations indicate that model trainers are required to show that training datasets have specific distributional properties, such as reflecting diversity of the population. We propose the notion of property attestation allowing a prover (e.g., model trainer) to demonstrate relevant distributional properties of training data to a verifier (e.g., a customer) without revealing the data. We present an effective hybrid property attestation combining property inference with cryptographic mechanisms.

11.An AI-Driven VM Threat Prediction Model for Multi-Risks Analysis-Based Cloud Cybersecurity

Authors:Deepika Saxena, Ishu Gupta, Rishabh Gupta, Ashutosh Kumar Singh, Xiaoqing Wen

Abstract: Cloud virtualization technology, ingrained with physical resource sharing, prompts cybersecurity threats on users' virtual machines (VM)s due to the presence of inevitable vulnerabilities on the offsite servers. Contrary to the existing works which concentrated on reducing resource sharing and encryption and decryption of data before transfer for improving cybersecurity which raises computational cost overhead, the proposed model operates diversely for efficiently serving the same purpose. This paper proposes a novel Multiple Risks Analysis based VM Threat Prediction Model (MR-TPM) to secure computational data and minimize adversary breaches by proactively estimating the VMs threats. It considers multiple cybersecurity risk factors associated with the configuration and management of VMs, along with analysis of users' behaviour. All these threat factors are quantified for the generation of respective risk score values and fed as input into a machine learning based classifier to estimate the probability of threat for each VM. The performance of MR-TPM is evaluated using benchmark Google Cluster and OpenNebula VM threat traces. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model efficiently computes the cybersecurity risks and learns the VM threat patterns from historical and live data samples. The deployment of MR-TPM with existing VM allocation policies reduces cybersecurity threats up to 88.9%.

1.An Effective Deep Learning Based Multi-Class Classification of DoS and DDoS Attack Detection

Authors:Arun Kumar Silivery, Kovvur Ram Mohan Rao, L K Suresh Kumar

Abstract: In the past few years, cybersecurity is becoming very important due to the rise in internet users. The internet attacks such as Denial of service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks severely harm a website or server and make them unavailable to other users. Network Monitoring and control systems have found it challenging to identify the many classes of DoS and DDoS attacks since each operates uniquely. Hence a powerful technique is required for attack detection. Traditional machine learning techniques are inefficient in handling extensive network data and cannot extract high-level features for attack detection. Therefore, an effective deep learning-based intrusion detection system is developed in this paper for DoS and DDoS attack classification. This model includes various phases and starts with the Deep Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks (DCGAN) based technique to address the class imbalance issue in the dataset. Then a deep learning algorithm based on ResNet-50 extracts the critical features for each class in the dataset. After that, an optimized AlexNet-based classifier is implemented for detecting the attacks separately, and the essential parameters of the classifier are optimized using the Atom search optimization algorithm. The proposed approach was evaluated on benchmark datasets, CCIDS2019 and UNSW-NB15, using key classification metrics and achieved 99.37% accuracy for the UNSW-NB15 dataset and 99.33% for the CICIDS2019 dataset. The investigational results demonstrate that the suggested approach performs superior to other competitive techniques in identifying DoS and DDoS attacks.

2.Towards a Practical Defense against Adversarial Attacks on Deep Learning-based Malware Detectors via Randomized Smoothing

Authors:Daniel Gibert, Giulio Zizzo, Quan Le

Abstract: Malware detectors based on deep learning (DL) have been shown to be susceptible to malware examples that have been deliberately manipulated in order to evade detection, a.k.a. adversarial malware examples. More specifically, it has been show that deep learning detectors are vulnerable to small changes on the input file. Given this vulnerability of deep learning detectors, we propose a practical defense against adversarial malware examples inspired by randomized smoothing. In our work, instead of employing Gaussian or Laplace noise when randomizing inputs, we propose a randomized ablation-based smoothing scheme that ablates a percentage of the bytes within an executable. During training, our randomized ablation-based smoothing scheme trains a base classifier based on ablated versions of the executable files. At test time, the final classification for a given input executable is taken as the class most commonly predicted by the classifier on a set of ablated versions of the original executable. To demonstrate the suitability of our approach we have empirically evaluated the proposed ablation-based model against various state-of-the-art evasion attacks on the BODMAS dataset. Results show greater robustness and generalization capabilities to adversarial malware examples in comparison to a non-smoothed classifier.

3.Smart Bulbs can be Hacked to Hack into your Household

Authors:Davide Bonaventura, Sergio Esposito, Giampaolo Bella

Abstract: The IoT is getting more and more pervasive. Even the simplest devices, such as a light bulb or an electrical plug, are made "smart" and controllable by our smartphone. This paper describes the findings obtained by applying the PETIoT kill chain to conduct a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing session on a smart bulb, the Tapo L530E by Tp-Link, currently best seller on Amazon Italy. We found that four vulnerabilities affect the bulb, two of High severity and two of Medium severity according to the CVSS v3.1 scoring system. In short, authentication is not well accounted for and confidentiality is insufficiently achieved by the implemented cryptographic measures. In consequence, an attacker who is nearby the bulb can operate at will not just the bulb but all devices of the Tapo family that the user may have on her Tapo account. Moreover, the attacker can learn the victim's Wi-Fi password, thereby escalating his malicious potential considerably. The paper terminates with an outline of possible fixes.

4.Watch Out! Smartwatches as criminal tool and digital forensic investigations

Authors:Seungjae Jeon, Jaehyun Chung, Doowon Jeong

Abstract: In the rapidly advancing technological landscape, smartwatches have materialized as multifunctional devices integral to our daily routines. Smartwatches store a substantial amount of personal information, potentially serving as repositories of digital evidence. Thus, digital forensic researchers have devoted considerable effort to exploring smartwatch forensic techniques. However, it has been observed that prior studies have primarily treated smartwatches as mere storage mediums for digital evidence, neglecting their potential role in criminal activities. This paper presents the information leakage perpetrated through smartwatches. We represent crime scenarios in an environment where smartphones are not available, considering that the perception that smartphones can be used as tools for criminal behavior prevails in many organizations, while the potential of similar-use smartwatches is often overlooked. We detail mechanisms for information leakage via file transfer and camera control using smartwatches. Additionally, we present methods to investigate each crime incident through smartwatch forensics. Finally, we describe the limitations of post-incident responses and propose proactive measures to prepare for potential crimes involving smartwatches. Keywords: Information Leakage, Smartwatch Forensics, Android Forensics, Mobile Device Management, Security Policy

5.That Doesn't Go There: Attacks on Shared State in Multi-User Augmented Reality Applications

Authors:Carter Slocum, Yicheng Zhang, Erfan Shayegani, Pedram Zaree, Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, Jiasi Chen

Abstract: Augmented Reality (AR) is expected to become a pervasive component in enabling shared virtual experiences. In order to facilitate collaboration among multiple users, it is crucial for multi-user AR applications to establish a consensus on the "shared state" of the virtual world and its augmentations, through which they interact within augmented reality spaces. Current methods to create and access shared state collect sensor data from devices (e.g., camera images), process them, and integrate them into the shared state. However, this process introduces new vulnerabilities and opportunities for attacks. Maliciously writing false data to "poison" the shared state is a major concern for the security of the downstream victims that depend on it. Another type of vulnerability arises when reading the shared state; by providing false inputs, an attacker can view hologram augmentations at locations they are not allowed to access. In this work, we demonstrate a series of novel attacks on multiple AR frameworks with shared states, focusing on three publicly-accessible frameworks. We show that these frameworks, while using different underlying implementations, scopes, and mechanisms to read from and write to the shared state, have shared vulnerability to a unified threat model. Our evaluation of these state-of-art AR applications demonstrates reliable attacks both on updating and accessing shared state across the different systems. To defend against such threats, we discuss a number of potential mitigation strategies that can help enhance the security of multi-user AR applications.

6.Forensic Data Analytics for Anomaly Detection in Evolving Networks

Authors:Li Yang, Abdallah Moubayed, Abdallah Shami, Amine Boukhtouta, Parisa Heidari, Stere Preda, Richard Brunner, Daniel Migault, Adel Larabi

Abstract: In the prevailing convergence of traditional infrastructure-based deployment (i.e., Telco and industry operational networks) towards evolving deployments enabled by 5G and virtualization, there is a keen interest in elaborating effective security controls to protect these deployments in-depth. By considering key enabling technologies like 5G and virtualization, evolving networks are democratized, facilitating the establishment of point presences integrating different business models ranging from media, dynamic web content, gaming, and a plethora of IoT use cases. Despite the increasing services provided by evolving networks, many cybercrimes and attacks have been launched in evolving networks to perform malicious activities. Due to the limitations of traditional security artifacts (e.g., firewalls and intrusion detection systems), the research on digital forensic data analytics has attracted more attention. Digital forensic analytics enables people to derive detailed information and comprehensive conclusions from different perspectives of cybercrimes to assist in convicting criminals and preventing future crimes. This chapter presents a digital analytics framework for network anomaly detection, including multi-perspective feature engineering, unsupervised anomaly detection, and comprehensive result correction procedures. Experiments on real-world evolving network data show the effectiveness of the proposed forensic data analytics solution.

7.RatGPT: Turning online LLMs into Proxies for Malware Attacks

Authors:Mika Beckerich, Laura Plein, Sergio Coronado

Abstract: The evolution of Generative AI and the capabilities of the newly released Large Language Models (LLMs) open new opportunities in software engineering. However, they also lead to new challenges in cybersecurity. Recently, researchers have shown the possibilities of using LLMs such as ChatGPT to generate malicious content that can directly be exploited or guide inexperienced hackers to weaponize tools and code. Those studies covered scenarios that still require the attacker in the middle of the loop. In this study, we leverage openly available plugins and use an LLM as proxy between the attacker and the victim. We deliver a proof-of-concept where ChatGPT is used for the dissemination of malicious software while evading detection, alongside establishing the communication to a command and control (C2) server to receive commands to interact with a victim's system. Finally, we present the general approach as well as essential elements in order to stay undetected and make the attack a success. This proof-of-concept highlights significant cybersecurity issues with openly available plugins and LLMs, which require the development of security guidelines, controls, and mitigation strategies.

1.Privacy at Risk: Exploiting Similarities in Health Data for Identity Inference

Authors:Lucas Lange, Tobias Schreieder, Victor Christen, Erhard Rahm

Abstract: Smartwatches enable the efficient collection of health data that can be used for research and comprehensive analysis to improve the health of individuals. In addition to the analysis capabilities, ensuring privacy when handling health data is a critical concern as the collection and analysis of such data become pervasive. Since health data contains sensitive information, it should be handled with responsibility and is therefore often treated anonymously. However, also the data itself can be exploited to reveal information and break anonymity. We propose a novel similarity-based re-identification attack on time-series health data and thereby unveil a significant vulnerability. Despite privacy measures that remove identifying information, our attack demonstrates that a brief amount of various sensor data from a target individual is adequate to possibly identify them within a database of other samples, solely based on sensor-level similarities. In our example scenario, where data owners leverage health data from smartwatches, findings show that we are able to correctly link the target data in two out of three cases. User privacy is thus already inherently threatened by the data itself and even when removing personal information.

2.Optimizing Noise for $f$-Differential Privacy via Anti-Concentration and Stochastic Dominance

Authors:Jordan Awan, Aishwarya Ramasethu

Abstract: In this paper, we establish anti-concentration inequalities for additive noise mechanisms which achieve $f$-differential privacy ($f$-DP), a notion of privacy phrased in terms of a tradeoff function (a.k.a. ROC curve) $f$ which limits the ability of an adversary to determine which individuals were in the database. We show that canonical noise distributions (CNDs), proposed by Awan and Vadhan (2023), match the anti-concentration bounds at half-integer values, indicating that their tail behavior is near-optimal. We also show that all CNDs are sub-exponential, regardless of the $f$-DP guarantee. In the case of log-concave CNDs, we show that they are the stochastically smallest noise compared to any other noise distributions with the same privacy guarantee. In terms of integer-valued noise, we propose a new notion of discrete CND and prove that a discrete CND always exists, can be constructed by rounding a continuous CND, and that the discrete CND is unique when designed for a statistic with sensitivity 1. We further show that the discrete CND at sensitivity 1 is stochastically smallest compared to other integer-valued noises. Our theoretical results shed light on the different types of privacy guarantees possible in the $f$-DP framework and can be incorporated in more complex mechanisms to optimize performance.

3.Evaluating IP Blacklists Effectiveness

Authors:Luca Deri, Francesco Fusco

Abstract: IP blacklists are widely used to increase network security by preventing communications with peers that have been marked as malicious. There are several commercial offerings as well as several free-of-charge blacklists maintained by volunteers on the web. Despite their wide adoption, the effectiveness of the different IP blacklists in real-world scenarios is still not clear. In this paper, we conduct a large-scale network monitoring study which provides insightful findings regarding the effectiveness of blacklists. The results collected over several hundred thousand IP hosts belonging to three distinct large production networks highlight that blacklists are often tuned for precision, with the result that many malicious activities, such as scanning, are completely undetected. The proposed instrumentation approach to detect IP scanning and suspicious activities is implemented with home-grown and open-source software. Our tools enable the creation of blacklists without the security risks posed by the deployment of honeypots.

4.Diff-CAPTCHA: An Image-based CAPTCHA with Security Enhanced by Denoising Diffusion Model

Authors:Ran Jiang, Sanfeng Zhang, Linfeng Liu, Yanbing Peng

Abstract: To enhance the security of text CAPTCHAs, various methods have been employed, such as adding the interference lines on the text, randomly distorting the characters, and overlapping multiple characters. These methods partly increase the difficulty of automated segmentation and recognition attacks. However, facing the rapid development of the end-to-end breaking algorithms, their security has been greatly weakened. The diffusion model is a novel image generation model that can generate the text images with deep fusion of characters and background images. In this paper, an image-click CAPTCHA scheme called Diff-CAPTCHA is proposed based on denoising diffusion models. The background image and characters of the CAPTCHA are treated as a whole to guide the generation process of a diffusion model, thus weakening the character features available for machine learning, enhancing the diversity of character features in the CAPTCHA, and increasing the difficulty of breaking algorithms. To evaluate the security of Diff-CAPTCHA, this paper develops several attack methods, including end-to-end attacks based on Faster R-CNN and two-stage attacks, and Diff-CAPTCHA is compared with three baseline schemes, including commercial CAPTCHA scheme and security-enhanced CAPTCHA scheme based on style transfer. The experimental results show that diffusion models can effectively enhance CAPTCHA security while maintaining good usability in human testing.

5.Test-Time Poisoning Attacks Against Test-Time Adaptation Models

Authors:Tianshuo Cong, Xinlei He, Yun Shen, Yang Zhang

Abstract: Deploying machine learning (ML) models in the wild is challenging as it suffers from distribution shifts, where the model trained on an original domain cannot generalize well to unforeseen diverse transfer domains. To address this challenge, several test-time adaptation (TTA) methods have been proposed to improve the generalization ability of the target pre-trained models under test data to cope with the shifted distribution. The success of TTA can be credited to the continuous fine-tuning of the target model according to the distributional hint from the test samples during test time. Despite being powerful, it also opens a new attack surface, i.e., test-time poisoning attacks, which are substantially different from previous poisoning attacks that occur during the training time of ML models (i.e., adversaries cannot intervene in the training process). In this paper, we perform the first test-time poisoning attack against four mainstream TTA methods, including TTT, DUA, TENT, and RPL. Concretely, we generate poisoned samples based on the surrogate models and feed them to the target TTA models. Experimental results show that the TTA methods are generally vulnerable to test-time poisoning attacks. For instance, the adversary can feed as few as 10 poisoned samples to degrade the performance of the target model from 76.20% to 41.83%. Our results demonstrate that TTA algorithms lacking a rigorous security assessment are unsuitable for deployment in real-life scenarios. As such, we advocate for the integration of defenses against test-time poisoning attacks into the design of TTA methods.

1.Block-Wise Encryption for Reliable Vision Transformer models

Authors:Hitoshi Kiya, Ryota Iijima, Teru Nagamori

Abstract: This article presents block-wise image encryption for the vision transformer and its applications. Perceptual image encryption for deep learning enables us not only to protect the visual information of plain images but to also embed unique features controlled with a key into images and models. However, when using conventional perceptual encryption methods, the performance of models is degraded due to the influence of encryption. In this paper, we focus on block-wise encryption for the vision transformer, and we introduce three applications: privacy-preserving image classification, access control, and the combined use of federated learning and encrypted images. Our scheme can have the same performance as models without any encryption, and it does not require any network modification. It also allows us to easily update the secret key. In experiments, the effectiveness of the scheme is demonstrated in terms of performance degradation and access control on the CIFAR10 and CIFAR-100 datasets.

2.A Scalable Formal Verification Methodology for Data-Oblivious Hardware

Authors:Lucas Deutschmann, Johannes Mueller, Mohammad Rahmani Fadiheh, Dominik Stoffel, Wolfgang Kunz

Abstract: The importance of preventing microarchitectural timing side channels in security-critical applications has surged in recent years. Constant-time programming has emerged as a best-practice technique for preventing the leakage of secret information through timing. It is based on the assumption that the timing of certain basic machine instructions is independent of their respective input data. However, whether or not an instruction satisfies this data-independent timing criterion varies between individual processor microarchitectures. In this paper, we propose a novel methodology to formally verify data-oblivious behavior in hardware using standard property checking techniques. The proposed methodology is based on an inductive property that enables scalability even to complex out-of-order cores. We show that proving this inductive property is sufficient to exhaustively verify data-obliviousness at the microarchitectural level. In addition, the paper discusses several techniques that can be used to make the verification process easier and faster. We demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed methodology through case studies on several open-source designs. One case study uncovered a data-dependent timing violation in the extensively verified and highly secure IBEX RISC-V core. In addition to several hardware accelerators and in-order processors, our experiments also include RISC-V BOOM, a complex out-of-order processor, highlighting the scalability of the approach.

3.Fairness and Privacy in Federated Learning and Their Implications in Healthcare

Authors:Navya Annapareddy, Jade Preston, Judy Fox

Abstract: Currently, many contexts exist where distributed learning is difficult or otherwise constrained by security and communication limitations. One common domain where this is a consideration is in Healthcare where data is often governed by data-use-ordinances like HIPAA. On the other hand, larger sample sizes and shared data models are necessary to allow models to better generalize on account of the potential for more variability and balancing underrepresented classes. Federated learning is a type of distributed learning model that allows data to be trained in a decentralized manner. This, in turn, addresses data security, privacy, and vulnerability considerations as data itself is not shared across a given learning network nodes. Three main challenges to federated learning include node data is not independent and identically distributed (iid), clients requiring high levels of communication overhead between peers, and there is the heterogeneity of different clients within a network with respect to dataset bias and size. As the field has grown, the notion of fairness in federated learning has also been introduced through novel implementations. Fairness approaches differ from the standard form of federated learning and also have distinct challenges and considerations for the healthcare domain. This paper endeavors to outline the typical lifecycle of fair federated learning in research as well as provide an updated taxonomy to account for the current state of fairness in implementations. Lastly, this paper provides added insight into the implications and challenges of implementing and supporting fairness in federated learning in the healthcare domain.

4.Robustness Over Time: Understanding Adversarial Examples' Effectiveness on Longitudinal Versions of Large Language Models

Authors:Yugeng Liu, Tianshuo Cong, Zhengyu Zhao, Michael Backes, Yun Shen, Yang Zhang

Abstract: Large Language Models (LLMs) have led to significant improvements in many tasks across various domains, such as code interpretation, response generation, and ambiguity handling. These LLMs, however, when upgrading, primarily prioritize enhancing user experience while neglecting security, privacy, and safety implications. Consequently, unintended vulnerabilities or biases can be introduced. Previous studies have predominantly focused on specific versions of the models and disregard the potential emergence of new attack vectors targeting the updated versions. Through the lens of adversarial examples within the in-context learning framework, this longitudinal study addresses this gap by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the robustness of successive versions of LLMs, vis-\`a-vis GPT-3.5. We conduct extensive experiments to analyze and understand the impact of the robustness in two distinct learning categories: zero-shot learning and few-shot learning. Our findings indicate that, in comparison to earlier versions of LLMs, the updated versions do not exhibit the anticipated level of robustness against adversarial attacks. In addition, our study emphasizes the increased effectiveness of synergized adversarial queries in most zero-shot learning and few-shot learning cases. We hope that our study can lead to a more refined assessment of the robustness of LLMs over time and provide valuable insights of these models for both developers and users.

5.SplITS: Split Input-to-State Mapping for Effective Firmware Fuzzing

Authors:Guy Farrelly, Paul Quirk, Salil S. Kanhere, Seyit Camtepe, Damith C. Ranasinghe

Abstract: Ability to test firmware on embedded devices is critical to discovering vulnerabilities prior to their adversarial exploitation. State-of-the-art automated testing methods rehost firmware in emulators and attempt to facilitate inputs from a diversity of methods (interrupt driven, status polling) and a plethora of devices (such as modems and GPS units). Despite recent progress to tackle peripheral input generation challenges in rehosting, a firmware's expectation of multi-byte magic values supplied from peripheral inputs for string operations still pose a significant roadblock. We solve the impediment posed by multi-byte magic strings in monolithic firmware. We propose feedback mechanisms for input-to-state mapping and retaining seeds for targeted replacement mutations with an efficient method to solve multi-byte comparisons. The feedback allows an efficient search over a combinatorial solution-space. We evaluate our prototype implementation, SplITS, with a diverse set of 21 real-world monolithic firmware binaries used in prior works, and 3 new binaries from popular open source projects. SplITS automatically solves 497% more multi-byte magic strings guarding further execution to uncover new code and bugs compared to state-of-the-art. In 11 of the 12 real-world firmware binaries with string comparisons, including those extensively analyzed by prior works, SplITS outperformed, statistically significantly. We observed up to 161% increase in blocks covered and discovered 6 new bugs that remained guarded by string comparisons. Significantly, deep and difficult to reproduce bugs guarded by comparisons, identified in prior work, were found consistently. To facilitate future research in the field, we release SplITS, the new firmware data sets, and bug analysis at https://github.com/SplITS-Fuzzer

6.Domain-Adaptive Device Fingerprints for Network Access Authentication Through Multifractal Dimension Representation

Authors:Benjamin Johnson, Bechir Hamdaoui

Abstract: RF data-driven device fingerprinting through the use of deep learning has recently surfaced as a potential solution for automated network access authentication. Traditional approaches are commonly susceptible to the domain adaptation problem where a model trained on data from one domain performs badly when tested on data from a different domain. Some examples of a domain change include varying the device location or environment and varying the time or day of data collection. In this work, we propose using multifractal analysis and the variance fractal dimension trajectory (VFDT) as a data representation input to the deep neural network to extract device fingerprints that are domain generalizable. We analyze the effectiveness of the proposed VFDT representation in detecting device-specific signatures from hardware-impaired IQ signals, and evaluate its robustness in real-world settings, using an experimental testbed of 30 WiFi-enabled Pycom devices under different locations and at different scales. Our results show that the VFDT representation improves the scalability, robustness and generalizability of the deep learning models significantly compared to when using raw IQ data.

1.Security Analysis of Filecoin's Expected Consensus in the Byzantine vs Honest Model

Authors:Xuechao Wang, Sarah Azouvi, Marko Vukolić

Abstract: Filecoin is the largest storage-based open-source blockchain, both by storage capacity (>11EiB) and market capitalization. This paper provides the first formal security analysis of Filecoin's consensus (ordering) protocol, Expected Consensus (EC). Specifically, we show that EC is secure against an arbitrary adversary that controls a fraction $\beta$ of the total storage for $\beta m< 1- e^{-(1-\beta)m}$, where $m$ is a parameter that corresponds to the expected number of blocks per round, currently $m=5$ in Filecoin. We then present an attack, the $n$-split attack, where an adversary splits the honest miners between multiple chains, and show that it is successful for $\beta m \ge 1- e^{-(1-\beta)m}$, thus proving that $\beta m= 1- e^{-(1-\beta)m}$ is the tight security threshold of EC. This corresponds roughly to an adversary with $20\%$ of the total storage pledged to the chain. Finally, we propose two improvements to EC security that would increase this threshold. One of these two fixes is being implemented as a Filecoin Improvement Proposal (FIP).

2.Secure and Dynamic Publish/Subscribe: LCMsec

Authors:Moritz Jasper, Stefan Köpsell

Abstract: We propose LCMsec, a brokerless, decentralised Publish/Subscribe protocol. It aims to provide low-latency and high-throughput message-passing for IoT and automotive applications while providing much-needed security functionalities to combat emerging cyber-attacks in that domain. LCMsec is an extension for the Lightweight Communications and Marshalling (LCM) protocol. We extend this protocol by providing not only authenticated encryption of the messages in transit, but also a group discovery protocol inspired by the Raft consensus protocol. The Dutta-Barua group key agreement is used to agree upon a shared symmetric key among subscribers and publishers on a topic. By using a shared group key, we reduce the key agreement overhead and the number of message authentication codes (MACs) per message compared to existing proposals for secure brokerless Publish/Subscribe protocols, which establish a symmetric key between each publisher and subscriber and append multiple MACs to each message.

3.Towards a Cloud-Based Ontology for Service Model Security -- Technical Report

Authors:Mohammed Kharma, Ahmed Sabbah, Mustafa Jarrar

Abstract: The adoption of cloud computing has brought significant advancements in the operational models of businesses. However, this shift also brings new security challenges by expanding the attack surface. The offered services in cloud computing have various service models. Each cloud service model has a defined responsibility divided based on the stack layers between the service user and their cloud provider. Regardless of its service model, each service is constructed from sub-components and services running on the underlying layers. In this paper, we aim to enable more transparency and visibility by designing an ontology that links the provider's services with the sub-components used to deliver the service. Such breakdown for each cloud service sub-components enables the end user to track the vulnerabilities on the service level or one of its sub-components. Such information can result in a better understanding and management of reported vulnerabilities on the sub-components level and their impact on the offered services by the cloud provider. Our ontology and source code are published as an open-source and accessible via GitHub: \href{https://github.com/mohkharma/cc-ontology}{mohkharma/cc-ontology}

4.Reinforcing Security and Usability of Crypto-Wallet with Post-Quantum Cryptography and Zero-Knowledge Proof

Authors:Yathin Kethepalli, Rony Joseph, Sai Raja Vajrala, Jashwanth Vemula, Nenavath Srinivas Naik

Abstract: Crypto-wallets or digital asset wallets are a crucial aspect of managing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets such as NFTs. However, these wallets are not immune to security threats, particularly from the growing risk of quantum computing. The use of traditional public-key cryptography systems in digital asset wallets makes them vulnerable to attacks from quantum computers, which may increase in the future. Moreover, current digital wallets require users to keep track of seed-phrases, which can be challenging and lead to additional security risks. To overcome these challenges, a new algorithm is proposed that uses post-quantum cryptography (PQC) and zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) to enhance the security of digital asset wallets. The research focuses on the use of the Lattice-based Threshold Secret Sharing Scheme (LTSSS), Kyber Algorithm for key generation and ZKP for wallet unlocking, providing a more secure and user-friendly alternative to seed-phrase, brain and multi-sig protocol wallets. This algorithm also includes several innovative security features such as recovery of wallets in case of downtime of the server, and the ability to rekey the private key associated with a specific username-password combination, offering improved security and usability. The incorporation of PQC and ZKP provides a robust and comprehensive framework for securing digital assets in the present and future. This research aims to address the security challenges faced by digital asset wallets and proposes practical solutions to ensure their safety in the era of quantum computing.

1.CyberForce: A Federated Reinforcement Learning Framework for Malware Mitigation

Authors:Chao Feng, Alberto Huertas Celdran, Pedro Miguel Sanchez Sanchez, Jan Kreischer, Jan von der Assen, Gerome Bovet, Gregorio Martinez Perez, Burkhard Stiller

Abstract: The expansion of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm is inevitable, but vulnerabilities of IoT devices to malware incidents have become an increasing concern. Recent research has shown that the integration of Reinforcement Learning with Moving Target Defense (MTD) mechanisms can enhance cybersecurity in IoT devices. Nevertheless, the numerous new malware attacks and the time that agents take to learn and select effective MTD techniques make this approach impractical for real-world IoT scenarios. To tackle this issue, this work presents CyberForce, a framework that employs Federated Reinforcement Learning (FRL) to collectively and privately determine suitable MTD techniques for mitigating diverse zero-day attacks. CyberForce integrates device fingerprinting and anomaly detection to reward or penalize MTD mechanisms chosen by an FRL-based agent. The framework has been evaluated in a federation consisting of ten devices of a real IoT platform. A pool of experiments with six malware samples affecting the devices has demonstrated that CyberForce can precisely learn optimum MTD mitigation strategies. When all clients are affected by all attacks, the FRL agent exhibits high accuracy and reduced training time when compared to a centralized RL agent. In cases where different clients experience distinct attacks, the CyberForce clients gain benefits through the transfer of knowledge from other clients and similar attack behavior. Additionally, CyberForce showcases notable robustness against data poisoning attacks.

2.Security of XCB and HCTR

Authors:Manish Kumar

Abstract: Tweakable Enciphering Scheme (TES) is a length preserving scheme which provides confidentiality and admissible integrity. XCB (Extended Code Book) is a TES which was introduced in 2004. In 2007, it was modified and security bound was provided. Later, these two versions were referred to as XCBv1 and XCBv2 respectively. XCBv2 was proposed as the IEEE-std 1619.2 2010 for encryption of sector oriented storage media. In 2013, first time Security bound of XCBv1 was given and XCBv2's security bound was enhanced. A constant of $2^{22}$ appears in the security bounds of the XCBv1 and XCBv2. We showed that this constant of $2^{22}$ can be reduced to $2^{5}$. Further, we modified the XCB (MXCB) scheme such that it gives better security bound compared to the present XCB scheme. We also analyzed some weak keys attack on XCB and a type of TES known as HCTR (proposed in 2005). We performed distinguishing attack and the hash key recovery attack on HCTR. Next, we analyzed the dependency of the two different keys in HCTR.

3.Test-Time Adaptation for Backdoor Defense

Authors:Jiyang Guan, Jian Liang, Ran He

Abstract: Deep neural networks have played a crucial part in many critical domains, such as autonomous driving, face recognition, and medical diagnosis. However, deep neural networks are facing security threats from backdoor attacks and can be manipulated into attacker-decided behaviors by the backdoor attacker. To defend the backdoor, prior research has focused on using clean data to remove backdoor attacks before model deployment. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of defending against backdoor attacks at test time by utilizing partially poisoned data to remove the backdoor from the model. To address the problem, a two-stage method Test-Time Backdoor Defense (TTBD) is proposed. In the first stage, we propose two backdoor sample detection methods, namely DDP and TeCo, to identify poisoned samples from a batch of mixed, partially poisoned samples. Once the poisoned samples are detected, we employ Shapley estimation to calculate the contribution of each neuron's significance in the network, locate the poisoned neurons, and prune them to remove backdoor in the models. Our experiments demonstrate that TTBD removes the backdoor successfully with only a batch of partially poisoned data across different model architectures and datasets against different types of backdoor attacks.

4.A Uniform Representation of Classical and Quantum Source Code for Static Code Analysis

Authors:Maximilian Kaul, Alexander Küchler, Christian Banse

Abstract: The emergence of quantum computing raises the question of how to identify (security-relevant) programming errors during development. However, current static code analysis tools fail to model information specific to quantum computing. In this paper, we identify this information and propose to extend classical code analysis tools accordingly. Among such tools, we identify the Code Property Graph to be very well suited for this task as it can be easily extended with quantum computing specific information. For our proof of concept, we implemented a tool which includes information from the quantum world in the graph and demonstrate its ability to analyze source code written in Qiskit and OpenQASM. Our tool brings together the information from the classical and quantum world, enabling analysis across both domains. By combining all relevant information into a single detailed analysis, this powerful tool can facilitate tackling future quantum source code analysis challenges.

5.Physical Adversarial Attacks For Camera-based Smart Systems: Current Trends, Categorization, Applications, Research Challenges, and Future Outlook

Authors:Amira Guesmi, Muhammad Abdullah Hanif, Bassem Ouni, Muhammed Shafique

Abstract: In this paper, we present a comprehensive survey of the current trends focusing specifically on physical adversarial attacks. We aim to provide a thorough understanding of the concept of physical adversarial attacks, analyzing their key characteristics and distinguishing features. Furthermore, we explore the specific requirements and challenges associated with executing attacks in the physical world. Our article delves into various physical adversarial attack methods, categorized according to their target tasks in different applications, including classification, detection, face recognition, semantic segmentation and depth estimation. We assess the performance of these attack methods in terms of their effectiveness, stealthiness, and robustness. We examine how each technique strives to ensure the successful manipulation of DNNs while mitigating the risk of detection and withstanding real-world distortions. Lastly, we discuss the current challenges and outline potential future research directions in the field of physical adversarial attacks. We highlight the need for enhanced defense mechanisms, the exploration of novel attack strategies, the evaluation of attacks in different application domains, and the establishment of standardized benchmarks and evaluation criteria for physical adversarial attacks. Through this comprehensive survey, we aim to provide a valuable resource for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to gain a holistic understanding of physical adversarial attacks in computer vision and facilitate the development of robust and secure DNN-based systems.

6.SALSy: Security-Aware Layout Synthesis

Authors:Mohammad Eslami, Tiago Perez, Samuel Pagliarini

Abstract: Integrated Circuits (ICs) are the target of diverse attacks during their lifetime. Fabrication-time attacks, such as the insertion of Hardware Trojans, can give an adversary access to privileged data and/or the means to corrupt the IC's internal computation. Post-fabrication attacks, where the end-user takes a malicious role, also attempt to obtain privileged information through means such as fault injection and probing. Taking these threats into account and at the same time, this paper proposes a methodology for Security-Aware Layout Synthesis (SALSy), such that ICs can be designed with security in mind in the same manner as power-performance-area (PPA) metrics are considered today, a concept known as security closure. Furthermore, the trade-offs between PPA and security are considered and a chip is fabricated in a 65nm CMOS commercial technology for validation purposes - a feature not seen in previous research on security closure. Measurements on the fabricated ICs indicate that SALSy promotes a modest increase in power in order to achieve significantly improved security metrics.

1.DCM: A Developers Certification Model for Mobile Ecosystems

Authors:Paulo Trezentos, Ricardo Capote, Tiago Teodoro, João Carneiro

Abstract: This article introduces a distributed model of trust for app developers in Android and iOS mobile ecosystems. The model aims to allow the co-existence of multiple app stores and distribution channels while retaining a high level of safety for mobile device users and minimum changes to current mobile operating systems. The Developers Certification Model (DCM) is a trust model for Android and iOS that aims to distinguish legit applications from security threats to user safeness by answering the question: "is the developer of this app trustable"? It proposes security by design, where safety relies on a chain of trust mapping real-world levels of trust across organizations. For the technical implementation, DCM is heavily inspired by SSL/TLS certification protocol, as a proven model that has been working for over 30 years.

2.Decentralized Finance (DeFi): A Survey

Authors:Erya Jiang, Bo Qin, Qin Wang, Zhipeng Wang, Qianhong Wu, Jian Weng, Xinyu Li, Chenyang Wang, Yuhang Ding, Yanran Zhang

Abstract: Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a new paradigm in the creation, distribution, and utilization of financial services via the integration of blockchain technology. Our research conducts a comprehensive introduction and meticulous classification of various DeFi applications. Beyond that, we thoroughly analyze these risks from both technical and economic perspectives, spanning multiple layers. Lastly, we point out research directions in DeFi, encompassing areas of technological advancements, innovative economics, and privacy optimization.

1.Communication-Efficient Search under Fully Homomorphic Encryption for Federated Machine Learning

Authors:Dongfang Zhao

Abstract: Homomorphic encryption (HE) has found extensive utilization in federated learning (FL) systems, capitalizing on its dual advantages: (i) ensuring the confidentiality of shared models contributed by participating entities, and (ii) enabling algebraic operations directly on ciphertexts representing encrypted models. Particularly, the approximate fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) scheme, known as CKKS, has emerged as the de facto encryption scheme, notably supporting decimal numbers. While recent research predominantly focuses on enhancing CKKS's encryption rate and evaluation speed in the context of FL, the search operation has been relatively disregarded due to the tendency of some applications to discard intermediate encrypted models. Yet, emerging studies emphasize the importance of managing and searching intermediate models for specific applications like large-scale scientific computing, necessitating robust data provenance and auditing support. To address this, our paper introduces an innovative approach that efficiently searches for a target encrypted value, incurring only a logarithmic number of network interactions. The proposed method capitalizes on CKKS's additive and multiplicative properties on encrypted models, propagating equality comparisons between values through a balanced binary tree structure to ultimately reach a single aggregate. A comprehensive analysis of the proposed algorithm underscores its potential to significantly broaden FL's applicability and impact.

2.VulLibGen: Identifying Vulnerable Third-Party Libraries via Generative Pre-Trained Model

Authors:Tianyu Chen, Lin Li, Liuchuan Zhu, Zongyang Li, Guangtai Liang, Ding Li, Qianxiang Wang, Tao Xie

Abstract: To avoid potential risks posed by vulnerabilities in third-party libraries, security researchers maintain vulnerability databases (e.g., NVD) containing vulnerability reports, each of which records the description of a vulnerability and the name list of libraries affected by the vulnerability (a.k.a. vulnerable libraries). However, recent studies on about 200,000 vulnerability reports in NVD show that 53.3% of these reports do not include the name list of vulnerable libraries, and 59.82% of the included name lists of vulnerable libraries are incomplete or incorrect. To address the preceding issue, in this paper, we propose the first generative approach named VulLibGen to generate the name list of vulnerable libraries (out of all the existing libraries) for the given vulnerability by utilizing recent enormous advances in Large Language Models (LLMs), in order to achieve high accuracy. VulLibGen takes only the description of a vulnerability as input and achieves high identification accuracy based on LLMs' prior knowledge of all the existing libraries. VulLibGen also includes the input augmentation technique to help identify zero-shot vulnerable libraries (those not occurring during training) and the post-processing technique to help address VulLibGen's hallucinations. We evaluate VulLibGen using three state-of-the-art/practice approaches (LightXML, Chronos, and VulLibMiner) that identify vulnerable libraries on an open-source dataset (VulLib). Our evaluation results show that VulLibGen can accurately identify vulnerable libraries with an average F1 score of 0.626 while the state-of-the-art/practice approaches achieve only 0.561. The post-processing technique helps VulLibGen achieve an average improvement of F1@1 by 9.3%. The input augmentation technique helps VulLibGen achieve an average improvement of F1@1 by 39% in identifying zero-shot libraries.

3.SSL-Auth: An Authentication Framework by Fragile Watermarking for Pre-trained Encoders in Self-supervised Learning

Authors:Xiaobei Li, Changchun Yin, Liming Fang, Run Wang, Chenhao Lin

Abstract: Self-supervised learning (SSL) which leverages unlabeled datasets for pre-training powerful encoders has achieved significant success in recent years. These encoders are commonly used as feature extractors for various downstream tasks, requiring substantial data and computing resources for their training process. With the deployment of pre-trained encoders in commercial use, protecting the intellectual property of model owners and ensuring the trustworthiness of the models becomes crucial. Recent research has shown that encoders are threatened by backdoor attacks, adversarial attacks, etc. Therefore, a scheme to verify the integrity of pre-trained encoders is needed to protect users. In this paper, we propose SSL-Auth, the first fragile watermarking scheme for verifying the integrity of encoders without compromising model performance. Our method utilizes selected key samples as watermark information and trains a verification network to reconstruct the watermark information, thereby verifying the integrity of the encoder. By comparing the reconstruction results of the key samples, malicious modifications can be effectively detected, as altered models should not exhibit similar reconstruction performance as the original models. Extensive evaluations on various models and diverse datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and fragility of our proposed SSL-Auth.

4.Data-Driven Intelligence can Revolutionize Today's Cybersecurity World: A Position Paper

Authors:Iqbal H. Sarker, Helge Janicke, Leandros Maglaras, Seyit Camtepe

Abstract: As cyber threats evolve and grow progressively more sophisticated, cyber security is becoming a more significant concern in today's digital era. Traditional security measures tend to be insufficient to defend against these persistent and dynamic threats because they are mainly intuitional. One of the most promising ways to handle this ongoing problem is utilizing the potential of data-driven intelligence, by leveraging AI and machine learning techniques. It can improve operational efficiency and saves response times by automating repetitive operations, enabling real-time threat detection, and facilitating incident response. In addition, it augments human expertise with insightful information, predictive analytics, and enhanced decision-making, enabling them to better understand and address evolving problems. Thus, data-driven intelligence could significantly improve real-world cybersecurity solutions in a wide range of application areas like critical infrastructure, smart cities, digital twin, industrial control systems and so on. In this position paper, we argue that data-driven intelligence can revolutionize the realm of cybersecurity, offering not only large-scale task automation but also assist human experts for better situation awareness and decision-making in real-world scenarios.

5.A Feature Set of Small Size for the PDF Malware Detection

Authors:Ran Liu, Charles Nicholas

Abstract: Machine learning (ML)-based malware detection systems are becoming increasingly important as malware threats increase and get more sophisticated. PDF files are often used as vectors for phishing attacks because they are widely regarded as trustworthy data resources, and are accessible across different platforms. Therefore, researchers have developed many different PDF malware detection methods. Performance in detecting PDF malware is greatly influenced by feature selection. In this research, we propose a small features set that don't require too much domain knowledge of the PDF file. We evaluate proposed features with six different machine learning models. We report the best accuracy of 99.75% when using Random Forest model. Our proposed feature set, which consists of just 12 features, is one of the most conciseness in the field of PDF malware detection. Despite its modest size, we obtain comparable results to state-of-the-art that employ a much larger set of features.

1.An Ethereum-based Product Identification System for Anti-counterfeits

Authors:Shashank Gupta

Abstract: Fake products are items that are marketed and sold as genuine, high-quality products but are counterfeit or low-quality knockoffs. These products are often designed to closely mimic the appearance and branding of the genuine product to deceive consumers into thinking they are purchasing the real thing. Fake products can range from clothing and accessories to electronics and other goods and can be found in a variety of settings, including online marketplaces and brick-and-mortar stores. Blockchain technology can be used to help detect fake products in a few different ways. One of the most common ways is through the use of smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. This allows for a high level of transparency and traceability in supply chain transactions, making it easier to identify and prevent the sale of fake products and the use of unique product identifiers, such as serial numbers or QR codes, that are recorded on the blockchain. This allows consumers to easily verify the authenticity of a product by scanning the code and checking it against the information recorded on the blockchain. In this study, we will use smart contracts to detect fake products and will evaluate based on Gas cost and ethers used for each implementation.

2.Caching-based Multicast Message Authentication in Time-critical Industrial Control Systems

Authors:Utku Tefek, Ertem Esiner, Daisuke Mashima, Binbin Chen, Yih-Chun Hu

Abstract: Attacks against industrial control systems (ICSs) often exploit the insufficiency of authentication mechanisms. Verifying whether the received messages are intact and issued by legitimate sources can prevent malicious data/command injection by illegitimate or compromised devices. However, the key challenge is to introduce message authentication for various ICS communication models, including multicast or broadcast, with a messaging rate that can be as high as thousands of messages per second, within very stringent latency constraints. For example, certain commands for protection in smart grids must be delivered within 2 milliseconds, ruling out public-key cryptography. This paper proposes two lightweight message authentication schemes, named CMA and its multicast variant CMMA, that perform precomputation and caching to authenticate future messages. With minimal precomputation and communication overhead, C(M)MA eliminates all cryptographic operations for the source after the message is given, and all expensive cryptographic operations for the destinations after the message is received. C(M)MA considers the urgency profile (or likelihood) of a set of future messages for even faster verification of the most time-critical (or likely) messages. We demonstrate the feasibility of C(M)MA in an ICS setting based on a substation automation system in smart grids.

1.When GPT Meets Program Analysis: Towards Intelligent Detection of Smart Contract Logic Vulnerabilities in GPTScan

Authors:Yuqiang Sun, Daoyuan Wu, Yue Xue, Han Liu, Haijun Wang, Zhengzi Xu, Xiaofei Xie, Yang Liu

Abstract: Smart contracts are prone to various vulnerabilities, leading to substantial financial losses over time. Current analysis tools mainly target vulnerabilities with fixed control or dataflow patterns, such as re-entrancy and integer overflow. However, a recent study on Web3 security bugs revealed that about 80% of these bugs cannot be audited by existing tools due to the lack of domain-specific property description and checking. Given recent advances in Generative Pretraining Transformer (GPT), it is worth exploring how GPT could aid in detecting logic vulnerabilities in smart contracts. In this paper, we propose GPTScan, the first tool combining GPT with static analysis for smart contract logic vulnerability detection. Instead of relying solely on GPT to identify vulnerabilities, which can lead to high false positives and is limited by GPT's pre-trained knowledge, we utilize GPT as a versatile code understanding tool. By breaking down each logic vulnerability type into scenarios and properties, GPTScan matches candidate vulnerabilities with GPT. To enhance accuracy, GPTScan further instructs GPT to intelligently recognize key variables and statements, which are then validated by static confirmation. Evaluation on diverse datasets with around 400 contract projects and 3K Solidity files shows that GPTScan achieves high precision (over 90%) for token contracts and acceptable precision (57.14%) for large projects like Web3Bugs. It effectively detects groundtruth logic vulnerabilities with a recall of over 80%, including 9 new vulnerabilities missed by human auditors. GPTScan is fast and cost-effective, taking an average of 14.39 seconds and 0.01 USD to scan per thousand lines of Solidity code. Moreover, static confirmation helps GPTScan reduce two-thirds of false positives.

2.A Four-Pronged Defense Against Byzantine Attacks in Federated Learning

Authors:Wei Wan, Shengshan Hu, Minghui Li, Jianrong Lu, Longling Zhang, Leo Yu Zhang, Hai Jin

Abstract: \textit{Federated learning} (FL) is a nascent distributed learning paradigm to train a shared global model without violating users' privacy. FL has been shown to be vulnerable to various Byzantine attacks, where malicious participants could independently or collusively upload well-crafted updates to deteriorate the performance of the global model. However, existing defenses could only mitigate part of Byzantine attacks, without providing an all-sided shield for FL. It is difficult to simply combine them as they rely on totally contradictory assumptions. In this paper, we propose FPD, a \underline{\textbf{f}}our-\underline{\textbf{p}}ronged \underline{\textbf{d}}efense against both non-colluding and colluding Byzantine attacks. Our main idea is to utilize absolute similarity to filter updates rather than relative similarity used in existingI works. To this end, we first propose a reliable client selection strategy to prevent the majority of threats in the bud. Then we design a simple but effective score-based detection method to mitigate colluding attacks. Third, we construct an enhanced spectral-based outlier detector to accurately discard abnormal updates when the training data is \textit{not independent and identically distributed} (non-IID). Finally, we design update denoising to rectify the direction of the slightly noisy but harmful updates. The four sequentially combined modules can effectively reconcile the contradiction in addressing non-colluding and colluding Byzantine attacks. Extensive experiments over three benchmark image classification datasets against four state-of-the-art Byzantine attacks demonstrate that FPD drastically outperforms existing defenses in IID and non-IID scenarios (with $30\%$ improvement on model accuracy).

3.Using Range-Revocable Pseudonyms to Provide Backward Unlinkability in the Edge (Extended Version)

Authors:Cláudio Correia, Miguel Correia, Luís Rodrigues

Abstract: In this paper we propose a novel abstraction that we have named Range-Revocable Pseudonyms (RRPs). RRPs are a new class of pseudonyms whose validity can be revoked for any time-range within its original validity period. The key feature of RRPs is that the information provided to revoke a pseudonym for a given timerange cannot be linked with the information provided when using the pseudonym outside the revoked range. We provide an algorithm to implement RRPs using efficient cryptographic primitives where the space complexity of the pseudonym is constant, regardless of the granularity of the revocation range, and the space complexity of the revocation information only grows logarithmically with the granularity; this makes the use of RRPs far more efficient than the use of many short-lived pseudonyms. We have used RRPs to design EDGAR, an access control system for VANET scenarios that offers backward unlinkability. The experimental evaluation of EDGAR shows that, when using RRPs, the revocation can be performed efficiently (even when using time slots as small as 1 second) and that users can authenticate with low latency ($0.5-3.5$ ms).

4.PURL: Safe and Effective Sanitization of Link Decoration

Authors:Shaoor Munir, Patrick Lee, Umar Iqbal, Zubair Shafiq, Sandra Siby

Abstract: While privacy-focused browsers have taken steps to block third-party cookies and browser fingerprinting, novel tracking methods that bypass existing defenses continue to emerge. Since trackers need to exfiltrate information from the client- to server-side through link decoration regardless of the tracking technique they employ, a promising orthogonal approach is to detect and sanitize tracking information in decorated links. We present PURL, a machine-learning approach that leverages a cross-layer graph representation of webpage execution to safely and effectively sanitize link decoration. Our evaluation shows that PURL significantly outperforms existing countermeasures in terms of accuracy and reducing website breakage while being robust to common evasion techniques. We use PURL to perform a measurement study on top-million websites. We find that link decorations are widely abused by well-known advertisers and trackers to exfiltrate user information collected from browser storage, email addresses, and scripts involved in fingerprinting.

5.Network Security in the Industrial Control System: A Survey

Authors:Yang Li, Shihao Wu, Quan Pan

Abstract: Along with the development of intelligent manufacturing, especially with the high connectivity of the industrial control system (ICS), the network security of ICS becomes more important. And in recent years, there has been much research on the security of the ICS network. However, in practical usage, there are many types of protocols, which means a high vulnerability in protocols. Therefore, in this paper, we give a complete review of the protocols that are usually used in ICS. Then, we give a comprehensive review on network security in terms of Defence in Depth (DiD), including data encryption, access control policy, intrusion detection system, software-defined network, etc. Through these works, we try to provide a new perspective on the exciting new developments in this field.

6.TemporalFED: Detecting Cyberattacks in Industrial Time-Series Data Using Decentralized Federated Learning

Authors:Ángel Luis Perales Gómez, Enrique Tomás Martínez Beltrán, Pedro Miguel Sánchez Sánchez, Alberto Huertas Celdrán

Abstract: Industry 4.0 has brought numerous advantages, such as increasing productivity through automation. However, it also presents major cybersecurity issues such as cyberattacks affecting industrial processes. Federated Learning (FL) combined with time-series analysis is a promising cyberattack detection mechanism proposed in the literature. However, the fact of having a single point of failure and network bottleneck are critical challenges that need to be tackled. Thus, this article explores the benefits of the Decentralized Federated Learning (DFL) in terms of cyberattack detection and resource consumption. The work presents TemporalFED, a software module for detecting anomalies in industrial environments using FL paradigms and time series. TemporalFED incorporates three components: Time Series Conversion, Feature Engineering, and Time Series Stationary Conversion. To evaluate TemporalFED, it was deployed on Fedstellar, a DFL framework. Then, a pool of experiments measured the detection performance and resource consumption in a chemical gas industrial environment with different time-series configurations, FL paradigms, and topologies. The results showcase the superiority of the configuration utilizing DFL and Semi-Decentralized Federated Learning (SDFL) paradigms, along with a fully connected topology, which achieved the best performance in anomaly detection. Regarding resource consumption, the configuration without feature engineering employed less bandwidth, CPU, and RAM than other configurations.

7.Mondrian: Prompt Abstraction Attack Against Large Language Models for Cheaper API Pricing

Authors:Wai Man Si, Michael Backes, Yang Zhang

Abstract: The Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) market is rapidly expanding and becoming more mature. For example, OpenAI's ChatGPT is an advanced large language model (LLM) that generates responses for various queries with associated fees. Although these models can deliver satisfactory performance, they are far from perfect. Researchers have long studied the vulnerabilities and limitations of LLMs, such as adversarial attacks and model toxicity. Inevitably, commercial ML models are also not exempt from such issues, which can be problematic as MLaaS continues to grow. In this paper, we discover a new attack strategy against LLM APIs, namely the prompt abstraction attack. Specifically, we propose Mondrian, a simple and straightforward method that abstracts sentences, which can lower the cost of using LLM APIs. In this approach, the adversary first creates a pseudo API (with a lower established price) to serve as the proxy of the target API (with a higher established price). Next, the pseudo API leverages Mondrian to modify the user query, obtain the abstracted response from the target API, and forward it back to the end user. Our results show that Mondrian successfully reduces user queries' token length ranging from 13% to 23% across various tasks, including text classification, generation, and question answering. Meanwhile, these abstracted queries do not significantly affect the utility of task-specific and general language models like ChatGPT. Mondrian also reduces instruction prompts' token length by at least 11% without compromising output quality. As a result, the prompt abstraction attack enables the adversary to profit without bearing the cost of API development and deployment.

8.When Federated Learning meets Watermarking: A Comprehensive Overview of Techniques for Intellectual Property Protection

Authors:Mohammed Lansari, Reda Bellafqira, Katarzyna Kapusta, Vincent Thouvenot, Olivier Bettan, Gouenou Coatrieux

Abstract: Federated Learning (FL) is a technique that allows multiple participants to collaboratively train a Deep Neural Network (DNN) without the need of centralizing their data. Among other advantages, it comes with privacy-preserving properties making it attractive for application in sensitive contexts, such as health care or the military. Although the data are not explicitly exchanged, the training procedure requires sharing information about participants' models. This makes the individual models vulnerable to theft or unauthorized distribution by malicious actors. To address the issue of ownership rights protection in the context of Machine Learning (ML), DNN Watermarking methods have been developed during the last five years. Most existing works have focused on watermarking in a centralized manner, but only a few methods have been designed for FL and its unique constraints. In this paper, we provide an overview of recent advancements in Federated Learning watermarking, shedding light on the new challenges and opportunities that arise in this field.

9."Do Anything Now": Characterizing and Evaluating In-The-Wild Jailbreak Prompts on Large Language Models

Authors:Xinyue Shen, Zeyuan Chen, Michael Backes, Yun Shen, Yang Zhang

Abstract: The misuse of large language models (LLMs) has garnered significant attention from the general public and LLM vendors. In response, efforts have been made to align LLMs with human values and intent use. However, a particular type of adversarial prompts, known as jailbreak prompt, has emerged and continuously evolved to bypass the safeguards and elicit harmful content from LLMs. In this paper, we conduct the first measurement study on jailbreak prompts in the wild, with 6,387 prompts collected from four platforms over six months. Leveraging natural language processing technologies and graph-based community detection methods, we discover unique characteristics of jailbreak prompts and their major attack strategies, such as prompt injection and privilege escalation. We also observe that jailbreak prompts increasingly shift from public platforms to private ones, posing new challenges for LLM vendors in proactive detection. To assess the potential harm caused by jailbreak prompts, we create a question set comprising 46,800 samples across 13 forbidden scenarios. Our experiments show that current LLMs and safeguards cannot adequately defend jailbreak prompts in all scenarios. Particularly, we identify two highly effective jailbreak prompts which achieve 0.99 attack success rates on ChatGPT (GPT-3.5) and GPT-4, and they have persisted online for over 100 days. Our work sheds light on the severe and evolving threat landscape of jailbreak prompts. We hope our study can facilitate the research community and LLM vendors in promoting safer and regulated LLMs.

10.Randomized algorithms for precise measurement of differentially-private, personalized recommendations

Authors:Allegra Laro, Yanqing Chen, Hao He, Babak Aghazadeh

Abstract: Personalized recommendations form an important part of today's internet ecosystem, helping artists and creators to reach interested users, and helping users to discover new and engaging content. However, many users today are skeptical of platforms that personalize recommendations, in part due to historically careless treatment of personal data and data privacy. Now, businesses that rely on personalized recommendations are entering a new paradigm, where many of their systems must be overhauled to be privacy-first. In this article, we propose an algorithm for personalized recommendations that facilitates both precise and differentially-private measurement. We consider advertising as an example application, and conduct offline experiments to quantify how the proposed privacy-preserving algorithm affects key metrics related to user experience, advertiser value, and platform revenue compared to the extremes of both (private) non-personalized and non-private, personalized implementations.

11.Eye-Shield: Real-Time Protection of Mobile Device Screen Information from Shoulder Surfing

Authors:Brian Tang, Kang G. Shin

Abstract: People use mobile devices ubiquitously for computing, communication, storage, web browsing, and more. As a result, the information accessed and stored within mobile devices, such as financial and health information, text messages, and emails, can often be sensitive. Despite this, people frequently use their mobile devices in public areas, becoming susceptible to a simple yet effective attack, shoulder surfing. Shoulder surfing occurs when a person near a mobile user peeks at the user's mobile device, potentially acquiring passcodes, PINs, browsing behavior, or other personal information. We propose Eye-Shield, a solution to prevent shoulder surfers from accessing or stealing sensitive on-screen information. Eye-Shield is designed to protect all types of on-screen information in real time, without any serious impediment to users' interactions with their mobile devices. Eye-Shield generates images that appear readable at close distances, but appear blurry or pixelated at farther distances and wider angles. It is capable of protecting on-screen information from shoulder surfers, operating in real time, and being minimally intrusive to the intended users. Eye-Shield protects images and text from shoulder surfers by reducing recognition rates to 24.24% and 15.91%. Our implementations of Eye-Shield, with frame rates of 24 FPS for Android and 43 FPS for iOS, effectively work on screen resolutions as high as 1440x3088. Eye-Shield also incurs acceptable memory usage, CPU utilization, and energy overhead. Finally, our MTurk and in-person user studies indicate that Eye-Shield protects on-screen information without a large usability cost for privacy-conscious users.

12.ForensiBlock: A Provenance-Driven Blockchain Framework for Data Forensics and Auditability

Authors:Asma Jodeiri Akbarfam, Mahdieh Heidaripour, Hoda Maleki, Gokila Dorai, Gagan Agrawal

Abstract: Maintaining accurate provenance records is paramount in digital forensics, as they underpin evidence credibility and integrity, addressing essential aspects like accountability and reproducibility. Blockchains have several properties that can address these requirements. Previous systems utilized public blockchains, i.e., treated blockchain as a black box, and benefiting from the immutability property. However, the blockchain was accessible to everyone, giving rise to security concerns and moreover, efficient extraction of provenance faces challenges due to the enormous scale and complexity of digital data. This necessitates a tailored blockchain design for digital forensics. Our solution, Forensiblock has a novel design that automates investigation steps, ensures secure data access, traces data origins, preserves records, and expedites provenance extraction. Forensiblock incorporates Role-Based Access Control with Staged Authorization (RBAC-SA) and a distributed Merkle root for case tracking. These features support authorized resource access with an efficient retrieval of provenance records. Particularly, comparing two methods for extracting provenance records off chain storage retrieval with Merkle root verification and a brute-force search the offchain method is significantly better, especially as the blockchain size and number of cases increase. We also found that our distributed Merkle root creation slightly increases smart contract processing time but significantly improves history access. Overall, we show that Forensiblock offers secure, efficient, and reliable handling of digital forensic data

13.Exploring Security Practices in Infrastructure as Code: An Empirical Study

Authors:Alexandre Verdet, Mohammad Hamdaqa, Leuson Da Silva, Foutse Khomh

Abstract: Cloud computing has become popular thanks to the widespread use of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools, allowing the community to conveniently manage and configure cloud infrastructure using scripts. However, the scripting process itself does not automatically prevent practitioners from introducing misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, or privacy risks. As a result, ensuring security relies on practitioners understanding and the adoption of explicit policies, guidelines, or best practices. In order to understand how practitioners deal with this problem, in this work, we perform an empirical study analyzing the adoption of IaC scripted security best practices. First, we select and categorize widely recognized Terraform security practices promulgated in the industry for popular cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Next, we assess the adoption of these practices by each cloud provider, analyzing a sample of 812 open-source projects hosted on GitHub. For that, we scan each project configuration files, looking for policy implementation through static analysis (checkov). Additionally, we investigate GitHub measures that might be correlated with adopting these best practices. The category Access policy emerges as the most widely adopted in all providers, while Encryption in rest are the most neglected policies. Regarding GitHub measures correlated with best practice adoption, we observe a positive, strong correlation between a repository number of stars and adopting practices in its cloud infrastructure. Based on our findings, we provide guidelines for cloud practitioners to limit infrastructure vulnerability and discuss further aspects associated with policies that have yet to be extensively embraced within the industry.

1.BlockChain I/O: Enabling Cross-Chain Commerce

Authors:Anwitaman Datta, Daniël Reijsbergen, Jingchi Zhang, Suman Majumder

Abstract: By enabling users to safely transfer digital tokens without trusted intermediaries, blockchains have fueled the rise of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). However, the current DeFi ecosystem consists of multiple independent blockchains, and cross-chain token trading is a challenge because the desirable properties of individual blockchains do not always generalize to a multi-chain setting. Recently, advances have been made in the generalization of these properties, but there is still a lack of an overarching framework that provides the full set of properties required for practical cross-chain commerce: transaction atomicity, stablecoin support, privacy-preserving digital identities, and general applicability. In this paper, we present BlockChain I/O to provide such a framework. BlockChain I/O uses entities called cross-chain services to relay information between different chains. Cross-chain services cannot violate transaction atomicity, and are disincentivized from other types of misbehavior -- i.e., causing delays or misrepresenting information -- through an audit system. BlockChain I/O uses stablecoins to mitigate price fluctuations, and a Digital ID system to allow users to prove aspects of their identity without violating privacy. After presenting the core architecture of BlockChain I/O, we demonstrate how to use it to implement a cross-chain marketplace. Finally, we use an experimental evaluation to demonstrate BlockChain I/O's practical performance.

2.SoK: The Ghost Trilemma

Authors:S. Mukherjee, S. Ravi, P. Schmitt, B. Raghavan

Abstract: Trolls, bots, and sybils distort online discourse and compromise the security of networked platforms. User identity is central to the vectors of attack and manipulation employed in these contexts. However it has long seemed that, try as it might, the security community has been unable to stem the rising tide of such problems. We posit the Ghost Trilemma, that there are three key properties of identity -- sentience, location, and uniqueness -- that cannot be simultaneously verified in a fully-decentralized setting. Many fully-decentralized systems -- whether for communication or social coordination -- grapple with this trilemma in some way, perhaps unknowingly. We examine the design space, use cases, problems with prior approaches, and possible paths forward. We sketch a proof of this trilemma and outline options for practical, incrementally deployable schemes to achieve an acceptable tradeoff of trust in centralized trust anchors, decentralized operation, and an ability to withstand a range of attacks, while protecting user privacy.

3.LISA: LIghtweight single-server Secure Aggregation with a public source of randomness

Authors:Elina van Kempen, Qifei Li, Giorgia Azzurra Marson, Claudio Soriente

Abstract: Secure Aggregation (SA) is a key component of privacy-friendly federated learning applications, where the server learns the sum of many user-supplied gradients, while individual gradients are kept private. State-of-the-art SA protocols protect individual inputs with zero-sum random shares that are distributed across users, have a per-user overhead that is logarithmic in the number of users, and take more than 5 rounds of interaction. In this paper, we introduce LISA, an SA protocol that leverages a source of public randomness to minimize per-user overhead and the number of rounds. In particular, LISA requires only two rounds and has a communication overhead that is asymptotically equal to that of a non-private protocol -- one where inputs are provided to the server in the clear -- for most of the users. In a nutshell, LISA uses public randomness to select a subset of the users -- a committee -- that aid the server to recover the aggregated input. Users blind their individual contributions with randomness shared with each of the committee members; each committee member provides the server with an aggregate of the randomness shared with each user. Hence, as long as one committee member is honest, the server cannot learn individual inputs but only the sum of threshold-many inputs. We compare LISA with state-of-the-art SA protocols both theoretically and by means of simulations and present results of our experiments. We also integrate LISA in a Federated Learning pipeline and compare its performance with a non-private protocol.

4.Security Evaluation of Compressible and Learnable Image Encryption Against Jigsaw Puzzle Solver Attacks

Authors:Tatsuya Chuman, Nobutaka Ono, Hitoshi Kiya

Abstract: Several learnable image encryption schemes have been developed for privacy-preserving image classification. This paper focuses on the security block-based image encryption methods that are learnable and JPEG-friendly. Permuting divided blocks in an image is known to enhance robustness against ciphertext-only attacks (COAs), but recently jigsaw puzzle solver attacks have been demonstrated to be able to restore visual information on the encrypted images. In contrast, it has never been confirmed whether encrypted images including noise caused by JPEG-compression are robust. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to evaluate the security of compressible and learnable encrypted images against jigsaw puzzle solver attacks. In experiments, the security evaluation was carried out on the CIFAR-10 and STL-10 datasets under JPEG-compression.

5.Poster: Patient Community -- A Test Bed For Privacy Threat Analysis

Authors:Immanuel Kunz, Angelika Schneider, Christian Banse, Konrad Weiss, Andreas Binder

Abstract: Research and development of privacy analysis tools currently suffers from a lack of test beds for evaluation and comparison of such tools. In this work, we propose a benchmark application that implements an extensive list of privacy weaknesses based on the LINDDUN methodology. It represents a social network for patients whose architecture has first been described in an example analysis conducted by one of the LINDDUN authors. We have implemented this architecture and extended it with more privacy threats to build a test bed that enables comprehensive and independent testing of analysis tools.

6.Improving the Security of United States Elections with Robust Optimization

Authors:Braden L. Crimmins, J. Alex Halderman, Bradley Sturt

Abstract: For more than a century, election officials across the United States have inspected voting machines before elections using a procedure called Logic and Accuracy Testing (LAT). This procedure consists of election officials casting a test deck of ballots into each voting machine and confirming the machine produces the expected vote total for each candidate. We bring a scientific perspective to LAT by introducing the first formal approach to designing test decks with rigorous security guarantees. Specifically, our approach employs robust optimization to find test decks that are guaranteed to detect any voting machine misconfiguration that would cause votes to be swapped across candidates. Out of all the test decks with this security guarantee, our robust optimization problem yields the test deck with the minimum number of ballots, thereby minimizing implementation costs for election officials. To facilitate deployment at scale, we develop a practically efficient exact algorithm for solving our robust optimization problems based on the cutting plane method. In partnership with the Michigan Bureau of Elections, we retrospectively applied our approach to all 6928 ballot styles from Michigan's November 2022 general election; this retrospective study reveals that the test decks with rigorous security guarantees obtained by our approach require, on average, only 1.2% more ballots than current practice. Our approach has since been piloted in real-world elections by the Michigan Bureau of Elections as a low-cost way to improve election security and increase public trust in democratic institutions.

7.MASC: A Tool for Mutation-Based Evaluation of Static Crypto-API Misuse Detectors

Authors:Amit Seal Ami, Syed Yusuf Ahmed, Radowan Mahmud Redoy, Nathan Cooper, Kaushal Kafle, Kevin Moran, Denys Poshyvanyk, Adwait Nadkarni

Abstract: While software engineers are optimistically adopting crypto-API misuse detectors (or crypto-detectors) in their software development cycles, this momentum must be accompanied by a rigorous understanding of crypto-detectors' effectiveness at finding crypto-API misuses in practice. This demo paper presents the technical details and usage scenarios of our tool, namely Mutation Analysis for evaluating Static Crypto-API misuse detectors (MASC). We developed $12$ generalizable, usage based mutation operators and three mutation scopes, namely Main Scope, Similarity Scope, and Exhaustive Scope, which can be used to expressively instantiate compilable variants of the crypto-API misuse cases. Using MASC, we evaluated nine major crypto-detectors, and discovered $19$ unique, undocumented flaws. We designed MASC to be configurable and user-friendly; a user can configure the parameters to change the nature of generated mutations. Furthermore, MASC comes with both Command Line Interface and Web-based front-end, making it practical for users of different levels of expertise.

8.IoT and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Authors:Hamidreza Fereidouni, Olga Fadeitcheva, Mehdi Zalai

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its significance. It discusses the concept of Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks in detail, including their causes, potential solutions, and challenges in detecting and preventing such attacks. The paper also addresses the current issues related to IoT security and explores future methods and facilities for improving detection and prevention mechanisms against MitM.

1.VCTP: A Verifiable Credential-based Trust Propagation Protocol for Personal Issuers in Self-Sovereign Identity Platforms

Authors:Rahma Mukta, Rue C. Teh, Hye-young Paik, Qinghua Lu, Salil S. Kanhere

Abstract: Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) is an emerging identity system that facilitates secure credential issuance and verification without placing trust in any centralised authority. To bypass central trust, most SSI implementations place blockchain as a trusted mediator by placing credential transactions on-chain. Yet, existing SSI platforms face trust issues as all credential issuers in SSI are not supported with adequate trust. Current SSI solutions provide trust support to the officiated issuers (e.g., government agencies), who must follow a precise process to assess their credentials. However, there is no structured trust support for individuals of SSI who may attempt to issue a credential (e.g., letter of consent) in the context of business processes. Therefore, some risk-averse verifiers in the system may not accept the credentials from individual issuers to avoid carrying the cost of mishaps from potentially inadmissible credentials without reliance on a trusted agency. This paper proposes a trust propagation protocol that supports individual users to be trusted as verifiable issuers in the SSI platform by establishing a trust propagation credential template in the blockchain. Our approach utilises (i) the sanitizable signature scheme to propagate the required trust to an individual issuer, (ii) a voting mechanism to minimises the possibility of collusion. Our implementation demonstrates that the solution is both practical and performs well under varying system loads.

2.Anonymity Analysis of the Umbra Stealth Address Scheme on Ethereum

Authors:Alex Kovács, István András Seres

Abstract: Stealth addresses are a privacy-enhancing technology that provides recipient anonymity on blockchains. In this work, we investigate the recipient anonymity and unlinkability guarantees of Umbra, the most widely used implementation of the stealth address scheme on Ethereum, and its three off-chain scalability solutions, e.g., Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon. We define and evaluate four heuristics to uncover the real recipients of stealth payments. We find that for the majority of Umbra payments, it is straightforward to establish the recipient, hence nullifying the benefits of using Umbra. Specifically, we find the real recipient of $48.5\%$, $25.8\%$, $65.7\%$, and $52.6\%$ of all Umbra transactions on the Ethereum main net, Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism networks, respectively. Finally, we suggest easily implementable countermeasures to evade our deanonymization and linking attacks.

3.The ACAC_D Model for Mutable Activity Control and Chain of Dependencies in Smart and Collaborative Systems

Authors:Tanjila Mawla, Maanak Gupta, Safwa Ameer, Ravi Sandhu

Abstract: With the integration of connected devices, artificial intelligence, and heterogeneous networks in IoT-driven cyber-physical systems, our society is evolving as a smart, automated, and connected community. In such dynamic and distributed environments, various operations are carried out considering different contextual factors to support the automation of collaborative devices and systems. These devices often perform long-lived operations or tasks (referred to as activities) to fulfill larger goals in the collaborative environment. These activities are usually mutable (change states) and interdependent. They can influence the execution of other activities in the ecosystem, requiring active and real-time monitoring of the entire connected environment. Recently, a vision for activity-centric access control(ACAC) was proposed to enable security modeling and enforcement from the perspective and abstraction of interdependent activities. The proposed ACAC incorporates four decision parameters: Authorizations(A), oBligations(B), Conditions(C), and activity Dependencies(D) for an object agnostic access control in smart systems. In this paper, we take a step further towards maturing ACAC by focusing on activity dependencies(D) and developing a family of formal mathematically grounded models, referred to as ACAC_D. These formal models consider the real-time mutability of activities in resolving active dependencies among various activities in the ecosystem. Activity dependencies can form a chain where it is possible to have dependencies of dependencies. In ACAC, we also consider the chain of dependencies while handling the mutability of an activity. We highlight the challenges while dealing with chain of dependencies, and provide solutions to resolve these challenges. We also present a proof of concept implementation of with performance analysis for a smart farming use case.

1.Isolation and Induction: Training Robust Deep Neural Networks against Model Stealing Attacks

Authors:Jun Guo, Aishan Liu, Xingyu Zheng, Siyuan Liang, Yisong Xiao, Yichao Wu, Xianglong Liu

Abstract: Despite the broad application of Machine Learning models as a Service (MLaaS), they are vulnerable to model stealing attacks. These attacks can replicate the model functionality by using the black-box query process without any prior knowledge of the target victim model. Existing stealing defenses add deceptive perturbations to the victim's posterior probabilities to mislead the attackers. However, these defenses are now suffering problems of high inference computational overheads and unfavorable trade-offs between benign accuracy and stealing robustness, which challenges the feasibility of deployed models in practice. To address the problems, this paper proposes Isolation and Induction (InI), a novel and effective training framework for model stealing defenses. Instead of deploying auxiliary defense modules that introduce redundant inference time, InI directly trains a defensive model by isolating the adversary's training gradient from the expected gradient, which can effectively reduce the inference computational cost. In contrast to adding perturbations over model predictions that harm the benign accuracy, we train models to produce uninformative outputs against stealing queries, which can induce the adversary to extract little useful knowledge from victim models with minimal impact on the benign performance. Extensive experiments on several visual classification datasets (e.g., MNIST and CIFAR10) demonstrate the superior robustness (up to 48% reduction on stealing accuracy) and speed (up to 25.4x faster) of our InI over other state-of-the-art methods. Our codes can be found in https://github.com/DIG-Beihang/InI-Model-Stealing-Defense.

2.Integrating Homomorphic Encryption and Trusted Execution Technology for Autonomous and Confidential Model Refining in Cloud

Authors:Pinglan Liu, Wensheng Zhang

Abstract: With the popularity of cloud computing and machine learning, it has been a trend to outsource machine learning processes (including model training and model-based inference) to cloud. By the outsourcing, other than utilizing the extensive and scalable resource offered by the cloud service provider, it will also be attractive to users if the cloud servers can manage the machine learning processes autonomously on behalf of the users. Such a feature will be especially salient when the machine learning is expected to be a long-term continuous process and the users are not always available to participate. Due to security and privacy concerns, it is also desired that the autonomous learning preserves the confidentiality of users' data and models involved. Hence, in this paper, we aim to design a scheme that enables autonomous and confidential model refining in cloud. Homomorphic encryption and trusted execution environment technology can protect confidentiality for autonomous computation, but each of them has their limitations respectively and they are complementary to each other. Therefore, we further propose to integrate these two techniques in the design of the model refining scheme. Through implementation and experiments, we evaluate the feasibility of our proposed scheme. The results indicate that, with our proposed scheme the cloud server can autonomously refine an encrypted model with newly provided encrypted training data to continuously improve its accuracy. Though the efficiency is still significantly lower than the baseline scheme that refines plaintext-model with plaintext-data, we expect that it can be improved by fully utilizing the higher level of parallelism and the computational power of GPU at the cloud server.

3.Evaluate and Guard the Wisdom of Crowds: Zero Knowledge Proofs for Crowdsourcing Truth Inference

Authors:Xuanming Liu, Xinpeng Yang, Xun Zhang, Xiaohu Yang

Abstract: Due to the risks of correctness and security in outsourced cloud computing, we consider a new paradigm called crowdsourcing: distribute tasks, receive answers and aggregate the results from multiple entities. Through this approach, we can aggregate the wisdom of the crowd to complete tasks, ensuring the accuracy of task completion while reducing the risks posed by the malicious acts of a single entity. However, the ensuing question is, how can we ensure that the aggregator has done its work honestly and each contributor's work has been evaluated fairly? In this paper, we propose a new scheme called $\mathsf{zkTI}$. This scheme ensures that the aggregator has honestly completed the aggregation and each data source is fairly evaluated. We combine a cryptographic primitive called \textit{zero-knowledge proof} with a class of \textit{truth inference algorithms} which is widely studied in AI/ML scenarios. Under this scheme, various complex outsourced tasks can be solved with efficiency and accuracy. To build our scheme, a novel method to prove the precise computation of floating-point numbers is proposed, which is nearly optimal and well-compatible with existing argument systems. This may become an independent point of interest. Thus our work can prove the process of aggregation and inference without loss of precision. We fully implement and evaluate our ideas. Compared with recent works, our scheme achieves $2-4 \times$ efficiency improvement and is robust to be widely applied.

4.Inaudible Adversarial Perturbation: Manipulating the Recognition of User Speech in Real Tim

Authors:Xinfeng Li, Chen Yan, Xuancun Lu, Zihan Zeng, Xiaoyu Ji, Wenyuan Xu

Abstract: Automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems have been shown to be vulnerable to adversarial examples (AEs). Recent success all assumes that users will not notice or disrupt the attack process despite the existence of music/noise-like sounds and spontaneous responses from voice assistants. Nonetheless, in practical user-present scenarios, user awareness may nullify existing attack attempts that launch unexpected sounds or ASR usage. In this paper, we seek to bridge the gap in existing research and extend the attack to user-present scenarios. We propose VRIFLE, an inaudible adversarial perturbation (IAP) attack via ultrasound delivery that can manipulate ASRs as a user speaks. The inherent differences between audible sounds and ultrasounds make IAP delivery face unprecedented challenges such as distortion, noise, and instability. In this regard, we design a novel ultrasonic transformation model to enhance the crafted perturbation to be physically effective and even survive long-distance delivery. We further enable VRIFLE's robustness by adopting a series of augmentation on user and real-world variations during the generation process. In this way, VRIFLE features an effective real-time manipulation of the ASR output from different distances and under any speech of users, with an alter-and-mute strategy that suppresses the impact of user disruption. Our extensive experiments in both digital and physical worlds verify VRIFLE's effectiveness under various configurations, robustness against six kinds of defenses, and universality in a targeted manner. We also show that VRIFLE can be delivered with a portable attack device and even everyday-life loudspeakers.

5.An Adaptable Approach for Successful SIEM Adoption in Companies

Authors:Maximilian Rosenberg, Bettina Schneider, Christopher Scherb, Petra Maria Asprion

Abstract: In corporations around the world, the topic of cybersecurity and information security is becoming increasingly important as the number of cyberattacks on themselves continues to grow. Nowadays, it is no longer just a matter of protecting against cyberattacks, but rather of detecting such attacks at an early stage and responding accordingly. There is currently no generic methodological approach for the implementation of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems that takes academic aspects into account and can be applied independently of the product or developers of the systems. Applying Hevner's design science research approach, the goal of this paper is to develop a holistic procedure model for implementing respective SIEM systems in corporations. According to the study during the validation phase, the procedure model was verified to be applicable. As desire for future research, the procedure model should be applied in various implementation projects in different enterprises to analyze its applicability and completeness.

6.A Practical Deep Learning-Based Acoustic Side Channel Attack on Keyboards

Authors:Joshua Harrison, Ehsan Toreini, Maryam Mehrnezhad

Abstract: With recent developments in deep learning, the ubiquity of micro-phones and the rise in online services via personal devices, acoustic side channel attacks present a greater threat to keyboards than ever. This paper presents a practical implementation of a state-of-the-art deep learning model in order to classify laptop keystrokes, using a smartphone integrated microphone. When trained on keystrokes recorded by a nearby phone, the classifier achieved an accuracy of 95%, the highest accuracy seen without the use of a language model. When trained on keystrokes recorded using the video-conferencing software Zoom, an accuracy of 93% was achieved, a new best for the medium. Our results prove the practicality of these side channel attacks via off-the-shelf equipment and algorithms. We discuss a series of mitigation methods to protect users against these series of attacks.

7.Stake Your Claim: Zero-Trust Validator Deployment Leveraging NFTs and Smart Contracts in Proof-of-Stake Networks

Authors:Scott Seidenberger, Alec Sokol, Anindya Maiti

Abstract: We present a novel method for a multi-party, zero-trust validator infrastructure deployment arrangement via smart contracts to secure Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains. The proposed arrangement architecture employs a combination of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a treasury contract, and validator smart contract wallets to facilitate trustless participation in staking mechanisms. The NFT minting process allows depositors to exchange their capital for an NFT representing their stake in a validator, while the treasury contract manages the registry of NFT holders and handles rewards distribution. Validator smart contract wallets are employed to create a trustless connection between the validator operator and the treasury, enabling autonomous staking and unstaking processes based on predefined conditions. In addition, the proposed system incorporates protection mechanisms for depositors, such as triggered exits in case of non-payment of rewards and a penalty payout from the validator operator. The arrangement benefits from the extensibility and interoperability of web3 technologies, with potential applications in the broader digital ecosystem. This zero-trust staking mechanism aims to serve users who desire increased privacy, trust, and flexibility in managing their digital wealth, while promoting greater decentralization and transparency in the PoS ecosystem.

8.Mercury: An Automated Remote Side-channel Attack to Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator

Authors:Xiaobei Yan, Xiaoxuan Lou, Guowen Xu, Han Qiu, Shangwei Guo, Chip Hong Chang, Tianwei Zhang

Abstract: DNN accelerators have been widely deployed in many scenarios to speed up the inference process and reduce the energy consumption. One big concern about the usage of the accelerators is the confidentiality of the deployed models: model inference execution on the accelerators could leak side-channel information, which enables an adversary to preciously recover the model details. Such model extraction attacks can not only compromise the intellectual property of DNN models, but also facilitate some adversarial attacks. Although previous works have demonstrated a number of side-channel techniques to extract models from DNN accelerators, they are not practical for two reasons. (1) They only target simplified accelerator implementations, which have limited practicality in the real world. (2) They require heavy human analysis and domain knowledge. To overcome these limitations, this paper presents Mercury, the first automated remote side-channel attack against the off-the-shelf Nvidia DNN accelerator. The key insight of Mercury is to model the side-channel extraction process as a sequence-to-sequence problem. The adversary can leverage a time-to-digital converter (TDC) to remotely collect the power trace of the target model's inference. Then he uses a learning model to automatically recover the architecture details of the victim model from the power trace without any prior knowledge. The adversary can further use the attention mechanism to localize the leakage points that contribute most to the attack. Evaluation results indicate that Mercury can keep the error rate of model extraction below 1%.

9.LSF-IDM: Lightweight Deep Learning Models for Automotive Intrusion Detection Model Based on Semantic Fusion

Authors:Pengzhou Cheng, Lei Hua, Haobin Jiang, Mohammad Samie, Gongshen Liu

Abstract: Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are more vulnerable to network attacks due to the high connectivity and diverse communication modes between vehicles and external networks. Deep learning-based Intrusion detection, an effective method for detecting network attacks, can provide functional safety as well as a real-time communication guarantee for vehicles, thereby being widely used for AVs. Existing works well for cyber-attacks such as simple-mode but become a higher false alarm with a resource-limited environment required when the attack is concealed within a contextual feature. In this paper, we present a lightweight intrusion detection model based on semantic fusion, named LSF-IDM. Our motivation is based on the observation that, when injected the malicious packets to the in-vehicle networks (IVNs), the packet log presents a strict order of context feature because of the periodicity and broadcast nature of the CAN bus. Therefore, this model first captures the context as the semantic feature of messages by the BERT language framework. Thereafter, the lightweight model (e.g., BiLSTM) learns the fused feature from an input packet's classification and its output distribution in BERT based on knowledge distillation. Experiment results demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods in defending against several representative attacks from IVNs. We also perform the difference analysis of the proposed method with lightweight models and Bert to attain a deeper understanding of how the model balance detection performance and model complexity.

10.A Large-Scale Study of Phishing PDF Documents

Authors:Giada Stivala, Sahar Abdelnabi, Andrea Mengascini, Mariano Graziano, Mario Fritz, Giancarlo Pellegrino

Abstract: Phishing PDFs are malicious PDF documents that do not embed malware but trick victims into visiting malicious web pages leading to password theft or drive-by downloads. While recent reports indicate a surge of phishing PDFs, prior works have largely neglected this new threat, positioning phishing PDFs as accessories distributed via email phishing campaigns. This paper challenges this belief and presents the first systematic and comprehensive study centered on phishing PDFs. Starting from a real-world dataset, we first identify 44 phishing PDF campaigns via clustering and characterize them by looking at their volumetric, temporal, and visual features. Among these, we identify three large campaigns covering 89% of the dataset, exhibiting significantly different volumetric and temporal properties compared to classical email phishing, and relying on web UI elements as visual baits. Finally, we look at the distribution vectors and show that phishing PDFs are not only distributed via attachments but also via SEO attacks, placing phishing PDFs outside the email distribution ecosystem. This paper also assesses the usefulness of the VirusTotal scoring system, showing that phishing PDFs are ranked considerably low, creating a blind spot for organizations. While URL blocklists can help to prevent victims from visiting the attack web pages, PDF documents seem not subjected to any form of content-based filtering or detection.

11.BRNES: Enabling Security and Privacy-aware Experience Sharing in Multiagent Robotic and Autonomous Systems

Authors:Md Tamjid Hossain, Hung Manh La, Shahriar Badsha, Anton Netchaev

Abstract: Although experience sharing (ES) accelerates multiagent reinforcement learning (MARL) in an advisor-advisee framework, attempts to apply ES to decentralized multiagent systems have so far relied on trusted environments and overlooked the possibility of adversarial manipulation and inference. Nevertheless, in a real-world setting, some Byzantine attackers, disguised as advisors, may provide false advice to the advisee and catastrophically degrade the overall learning performance. Also, an inference attacker, disguised as an advisee, may conduct several queries to infer the advisors' private information and make the entire ES process questionable in terms of privacy leakage. To address and tackle these issues, we propose a novel MARL framework (BRNES) that heuristically selects a dynamic neighbor zone for each advisee at each learning step and adopts a weighted experience aggregation technique to reduce Byzantine attack impact. Furthermore, to keep the agent's private information safe from adversarial inference attacks, we leverage the local differential privacy (LDP)-induced noise during the ES process. Our experiments show that our framework outperforms the state-of-the-art in terms of the steps to goal, obtained reward, and time to goal metrics. Particularly, our evaluation shows that the proposed framework is 8.32x faster than the current non-private frameworks and 1.41x faster than the private frameworks in an adversarial setting.

12.Delegated Time-Lock Puzzle

Authors:Aydin Abadi, Dan Ristea, Steven J. Murdoch

Abstract: Time-Lock Puzzles (TLPs) are cryptographic protocols that enable a client to lock a message in such a way that a server can only unlock it after a specific time period. However, existing TLPs have certain limitations: (i) they assume that both the client and server always possess sufficient computational resources and (ii) they solely focus on the lower time bound for finding a solution, disregarding the upper bound that guarantees a regular server can find a solution within a certain time frame. Additionally, existing TLPs designed to handle multiple puzzles either (a) entail high verification costs or (b) lack generality, requiring identical time intervals between consecutive solutions. To address these limitations, this paper introduces, for the first time, the concept of a "Delegated Time-Lock Puzzle" and presents a protocol called "Efficient Delegated Time-Lock Puzzle" (ED-TLP) that realises this concept. ED-TLP allows the client and server to delegate their resource-demanding tasks to third-party helpers. It facilitates real-time verification of solution correctness and efficiently handles multiple puzzles with varying time intervals. ED-TLP ensures the delivery of solutions within predefined time limits by incorporating both an upper bound and a fair payment algorithm. We have implemented ED-TLP and conducted a comprehensive analysis of its overheads, demonstrating the efficiency of the construction.

1.VulMatch: Binary-level Vulnerability Detection Through Signature

Authors:Zian Liu, Lei Pan, Chao Chen, Ejaz Ahmed, Shigang Liu, Jun Zhang, Dongxi Liu

Abstract: Similar vulnerability repeats in real-world software products because of code reuse, especially in wildly reused third-party code and libraries. Detecting repeating vulnerabilities like 1-day and N-day vulnerabilities is an important cyber security task. Unfortunately, the state-of-the-art methods suffer from poor performance because they detect patch existence instead of vulnerability existence and infer the vulnerability signature directly from binary code. In this paper, we propose VulMatch to extract precise vulnerability-related binary instructions to generate the vulnerability-related signature. VulMatch detects vulnerability existence based on binary signatures. Unlike previous approaches, VulMatch accurately locates vulnerability-related instructions by utilizing source and binary codes. Our experiments were conducted using over 1000 vulnerable instances across seven open-source projects. VulMatch significantly outperformed the baseline tools Asm2vec and Palmtree. Besides the performance advantages over the baseline tools, VulMatch offers a better feature by providing explainable reasons during vulnerability detection. Our empirical studies demonstrate that VulMatch detects fine-grained vulnerability that the state-of-the-art tools struggle with. Our experiment on commercial firmware demonstrates VulMatch is able to find vulnerabilities in real-world scenario.

2.Anatomy of a High-Profile Data Breach: Dissecting the Aftermath of a Crypto-Wallet Case

Authors:Svetlana Abramova, Rainer Böhme

Abstract: Media reports show an alarming increase of data breaches at providers of cybersecurity products and services. Since the exposed records may reveal security-relevant data, such incidents cause undue burden and create the risk of re-victimization to individuals whose personal data gets exposed. In pursuit of examining a broad spectrum of the downstream effects on victims, we surveyed 104 persons who purchased specialized devices for the secure storage of crypto-assets and later fell victim to a breach of customer data. Our case study reveals common nuisances (i.e., spam, scams, phishing e-mails) as well as previously unseen attack vectors (e.g., involving tampered devices), which are possibly tied to the breach. A few victims report losses of digital assets as a form of the harm. We find that our participants exhibit heightened safety concerns, appear skeptical about litigation efforts, and demonstrate the ability to differentiate between the quality of the security product and the circumstances of the breach. We derive implications for the cybersecurity industry at large, and point out methodological challenges in data breach research.

3.A First Look at Digital Rights Management Systems for Secure Mobile Content Delivery

Authors:Amir Rafi, Carlton Shepherd, Konstantinos Markantonakis

Abstract: Digital rights management (DRM) solutions aim to prevent the copying or distribution of copyrighted material. On mobile devices, a variety of DRM technologies have become widely deployed. However, a detailed security study comparing their internal workings, and their strengths and weaknesses, remains missing in the existing literature. In this paper, we present the first detailed security analysis of mobile DRM systems, addressing the modern paradigm of cloud-based content delivery followed by major platforms, such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. We extensively analyse the security of three widely used DRM solutions -- Google Widevine, Apple FairPlay, and Microsoft PlayReady -- deployed on billions of devices worldwide. We then consolidate their features and capabilities, deriving common features and security properties for their evaluation. Furthermore, we identify some design-level shortcomings that render them vulnerable to emerging attacks within the state of the art, including micro-architectural side-channel vulnerabilities and an absence of post-quantum security. Lastly, we propose mitigations and suggest future directions of research.

4.Compressed Private Aggregation for Scalable and Robust Federated Learning over Massive Networks

Authors:Natalie Lang, Nir Shlezinger, Rafael G. L. D'Oliveira, Salim El Rouayheb

Abstract: Federated learning (FL) is an emerging paradigm that allows a central server to train machine learning models using remote users' data. Despite its growing popularity, FL faces challenges in preserving the privacy of local datasets, its sensitivity to poisoning attacks by malicious users, and its communication overhead. The latter is additionally considerably dominant in large-scale networks. These limitations are often individually mitigated by local differential privacy (LDP) mechanisms, robust aggregation, compression, and user selection techniques, which typically come at the cost of accuracy. In this work, we present compressed private aggregation (CPA), that allows massive deployments to simultaneously communicate at extremely low bit rates while achieving privacy, anonymity, and resilience to malicious users. CPA randomizes a codebook for compressing the data into a few bits using nested lattice quantizers, while ensuring anonymity and robustness, with a subsequent perturbation to hold LDP. The proposed CPA is proven to result in FL convergence in the same asymptotic rate as FL without privacy, compression, and robustness considerations, while satisfying both anonymity and LDP requirements. These analytical properties are empirically confirmed in a numerical study, where we demonstrate the performance gains of CPA compared with separate mechanisms for compression and privacy for training different image classification models, as well as its robustness in mitigating the harmful effects of malicious users.

5.SF-IDS: An Imbalanced Semi-Supervised Learning Framework for Fine-grained Intrusion Detection

Authors:Xinran Zheng, Shuo Yang, Xingjun Wang

Abstract: Deep learning-based fine-grained network intrusion detection systems (NIDS) enable different attacks to be responded to in a fast and targeted manner with the help of large-scale labels. However, the cost of labeling causes insufficient labeled samples. Also, the real fine-grained traffic shows a long-tailed distribution with great class imbalance. These two problems often appear simultaneously, posing serious challenges to fine-grained NIDS. In this work, we propose a novel semi-supervised fine-grained intrusion detection framework, SF-IDS, to achieve attack classification in the label-limited and highly class imbalanced case. We design a self-training backbone model called RI-1DCNN to boost the feature extraction by reconstructing the input samples into a multichannel image format. The uncertainty of the generated pseudo-labels is evaluated and used as a reference for pseudo-label filtering in combination with the prediction probability. To mitigate the effects of fine-grained class imbalance, we propose a hybrid loss function combining supervised contrastive loss and multi-weighted classification loss to obtain more compact intra-class features and clearer inter-class intervals. Experiments show that the proposed SF-IDS achieves 3.01% and 2.71% Marco-F1 improvement on two classical datasets with 1% labeled, respectively.

6.FLAIRS: FPGA-Accelerated Inference-Resistant & Secure Federated Learning

Authors:Huimin Li, Phillip Rieger, Shaza Zeitouni, Stjepan Picek, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi

Abstract: Federated Learning (FL) has become very popular since it enables clients to train a joint model collaboratively without sharing their private data. However, FL has been shown to be susceptible to backdoor and inference attacks. While in the former, the adversary injects manipulated updates into the aggregation process; the latter leverages clients' local models to deduce their private data. Contemporary solutions to address the security concerns of FL are either impractical for real-world deployment due to high-performance overheads or are tailored towards addressing specific threats, for instance, privacy-preserving aggregation or backdoor defenses. Given these limitations, our research delves into the advantages of harnessing the FPGA-based computing paradigm to overcome performance bottlenecks of software-only solutions while mitigating backdoor and inference attacks. We utilize FPGA-based enclaves to address inference attacks during the aggregation process of FL. We adopt an advanced backdoor-aware aggregation algorithm on the FPGA to counter backdoor attacks. We implemented and evaluated our method on Xilinx VMK-180, yielding a significant speed-up of around 300 times on the IoT-Traffic dataset and more than 506 times on the CIFAR-10 dataset.

7.Secure and Trustworthy Computing 2.0 Vision Statement

Authors:Patrick McDaniel, Farinaz Koushanfar

Abstract: The Secure and Trustworthy Computing (SaTC) program within the National Science Foundation (NSF) program serves as the primary instrument for creating novel fundamental science in security and privacy in the United States with broad impacts that influence the world. The program funds research in a vast array of research topics that span technology, theory, policy, law, and society. In the Spring of 2023, the program managers of SaTC requested that the community prepare a vision for the next ten years of research. This document represents the results of that effort which involved collecting input from numerous members of the security and privacy community, industry, academics, and government. Assembled from that input, this document offers a comprehensive view of general themes and specific areas of focus for future research as envisioned by the community.

1.Introducing and Interfacing with Cybersecurity -- A Cards Approach

Authors:Ryan Shah, Manuel Maarek, Shenando Stals, Lynne Baillie, Sheung Chi Chan, Robert Stewart, Hans-Wolfgang Loidl, Olga Chatzifoti

Abstract: Cybersecurity is an important topic which is often viewed as one that is inaccessible due to steep learning curves and a perceived requirement of needing specialist knowledge. With a constantly changing threat landscape, practical solutions such as best-practices are employed, but the number of critical cybersecurity-related incidents remains high. To address these concerns, the National Cyber Security Centre published a Cybersecurity Body of Knowledge (CyBOK) to provide a comprehensive information base used to advise and underpin cybersecurity learning. Unfortunately, CyBOK contains over 1000 pages of in-depth material and may not be easy to navigate for novice individuals. Furthermore, it does not allow for easy expression of various cybersecurity scenarios that such individuals may be exposed to. As a solution to these two issues, we propose the use of a playing cards format to provide introductory cybersecurity knowledge that supports learning and discussion, using CyBOK as the foundation for the technical content. Upon evaluation in two user studies, we found that 80% of the participants agreed the cards provided them with introductory knowledge of cybersecurity topics, and 70% agreed the cards provided an interface for discussing topics and enabled them to make links between attacks, vulnerabilities and defences.

2.AMOE: a Tool to Automatically Extract and Assess Organizational Evidence for Continuous Cloud Audit

Authors:Franz Deimling, Michela Fazzolari

Abstract: The recent spread of cloud services has enabled many companies to take advantage of them. Nevertheless, the main concern about the adoption of cloud services remains the lack of transparency perceived by customers regarding security and privacy. To overcome this issue, Cloud Service Certifications (CSCs) have emerged as an effective solution to increase the level of trust in cloud services, possibly based on continuous auditing to monitor and evaluate the security of cloud services on an ongoing basis. Continuous auditing can be easily implemented for technical aspects, while organizational aspects can be challenging due to their generic nature and varying policies between service providers. In this paper, we propose an approach to facilitate the automatic assessment of organizational evidence, such as that extracted from security policy documents. The evidence extraction process is based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, in particular on Question Answering (QA). The implemented prototype provides promising results on an annotated dataset, since it is capable to retrieve the correct answer for more than half of the tested metrics. This prototype can be helpful for Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to automate the auditing of textual policy documents and to help in reducing the time required by auditors to check policy documents.

3.S3C2 Summit 2023-02: Industry Secure Supply Chain Summit

Authors:Trevor Dunlap, Yasemin Acar, Michel Cucker, William Enck, Alexandros Kapravelos, Christian Kastner, Laurie Williams

Abstract: Recent years have shown increased cyber attacks targeting less secure elements in the software supply chain and causing fatal damage to businesses and organizations. Past well-known examples of software supply chain attacks are the SolarWinds or log4j incidents that have affected thousands of customers and businesses. The US government and industry are equally interested in enhancing software supply chain security. On February 22, 2023, researchers from the NSF-supported Secure Software Supply Chain Center (S3C2) conducted a Secure Software Supply Chain Summit with a diverse set of 17 practitioners from 15 companies. The goal of the Summit is to enable sharing between industry practitioners having practical experiences and challenges with software supply chain security and helping to form new collaborations. We conducted six-panel discussions based upon open-ended questions regarding software bill of materials (SBOMs), malicious commits, choosing new dependencies, build and deploy,the Executive Order 14028, and vulnerable dependencies. The open discussions enabled mutual sharing and shed light on common challenges that industry practitioners with practical experience face when securing their software supply chain. In this paper, we provide a summary of the Summit. Full panel questions can be found in the appendix.

4.SAKSHI: Decentralized AI Platforms

Authors:Suma Bhat, Canhui Chen, Zerui Cheng, Zhixuan Fang, Ashwin Hebbar, Sreeram Kannan, Ranvir Rana, Peiyao Sheng, Himanshu Tyagi, Pramod Viswanath, Xuechao Wang

Abstract: Large AI models (e.g., Dall-E, GPT4) have electrified the scientific, technological and societal landscape through their superhuman capabilities. These services are offered largely in a traditional web2.0 format (e.g., OpenAI's GPT4 service). As more large AI models proliferate (personalizing and specializing to a variety of domains), there is a tremendous need to have a neutral trust-free platform that allows the hosting of AI models, clients receiving AI services efficiently, yet in a trust-free, incentive compatible, Byzantine behavior resistant manner. In this paper we propose SAKSHI, a trust-free decentralized platform specifically suited for AI services. The key design principles of SAKSHI are the separation of the data path (where AI query and service is managed) and the control path (where routers and compute and storage hosts are managed) from the transaction path (where the metering and billing of services are managed over a blockchain). This separation is enabled by a "proof of inference" layer which provides cryptographic resistance against a variety of misbehaviors, including poor AI service, nonpayment for service, copying of AI models. This is joint work between multiple universities (Princeton University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Tsinghua University, HKUST) and two startup companies (Witness Chain and Eigen Layer).

5.$OIDC^2$: Open Identity Certification with OpenID Connect

Authors:Jonas Primbs, Michael Menth

Abstract: OpenID Connect (OIDC) is a widely used authentication standard for the Web. In this work, we define a new Identity Certification Token (ICT) for OIDC. An ICT can be thought of as a JSON-based, short-lived user certificate for end-to-end user authentication without the need for cumbersome key management. A user can request an ICT from his OpenID Provider (OP) and use it to prove his identity to other users or services that trust the OP. We call this approach $OIDC^2$ and compare it to other well-known end-to-end authentication methods. Unlike certificates, $OIDC^2$ does not require installation and can be easily used on multiple devices, making it more user-friendly. We outline protocols for implementing $OIDC^2$ based on existing standards. We discuss the trust relationship between entities involved in $OIDC^2$, propose a classification of OPs' trust level, and propose authentication with multiple ICTs from different OPs. We explain how different applications such as videoconferencing, instant messaging, and email can benefit from ICTs for end-to-end authentication and recommend validity periods for ICTs. To test $OIDC^2$, we provide a simple extension to existing OIDC server software and evaluate its performance.

6.Text-CRS: A Generalized Certified Robustness Framework against Textual Adversarial Attacks

Authors:Xinyu Zhang, Hanbin Hong, Yuan Hong, Peng Huang, Binghui Wang, Zhongjie Ba, Kui Ren

Abstract: The language models, especially the basic text classification models, have been shown to be susceptible to textual adversarial attacks such as synonym substitution and word insertion attacks. To defend against such attacks, a growing body of research has been devoted to improving the model robustness. However, providing provable robustness guarantees instead of empirical robustness is still widely unexplored. In this paper, we propose Text-CRS, a generalized certified robustness framework for natural language processing (NLP) based on randomized smoothing. To our best knowledge, existing certified schemes for NLP can only certify the robustness against $\ell_0$ perturbations in synonym substitution attacks. Representing each word-level adversarial operation (i.e., synonym substitution, word reordering, insertion, and deletion) as a combination of permutation and embedding transformation, we propose novel smoothing theorems to derive robustness bounds in both permutation and embedding space against such adversarial operations. To further improve certified accuracy and radius, we consider the numerical relationships between discrete words and select proper noise distributions for the randomized smoothing. Finally, we conduct substantial experiments on multiple language models and datasets. Text-CRS can address all four different word-level adversarial operations and achieve a significant accuracy improvement. We also provide the first benchmark on certified accuracy and radius of four word-level operations, besides outperforming the state-of-the-art certification against synonym substitution attacks.

7.A Trajectory K-Anonymity Model Based on Point Density and Partition

Authors:Wanshu Yu, Haonan Shi, Hongyun Xu

Abstract: As people's daily life becomes increasingly inseparable from various mobile electronic devices, relevant service application platforms and network operators can collect numerous individual information easily. When releasing these data for scientific research or commercial purposes, users' privacy will be in danger, especially in the publication of spatiotemporal trajectory datasets. Therefore, to avoid the leakage of users' privacy, it is necessary to anonymize the data before they are released. However, more than simply removing the unique identifiers of individuals is needed to protect the trajectory privacy, because some attackers may infer the identity of users by the connection with other databases. Much work has been devoted to merging multiple trajectories to avoid re-identification, but these solutions always require sacrificing data quality to achieve the anonymity requirement. In order to provide sufficient privacy protection for users' trajectory datasets, this paper develops a study on trajectory privacy against re-identification attacks, proposing a trajectory K-anonymity model based on Point Density and Partition (KPDP). Our approach improves the existing trajectory generalization anonymization techniques regarding trajectory set partition preprocessing and trajectory clustering algorithms. It successfully resists re-identification attacks and reduces the data utility loss of the k-anonymized dataset. A series of experiments on a real-world dataset show that the proposed model has significant advantages in terms of higher data utility and shorter algorithm execution time than other existing techniques.

8.Learning When to Say Goodbye: What Should be the Shelf Life of an Indicator of Compromise?

Authors:Breno Tostes, Leonardo Ventura, Enrico Lovat, Matheus Martins, Daniel Sadoc Menasché

Abstract: Indicators of Compromise (IOCs), such as IP addresses, file hashes, and domain names associated with known malware or attacks, are cornerstones of cybersecurity, serving to identify malicious activity on a network. In this work, we leverage real data to compare different parameterizations of IOC aging models. Our dataset comprises traffic at a real environment for more than 1 year. Among our trace-driven findings, we determine thresholds for the ratio between miss over monitoring costs such that the system benefits from storing IOCs for a finite time-to-live (TTL) before eviction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first real world evaluation of thresholds related to IOC aging, paving the way towards realistic IOC decaying models.

1.PUF Probe: A PUF-based Hardware Authentication Equipment for IEDs

Authors:Vishal D. Jadhav, Narahari N. Moudhgalya, Tapabrata Sen, T. V. Prabhakar

Abstract: Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) are vital components in modern electrical substations, collectively responsible for monitoring electrical parameters and performing protective functions. As a result, ensuring the integrity of IEDs is an essential criteria. While standards like IEC 61850 and IEC 60870-5-104 establish cyber-security protocols for secure information exchange in IED-based power systems, the physical integrity of IEDs is often overlooked, leading to a rise in counterfeit and tainted electronic products. This paper proposes a physical unclonable function (PUF)-based device (IEDPUF probe) capable of extracting unique hardware signatures from commercial IEDs. These signatures can serve as identifiers, facilitating the authentication and protection of IEDs against counterfeiting. The paper presents the complete hardware architecture of the IEDPUF probe, along with algorithms for signature extraction and authentication. The process involves the central computer system (CCS) initiating IED authentication requests by sending random challenges to the IEDPUF probe. Based on the challenges, the IEDPUF probe generates responses, which are then verified by the CCS to authenticate the IED. Additionally, a two-way authentication technique is employed to ensure that only verified requests are granted access for signature extraction. Experimental results confirm the efficacy of the proposed IEDPUF probe. The results demonstrate its ability to provide real-time responses possessing randomness while uniquely identifying the IED under investigation. The proposed IEDPUF probe offers a simple, cost-effective, accurate solution with minimal storage requirements, enhancing the authenticity and integrity of IEDs within electrical substations

2.Provably secure KEM-based protocols over unauthenticated channels

Authors:Rodrigo Martín Sánchez-Ledesma, David Domingo Martín, Iván Blanco Chacón, Ignacio Luengo Velasco

Abstract: In this paper we propose a number of KEM-based protocols to establish a shared secret between two parties, and study their resistance over unauthenticated channels. This means analyzing the security of the protocol itself, and its robustness against Man-inthe- Middle attacks. We compare them with their KEX-based counterparts to highlight the differences that arise naturally, due to the nature of KEM constructions, in terms of the protocol itself and the types of attacks that they are subject to. We provide practical go-to KEM-based protocols instances to migrate to, based on the conditions of currently-in-use KEX-based protocols.

3.S3C2 Summit 2202-09: Industry Secure Suppy Chain Summit

Authors:Mindy Tran, Yasemin Acar, Michel Cucker, William Enck, Alexandros Kapravelos, Christian Kastner, Laurie Williams

Abstract: Recent years have shown increased cyber attacks targeting less secure elements in the software supply chain and causing fatal damage to businesses and organizations. Past well-known examples of software supply chain attacks are the SolarWinds or log4j incidents that have affected thousands of customers and businesses. The US government and industry are equally interested in enhancing software supply chain security. We conducted six panel discussions with a diverse set of 19 practitioners from industry. We asked them open-ended questions regarding SBOMs, vulnerable dependencies, malicious commits, build and deploy, the Executive Order, and standards compliance. The goal of this summit was to enable open discussions, mutual sharing, and shedding light on common challenges that industry practitioners with practical experience face when securing their software supply chain. This paper summarizes the summit held on September 30, 2022.

1.Decoding the Secrets of Machine Learning in Malware Classification: A Deep Dive into Datasets, Feature Extraction, and Model Performance

Authors:Savino Dambra, Yufei Han, Simone Aonzo, Platon Kotzias, Antonino Vitale, Juan Caballero, Davide Balzarotti, Leyla Bilge

Abstract: Many studies have proposed machine-learning (ML) models for malware detection and classification, reporting an almost-perfect performance. However, they assemble ground-truth in different ways, use diverse static- and dynamic-analysis techniques for feature extraction, and even differ on what they consider a malware family. As a consequence, our community still lacks an understanding of malware classification results: whether they are tied to the nature and distribution of the collected dataset, to what extent the number of families and samples in the training dataset influence performance, and how well static and dynamic features complement each other. This work sheds light on those open questions. by investigating the key factors influencing ML-based malware detection and classification. For this, we collect the largest balanced malware dataset so far with 67K samples from 670 families (100 samples each), and train state-of-the-art models for malware detection and family classification using our dataset. Our results reveal that static features perform better than dynamic features, and that combining both only provides marginal improvement over static features. We discover no correlation between packing and classification accuracy, and that missing behaviors in dynamically-extracted features highly penalize their performance. We also demonstrate how a larger number of families to classify make the classification harder, while a higher number of samples per family increases accuracy. Finally, we find that models trained on a uniform distribution of samples per family better generalize on unseen data.

2.LinkDID: A Privacy-Preserving, Sybil-Resistant and Key-Recoverable Decentralized Identity Scheme

Authors:Rui Song, BB CC

Abstract: Decentralized identity mechanisms endeavor to endow users with complete sovereignty over their digital assets within the Web3 ecosystem. Unfortunately, this benefit frequently comes at the expense of users' credential and identity privacy. Additionally, existing schemes fail to resist Sybil attacks that have long plagued Web3, and lack reasonable key recovery mechanisms to regain control of digital assets after loss. In this work, we propose LinkDID, a privacy-preserving, Sybil-resistant, and key-recoverable decentralized identity scheme that supports selective disclosure of credentials for arbitrary predicates while maintaining privacy for credentials and identities. Through an identifier association mechanism, LinkDID can privately and forcibly aggregate users' identifiers, providing Sybil resistance without relying on any external data or collateral from benign users. To enable key recovery, LinkDID permits users to establish proofs of ownership for identifiers with lost keys and request an update of corresponding keys from the decentralized ledger. We provide a detailed theoretical analysis and security proofs of LinkDID, along with an exhaustive performance evaluation that shows its ability to complete interactions in less than 10 seconds on consumer-grade devices.

3.Backdoor Attacks for In-Context Learning with Language Models

Authors:Nikhil Kandpal, Matthew Jagielski, Florian Tramèr, Nicholas Carlini

Abstract: Because state-of-the-art language models are expensive to train, most practitioners must make use of one of the few publicly available language models or language model APIs. This consolidation of trust increases the potency of backdoor attacks, where an adversary tampers with a machine learning model in order to make it perform some malicious behavior on inputs that contain a predefined backdoor trigger. We show that the in-context learning ability of large language models significantly complicates the question of developing backdoor attacks, as a successful backdoor must work against various prompting strategies and should not affect the model's general purpose capabilities. We design a new attack for eliciting targeted misclassification when language models are prompted to perform a particular target task and demonstrate the feasibility of this attack by backdooring multiple large language models ranging in size from 1.3 billion to 6 billion parameters. Finally we study defenses to mitigate the potential harms of our attack: for example, while in the white-box setting we show that fine-tuning models for as few as 500 steps suffices to remove the backdoor behavior, in the black-box setting we are unable to develop a successful defense that relies on prompt engineering alone.

4.SEV-Step: A Single-Stepping Framework for AMD-SEV

Authors:Luca Wilke, Jan Wichelmann, Anja Rabich, Thomas Eisenbarth

Abstract: The ever increasing popularity and availability of Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) had a stark influence on microarchitectural attack research in academia, as their strong attacker model both boosts existing attack vectors and introduces several new ones. While many works have focused on Intel SGX, other TEEs like AMD SEV have recently also started to receive more attention. A common technique when attacking SGX enclaves is single-stepping, where the system's APIC timer is used to interrupt the enclave after every instruction. Single-stepping increases the temporal resolution of subsequent microarchitectural attacks to a maximum. A key driver in the proliferation of this complex attack technique was the SGX-Step framework, which offered a stable reference implementation for single-stepping and a relatively easy setup. In this paper, we demonstrate that SEV VMs can also be reliably single-stepped. To lay the foundation for further microarchitectural attack research against SEV, we introduce the reusable SEV-Step framework. Besides reliable single-stepping, SEV-Step provides easy access to common attack primitives like page fault tracking and cache attacks against SEV. All features can be used interactively from user space. We demonstrate SEV-Step's capabilities by carrying out an end-to-end cache attack against SEV that leaks the volume key of a LUKS2-encrypted disk. Finally, we show for the first time that SEV is vulnerable to Nemesis-style attacks, which allow to extract information about the type and operands of single-stepped instructions from SEV-protected VMs.

5.Smart Contract Migration: Security Analysis and Recommendations from Ethereum to Arbitrum

Authors:Xueyan Tang, Lingzhi Shi, Alan Lai, Yuying Du, Jing Deng, Jialu Fu, Jiayi Li

Abstract: This research aims to explore the security risks posed by compatibility and protocol differences in smart contract migration, using the migration of smart contracts from Ethereum to Arbitrum as a case study. Through literature review, online data collection, expert participation, and analysis of smart contract vulnerability cases, this paper conducts an in-depth research of the differences between Ethereum and Arbitrum in areas such as Messaging, Block Properties, Contract Address Alias, and Gas Fees. The research findings indicate the presence of certain security issues during the migration process from Ethereum to Arbitrum, such as abnormal operation of the sequencer resulting in outdated off-chain data retrieval, time-based logical errors, failed permission checks, DOS attacks, and gas loss due to L1-to-L2 transaction failures. To address these security issues, this paper proposes corresponding solutions and recommendations to ensure the security and meet the requirements of the migration process. Additionally, this research emphasizes the continued attention and support for the security issues of smart contract migration through the case of smart contract migration from Ethereum to Arbitrum. It is worth noting that this research is the first in-depth research of smart contract security migration from Ethereum to Arbitrum.

6.Don't Shoot the Messenger: Localization Prevention of Satellite Internet Users

Authors:David Koisser, Richard Mitev, Marco Chilese, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi

Abstract: Satellite Internet plays an increasingly important role in geopolitical conflicts. This notion was affirmed in the Ukrainian conflict escalating at the beginning of 2022, with the large-scale deployment of the Starlink satellite Internet service which consequently demonstrated the strategic importance of a free flow of information. Aside from military use, many citizens publish sensitive information on social media platforms to influence the public narrative. However, the use of satellite communication has proven to be dangerous, as the signals can be monitored by other satellites and used to triangulate the source on the ground. Unfortunately, the targeted killings of journalists have shown this threat to be effective. While the increasing deployment of satellite Internet systems gives citizens an unprecedented mouthpiece in conflicts, protecting them against localization is an unaddressed problem. To address this threat, we present AnonSat, a novel scheme to protect satellite Internet users from triangulation. AnonSat works with cheap off-the-shelf devices, leveraging long-range wireless communication to span a local network among satellite base stations. This allows rerouting users' communication to other satellite base stations, some distance away from each user, thus, preventing their localization. AnonSat is designed for easy deployment and usability, which we demonstrate with a prototype implementation. Our large-scale network simulations using real-world data sets show the effectiveness of AnonSat in various practical settings.

7.Samplable Anonymous Aggregation for Private Federated Data Analysis

Authors:Kunal Talwar, Shan Wang, Audra McMillan, Vojta Jina, Vitaly Feldman, Bailey Basile, Aine Cahill, Yi Sheng Chan, Mike Chatzidakis, Junye Chen, Oliver Chick, Mona Chitnis, Suman Ganta, Yusuf Goren, Filip Granqvist, Kristine Guo, Frederic Jacobs, Omid Javidbakht, Albert Liu, Richard Low, Dan Mascenik, Steve Myers, David Park, Wonhee Park, Gianni Parsa, Tommy Pauly, Christian Priebe, Rehan Rishi, Guy Rothblum, Michael Scaria, Linmao Song, Congzheng Song, Karl Tarbe, Sebastian Vogt, Luke Winstrom, Shundong Zhou

Abstract: We revisit the problem of designing scalable protocols for private statistics and private federated learning when each device holds its private data. Our first contribution is to propose a simple primitive that allows for efficient implementation of several commonly used algorithms, and allows for privacy accounting that is close to that in the central setting without requiring the strong trust assumptions it entails. Second, we propose a system architecture that implements this primitive and perform a security analysis of the proposed system.

1.Enhanced Security against Adversarial Examples Using a Random Ensemble of Encrypted Vision Transformer Models

Authors:Ryota Iijima, Miki Tanaka, Sayaka Shiota, Hitoshi Kiya

Abstract: Deep neural networks (DNNs) are well known to be vulnerable to adversarial examples (AEs). In addition, AEs have adversarial transferability, which means AEs generated for a source model can fool another black-box model (target model) with a non-trivial probability. In previous studies, it was confirmed that the vision transformer (ViT) is more robust against the property of adversarial transferability than convolutional neural network (CNN) models such as ConvMixer, and moreover encrypted ViT is more robust than ViT without any encryption. In this article, we propose a random ensemble of encrypted ViT models to achieve much more robust models. In experiments, the proposed scheme is verified to be more robust against not only black-box attacks but also white-box ones than convention methods.

2.GovernR: Provenance and Confidentiality Guarantees In Research Data Repositories

Authors:Anwitaman Datta, Chua Chiah Soon, Wangfan Gu

Abstract: We propose cryptographic protocols to incorporate time provenance guarantees while meeting confidentiality and controlled sharing needs for research data. We demonstrate the efficacy of these mechanisms by developing and benchmarking a practical tool, GovernR, which furthermore takes into usability issues and is compatible with a popular open-sourced research data storage platform, Dataverse. In doing so, we identify and provide a solution addressing an important gap (though applicable to only niche use cases) in practical research data management.

3.Open Image Content Disarm And Reconstruction

Authors:Eli Belkind, Ran Dubin, Amit Dvir

Abstract: With the advance in malware technology, attackers create new ways to hide their malicious code from antivirus services. One way to obfuscate an attack is to use common files as cover to hide the malicious scripts, so the malware will look like a legitimate file. Although cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and content signature exist, evasive malware successfully bypasses next-generation malware detection using advanced methods like steganography. Some of the files commonly used to hide malware are image files (e.g., JPEG). In addition, some malware use steganography to hide malicious scripts or sensitive data in images. Steganography in images is difficult to detect even with specialized tools. Image-based attacks try to attack the user's device using malicious payloads or utilize image steganography to hide sensitive data inside legitimate images and leak it outside the user's device. Therefore in this paper, we present a novel Image Content Disarm and Reconstruction (ICDR). Our ICDR system removes potential malware, with a zero trust approach, while maintaining high image quality and file usability. By extracting the image data, removing it from the rest of the file, and manipulating the image pixels, it is possible to disable or remove the hidden malware inside the file.

4.Risk Assessment Graphs: Utilizing Attack Graphs for Risk Assessment

Authors:Simon Unger, Ektor Arzoglou, Markus Heinrich, Dirk Scheuermann, Stefan Katzenbeisser

Abstract: Risk assessment plays a crucial role in ensuring the security and resilience of modern computer systems. Existing methods for conducting risk assessments often suffer from tedious and time-consuming processes, making it challenging to maintain a comprehensive overview of potential security issues. In this paper, we propose a novel approach that leverages attack graphs to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of risk assessment. Attack graphs visually represent the various attack paths that adversaries can exploit within a system, enabling a systematic exploration of potential vulnerabilities. By extending attack graphs with capabilities to include countermeasures and consequences, they can be leveraged to constitute the complete risk assessment process. Our method offers a more streamlined and comprehensive analysis of system vulnerabilities, where system changes, or environment changes can easily be adapted and the issues exposing the highest risk can easily be identified. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach through a case study, as well as the applicability by combining existing risk assessment standards with our method. Our work aims to bridge the gap between risk assessment practices and evolving threat landscapes, offering an improved methodology for managing and mitigating risks in modern computer systems.

5.ICCPS: Impact discovery using causal inference for cyber attacks in CPSs

Authors:Rajib Ranjan Maiti, Sridhar Adepu, Emil Lupu

Abstract: We propose a new method to quantify the impact of cyber attacks in Cyber Physical Systems (CPSs). In particular, our method allows to identify the Design Parameter (DPs) affected due to a cyber attack launched on a different set of DPs in the same CPS. To achieve this, we adopt causal graphs to causally link DPs with each other and quantify the impact of one DP on another. Using SWaT, a real world testbed of a water treatment system, we demonstrate that causal graphs can be build in two ways: i) using domain knowledge of the control logic and the physical connectivity structure of the DPs, we call these causal domain graphs and ii) learning from operational data logs, we call these causal learnt graphs. We then compare these graphs when a same set of DPs is used. Our analysis shows a common set of edges between the causal domain graphs and the causal learnt graphs exists, which helps validate the causal learnt graphs. Additionally, we show that the learnt graphs can discover new causal relations, not initially considered in the domain graphs, that help significantly characterising the impact of the attack. We use causal domain graphs to estimate the parameters of the graphs, and the causal learnt graphs for causal inference. To learn the structure of the causal learnt graphs in all the six-stages of SWaT, we experiment with three learning algorithms: Peter Clarke (PC), Hill Climb (HC) search and Chow-Lie (CH). Finally, we demonstrate how causal graphs can be used to analyse the impact of cyber attacks by analysing nine well known cyber attacks on the SWaT test bed. We find that by using causal learnt graphs the DPs impacted by the attacks are correctly discovered with a probability greater than 0.9.

6.Unveiling Security, Privacy, and Ethical Concerns of ChatGPT

Authors:Xiaodong Wu, Ran Duan, Jianbing Ni

Abstract: This paper delves into the realm of ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot that utilizes topic modeling and reinforcement learning to generate natural responses. Although ChatGPT holds immense promise across various industries, such as customer service, education, mental health treatment, personal productivity, and content creation, it is essential to address its security, privacy, and ethical implications. By exploring the upgrade path from GPT-1 to GPT-4, discussing the model's features, limitations, and potential applications, this study aims to shed light on the potential risks of integrating ChatGPT into our daily lives. Focusing on security, privacy, and ethics issues, we highlight the challenges these concerns pose for widespread adoption. Finally, we analyze the open problems in these areas, calling for concerted efforts to ensure the development of secure and ethically sound large language models.

1.Node Injection Link Stealing Attack

Authors:Oualid Zari, Javier Parra-Arnau, Ayşe Ünsal, Melek Önen

Abstract: In this paper, we present a stealthy and effective attack that exposes privacy vulnerabilities in Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) by inferring private links within graph-structured data. Focusing on the inductive setting where new nodes join the graph and an API is used to query predictions, we investigate the potential leakage of private edge information. We also propose methods to preserve privacy while maintaining model utility. Our attack demonstrates superior performance in inferring the links compared to the state of the art. Furthermore, we examine the application of differential privacy (DP) mechanisms to mitigate the impact of our proposed attack, we analyze the trade-off between privacy preservation and model utility. Our work highlights the privacy vulnerabilities inherent in GNNs, underscoring the importance of developing robust privacy-preserving mechanisms for their application.

1.PUMA: Secure Inference of LLaMA-7B in Five Minutes

Authors:Ye Dong, Wen-jie Lu, Yancheng Zheng, Haoqi Wu, Derun Zhao, Jin Tan, Zhicong Huang, Cheng Hong, Tao Wei, Wenguang Cheng

Abstract: With ChatGPT as a representative, tons of companies have began to provide services based on large Transformers models. However, using such a service inevitably leak users' prompts to the model provider. Previous studies have studied secure inference for Transformer models using secure multiparty computation (MPC), where model parameters and clients' prompts are kept secret. Despite this, these frameworks are still limited in terms of model performance, efficiency, and deployment. To address these limitations, we propose framework PUMA to enable fast and secure Transformer model inference. Our framework designs high quality approximations for expensive functions, such as GeLU and Softmax, which significantly reduce the cost of secure inference while preserving the model performance. Additionally, we design secure Embedding and LayerNorm procedures that faithfully implement the desired functionality without undermining the Transformer architecture. PUMA is about 2x faster than the state-of-the-art MPC framework MPCFORMER(ICLR 2023) and has similar accuracy as plaintext models without fine-tuning (which the previous works failed to achieve). One more thing, PUMA can evaluate LLaMA-7B in around 5 minutes to generate 1 token. To our best knowledge, this is the first time that a model with such a parameter size is able to be evaluated under MPC. PUMA has been open-sourced in the Github repository of SecretFlow-SPU.

2.Execution at RISC: Stealth JOP Attacks on RISC-V Applications

Authors:Loïc Buckwell, Olivier Gilles, Daniel Gracia Pérez, Nikolai Kosmatov

Abstract: RISC-V is a recently developed open instruction set architecture gaining a lot of attention. To achieve a lasting security on these systems and design efficient countermeasures, a better understanding of vulnerabilities to novel and potential future attacks is mandatory. This paper demonstrates that RISC-V is sensible to Jump-Oriented Programming, a class of complex code-reuse attacks. We provide an analysis of new dispatcher gadgets we discovered, and show how they can be used together in order to build a stealth attack, bypassing existing protections. A proof-of-concept attack is implemented on an embedded web server compiled for RISC-V, in which we introduced a vulnerability, allowing an attacker to remotely read an arbitrary file from the host machine.

3.SoK: Design, Vulnerabilities and Defense of Cryptocurrency Wallets

Authors:Yimika Erinle, Yathin Kethepalli, Yebo Feng, Jiahua Xu

Abstract: The rapid growth of decentralized digital currencies, enabled by blockchain technology, has ushered in a new era of peer-to-peer transactions, revolutionizing the global economy. Cryptocurrency wallets, serving as crucial endpoints for these transactions, have become increasingly prevalent. However, the escalating value and usage of these wallets also expose them to significant security risks and challenges. This research aims to comprehensively explore the security aspects of cryptocurrency wallets. It provides a taxonomy of wallet types, analyzes their design and implementation, identifies common vulnerabilities and attacks, and discusses defense mechanisms and mitigation strategies. The taxonomy covers custodial, non-custodial, hot, and cold wallets, highlighting their unique characteristics and associated security considerations. The security analysis scrutinizes the theoretical and practical aspects of wallet design, while assessing the efficacy of existing security measures and protocols. Notable wallet attacks, such as Binance, Mt. Gox are examined to understand their causes and consequences. Furthermore, the paper surveys defense mechanisms, transaction monitoring, evaluating their effectiveness in mitigating threats.

1.Dissecting Code Vulnerabilities: Insights from C++ and Java Vulnerability Analysis with ReVeal Model

Authors:Ravil Mussabayev

Abstract: This study presents an analysis conducted on a real-world dataset of Java vulnerability-fixing commits. The dataset consists of commits with varying numbers of modified methods, leading to a natural partitioning based on the number of changed functions. The research aims to address several key questions. Firstly, the study investigates the optimal parameter selection for ReVeal, a state-of-the-art model, in order to achieve its best performance. Secondly, it explores the contributions of different parts of the Java dataset towards vulnerability detection. Lastly, the study evaluates the model's performance in separating close-to-vulnerable methods (vulnerable methods and their fixed versions) from randomly selected safe code, as well as the finer separation of vulnerable methods from their fixed versions within the set of close-to-vulnerable methods. The research employs a series of experiments to answer these questions and derive meaningful insights.

2.WM-NET: Robust Deep 3D Watermarking with Limited Data

Authors:Xingyu Zhu, Guanhui Ye, Xuetao Wei, Xiapu Luo

Abstract: The goal of 3D mesh watermarking is to embed the message in 3D meshes that can withstand various attacks imperceptibly and reconstruct the message accurately from watermarked meshes. Traditional methods are less robust against attacks. Recent DNN-based methods either introduce excessive distortions or fail to embed the watermark without the help of texture information. However, embedding the watermark in textures is insecure because replacing the texture image can completely remove the watermark. In this paper, we propose a robust deep 3D mesh watermarking WM-NET, which leverages attention-based convolutions in watermarking tasks to embed binary messages in vertex distributions without texture assistance. Furthermore, our WM-NET exploits the property that simplified meshes inherit similar relations from the original ones, where the relation is the offset vector directed from one vertex to its neighbor. By doing so, our method can be trained on simplified meshes(limited data) but remains effective on large-sized meshes (size adaptable) and unseen categories of meshes (geometry adaptable). Extensive experiments demonstrate our method brings 50% fewer distortions and 10% higher bit accuracy compared to previous work. Our watermark WM-NET is robust against various mesh attacks, e.g. Gauss, rotation, translation, scaling, and cropping.

3.Mitigating Communications Threats in Decentralized Federated Learning through Moving Target Defense

Authors:Enrique Tomás Martínez Beltrán, Pedro Miguel Sánchez Sánchez, Sergio López Bernal, Gérôme Bovet, Manuel Gil Pérez, Gregorio Martínez Pérez, Alberto Huertas Celdrán

Abstract: The rise of Decentralized Federated Learning (DFL) has enabled the training of machine learning models across federated participants, fostering decentralized model aggregation and reducing dependence on a server. However, this approach introduces unique communication security challenges that have yet to be thoroughly addressed in the literature. These challenges primarily originate from the decentralized nature of the aggregation process, the varied roles and responsibilities of the participants, and the absence of a central authority to oversee and mitigate threats. Addressing these challenges, this paper first delineates a comprehensive threat model, highlighting the potential risks of DFL communications. In response to these identified risks, this work introduces a security module designed for DFL platforms to counter communication-based attacks. The module combines security techniques such as symmetric and asymmetric encryption with Moving Target Defense (MTD) techniques, including random neighbor selection and IP/port switching. The security module is implemented in a DFL platform called Fedstellar, allowing the deployment and monitoring of the federation. A DFL scenario has been deployed, involving eight physical devices implementing three security configurations: (i) a baseline with no security, (ii) an encrypted configuration, and (iii) a configuration integrating both encryption and MTD techniques. The effectiveness of the security module is validated through experiments with the MNIST dataset and eclipse attacks. The results indicated an average F1 score of 95%, with moderate increases in CPU usage (up to 63.2% +-3.5%) and network traffic (230 MB +-15 MB) under the most secure configuration, mitigating the risks posed by eavesdropping or eclipse attacks.

1.A Blockchain-based Electronic Voting System: EtherVote

Authors:Achilleas Spanos, Ioanna Kantzavelou

Abstract: The development of an electronic voting system that would replace traditional election procedures is a research topic of great interest for many years. Blockchain technology could provide some guarantees and fulfill strong requirements for electronic voting platforms, such as transparency, immutability, and confidentiality. From time to time research is conducted to address problems in voting systems. Many research works attempt to implement secure and reliable voting systems, which address known security, anonymity, and fraud issues that might threaten such systems. This paper presents a proposal of a secure electronic voting system, the EtherVote, using the Ethereum Blockchain network that focuses deeply on the field of identification of eligible citizens. The proposed system will be entirely based on Blockchain without any central authority servers or databases, thus improving security, privacy, and election cost. Limitations, problems, and solutions are discussed, in order to make the proposed electronic voting system ideal and ready to use for national elections.

2.Battle Ground: Data Collection and Labeling of CTF Games to Understand Human Cyber Operators

Authors:Georgel Savin, Ammar Asseri, Josiah Dykstra, Jonathan Goohs, Anthony Melarano, William Casey

Abstract: Industry standard frameworks are now widespread for labeling the high-level stages and granular actions of attacker and defender behavior in cyberspace. While these labels are used for atomic actions, and to some extent for sequences of actions, there remains a need for labeled data from realistic full-scale attacks. This data is valuable for better understanding human actors' decisions, behaviors, and individual attributes. The analysis could lead to more effective attribution and disruption of attackers. We present a methodological approach and exploratory case study for systematically analyzing human behavior during a cyber offense/defense capture-the-flag (CTF) game. We describe the data collection and analysis to derive a metric called keystroke accuracy. After collecting players' commands, we label them using the MITRE ATT&CK framework using a new tool called Pathfinder. We present results from preliminary analysis of participants' keystroke accuracy and its relation to score outcome in CTF games. We describe frequency of action classification within the MITRE ATT&CK framework and discuss some of the mathematical trends suggested by our observations. We conclude with a discussion of extensions for the methodology, including performance evaluation during games and the potential use of this methodology for training artificial intelligence.

3.Threshold Encrypted Mempools: Limitations and Considerations

Authors:Antoine Rondelet, Quintus Kilbourn

Abstract: Encrypted mempools are a class of solutions aimed at preventing or reducing negative externalities of MEV extraction using cryptographic privacy. Mempool encryption aims to hide information related to pending transactions until a block including the transactions is committed, targeting the prevention of frontrunning and similar behaviour. Among the various methods of encryption, threshold schemes are particularly interesting for the design of MEV mitigation mechanisms, as their distributed nature and minimal hardware requirements harmonize with a broader goal of decentralization. This work looks beyond the formal and technical cryptographic aspects of threshold encryption schemes to focus on the market and incentive implications of implementing encrypted mempools as MEV mitigation techniques. In particular, this paper argues that the deployment of such protocols without proper consideration and understanding of market impact invites several undesired outcomes, with the ultimate goal of stimulating further analysis of this class of solutions outside of pure cryptograhic considerations. Included in the paper is an overview of a series of problems, various candidate solutions in the form of mempool encryption techniques with a focus on threshold encryption, potential drawbacks to these solutions, and Osmosis as a case study. The paper targets a broad audience and remains agnostic to blockchain design where possible while drawing from mostly financial examples.

4.ESASCF: Expertise Extraction, Generalization and Reply Framework for an Optimized Automation of Network Security Compliance

Authors:Mohamed C. Ghanem, Thomas M. Chen, Mohamed A. Ferrag, Mohyi E. Kettouche

Abstract: The Cyber threats exposure has created worldwide pressure on organizations to comply with cyber security standards and policies for protecting their digital assets. Vulnerability assessment (VA) and Penetration Testing (PT) are widely adopted Security Compliance (SC) methods to identify security gaps and anticipate security breaches. In the computer networks context and despite the use of autonomous tools and systems, security compliance remains highly repetitive and resources consuming. In this paper, we proposed a novel method to tackle the ever-growing problem of efficiency and effectiveness in network infrastructures security auditing by formally introducing, designing, and developing an Expert-System Automated Security Compliance Framework (ESASCF) that enables industrial and open-source VA and PT tools and systems to extract, process, store and re-use the expertise in a human-expert way to allow direct application in similar scenarios or during the periodic re-testing. The implemented model was then integrated within the ESASCF and tested on different size networks and proved efficient in terms of time-efficiency and testing effectiveness allowing ESASCF to take over autonomously the SC in Re-testing and offloading Expert by automating repeated segments SC and thus enabling Experts to prioritize important tasks in Ad-Hoc compliance tests. The obtained results validate the performance enhancement notably by cutting the time required for an expert to 50% in the context of typical corporate networks first SC and 20% in re-testing, representing a significant cost-cutting. In addition, the framework allows a long-term impact illustrated in the knowledge extraction, generalization, and re-utilization, which enables better SC confidence independent of the human expert skills, coverage, and wrong decisions resulting in impactful false negatives.

5.To What Extent Are Honeypots and Honeynets Autonomic Computing Systems?

Authors:Jason M. Pittman, Shaho Alaee

Abstract: Cyber threats, such as advanced persistent threats (APTs), ransomware, and zero-day exploits, are rapidly evolving and demand improved security measures. Honeypots and honeynets, as deceptive systems, offer valuable insights into attacker behavior, helping researchers and practitioners develop innovative defense strategies and enhance detection mechanisms. However, their deployment involves significant maintenance and overhead expenses. At the same time, the complexity of modern computing has prompted the rise of autonomic computing, aiming for systems that can operate without human intervention. Recent honeypot and honeynet research claims to incorporate autonomic computing principles, often using terms like adaptive, dynamic, intelligent, and learning. This study investigates such claims by measuring the extent to which autonomic principles principles are expressed in honeypot and honeynet literature. The findings reveal that autonomic computing keywords are present in the literature sample, suggesting an evolution from self-adaptation to autonomic computing implementations. Yet, despite these findings, the analysis also shows low frequencies of self-configuration, self-healing, and self-protection keywords. Interestingly, self-optimization appeared prominently in the literature. While this study presents a foundation for the convergence of autonomic computing and deceptive systems, future research could explore technical implementations in sample articles and test them for autonomic behavior. Additionally, investigations into the design and implementation of individual autonomic computing principles in honeypots and determining the necessary ratio of these principles for a system to exhibit autonomic behavior could provide valuable insights for both researchers and practitioners.

1.EPUF: A Novel Scheme Based on Entropy Features of Latency-based DRAM PUFs Providing Lightweight Authentication in IoT Networks

Authors:Fatemeh Najafi, Masoud Kaveh, Mohammad Reza Mosavi, Alessandro Brighente, Mauro Conti

Abstract: Physical unclonable functions (PUFs) are hardware-oriented primitives that exploit manufacturing variations to generate a unique identity for a physical system. Recent advancements showed how DRAM can be exploited to implement PUFs. DRAM PUFs require no additional circuits for PUF operations and can be used in most of the applications with resource-constrained nodes such as Internet of Things (IoT) networks. However, the existing DRAM PUF solutions either require to interrupt other functions in the host system, or provide unreliable responses due to their sensitiveness to the environmental conditions. In this paper, we propose EPUF, a novel strategy to extract random and unique features from DRAM cells to generate reliable PUF responses. In particular, we use the bitmap images of the binary DRAM values and their entropy features. We show via real device experiments that EPUF is approximately $1.7$ times faster than other state of the art solutions, achieves $100\%$ reliability, generates features with $47.79\%$ uniqueness, and supports a large set of CRP that leads to new potentials for DRAM PUF-based authentication. We also propose a lightweight authentication protocol based on EPUF, which not only provides far better security guarantees but also outperforms the state-of-the-art in terms of communication overhead and computational cost.

2.Rethinking Backdoor Attacks

Authors:Alaa Khaddaj, Guillaume Leclerc, Aleksandar Makelov, Kristian Georgiev, Hadi Salman, Andrew Ilyas, Aleksander Madry

Abstract: In a backdoor attack, an adversary inserts maliciously constructed backdoor examples into a training set to make the resulting model vulnerable to manipulation. Defending against such attacks typically involves viewing these inserted examples as outliers in the training set and using techniques from robust statistics to detect and remove them. In this work, we present a different approach to the backdoor attack problem. Specifically, we show that without structural information about the training data distribution, backdoor attacks are indistinguishable from naturally-occurring features in the data--and thus impossible to "detect" in a general sense. Then, guided by this observation, we revisit existing defenses against backdoor attacks and characterize the (often latent) assumptions they make and on which they depend. Finally, we explore an alternative perspective on backdoor attacks: one that assumes these attacks correspond to the strongest feature in the training data. Under this assumption (which we make formal) we develop a new primitive for detecting backdoor attacks. Our primitive naturally gives rise to a detection algorithm that comes with theoretical guarantees and is effective in practice.

1.On Borrowed Time -- Preventing Static Power Side-Channel Analysis

Authors:Robert Dumitru, Andrew Wabnitz, Yuval Yarom

Abstract: In recent years, static power side-channel analysis attacks have emerged as a serious threat to cryptographic implementations, overcoming state-of-the-art countermeasures against side-channel attacks. The continued down-scaling of semiconductor process technology, which results in an increase of the relative weight of static power in the total power budget of circuits, will only improve the viability of static power side-channel analysis attacks. Yet, despite the threat posed, limited work has been invested into mitigating this class of attack. In this work we address this gap. We observe that static power side-channel analysis relies on stopping the target circuit's clock over a prolonged period, during which the circuit holds secret information in its registers. We propose Borrowed Time, a countermeasure that hinders an attacker's ability to leverage such clock control. Borrowed Time detects a stopped clock and triggers a reset that wipes any registers containing sensitive intermediates, whose leakages would otherwise be exploitable. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our countermeasure by performing practical Correlation Power Analysis attacks under optimal conditions against an AES implementation on an FPGA target with and without our countermeasure in place. In the unprotected case, we can recover the entire secret key using traces from 1,500 encryptions. Under the same conditions, the protected implementation successfully prevents key recovery even with traces from 1,000,000 encryptions.

2.CBSeq: A Channel-level Behavior Sequence For Encrypted Malware Traffic Detection

Authors:Susu Cui, Cong Dong, Meng Shen, Yuling Liu, Bo Jiang, Zhigang Lu

Abstract: Machine learning and neural networks have become increasingly popular solutions for encrypted malware traffic detection. They mine and learn complex traffic patterns, enabling detection by fitting boundaries between malware traffic and benign traffic. Compared with signature-based methods, they have higher scalability and flexibility. However, affected by the frequent variants and updates of malware, current methods suffer from a high false positive rate and do not work well for unknown malware traffic detection. It remains a critical task to achieve effective malware traffic detection. In this paper, we introduce CBSeq to address the above problems. CBSeq is a method that constructs a stable traffic representation, behavior sequence, to characterize attacking intent and achieve malware traffic detection. We novelly propose the channels with similar behavior as the detection object and extract side-channel content to construct behavior sequence. Unlike benign activities, the behavior sequences of malware and its variant's traffic exhibit solid internal correlations. Moreover, we design the MSFormer, a powerful Transformer-based multi-sequence fusion classifier. It captures the internal similarity of behavior sequence, thereby distinguishing malware traffic from benign traffic. Our evaluations demonstrate that CBSeq performs effectively in various known malware traffic detection and exhibits superior performance in unknown malware traffic detection, outperforming state-of-the-art methods.

3.FedDefender: Client-Side Attack-Tolerant Federated Learning

Authors:Sungwon Park, Sungwon Han, Fangzhao Wu, Sundong Kim, Bin Zhu, Xing Xie, Meeyoung Cha

Abstract: Federated learning enables learning from decentralized data sources without compromising privacy, which makes it a crucial technique. However, it is vulnerable to model poisoning attacks, where malicious clients interfere with the training process. Previous defense mechanisms have focused on the server-side by using careful model aggregation, but this may not be effective when the data is not identically distributed or when attackers can access the information of benign clients. In this paper, we propose a new defense mechanism that focuses on the client-side, called FedDefender, to help benign clients train robust local models and avoid the adverse impact of malicious model updates from attackers, even when a server-side defense cannot identify or remove adversaries. Our method consists of two main components: (1) attack-tolerant local meta update and (2) attack-tolerant global knowledge distillation. These components are used to find noise-resilient model parameters while accurately extracting knowledge from a potentially corrupted global model. Our client-side defense strategy has a flexible structure and can work in conjunction with any existing server-side strategies. Evaluations of real-world scenarios across multiple datasets show that the proposed method enhances the robustness of federated learning against model poisoning attacks.

4.Mitigating Intersection Attacks in Anonymous Microblogging

Authors:Sarah Abdelwahab Gaballah, Thanh Hoang Long Nguyen, Lamya Abdullah, Ephraim Zimmer, Max Mühlhäuser

Abstract: Anonymous microblogging systems are known to be vulnerable to intersection attacks due to network churn. An adversary that monitors all communications can leverage the churn to learn who is publishing what with increasing confidence over time. In this paper, we propose a protocol for mitigating intersection attacks in anonymous microblogging systems by grouping users into anonymity sets based on similarities in their publishing behavior. The protocol provides a configurable communication schedule for users in each set to manage the inevitable trade-off between latency and bandwidth overhead. In our evaluation, we use real-world datasets from two popular microblogging platforms, Twitter and Reddit, to simulate user publishing behavior. The results demonstrate that the protocol can protect users against intersection attacks at low bandwidth overhead when the users adhere to communication schedules. In addition, the protocol can sustain a slow degradation in the size of the anonymity set over time under various churn rates.

5.The Hitchhiker's Guide to Malicious Third-Party Dependencies

Authors:Piergiorgio Ladisa, Merve Sahin, Serena Elisa Ponta, Marco Rosa, Matias Martinez, Olivier Barais

Abstract: The increasing popularity of certain programming languages has spurred the creation of ecosystem-specific package repositories and package managers. Such repositories (e.g., NPM, PyPI) serve as public databases that users can query to retrieve packages for various functionalities, whereas package managers automatically handle dependency resolution and package installation on the client side. These mechanisms enhance software modularization and accelerate implementation. However, they have become a target for malicious actors seeking to propagate malware on a large scale. In this work, we show how attackers can leverage capabilities of popular package managers and languages to achieve arbitrary code execution on victim machines, thereby realizing open-source software supply chain attacks. Based on the analysis of 7 ecosystems, we identify 3 install-time and 5 runtime techniques, and we provide recommendations describing how to reduce the risk when consuming third-party dependencies. We will provide proof-of-concepts that demonstrate the identified techniques. Furthermore, we describe evasion strategies employed by attackers to circumvent detection mechanisms.

6.From Dragondoom to Dragonstar: Side-channel Attacks and Formally Verified Implementation of WPA3 Dragonfly Handshake

Authors:Daniel De Almeida Braga, Natalia Kulatova, Mohamed Sabt, Pierre-Alain Fouque, Karthikeyan Bhargavan

Abstract: It is universally acknowledged that Wi-Fi communications are important to secure. Thus, the Wi-Fi Alliance published WPA3 in 2018 with a distinctive security feature: it leverages a Password-Authenticated Key Exchange (PAKE) protocol to protect users' passwords from offline dictionary attacks. Unfortunately, soon after its release, several attacks were reported against its implementations, in response to which the protocol was updated in a best-effort manner. In this paper, we show that the proposed mitigations are not enough, especially for a complex protocol to implement even for savvy developers. Indeed, we present **Dragondoom**, a collection of side-channel vulnerabilities of varying strength allowing attackers to recover users' passwords in widely deployed Wi-Fi daemons, such as hostap in its default settings. Our findings target both password conversion methods, namely the default probabilistic hunting-and-pecking and its newly standardized deterministic alternative based on SSWU. We successfully exploit our leakage in practice through microarchitectural mechanisms, and overcome the limited spatial resolution of Flush+Reload. Our attacks outperform previous works in terms of required measurements. Then, driven by the need to end the spiral of patch-and-hack in Dragonfly implementations, we propose **Dragonstar**, an implementation of Dragonfly leveraging a formally verified implementation of the underlying mathematical operations, thereby removing all the related leakage vector. Our implementation relies on HACL*, a formally verified crypto library guaranteeing secret-independence. We design Dragonstar, so that its integration within hostap requires minimal modifications to the existing project. Our experiments show that the performance of HACL*-based hostap is comparable to OpenSSL-based, implying that Dragonstar is both efficient and proved to be leakage-free.

7.Measuring the Leakage and Exploitability of Authentication Secrets in Super-apps: The WeChat Case

Authors:Supraja Baskaran, Lianying Zhao, Mohammad Mannan, Amr Youssef

Abstract: We conduct a large-scale measurement of developers' insecure practices leading to mini-app to super-app authentication bypass, among which hard-coding developer secrets for such authentication is a major contributor. We also analyze the exploitability and security consequences of developer secret leakage in mini-apps by examining individual super-app server-side APIs. We develop an analysis framework for measuring such secret leakage, and primarily analyze 110,993 WeChat mini-apps, and 10,000 Baidu mini-apps (two of the most prominent super-app platforms), along with a few more datasets to test the evolution of developer practices and platform security enforcement over time. We found a large number of WeChat mini-apps (36,425, 32.8%) and a few Baidu mini-apps (112) leak their developer secrets, which can cause severe security and privacy problems for the users and developers of mini-apps. A network attacker who does not even have an account on the super-app platform, can effectively take down a mini-app, send malicious and phishing links to users, and access sensitive information of the mini-app developer and its users. We responsibly disclosed our findings and also put forward potential directions that could be considered to alleviate/eliminate the root causes of developers hard-coding the app secrets in the mini-app's front-end code.

8.A New Hybrid Cryptosystem Involving DNA,Rabin, One Time Pad and Fiestel

Authors:Sara Benatmane, Nuh Aydin, Behloul Djilali, Prokash Barman

Abstract: Information security is a crucial need in the modern world. Data security is a real concern, and many customers and organizations need to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized parties and attackers. In previous years, numerous cryptographic schemes have been proposed. DNA cryptography is a new and developing field that combines the computational and biological worlds. DNA cryptography is intriguing due to its high storage capacity, secure data transport, and massive parallel computing. In this paper, a new combination is proposed that offers good security by combining DNA, the Rabin algorithm, one time pad, and a structure inspired by Fiestel. This algorithm employs two keys. The first key is a DNA OTP key which is used for only one secure communication session. The second key, which combines the public and private keys, is a Rabin key. Additionally, by using a Feistel inspired scheme and randomness provided by DNA, the ciphertext is made harder to obtain without the private key.

1.LogPrécis: Unleashing Language Models for Automated Shell Log Analysis

Authors:Matteo Boffa, Rodolfo Vieira Valentim, Luca Vassio, Danilo Giordano, Idilio Drago, Marco Mellia, Zied Ben Houidi

Abstract: The collection of security-related logs holds the key to understanding attack behaviors and diagnosing vulnerabilities. Still, their analysis remains a daunting challenge. Recently, Language Models (LMs) have demonstrated unmatched potential in understanding natural and programming languages. The question arises whether and how LMs could be also useful for security experts since their logs contain intrinsically confused and obfuscated information. In this paper, we systematically study how to benefit from the state-of-the-art in LM to automatically analyze text-like Unix shell attack logs. We present a thorough design methodology that leads to LogPr\'ecis. It receives as input raw shell sessions and automatically identifies and assigns the attacker tactic to each portion of the session, i.e., unveiling the sequence of the attacker's goals. We demonstrate LogPr\'ecis capability to support the analysis of two large datasets containing about 400,000 unique Unix shell attacks. LogPr\'ecis reduces them into about 3,000 fingerprints, each grouping sessions with the same sequence of tactics. The abstraction it provides lets the analyst better understand attacks, identify fingerprints, detect novelty, link similar attacks, and track families and mutations. Overall, LogPr\'ecis, released as open source, paves the way for better and more responsive defense against cyberattacks.

2.Are we there yet? An Industrial Viewpoint on Provenance-based Endpoint Detection and Response Tools

Authors:Feng Dong, Shaofei Li, Peng Jiang, Ding Li, Haoyu Wang, Liangyi Huang, Xusheng Xiao, Jiedong Chen, Xiapu Luo, Yao Guo, Xiangqun Chen

Abstract: Provenance-Based Endpoint Detection and Response (P-EDR) systems are deemed crucial for future APT defenses. Despite the fact that numerous new techniques to improve P-EDR systems have been proposed in academia, it is still unclear whether the industry will adopt P-EDR systems and what improvements the industry desires for P-EDR systems. To this end, we conduct the first set of systematic studies on the effectiveness and the limitations of P-EDR systems. Our study consists of four components: a one-to-one interview, an online questionnaire study, a survey of the relevant literature, and a systematic measurement study. Our research indicates that all industry experts consider P-EDR systems to be more effective than conventional Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems. However, industry experts are concerned about the operating cost of P-EDR systems. In addition, our research reveals three significant gaps between academia and industry: (1) overlooking client-side overhead; (2) imbalanced alarm triage cost and interpretation cost; and (3) excessive server-side memory consumption. This paper's findings provide objective data on the effectiveness of P-EDR systems and how much improvements are needed to adopt P-EDR systems in industry.

3.A Privacy-Preserving Blockchain-based E-voting System

Authors:Arnab Mukherjee, Souvik Majumdar, Anup Kumar Kolya, Saborni Nandi

Abstract: Within a modern democratic nation, elections play a significant role in the nation's functioning. However, with the existing infrastructure for conducting elections using Electronic Voting Systems (EVMs), many loopholes exist, which illegitimate entities might leverage to cast false votes or even tamper with the EVMs after the voting session is complete. The need of the hour is to introduce a robust, auditable, transparent, and tamper-proof e-voting system, enabling a more reliable and fair election process. To address such concerns, we propose a novel solution for blockchain-based e-voting, focusing on the security and privacy aspects of the e-voting process. We consider the security risks and loopholes and aim to preserve the anonymity of the voters while ensuring that illegitimate votes are properly handled. Additionally, we develop a prototype as a proof of concept using the Ethereum blockchain platform. Finally, we perform experiments to demonstrate the performance of the system.

4.Metadata-based Malware Detection on Android using Machine Learning

Authors:Alexander Hefter, Christoph Sendner, Alexandra Dmitrienko

Abstract: In the digitized world, smartphones and their apps play an important role. To name just a few examples, some apps offer possibilities for entertainment, others for online banking, and others offer support for two-factor authentication. Therefore, with smartphones also, sensitive information is shared; thus, they are a desirable target for malware. The following technical report gives an overview of how machine learning, especially neural networks, can be employed to detect malicious Android apps based on their metadata. Detection based on the metadata is necessary since not all of an app's information is readable from another app due to the security layout of Android. To do so, a comparable big dataset of metadata of apps has been collected for learning and evaluation in this work. The first section, after the introduction, presents the related work, followed by the description of the sources of the dataset and the selection of the features used for machine learning, in this case, only the app permissions. Afterward, a free available dataset is used to find an efficient and effective neural network model for learning and evaluation. Here, the fully connected network type consisting of dense layers is chosen. Then this model is trained and evaluated on the new, more extensive dataset to obtain a representative result. It turns out that this model detects malware with an accuracy of 92.93% based on an app's permissions.

5.G-Scan: Graph Neural Networks for Line-Level Vulnerability Identification in Smart Contracts

Authors:Christoph Sendner, Ruisi Zhang, Alexander Hefter, Alexandra Dmitrienko, Farinaz Koushanfar

Abstract: Due to the immutable and decentralized nature of Ethereum (ETH) platform, smart contracts are prone to security risks that can result in financial loss. While existing machine learning-based vulnerability detection algorithms achieve high accuracy at the contract level, they require developers to manually inspect source code to locate bugs. To this end, we present G-Scan, the first end-to-end fine-grained line-level vulnerability detection system evaluated on the first-of-its-kind real world dataset. G-Scan first converts smart contracts to code graphs in a dependency and hierarchy preserving manner. Next, we train a graph neural network to identify vulnerable nodes and assess security risks. Finally, the code graphs with node vulnerability predictions are mapped back to the smart contracts for line-level localization. We train and evaluate G-Scan on a collected real world smart contracts dataset with line-level annotations on reentrancy vulnerability, one of the most common and severe types of smart contract vulnerabilities. With the well-designed graph representation and high-quality dataset, G-Scan achieves 93.02% F1-score in contract-level vulnerability detection and 93.69% F1-score in line-level vulnerability localization. Additionally, the lightweight graph neural network enables G-Scan to localize vulnerabilities in 6.1k lines of code smart contract within 1.2 seconds.

6.TorMult: Introducing a Novel Tor Bandwidth Inflation Attack

Authors:Christoph Sendner, Jasper Stang, Alexandra Dmitrienko, Raveen Wijewickrama, Murtuza Jadliwala

Abstract: The Tor network is the most prominent system for providing anonymous communication to web users, with a daily user base of 2 million users. However, since its inception, it has been constantly targeted by various traffic fingerprinting and correlation attacks aiming at deanonymizing its users. A critical requirement for these attacks is to attract as much user traffic to adversarial relays as possible, which is typically accomplished by means of bandwidth inflation attacks. This paper proposes a new inflation attack vector in Tor, referred to as TorMult, which enables inflation of measured bandwidth. The underlying attack technique exploits resource sharing among Tor relay nodes and employs a cluster of attacker-controlled relays with coordinated resource allocation within the cluster to deceive bandwidth measurers into believing that each relay node in the cluster possesses ample resources. We propose two attack variants, C-TorMult and D-TorMult, and test both versions in a private Tor test network. Our evaluation demonstrates that an attacker can inflate the measured bandwidth by a factor close to n using C-TorMult and nearly half n*N using D-TorMult, where n is the size of the cluster hosted on one server and N is the number of servers. Furthermore, our theoretical analysis reveals that gaining control over half of the Tor network's traffic can be achieved by employing just 10 dedicated servers with a cluster size of 109 relays running the TorMult attack, each with a bandwidth of 100MB/s. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that Tor not only allows resource sharing but, according to recent reports, even promotes it.

7.MIRA: a Digital Signature Scheme based on the MinRank problem and the MPC-in-the-Head paradigm

Authors:Nicolas Aragon, Loïc Bidoux, Jesús-Javier Chi-Domínguez, Thibauld Feneuil, Philippe Gaborit, Romaric Neveu, Matthieu Rivain

Abstract: We exploit the idea of [Fen22] which proposes to build an efficient signature scheme based on a zero-knowledge proof of knowledge of a solution of a MinRank instance. The scheme uses the MPCitH paradigm, which is an efficient way to build ZK proofs. We combine this idea with another idea, the hypercube technique introduced in [AMGH+22], which leads to more efficient MPCitH-based scheme. This new approach is more efficient than classical MPCitH, as it allows to reduce the number of party computation. This gives us a first scheme called MIRA-Additive. We then present an other scheme, based on low-threshold secret sharings, called MIRA-Threshold, which is a faster scheme, at the price of larger signatures. The construction of MPCitH using threshold secret sharing is detailed in [FR22]. These two constructions allows us to be faster than classical MPCitH, with a size of signature around 5.6kB with MIRA-Additive, and 8.3kB with MIRA-Threshold. We detail here the constructions and optimizations of the schemes, as well as their security proofs.

8.Secure Composition of Robust and Optimising Compilers

Authors:Matthis Kruse, Michael Backes, Marco Patrignani

Abstract: To ensure that secure applications do not leak their secrets, they are required to uphold several security properties such as spatial and temporal memory safety as well as cryptographic constant time. Existing work shows how to enforce these properties individually, in an architecture-independent way, by using secure compiler passes that each focus on an individual property. Unfortunately, given two secure compiler passes that each preserve a possibly different security property, it is unclear what kind of security property is preserved by the composition of those secure compiler passes. This paper is the first to study what security properties are preserved across the composition of different secure compiler passes. Starting from a general theory of property composition for security-relevant properties (such as the aforementioned ones), this paper formalises a theory of composition of secure compilers. Then, it showcases this theory a secure multi-pass compiler that preserves the aforementioned security-relevant properties. Crucially, this paper derives the security of the multi-pass compiler from the composition of the security properties preserved by its individual passes, which include security-preserving as well as optimisation passes. From an engineering perspective, this is the desirable approach to building secure compilers.

1.The Automation of the Extraction of Evidence masked by Steganographic Techniques in WAV and MP3 Audio Files

Authors:Mohamed C. Ghanem, Maider D. Uribarri, Istteffanny I. Araujo, Ramzi Djemai

Abstract: Antiforensics techniques and particularly steganography and cryptography have become increasingly pressing issues that affect the current digital forensics practice, both techniques are widely researched and developed as considered in the heart of the modern digital era but remain double edged swords standing between the privacy conscious and the criminally malicious, dependent on the severity of the methods deployed. This paper advances the automation of hidden evidence extraction in the context of audio files enabling the correlation between unprocessed evidence artefacts and extreme Steganographic and Cryptographic techniques using the Least Significant Bits extraction method (LSB). The research generates an in-depth review of current digital forensic toolkit and systems and formally address their capabilities in handling steganography-related cases, we opted for experimental research methodology in the form of quantitative analysis of the efficiency of detecting and extraction of hidden artefacts in WAV and MP3 audio files by comparing standard industry software. This work establishes an environment for the practical implementation and testing of the proposed approach and the new toolkit for extracting evidence hidden by Cryptographic and Steganographic techniques during forensics investigations. The proposed multi-approach automation demonstrated a huge positive impact in terms of efficiency and accuracy and notably on large audio files (MP3 and WAV) which the forensics analysis is time-consuming and requires significant computational resources and memory. However, the proposed automation may occasionally produce false positives (detecting steganography where none exists) or false negatives (failing to detect steganography that is present) but overall achieve a balance between detecting hidden data accurately along with minimising the false alarms.

2.Evaluation Methodologies in Software Protection Research

Authors:Patrick Kochberger, Sebastian Schrittwieser, Bart Coppens, Bjorn De Sutter

Abstract: Man-at-the-end (MATE) attackers have full control over the system on which the attacked software runs, and try to break the confidentiality or integrity of assets embedded in the software. Both companies and malware authors want to prevent such attacks. This has driven an arms race between attackers and defenders, resulting in a plethora of different protection and analysis methods. However, it remains difficult to measure the strength of protections because MATE attackers can reach their goals in many different ways and a universally accepted evaluation methodology does not exist. This survey systematically reviews the evaluation methodologies of papers on obfuscation, a major class of protections against MATE attacks. For 572 papers, we collected 113 aspects of their evaluation methodologies, ranging from sample set types and sizes, over sample treatment, to performed measurements. We provide detailed insights into how the academic state of the art evaluates both the protections and analyses thereon. In summary, there is a clear need for better evaluation methodologies. We identify nine challenges for software protection evaluations, which represent threats to the validity, reproducibility, and interpretation of research results in the context of MATE attacks.

3.Boosting Backdoor Attack with A Learnable Poisoning Sample Selection Strategy

Authors:Zihao Zhu, Mingda Zhang, Shaokui Wei, Li Shen, Yanbo Fan, Baoyuan Wu

Abstract: Data-poisoning based backdoor attacks aim to insert backdoor into models by manipulating training datasets without controlling the training process of the target model. Existing attack methods mainly focus on designing triggers or fusion strategies between triggers and benign samples. However, they often randomly select samples to be poisoned, disregarding the varying importance of each poisoning sample in terms of backdoor injection. A recent selection strategy filters a fixed-size poisoning sample pool by recording forgetting events, but it fails to consider the remaining samples outside the pool from a global perspective. Moreover, computing forgetting events requires significant additional computing resources. Therefore, how to efficiently and effectively select poisoning samples from the entire dataset is an urgent problem in backdoor attacks.To address it, firstly, we introduce a poisoning mask into the regular backdoor training loss. We suppose that a backdoored model training with hard poisoning samples has a more backdoor effect on easy ones, which can be implemented by hindering the normal training process (\ie, maximizing loss \wrt mask). To further integrate it with normal training process, we then propose a learnable poisoning sample selection strategy to learn the mask together with the model parameters through a min-max optimization.Specifically, the outer loop aims to achieve the backdoor attack goal by minimizing the loss based on the selected samples, while the inner loop selects hard poisoning samples that impede this goal by maximizing the loss. After several rounds of adversarial training, we finally select effective poisoning samples with high contribution. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach in boosting backdoor attack performance.

4.TUSH-Key: Transferable User Secrets on Hardware Key

Authors:Aditya Mitra, Anisha Ghosh, Sibi Chakkaravarthy Sethuraman

Abstract: Passwordless authentication was first tested for seamless and secure merchant payments without the use of passwords or pins. It opened a whole new world of authentications giving up the former reliance on traditional passwords. It relied on the W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) and Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP) standards to use the public key cryptosystem to uniquely attest a user's device and then their identity. These standards comprise of the FIDO authentication standard. As the popularity of passwordless is increasing, more and more users and service providers are adopting to it. However, the concept of device attestation makes it device-specific for a user. It makes it difficult for a user to switch devices. FIDO Passkeys were aimed at solving the same, synchronizing the private cryptographic keys across multiple devices so that the user can perform passwordless authentication even from devices not explicitly enrolled with the service provider. However, passkeys have certain drawbacks including that it uses proprietary end to end encryption algorithms, all keys pass through proprietary cloud provider, and it is usually not very seamless when dealing with cross-platform key synchronization. To deal with the problems and drawbacks of FIDO Passkeys, the paper proposes a novel private key management system for passwordless authentication called Transferable User Secret on Hardware Key (TUSH-Key). TUSH-Key allows cross-platform synchronization of devices for seamless passwordless logins with FIDO2 specifications.

1.SecureFalcon: The Next Cyber Reasoning System for Cyber Security

Authors:Mohamed Amine Ferrag, Ammar Battah, Norbert Tihanyi, Merouane Debbah, Thierry Lestable, Lucas C. Cordeiro

Abstract: Software vulnerabilities leading to various detriments such as crashes, data loss, and security breaches, significantly hinder the quality, affecting the market adoption of software applications and systems. Although traditional methods such as automated software testing, fault localization, and repair have been intensively studied, static analysis tools are most commonly used and have an inherent false positives rate, posing a solid challenge to developer productivity. Large Language Models (LLMs) offer a promising solution to these persistent issues. Among these, FalconLLM has shown substantial potential in identifying intricate patterns and complex vulnerabilities, hence crucial in software vulnerability detection. In this paper, for the first time, FalconLLM is being fine-tuned for cybersecurity applications, thus introducing SecureFalcon, an innovative model architecture built upon FalconLLM. SecureFalcon is trained to differentiate between vulnerable and non-vulnerable C code samples. We build a new training dataset, FormAI, constructed thanks to Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and formal verification to evaluate its performance. SecureFalcon achieved an impressive 94% accuracy rate in detecting software vulnerabilities, emphasizing its significant potential to redefine software vulnerability detection methods in cybersecurity.

2.A Comprehensive Analysis of Blockchain Applications for Securing Computer Vision Systems

Authors:Ramalingam M, Chemmalar Selvi, Nancy Victor, Rajeswari Chengoden, Sweta Bhattacharya, Praveen Kumar Reddy Maddikunta, Duehee Lee, Md. Jalil Piran, Neelu Khare, Gokul Yendri, Thippa Reddy Gadekallu

Abstract: Blockchain (BC) and Computer Vision (CV) are the two emerging fields with the potential to transform various sectors.The ability of BC can help in offering decentralized and secure data storage, while CV allows machines to learn and understand visual data. This integration of the two technologies holds massive promise for developing innovative applications that can provide solutions to the challenges in various sectors such as supply chain management, healthcare, smart cities, and defense. This review explores a comprehensive analysis of the integration of BC and CV by examining their combination and potential applications. It also provides a detailed analysis of the fundamental concepts of both technologies, highlighting their strengths and limitations. This paper also explores current research efforts that make use of the benefits offered by this combination. The effort includes how BC can be used as an added layer of security in CV systems and also ensure data integrity, enabling decentralized image and video analytics using BC. The challenges and open issues associated with this integration are also identified, and appropriate potential future directions are also proposed.

3.Towards Traitor Tracing in Black-and-White-Box DNN Watermarking with Tardos-based Codes

Authors:Elena Rodriguez-Lois, Fernando Perez-Gonzalez

Abstract: The growing popularity of Deep Neural Networks, which often require computationally expensive training and access to a vast amount of data, calls for accurate authorship verification methods to deter unlawful dissemination of the models and identify the source of the leak. In DNN watermarking the owner may have access to the full network (white-box) or only be able to extract information from its output to queries (black-box), but a watermarked model may include both approaches in order to gather sufficient evidence to then gain access to the network. Although there has been limited research in white-box watermarking that considers traitor tracing, this problem is yet to be explored in the black-box scenario. In this paper, we propose a black-and-white-box watermarking method that opens the door to collusion-resistant traitor tracing in black-box, exploiting the properties of Tardos codes, and making it possible to identify the source of the leak before access to the model is granted. While experimental results show that the method can successfully identify traitors, even when further attacks have been performed, we also discuss its limitations and open problems for traitor tracing in black-box.

4.Data Behind the Walls An Advanced Architecture for Data Privacy Management

Authors:Amen Faridoon, M. Tahar Kechadi

Abstract: In today's highly connected society, we are constantly asked to provide personal information to retailers, voter surveys, medical professionals, and other data collection efforts. The collected data is stored in large data warehouses. Organisations and statistical agencies share and use this data to facilitate research in public health, economics, sociology, etc. However, this data contains sensitive information about individuals, which can result in identity theft, financial loss, stress and depression, embarrassment, abuse, etc. Therefore, one must ensure rigorous management of individuals' privacy. We propose, an advanced data privacy management architecture composed of three layers. The data management layer consists of de-identification and anonymisation, the access management layer for re-enforcing data access based on the concepts of Role-Based Access Control and the Chinese Wall Security Policy, and the roles layer for regulating different users. The proposed system architecture is validated on healthcare datasets.

5.DAXiot: A Decentralized Authentication and Authorization Scheme for Dynamic IoT Networks

Authors:Artur Philipp, Axel Küpper

Abstract: Federated and decentralized networks supporting frequently changing system participants are a requirement for future Internet of Things (IoT) use cases. IoT devices and networks often lack adequate authentication and authorization mechanisms, resulting in insufficient privacy for entities in such systems. In this work we address both issues by designing a privacy preserving challenge-response style authentication and authorization scheme based on Decentralized Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials. Our solution allows a decentralized permission management of frequently changing network participants and supports authenticated encryption for data confidentiality. We demonstrate our solution in an MQTT 5.0 scenario and evaluate its security, privacy guarantees, and performance.

6.PHOENI2X -- A European Cyber Resilience Framework With Artificial-Intelligence-Assisted Orchestration, Automation and Response Capabilities for Business Continuity and Recovery, Incident Response, and Information Exchange

Authors:Konstantinos Fysarakis, Alexios Lekidis, Vasileios Mavroeidis, Konstantinos Lampropoulos, George Lyberopoulos, Ignasi Garcia-Milà Vidal, José Carles Terés i Casals, Eva Rodriguez Luna, Alejandro Antonio Moreno Sancho, Antonios Mavrelos, Marinos Tsantekidis, Sebastian Pape, Argyro Chatzopoulou, Christina Nanou, George Drivas, Vangelis Photiou, George Spanoudakis, Odysseas Koufopavlou

Abstract: As digital technologies become more pervasive in society and the economy, cybersecurity incidents become more frequent and impactful. According to the NIS and NIS2 Directives, EU Member States and their Operators of Essential Services must establish a minimum baseline set of cybersecurity capabilities and engage in cross-border coordination and cooperation. However, this is only a small step towards European cyber resilience. In this landscape, preparedness, shared situational awareness, and coordinated incident response are essential for effective cyber crisis management and resilience. Motivated by the above, this paper presents PHOENI2X, an EU-funded project aiming to design, develop, and deliver a Cyber Resilience Framework providing Artificial-Intelligence-assisted orchestration, automation and response capabilities for business continuity and recovery, incident response, and information exchange, tailored to the needs of Operators of Essential Services and the EU Member State authorities entrusted with cybersecurity.

1.Introducing Packet-Level Analysis in Programmable Data Planes to Advance Network Intrusion Detection

Authors:Roberto Doriguzzi-Corin, Luis Augusto Dias Knob, Luca Mendozzi, Domenico Siracusa, Marco Savi

Abstract: Programmable data planes offer precise control over the low-level processing steps applied to network packets, serving as a valuable tool for analysing malicious flows in the field of intrusion detection. Albeit with limitations on physical resources and capabilities, they allow for the efficient extraction of detailed traffic information, which can then be utilised by Machine Learning (ML) algorithms responsible for identifying security threats. In addressing resource constraints, existing solutions in the literature rely on compressing network data through the collection of statistical traffic features in the data plane. While this compression saves memory resources in switches and minimises the burden on the control channel between the data and the control plane, it also results in a loss of information available to the Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS), limiting access to packet payload, categorical features, and the semantic understanding of network communications, such as the behaviour of packets within traffic flows. This paper proposes P4DDLe, a framework that exploits the flexibility of P4-based programmable data planes for packet-level feature extraction and pre-processing. P4DDLe leverages the programmable data plane to extract raw packet features from the network traffic, categorical features included, and to organise them in a way that the semantics of traffic flows is preserved. To minimise memory and control channel overheads, P4DDLe selectively processes and filters packet-level data, so that all and only the relevant features required by the NIDS are collected. The experimental evaluation with recent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack data demonstrates that the proposed approach is very efficient in collecting compact and high-quality representations of network flows, ensuring precise detection of DDoS attacks.

2.Robbed withdrawal

Authors:Ze Chen, Ruichao Jiang, Javad Tavakoli, Yiqiang Zhao

Abstract: In this article we show that Theorem 2 in Lie et al. (2023) is incorrect. Since Wombat Exchange, a decentralized exchange, is built upon Lie et al. (2023) and Theorem 2 is fundamental to Wombat Finance, we show that an undesirable phenomenon, which we call the robbed withdrawal, can happen as a consequence.

3.Security in Online Freelance Software Development: A case for Distributed Security Responsibility

Authors:Irum Rauf, Tamara Lopez, Thein Tun, Marian Petre, Bashar Nuseibeh

Abstract: Secure software is a cornerstone to safe and resilient digital ecosystems. It offers strong foundation to protect users' sensitive data and guard against cyber-threats. The rapidly increasing landscape of digital economy has encouraged developers from different socio-technical and socio-economic backgrounds to join online freelance marketplaces. While, secure software practices facilitate software developers in developing secure software, there is paucity of research on how freelance developers adhere to security practices and how they can be facilitated to improve their security behavior in under-resourced environments. Moreover, freelance developers are often held responsible for producing insecure code. In this position paper, we review existing literature and argue for the case of distributed security responsibilities in online freelance environment. We propose a research agenda aimed at offering an organized and systematic effort by researchers to address security needs and challenges of online freelance marketplaces. These include: characterising software security and defining separation of responsibilities, building trust in online freelance development communities, leveraging the potential of online freelancing platforms in the promotion of secure software development and building adaptive security interventions for online freelance software development. The research has the potential to bring forth existing security solutions to wider developer community and deliver substantial benefits to the broader security ecosystem.

4.SoK: Comparing Different Membership Inference Attacks with a Comprehensive Benchmark

Authors:Jun Niu, Xiaoyan Zhu, Moxuan Zeng, Ge Zhang, Qingyang Zhao, Chunhui Huang, Yangming Zhang, Suyu An, Yangzhong Wang, Xinghui Yue, Zhipeng He, Weihao Guo, Kuo Shen, Peng Liu, Yulong Shen, Xiaohong Jiang, Jianfeng Ma, Yuqing Zhang

Abstract: Membership inference (MI) attacks threaten user privacy through determining if a given data example has been used to train a target model. However, it has been increasingly recognized that the "comparing different MI attacks" methodology used in the existing works has serious limitations. Due to these limitations, we found (through the experiments in this work) that some comparison results reported in the literature are quite misleading. In this paper, we seek to develop a comprehensive benchmark for comparing different MI attacks, called MIBench, which consists not only the evaluation metrics, but also the evaluation scenarios. And we design the evaluation scenarios from four perspectives: the distance distribution of data samples in the target dataset, the distance between data samples of the target dataset, the differential distance between two datasets (i.e., the target dataset and a generated dataset with only nonmembers), and the ratio of the samples that are made no inferences by an MI attack. The evaluation metrics consist of ten typical evaluation metrics. We have identified three principles for the proposed "comparing different MI attacks" methodology, and we have designed and implemented the MIBench benchmark with 84 evaluation scenarios for each dataset. In total, we have used our benchmark to fairly and systematically compare 15 state-of-the-art MI attack algorithms across 588 evaluation scenarios, and these evaluation scenarios cover 7 widely used datasets and 7 representative types of models. All codes and evaluations of MIBench are publicly available at https://github.com/MIBench/MIBench.github.io/blob/main/README.md.

1.A Blockchain-based two Factor Honeytoken Authentication System

Authors:Vasilis Papaspirou, Leandros Maglaras, Ioanna Kantzavelou, Naghemeh Moradpoor, Sokratis Katsikas

Abstract: This paper extends and advances our recently introduced two-factor Honeytoken authentication method by incorporating blockchain technology. This novel approach strengthens the authentication method to prevent many attacks including tampering attacks. Evaluation results show that integrating blockchain into the Honeytoken method could improve performance and operational efficiency.

2.ATWM: Defense against adversarial malware based on adversarial training

Authors:Kun Li, Fan Zhang, Wei Guo

Abstract: Deep learning technology has made great achievements in the field of image. In order to defend against malware attacks, researchers have proposed many Windows malware detection models based on deep learning. However, deep learning models are vulnerable to adversarial example attacks. Malware can generate adversarial malware with the same malicious function to attack the malware detection model and evade detection of the model. Currently, many adversarial defense studies have been proposed, but existing adversarial defense studies are based on image sample and cannot be directly applied to malware sample. Therefore, this paper proposes an adversarial malware defense method based on adversarial training. This method uses preprocessing to defend simple adversarial examples to reduce the difficulty of adversarial training. Moreover, this method improves the adversarial defense capability of the model through adversarial training. We experimented with three attack methods in two sets of datasets, and the results show that the method in this paper can improve the adversarial defense capability of the model without reducing the accuracy of the model.

3.SecFlow: Adaptive Security-Aware Workflow Management System in Multi-Cloud Environments

Authors:Nafiseh Soveizi, Fatih Turkmen

Abstract: In this paper, we propose an architecture for a security-aware workflow management system (WfMS) we call SecFlow in answer to the recent developments of combining workflow management systems with Cloud environments and the still lacking abilities of such systems to ensure the security and privacy of cloud-based workflows. The SecFlow architecture focuses on full workflow life cycle coverage as, in addition to the existing approaches to design security-aware processes, there is a need to fill in the gap of maintaining security properties of workflows during their execution phase. To address this gap, we derive the requirements for such a security-aware WfMS and design a system architecture that meets these requirements. SecFlow integrates key functional components such as secure model construction, security-aware service selection, security violation detection, and adaptive response mechanisms while considering all potential malicious parties in multi-tenant and cloud-based WfMS.

4.Application-aware Energy Attack Mitigation in the Battery-less Internet of Things

Authors:Chetna Singhal, Thiemo Voigt, Luca Mottola

Abstract: We study how to mitigate the effects of energy attacks in the batteryless Internet of Things (IoT). Battery-less IoT devices live and die with ambient energy, as they use energy harvesting to power their operation. They are employed in a multitude of applications, including safety-critical ones such as biomedical implants. Due to scarce energy intakes and limited energy buffers, their executions become intermittent, alternating periods of active operation with periods of recharging their energy buffers. Experimental evidence exists that shows how controlling ambient energy allows an attacker to steer a device execution in unintended ways: energy provisioning effectively becomes an attack vector. We design, implement, and evaluate a mitigation system for energy attacks. By taking into account the specific application requirements and the output of an attack detection module, we tune task execution rates and optimize energy management. This ensures continued application execution in the event of an energy attack. When a device is under attack, our solution ensures the execution of 23.3% additional application cycles compared to the baselines we consider and increases task schedulability by at least 21%, while enabling a 34% higher peripheral availability.

5.Smart Environment for Adaptive Learning of Cybersecurity Skills

Authors:Jan Vykopal, Pavel Seda, Valdemar Švábenský, Pavel Čeleda

Abstract: Hands-on computing education requires a realistic learning environment that enables students to gain and deepen their skills. Available learning environments, including virtual and physical labs, provide students with real-world computer systems but rarely adapt the learning environment to individual students of various proficiency and background. We designed a unique and novel smart environment for adaptive training of cybersecurity skills. The environment collects a variety of student data to assign a suitable learning path through the training. To enable such adaptiveness, we proposed, developed, and deployed a new tutor model and a training format. We evaluated the learning environment using two different adaptive trainings attended by 114 students of various proficiency. The results show students were assigned tasks with a more appropriate difficulty, which enabled them to successfully complete the training. Students reported that they enjoyed the training, felt the training difficulty was appropriately designed, and would attend more training sessions like these. Instructors can use the environment for teaching any topic involving real-world computer networks and systems because it is not tailored to particular training. We freely released the software along with exemplary training so that other instructors can adopt the innovations in their teaching practice.

6.Differential Analysis of Triggers and Benign Features for Black-Box DNN Backdoor Detection

Authors:Hao Fu, Prashanth Krishnamurthy, Siddharth Garg, Farshad Khorrami

Abstract: This paper proposes a data-efficient detection method for deep neural networks against backdoor attacks under a black-box scenario. The proposed approach is motivated by the intuition that features corresponding to triggers have a higher influence in determining the backdoored network output than any other benign features. To quantitatively measure the effects of triggers and benign features on determining the backdoored network output, we introduce five metrics. To calculate the five-metric values for a given input, we first generate several synthetic samples by injecting the input's partial contents into clean validation samples. Then, the five metrics are computed by using the output labels of the corresponding synthetic samples. One contribution of this work is the use of a tiny clean validation dataset. Having the computed five metrics, five novelty detectors are trained from the validation dataset. A meta novelty detector fuses the output of the five trained novelty detectors to generate a meta confidence score. During online testing, our method determines if online samples are poisoned or not via assessing their meta confidence scores output by the meta novelty detector. We show the efficacy of our methodology through a broad range of backdoor attacks, including ablation studies and comparison to existing approaches. Our methodology is promising since the proposed five metrics quantify the inherent differences between clean and poisoned samples. Additionally, our detection method can be incrementally improved by appending more metrics that may be proposed to address future advanced attacks.

7.Let's shake on it: Extracting secure shared keys from Wi-Fi CSI

Authors:Tomer Avrahami, Ofer Amrani, Avishai Wool

Abstract: A shared secret key is necessary for encrypted communications. Since Wi-Fi relies on OFDM, we suggest a method to generate such a key by utilizing Wi-Fi's channel state information (CSI). CSI is typically reciprocal but very sensitive to location: While the legitimate Alice and Bob observe the same CSI, an eavesdropper Eve observes an uncorrelated CSI when positioned over 0.5 wavelength away. We show that if endpoint Bob is shaken, sufficient diversity is induced in the CSI so that it can serve as a source of true randomness. Then we show that the CSI among neighboring sub-carriers is correlated, so we select a small set of judiciously-spaced sub-carriers, and use a majority rule around each. We demonstrate that Alice and Bob observe a 5-15\% bit mismatch rate (BMR) in the extracted bitstream while Eve observes a BMR of around 50\% even when placed within 10cm of Alice. We employ the cryptography-oriented definition of min-entropy to estimate the number of secure bits within the bitstream, and use the Cascade algorithm of quantum-key-distribution to reconcile Alice and Bob's bitstreams, while quantifying the number of bits leaked by the algorithm. Accounting for both the min-entropy and the cascade leakage we quantify the Secured Bit Generation Rate of our method. We conducted extensive tests in an indoor environment. Our system exhibits a secure bit generation rate of 1.2--1.6 %secure bits per packet, at distances ranging from 0.5m--9m, and can generate a secure shared 128-bit key with 20sec of device shaking.

8.Improving the Security of Smartwatch Payment with Deep Learning

Authors:George Webber

Abstract: Making contactless payments using a smartwatch is increasingly popular, but this payment medium lacks traditional biometric security measures such as facial or fingerprint recognition. In 2022, Sturgess et al. proposed WatchAuth, a system for authenticating smartwatch payments using the physical gesture of reaching towards a payment terminal. While effective, the system requires the user to undergo a burdensome enrolment period to achieve acceptable error levels. In this dissertation, we explore whether applications of deep learning can reduce the number of gestures a user must provide to enrol into an authentication system for smartwatch payment. We firstly construct a deep-learned authentication system that outperforms the current state-of-the-art, including in a scenario where the target user has provided a limited number of gestures. We then develop a regularised autoencoder model for generating synthetic user-specific gestures. We show that using these gestures in training improves classification ability for an authentication system. Through this technique we can reduce the number of gestures required to enrol a user into a WatchAuth-like system without negatively impacting its error rates.

1.ASCH-PUF: A "Zero" Bit Error Rate CMOS Physically Unclonable Function with Dual-Mode Low-Cost Stabilization

Authors:Yan He, Dai Li, Zhanghao Yu, Kaiyuan Yang

Abstract: Physically unclonable functions (PUFs) are increasingly adopted for low-cost and secure secret key and chip ID generations for embedded and IoT devices. Achieving 100% reproducible keys across wide temperature and voltage variations over the lifetime of a device is critical and conventionally requires large masking or Error Correction Code (ECC) overhead to guarantee. This paper presents an Automatic Self Checking and Healing (ASCH) stabilization technique for a state-of-the-art PUF cell design based on sub-threshold inverter chains. The ASCH system successfully removes all unstable PUF cells without the need for expensive temperature sweeps during unstable bit detection. By accurately finding all unstable bits without expensive temperature sweeps to find all unstable bits, ASCH achieves ultra-low bit error rate (BER), thus significantly reducing the costs of using ECC and enrollment. Our ASCH can operate in two modes, a static mode (S-ASCH) with a conventional pre-enrolled unstable bit mask and a dynamic mode (D-ASCH) that further eliminates the need for non-volatile memories (NVMs) for storing masks. The proposed ASCH-PUF is fabricated and evaluated in 65nm CMOS. The ASCH system achieves "0" Bit Error Rate (BER, < 1.77E-9) across temperature variations of -20{\deg}C to 125{\deg}C, and voltage variations of 0.7V to 1.4V, by masking 31% and 35% of all fabricated PUF bits in S-ASCH and D-ASCH mode respectively. The prototype achieves a measured throughput of 11.4 Gbps with 0.057 fJ/b core energy efficiency at 1.2V, 25{\deg}C.

2.False Sense of Security: Leveraging XAI to Analyze the Reasoning and True Performance of Context-less DGA Classifiers

Authors:Arthur Drichel, Ulrike Meyer

Abstract: The problem of revealing botnet activity through Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) detection seems to be solved, considering that available deep learning classifiers achieve accuracies of over 99.9%. However, these classifiers provide a false sense of security as they are heavily biased and allow for trivial detection bypass. In this work, we leverage explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) methods to analyze the reasoning of deep learning classifiers and to systematically reveal such biases. We show that eliminating these biases from DGA classifiers considerably deteriorates their performance. Nevertheless we are able to design a context-aware detection system that is free of the identified biases and maintains the detection rate of state-of-the art deep learning classifiers. In this context, we propose a visual analysis system that helps to better understand a classifier's reasoning, thereby increasing trust in and transparency of detection methods and facilitating decision-making.

3.Towards Runtime Customizable Trusted Execution Environment on FPGA-SoC

Authors:Yanling Wang, Xiaolin Chang, Haoran Zhu, Jianhua Wang, Yanwei Gong, Lin Li

Abstract: Processing sensitive data and deploying well-designed Intellectual Property (IP) cores on remote Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) are prone to private data leakage and IP theft. One effective solution is constructing Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) on FPGA-SoCs (FPGA System on Chips). Researchers have integrated this type TEE with Trusted Platform Module (TPM)-based trusted boot, denoted as FPGA-SoC tbTEE. But there is no effort on secure and trusted runtime customization of FPGA-SoC TEE. This paper extends FPGA-SoC tbTEE to build Runtime Customizable TEE (RCTEE) on FPGA-SoC by additive three major components (our work): 1) CrloadIP, which can load an IP core at runtime such that RCTEE can be adjusted dynamically and securely; 2) CexecIP, which can not only execute an IP core without modifying the operating system of FPGA-SoC TEE, but also prevent insider attacks from executing IPs deployed in RCTEE; 3) CremoAT, which can provide the newly measured RCTEE state and establish a secure and trusted communication path between remote verifiers and RCTEE. We conduct a security analysis of RCTEE and its performance evaluation on Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ XCZU15EG 2FFVB1156 MPSoC.

4.Towards Automated Cyber Range Design: Characterizing and Matching Demands to Supplies

Authors:Ekzhin Ear, Jose L. C. Remy, Shouhuai Xu

Abstract: Cyber ranges mimic real-world cyber environments and are in high demand. Before building their own cyber ranges, organizations need to deeply understand what construction supplies are available to them. A fundamental supply is the cyber range architecture, which prompts an important research question: Which cyber range architecture is most appropriate for an organization's requirements? To answer this question, we propose an innovative framework to specify cyber range requirements, characterize cyber range architectures (based on our analysis of 45 cyber range architectures), and match cyber range architectures to cyber range requirements.

5.A Privacy-Preserving and Accountable Billing Protocol for Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Markets

Authors:Kamil Erdayandi, Lucas C. Cordeiro, Mustafa A. Mustafa

Abstract: This paper proposes a privacy-preserving and accountable billing (PA-Bill) protocol for trading in peer-to-peer energy markets, addressing situations where there may be discrepancies between the volume of energy committed and delivered. Such discrepancies can lead to challenges in providing both privacy and accountability while maintaining accurate billing. To overcome these challenges, a universal cost splitting mechanism is proposed that prioritises privacy and accountability. It leverages a homomorphic encryption cryptosystem to provide privacy and employs blockchain technology to establish accountability. A dispute resolution mechanism is also introduced to minimise the occurrence of erroneous bill calculations while ensuring accountability and non-repudiation throughout the billing process. Our evaluation demonstrates that PA-Bill offers an effective billing mechanism that maintains privacy and accountability in peer-to-peer energy markets utilising a semi-decentralised approach.

6.Performance comparison of timing-based anomaly detectors for Controller Area Network: a reproducible study

Authors:Francesco Pollicino, Dario Stabili, Mirco Marchetti

Abstract: This work presents an experimental evaluation of the detection performance of eight different algorithms for anomaly detection on the Controller Area Network (CAN) bus of modern vehicles based on the analysis of the timing or frequency of CAN messages. This work solves the current limitations of related scientific literature, that is based on private dataset, lacks of open implementations, and detailed description of the detection algorithms. These drawback prevent the reproducibility of published results, and makes it impossible to compare a novel proposal against related work, thus hindering the advancement of science. This paper solves these issues by publicly releasing implementations, labeled datasets and by describing an unbiased experimental comparisons.

1.Exploring Encrypted Keyboards to Defeat Client-Side Scanning in End-to-End Encryption Systems

Authors:Mashari Alatawi, Nitesh Saxena

Abstract: End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) aims to make all messages impossible to read by anyone except you and your intended recipient(s). Many well-known and widely used Instant-Messaging (IM) applications (such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Apple's iMessage) claim to provide E2EE. However, a recent technique called client-side scanning (CSS) makes these E2EE claims grandiose and hollow promises. The CSS is a technology that scans all sending and receiving messages from one end to the other. Some in industry and government now advocate this CSS technology to combat the growth of malicious child pornography, terrorism, and other illicit communication. Even though combating the spread of illegal and morally objectionable content is a laudable effort, it may open further backdoors that impact the user's privacy and security. Therefore, it is not E2EE when there are censorship mechanisms and backdoors in end-to-end encrypted applications. In this paper, we introduce an encrypted keyboard that functions as a system keyboard, enabling users to employ it across all applications on their phones when entering data. By utilizing this encrypted keyboard, users can locally encrypt and decrypt messages, effectively bypassing the CSS system. We first design and implement our encrypted keyboard as a custom keyboard application, and then we evaluate the effectiveness and security of our encrypted keyboard. Our study results show that our encrypted keyboard can successfully encrypt and decrypt all sending and receiving messages through IM applications, and therefore, it can successfully defeat the CSS technology in end-to-end encrypted systems. We also show that our encrypted keyboard can be used to add another layer of E2EE functionality on top of the existing E2EE functionality implemented by many end-to-end encrypted applications.

2.Towards Deep Network Steganography: From Networks to Networks

Authors:Guobiao Li, Sheng Li, Meiling Li, Zhenxing Qian, Xinpeng Zhang

Abstract: With the widespread applications of the deep neural network (DNN), how to covertly transmit the DNN models in public channels brings us the attention, especially for those trained for secret-learning tasks. In this paper, we propose deep network steganography for the covert communication of DNN models. Unlike the existing steganography schemes which focus on the subtle modification of the cover data to accommodate the secrets, our scheme is learning task oriented, where the learning task of the secret DNN model (termed as secret-learning task) is disguised into another ordinary learning task conducted in a stego DNN model (termed as stego-learning task). To this end, we propose a gradient-based filter insertion scheme to insert interference filters into the important positions in the secret DNN model to form a stego DNN model. These positions are then embedded into the stego DNN model using a key by side information hiding. Finally, we activate the interference filters by a partial optimization strategy, such that the generated stego DNN model works on the stego-learning task. We conduct the experiments on both the intra-task steganography and inter-task steganography (i.e., the secret and stego-learning tasks belong to the same and different categories), both of which demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method for covert communication of DNN models.

3.Improving Bitswap Privacy with Forwarding and Source Obfuscation

Authors:Erik Daniel, Marcel Ebert, Florian Tschorsch

Abstract: IPFS is a content-addressed decentralized peer-to-peer data network, using the Bitswap protocol for exchanging data. The data exchange leaks the information to all neighbors, compromising a user's privacy. This paper investigates the suitability of forwarding with source obfuscation techniques for improving the privacy of the Bitswap protocol. The usage of forwarding can add plausible deniability and the source obfuscation provides additional protection against passive observers. First results showed that through trickle-spreading the source prediction could decrease to 40 %, at the cost of an increased content fetching time. However, assuming short distances between content provider and consumer the content fetching time can be faster even with the additional source obfuscation.

4.Random Number Generators and Seeding for Differential Privacy

Authors:Naoise Holohan

Abstract: Differential Privacy (DP) relies on random numbers to preserve privacy, typically utilising Pseudorandom Number Generators (PRNGs) as a source of randomness. In order to allow for consistent reproducibility, testing and bug-fixing in DP algorithms and results, it is important to allow for the seeding of the PRNGs used therein. In this work, we examine the landscape of Random Number Generators (RNGs), and the considerations software engineers should make when choosing and seeding a PRNG for DP. We hope it serves as a suitable guide for DP practitioners, and includes many lessons learned when implementing seeding for diffprivlib.

5.From Lemons to Peaches: Improving Security ROI through Security Chaos Engineering

Authors:Kelly Shortridge

Abstract: Traditional information security presents a poor ROI: payoffs only manifest when attacks are successfully prevented. In a reality where attacks are inevitable, subpar returns are therefore inevitable. The emerging paradigm of Security Chaos Engineering offers a more remunerative and reliable ROI by minimizing attack impacts and generating valuable evidence to inform continuous improvement of system design and operation.

1.A Testbed To Study Adversarial Cyber-Attack Strategies in Enterprise Networks

Authors:Ayush Kumar, David K. Yau

Abstract: In this work, we propose a testbed environment to capture the attack strategies of an adversary carrying out a cyber-attack on an enterprise network. The testbed contains nodes with known security vulnerabilities which can be exploited by hackers. Participants can be invited to play the role of a hacker (e.g., black-hat, hacktivist) and attack the testbed. The testbed is designed such that there are multiple attack pathways available to hackers. We describe the working of the testbed components and discuss its implementation on a VMware ESXi server. Finally, we subject our testbed implementation to a few well-known cyber-attack strategies, collect data during the process and present our analysis of the data.

2.It's more than just money: The real-world harms from ransomware attacks

Authors:Nandita Pattnaik, Jason R. C. Nurse, Sarah Turner, Gareth Mott, Jamie MacColl, Pia Huesch, James Sullivan

Abstract: As cyber-attacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, organisations must be better prepared to face the reality of an incident. Any organisational plan that intends to be successful at managing security risks must clearly understand the harm (i.e., negative impact) and the various parties affected in the aftermath of an attack. To this end, this article conducts a novel exploration into the multitude of real-world harms that can arise from cyber-attacks, with a particular focus on ransomware incidents given their current prominence. This exploration also leads to the proposal of a new, robust methodology for modelling harms from such incidents. We draw on publicly-available case data on high-profile ransomware incidents to examine the types of harm that emerge at various stages after a ransomware attack and how harms (e.g., an offline enterprise server) may trigger other negative, potentially more substantial impacts for stakeholders (e.g., the inability for a customer to access their social welfare benefits or bank account). Prominent findings from our analysis include the identification of a notable set of social/human harms beyond the business itself (and beyond the financial payment of a ransom) and a complex web of harms that emerge after attacks regardless of the industry sector. We also observed that deciphering the full extent and sequence of harms can be a challenging undertaking because of the lack of complete data available. This paper consequently argues for more transparency on ransomware harms, as it would lead to a better understanding of the realities of these incidents to the benefit of organisations and society more generally.

3.Smartphones in a Microwave: Formal and Experimental Feasibility Study on Fingerprinting the Corona-Warn-App

Authors:Henrik Graßhoff, Florian Adamsky, Stefan Schiffner

Abstract: Contact Tracing Apps (CTAs) have been developed to contain the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) spread. By design, such apps invade their users' privacy by recording data about their health, contacts, and partially location. Many CTAs frequently broadcast pseudorandom numbers via Bluetooth to detect encounters. These numbers are changed regularly to prevent individual smartphones from being trivially trackable. However, the effectiveness of this procedure has been little studied. We measured real smartphones and observed that the German Corona-Warn-App (CWA) exhibits a device-specific latency between two subsequent broadcasts. These timing differences provide a potential attack vector for fingerprinting smartphones by passively recording Bluetooth messages. This could conceivably lead to the tracking of users' trajectories and, ultimately, the re-identification of users.

4.DPM: Clustering Sensitive Data through Separation

Authors:Yara Schütt, Johannes Liebenow, Tanya Braun, Marcel Gehrke, Florian Thaeter, Esfandiar Mohammadi

Abstract: Privacy-preserving clustering groups data points in an unsupervised manner whilst ensuring that sensitive information remains protected. Previous privacy-preserving clustering focused on identifying concentration of point clouds. In this paper, we take another path and focus on identifying appropriate separators that split a data set. We introduce the novel differentially private clustering algorithm DPM that searches for accurate data point separators in a differentially private manner. DPM addresses two key challenges for finding accurate separators: identifying separators that are large gaps between clusters instead of small gaps within a cluster and, to efficiently spend the privacy budget, prioritising separators that split the data into large subparts. Using the differentially private Exponential Mechanism, DPM randomly chooses cluster separators with provably high utility: For a data set $D$, if there is a wide low-density separator in the central $60\%$ quantile, DPM finds that separator with probability $1 - \exp(-\sqrt{|D|})$. Our experimental evaluation demonstrates that DPM achieves significant improvements in terms of the clustering metric inertia. With the inertia results of the non-private KMeans++ as a baseline, for $\varepsilon = 1$ and $\delta=10^{-5}$ DPM improves upon the difference to the baseline by up to $50\%$ for a synthetic data set and by up to $62\%$ for a real-world data set compared to a state-of-the-art clustering algorithm by Chang and Kamath.

5.Pretty Good Strategies for Benaloh Challenge

Authors:Wojciech Jamroga

Abstract: Benaloh challenge allows the voter to audit the encryption of her vote, and in particular to check whether the vote has been represented correctly. An interesting analysis of the mechanism has been presented by Culnane and Teague. The authors propose a natural game-theoretic model of the interaction between the voter and a corrupt, malicious encryption device. Then, they claim that there is no "natural" rational strategy for the voter to play the game. In consequence, the authorities cannot provide the voter with a sensible auditing strategy, which undermines the whole idea. Here, we claim the contrary, i.e., that there exist simple rational strategies that justify the usefulness of Benaloh challenge.

6.A Multi-Factor Homomorphic Encryption based Method for Authenticated Access to IoT Devices

Authors:Salem AlJanah, Ning Zhang, Siok Wah Tay

Abstract: Authentication is the first defence mechanism in many electronic systems, including Internet of Things (IoT) applications, as it is essential for other security services such as intrusion detection. As existing authentication solutions proposed for IoT environments do not provide multi-level authentication assurance, particularly for device-to-device authentication scenarios, we recently proposed the M2I (Multi-Factor Multi-Level and Interaction based Authentication) framework to facilitate multi-factor authentication of devices in device-to-device and device-to-multiDevice interactions. In this paper, we extend the framework to address group authentication. Two Many-to-One (M2O) protocols are proposed, the Hybrid Group Authentication and Key Acquisition (HGAKA) protocol and the Hybrid Group Access (HGA) protocol. The protocols use a combination of symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic primitives to facilitate multifactor group authentication. The informal analysis and formal security verification show that the protocols satisfy the desirable security requirements and are secure against authentication attacks.

1.An analysis of scam baiting calls: Identifying and extracting scam stages and scripts

Authors:Ian Wood, Michal Kepkowski, Leron Zinatullin, Travis Darnley, Mohamed Ali Kaafar

Abstract: Phone scams remain a difficult problem to tackle due to the combination of protocol limitations, legal enforcement challenges and advances in technology enabling attackers to hide their identities and reduce costs. Scammers use social engineering techniques to manipulate victims into revealing their personal details, purchasing online vouchers or transferring funds, causing significant financial losses. This paper aims to establish a methodology with which to semi-automatically analyze scam calls and infer information about scammers, their scams and their strategies at scale. Obtaining data for the study of scam calls is challenging, as true scam victims do not in general record their conversations. Instead, we draw from the community of ``scam baiters'' on YouTube: individuals who interact knowingly with phone scammers and publicly publish their conversations. These can not be considered as true scam calls, however they do provide a valuable opportunity to study scammer scripts and techniques, as the scammers are unaware that they are not speaking to a true scam victim for the bulk of the call. We applied topic and time series modeling alongside emotion recognition to scammer utterances and found clear evidence of scripted scam progressions that matched our expectations from close reading. We identified social engineering techniques associated with identified script stages including the apparent use of emotion as a social engineering tool. Our analyses provide new insights into strategies used by scammers and presents an effective methodology to infer such at scale. This work serves as a first step in building a better understanding of phone scam techniques, forming the ground work for more effective detection and prevention mechanisms that draw on a deeper understanding of the phone scam phenomenon.

2.African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection: Challenges and Future Directions

Authors:MA. Bouke, A. Abdullah, SH. ALshatebi, H. El. Atigh, K. Cengiz

Abstract: This paper investigates the challenges and opportunities of implementing the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (AUDPC) across Africa. Focusing on legal, regulatory, technical, infrastructural, capacity building, awareness, Harmonization, and cross-border cooperation challenges, the paper identifies key findings that highlight the diverse legal systems and traditions, the lack of comprehensive data protection laws, the need to balance national security and data privacy, the digital divide, cybersecurity threats, implications of emerging technologies on data privacy, limited resources for data protection authorities, and the need for capacity building in data privacy and protection. The paper also emphasizes the importance of Harmonization and cross-border cooperation in aligning data protection frameworks and collaborating with international partners and global organizations. To address these challenges and facilitate the successful implementation of the AUDPC, the paper proposes a set of recommendations, including strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks, enhancing technical and infrastructural capacities, fostering capacity-building and awareness initiatives, promoting Harmonization and cross-border cooperation, and engaging with global data protection trends and developments.

3.A Survey Report on Hardware Trojan Detection by Multiple-Parameter Side-Channel Analysis

Authors:Samir R Katte, Keith E Fernandez

Abstract: A major security threat to an integrated circuit (IC) design is the Hardware Trojan attack which is a malicious modification of the design. Previously several papers have investigated into side-channel analysis to detect the presence of Hardware Trojans. The side channel analysis were prescribed in these papers as an alternative to the conventional logic testing for detecting malicious modification in the design. It has been found that these conventional logic testing are ineffective when it comes to detecting small Trojans due to decrease in the sensitivity due to process variations encountered in the manufacturing techniques. The main paper under consideration in this survey report focuses on proposing a new technique to detect Trojans by using multiple-parameter side-channel analysis. The novel idea will be explained thoroughly in this survey report. We also look into several other papers, which talk about single parameter analysis and how they are implemented. We analyzed the short comings of those single parameter analysis techniques and we then show how this multi-parameter analysis technique is better. Finally we will talk about the combined side-channel analysis and logic testing approach in which there is higher detection coverage for hardware Trojan circuits of different types and sizes.

4.ScalOTA: Scalable Secure Over-the-Air Software Updates for Vehicles

Authors:Ali Shoker, Fernando Alves, Paulo Esteves-Verissimo

Abstract: Over-the-Air (OTA) software updates are becoming essential for electric/electronic vehicle architectures in order to reduce recalls amid the increasing software bugs and vulnerabilities. Current OTA update architectures rely heavily on direct cellular repository-to-vehicle links, which makes the repository a communication bottleneck, and increases the cellular bandwidth utilization cost as well as the software download latency. In this paper, we introduce ScalOTA, an end-to-end scalable OTA software update architecture and secure protocol for modern vehicles. For the first time, we propose using a network of update stations, as part of Electric Vehicle charging stations, to boost the download speed through these stations, and reduce the cellular bandwidth overhead significantly. Our formalized OTA update protocol ensures proven end-to-end chain-of-trust including all stakeholders: manufacturer, suppliers, update stations, and all layers of in-vehicle Electric Control Units (ECUs). The empirical evaluation shows that ScalOTA reduces the bandwidth utilization and download latency up to an order of magnitude compared with current OTA update systems.

5.From Ideal to Practice: Data Encryption in eADR-based Secure Non-Volatile Memory Systems

Authors:Jianming Huang, Yu Hua

Abstract: Extended Asynchronous DRAM Refresh (eADR) proposed by Intel extends the persistence domain from the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) to CPU caches and offers the persistence guarantee. Due to allowing lazy persistence and decreasing the amounts of instructions, eADR-based NVM systems significantly improve performance. Existing designs however fail to provide efficient encryption schemes to ensure data confidentiality in eADR-based NVM systems. It is challenging to guarantee both data persistence and confidentiality in a cost-efficient manner due to the transient persistence property of caches in eADR. Once the system crashes, eADR flushes the unencrypted data from the cache into NVM, in which security issues occur due to no encryption. To bridge the gap between persistence and confidentiality, we propose cost-efficient BBE and Sepencr encryption schemes that efficiently match different eADR execution models from ideal to practice. Under the ideal eADR execution model, BBE supports the encryption module via the battery of eADR upon crashes. Under the practical eADR execution model, Sepencr generates the one-time paddings (OTPs) at the system startup to encrypt the cached data in case the system crashes. Our evaluation results show that compared with an intuitive in-cache encryption scheme in eADR-based systems, our designs significantly reduce performance overheads while efficiently ensuring data confidentiality.

6.LØ: An Accountable Mempool for MEV Resistance

Authors:Bulat Nasrulin, Georgy Ishmaev, Jérémie Decouchant, Johan Pouwelse

Abstract: Possible manipulation of user transactions by miners in a permissionless blockchain systems is a growing concern. This problem is a pervasive and systemic issue, known as Miner Extractable Value (MEV), incurs highs costs on users of decentralised applications. Furthermore, transaction manipulations create other issues in blockchain systems such as congestion, higher fees, and system instability. Detecting transaction manipulations is difficult, even though it is known that they originate from the pre-consensus phase of transaction selection for a block building, at the base layer of blockchain protocols. In this paper we summarize known transaction manipulation attacks. We then present L{\O}, an accountable base layer protocol specifically designed to detect and mitigate transaction manipulations. L{\O} is built around accurate detection of transaction manipulations and assignment of blame at the granularity of a single mining node. L{\O} forces miners to log all the transactions they receive into a secure mempool data structure and to process them in a verifiable manner. Overall, L{\O} quickly and efficiently detects reordering, injection or censorship attempts. Our performance evaluation shows that L{\O} is also practical and only introduces a marginal performance overhead.

7.SoK: Privacy-Preserving Data Synthesis

Authors:Yuzheng Hu, Fan Wu, Qinbin Li, Yunhui Long, Gonzalo Munilla Garrido, Chang Ge, Bolin Ding, David Forsyth, Bo Li, Dawn Song

Abstract: As the prevalence of data analysis grows, safeguarding data privacy has become a paramount concern. Consequently, there has been an upsurge in the development of mechanisms aimed at privacy-preserving data analyses. However, these approaches are task-specific; designing algorithms for new tasks is a cumbersome process. As an alternative, one can create synthetic data that is (ideally) devoid of private information. This paper focuses on privacy-preserving data synthesis (PPDS) by providing a comprehensive overview, analysis, and discussion of the field. Specifically, we put forth a master recipe that unifies two prominent strands of research in PPDS: statistical methods and deep learning (DL)-based methods. Under the master recipe, we further dissect the statistical methods into choices of modeling and representation, and investigate the DL-based methods by different generative modeling principles. To consolidate our findings, we provide comprehensive reference tables, distill key takeaways, and identify open problems in the existing literature. In doing so, we aim to answer the following questions: What are the design principles behind different PPDS methods? How can we categorize these methods, and what are the advantages and disadvantages associated with each category? Can we provide guidelines for method selection in different real-world scenarios? We proceed to benchmark several prominent DL-based methods on the task of private image synthesis and conclude that DP-MERF is an all-purpose approach. Finally, upon systematizing the work over the past decade, we identify future directions and call for actions from researchers.

8.A Scheme to resist Fast Correlation Attack for Word Oriented LFSR based Stream Cipher

Authors:Subrata Nandi, Srinivasan Krishnaswamy, Pinaki Mitra

Abstract: In LFSR-based stream ciphers, the knowledge of the feedback equation of the LFSR plays a critical role in most attacks. In word-based stream ciphers such as those in the SNOW series, even if the feedback configuration is hidden, knowing the characteristic polynomial of the state transition matrix of the LFSR enables the attacker to create a feedback equation over $GF(2)$. This, in turn, can be used to launch fast correlation attacks. In this work, we propose a method for hiding both the feedback equation of a word-based LFSR and the characteristic polynomial of the state transition matrix. Here, we employ a $z$-primitive $\sigma$-LFSR whose characteristic polynomial is randomly sampled from the distribution of primitive polynomials over $GF(2)$ of the appropriate degree. We propose an algorithm for locating $z$-primitive $\sigma$-LFSR configurations of a given degree. Further, an invertible matrix is generated from the key. This is then employed to generate a public parameter which is used to retrieve the feedback configuration using the key. If the key size is $n$- bits, the process of retrieving the feedback equation from the public parameter has a average time complexity $\mathbb{O}(2^{n-1})$. The proposed method has been tested on SNOW 2.0 and SNOW 3G for resistance to fast correlation attacks. We have demonstrated that the security of SNOW 2.0 and SNOW 3G increases from 128 bits to 256 bits.

9.Security Risk Analysis Methodologies for Automotive Systems

Authors:Mohamed Abouelnaga, Christine Jakobs

Abstract: Nowadays, systematic security risk analysis plays a vital role in the automotive domain. The demand for advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity of vehicles to the internet makes cyber-security a crucial requirement for vehicle manufacturers. This paper summarizes the risk analysis method stated in the recently released automotive security standard ISO/SAE 21434, which lays the high-level principles for threat analysis and risk assessment (TARA) methods. Following, we introduce a specific use case to compare different security analysis approaches which OEMs can benefit from to achieve compliance with the standard.

10.Fuzzing with Quantitative and Adaptive Hot-Bytes Identification

Authors:Tai D. Nguyen, Long H. Pham, Jun Sun

Abstract: Fuzzing has emerged as a powerful technique for finding security bugs in complicated real-world applications. American fuzzy lop (AFL), a leading fuzzing tool, has demonstrated its powerful bug finding ability through a vast number of reported CVEs. However, its random mutation strategy is unable to generate test inputs that satisfy complicated branching conditions (e.g., magic-byte comparisons, checksum tests, and nested if-statements), which are commonly used in image decoders/encoders, XML parsers, and checksum tools. Existing approaches (such as Steelix and Neuzz) on addressing this problem assume unrealistic assumptions such as we can satisfy the branch condition byte-to-byte or we can identify and focus on the important bytes in the input (called hot-bytes) once and for all. In this work, we propose an approach called \tool~which is designed based on the following principles. First, there is a complicated relation between inputs and branching conditions and thus we need not only an expressive model to capture such relationship but also an informative measure so that we can learn such relationship effectively. Second, different branching conditions demand different hot-bytes and we must adjust our fuzzing strategy adaptively depending on which branches are the current bottleneck. We implement our approach as an open source project and compare its efficiency with other state-of-the-art fuzzers. Our evaluation results on 10 real-world programs and LAVA-M dataset show that \tool~achieves sustained increases in branch coverage and discovers more bugs than other fuzzers.

11.DarkHorse: A UDP-based Framework to Improve the Latency of Tor Onion Services

Authors:Md Washik Al Azad, Hasniuj Zahan, Sifat Ut Taki, Spyridon Mastorakis

Abstract: Tor is the most popular anonymous communication overlay network which hides clients' identities from servers by passing packets through multiple relays. To provide anonymity to both clients and servers, Tor onion services were introduced by increasing the number of relays between a client and a server. Because of the limited bandwidth of Tor relays, large numbers of users, and multiple layers of encryption at relays, onion services suffer from high end-to-end latency and low data transfer rates, which degrade user experiences, making onion services unsuitable for latency-sensitive applications. In this paper, we present a UDP-based framework, called DarkHorse, that improves the end-to-end latency and the data transfer overhead of Tor onion services by exploiting the connectionless nature of UDP. Our evaluation results demonstrate that DarkHorse is up to 3.62x faster than regular TCP-based Tor onion services and reduces the Tor network overhead by up to 47%.

12.Securing Cloud FPGAs Against Power Side-Channel Attacks: A Case Study on Iterative AES

Authors:Nithyashankari Gummidipoondi Jayasankaran JV, Hao Guo JV, Satwik Patnaik JV, Jeyavijayan JV, Rajendran, Jiang Hu

Abstract: The various benefits of multi-tenanting, such as higher device utilization and increased profit margin, intrigue the cloud field-programmable gate array (FPGA) servers to include multi-tenanting in their infrastructure. However, this property makes these servers vulnerable to power side-channel (PSC) attacks. Logic designs such as ring oscillator (RO) and time-to-digital converter (TDC) are used to measure the power consumed by security critical circuits, such as advanced encryption standard (AES). Firstly, the existing works require higher minimum traces for disclosure (MTD). Hence, in this work, we improve the sensitivity of the TDC-based sensors by manually placing the FPGA primitives inferring these sensors. This enhancement helps to determine the 128-bit AES key using 3.8K traces. Secondly, the existing defenses use ROs to defend against PSC attacks. However, cloud servers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) block design with combinatorial loops. Hence, we propose a placement-based defense. We study the impact of (i) primitive-level placement on the AES design and (ii) additional logic that resides along with the AES on the correlation power analysis (CPA) attack results. Our results showcase that the AES along with filters and/or processors are sufficient to provide the same level or better security than the existing defenses.

13.Information-Based Heavy Hitters for Real-Time DNS Data Exfiltration Detection and Prevention

Authors:Yarin Ozery, Asaf Nadler, Asaf Shabtai

Abstract: Data exfiltration over the DNS protocol and its detection have been researched extensively in recent years. Prior studies focused on offline detection methods, which although capable of detecting attacks, allow a large amount of data to be exfiltrated before the attack is detected and dealt with. In this paper, we introduce Information-based Heavy Hitters (ibHH), a real-time detection method which is based on live estimations of the amount of information transmitted to registered domains. ibHH uses constant-size memory and supports constant-time queries, which makes it suitable for deployment on recursive DNS servers to further reduce detection and response time. In our evaluation, we compared the performance of the proposed method to that of leading state-of-the-art DNS exfiltration detection methods on real-world datasets comprising over 250 billion DNS queries. The evaluation demonstrates ibHH's ability to successfully detect exfiltration rates as slow as 0.7B/s, with a false positive alert rate of less than 0.004, with significantly lower resource consumption compared to other methods.

1.Machine Learning-Based Intrusion Detection: Feature Selection versus Feature Extraction

Authors:Vu-Duc Ngo, Tuan-Cuong Vuong, Thien Van Luong, Hung Tran

Abstract: Internet of things (IoT) has been playing an important role in many sectors, such as smart cities, smart agriculture, smart healthcare, and smart manufacturing. However, IoT devices are highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which may result in security breaches and data leakages. To effectively prevent these attacks, a variety of machine learning-based network intrusion detection methods for IoT networks have been developed, which often rely on either feature extraction or feature selection techniques for reducing the dimension of input data before being fed into machine learning models. This aims to make the detection complexity low enough for real-time operations, which is particularly vital in any intrusion detection systems. This paper provides a comprehensive comparison between these two feature reduction methods of intrusion detection in terms of various performance metrics, namely, precision rate, recall rate, detection accuracy, as well as runtime complexity, in the presence of the modern UNSW-NB15 dataset as well as both binary and multiclass classification. For example, in general, the feature selection method not only provides better detection performance but also lower training and inference time compared to its feature extraction counterpart, especially when the number of reduced features K increases. However, the feature extraction method is much more reliable than its selection counterpart, particularly when K is very small, such as K = 4. Additionally, feature extraction is less sensitive to changing the number of reduced features K than feature selection, and this holds true for both binary and multiclass classifications. Based on this comparison, we provide a useful guideline for selecting a suitable intrusion detection type for each specific scenario, as detailed in Tab. 14 at the end of Section IV.

2.With Trail to Follow: Measurements of Real-world Non-fungible Token Phishing Attacks on Ethereum

Authors:Jingjing Yang, Jieli Liu, Jiajing Wu

Abstract: With the popularity of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), NFTs have become a new target of phishing attacks, posing a significant threat to the NFT trading ecosystem. There has been growing anecdotal evidence that new means of NFT phishing attacks have emerged in Ethereum ecosystem. Most of the existing research focus on detecting phishing scam accounts for native cryptocurrency on the blockchain, but there is a lack of research in the area of phishing attacks of emerging NFTs. Although a few studies have recently started to focus on the analysis and detection of NFT phishing attacks, NFT phishing attack means are diverse and little has been done to understand these various types of NFT phishing attacks. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to conduct case retrospective analysis and measurement study of real-world historical NFT phishing attacks on Ethereum. By manually analyzing the existing scams reported by Chainabuse, we classify NFT phishing attacks into four patterns. For each pattern, we further investigate the tricks and working principles of them. Based on 469 NFT phishing accounts collected up until October 2022 from multiple channels, we perform a measurement study of on-chain transaction data crawled from Etherscan to characterizing NFT phishing scams by analyzing the modus operandi and preferences of NFT phishing scammers, as well as economic impacts and whereabouts of stolen NFTs. We classify NFT phishing transactions into one of the four patterns by log parsing and transaction record parsing. We find these phishing accounts stole 19,514 NFTs for a total profit of 8,858.431 ETH (around 18.57 million dollars). We also observe that scammers remain highly active in the last two years and favor certain categories and series of NFTs, accompanied with signs of gang theft.

3.Overconfidence is a Dangerous Thing: Mitigating Membership Inference Attacks by Enforcing Less Confident Prediction

Authors:Zitao Chen, Karthik Pattabiraman

Abstract: Machine learning (ML) models are vulnerable to membership inference attacks (MIAs), which determine whether a given input is used for training the target model. While there have been many efforts to mitigate MIAs, they often suffer from limited privacy protection, large accuracy drop, and/or requiring additional data that may be difficult to acquire. This work proposes a defense technique, HAMP that can achieve both strong membership privacy and high accuracy, without requiring extra data. To mitigate MIAs in different forms, we observe that they can be unified as they all exploit the ML model's overconfidence in predicting training samples through different proxies. This motivates our design to enforce less confident prediction by the model, hence forcing the model to behave similarly on the training and testing samples. HAMP consists of a novel training framework with high-entropy soft labels and an entropy-based regularizer to constrain the model's prediction while still achieving high accuracy. To further reduce privacy risk, HAMP uniformly modifies all the prediction outputs to become low-confidence outputs while preserving the accuracy, which effectively obscures the differences between the prediction on members and non-members. We conduct extensive evaluation on five benchmark datasets, and show that HAMP provides consistently high accuracy and strong membership privacy. Our comparison with seven state-of-the-art defenses shows that HAMP achieves a superior privacy-utility trade off than those techniques.

4.SeePrivacy: Automated Contextual Privacy Policy Generation for Mobile Applications

Authors:Shidong Pan, Zhen Tao, Thong Hoang, Dawen Zhang, Zhenchang Xing, Xiwei Xu, Mark Staples, David Lo

Abstract: Privacy policies have become the most critical approach to safeguarding individuals' privacy and digital security. To enhance their presentation and readability, researchers propose the concept of contextual privacy policies (CPPs), aiming to fragment policies into shorter snippets and display them only in corresponding contexts. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-modal framework, namely SeePrivacy, designed to automatically generate contextual privacy policies for mobile apps. Our method synergistically combines mobile GUI understanding and privacy policy document analysis, yielding an impressive overall 83.6% coverage rate for privacy-related context detection and an accuracy of 0.92 in extracting corresponding policy segments. Remarkably, 96% of the retrieved policy segments can be correctly matched with their contexts. The user study shows SeePrivacy demonstrates excellent functionality and usability (4.5/5). Specifically, participants exhibit a greater willingness to read CPPs (4.1/5) compared to original privacy policies (2/5). Our solution effectively assists users in comprehending privacy notices, and this research establishes a solid foundation for further advancements and exploration.

5.Synthetic is all you need: removing the auxiliary data assumption for membership inference attacks against synthetic data

Authors:Florent Guépin, Matthieu Meeus, Ana-Maria Cretu, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye

Abstract: Synthetic data is emerging as the most promising solution to share individual-level data while safeguarding privacy. Membership inference attacks (MIAs), based on shadow modeling, have become the standard to evaluate the privacy of synthetic data. These attacks, however, currently assume the attacker to have access to an auxiliary dataset sampled from a similar distribution as the training dataset. This often is a very strong assumption that would make an attack unlikely to happen in practice. We here show how this assumption can be removed and how MIAs can be performed using only the synthetic data. More specifically, in three different attack scenarios using only synthetic data, our results demonstrate that MIAs are still successful, across two real-world datasets and two synthetic data generators. These results show how the strong hypothesis made when auditing synthetic data releases - access to an auxiliary dataset - can be relaxed to perform an actual attack.

6.The Path to Fault- and Intrusion-Resilient Manycore Systems on a Chip

Authors:Ali Shoker, Paulo Esteves Verissimo, Marcus Völp

Abstract: The hardware computing landscape is changing. What used to be distributed systems can now be found on a chip with highly configurable, diverse, specialized and general purpose units. Such Systems-on-a-Chip (SoC) are used to control today's cyber-physical systems, being the building blocks of critical infrastructures. They are deployed in harsh environments and are connected to the cyberspace, which makes them exposed to both accidental faults and targeted cyberattacks. This is in addition to the changing fault landscape that continued technology scaling, emerging devices and novel application scenarios will bring. In this paper, we discuss how the very features, distributed, parallelized, reconfigurable, heterogeneous, that cause many of the imminent and emerging security and resilience challenges, also open avenues for their cure though SoC replication, diversity, rejuvenation, adaptation, and hybridization. We show how to leverage these techniques at different levels across the entire SoC hardware/software stack, calling for more research on the topic.

7.Digital Sovereignty Strategies for Every Nation

Authors:Ali Shoker

Abstract: Digital Sovereignty must be on the agenda of every modern nation. Digital technology is becoming part of our life details, from the vital essentials, like food and water management, to transcendence in the Metaverse and Space. Protecting these digital assets will, therefore, be inevitable for a modern country to live, excel and lead. Digital Sovereignty is a strategic necessity to protect these digital assets from the monopoly of friendly rational states, and the threats of unfriendly Malicious states and behaviors. In this work, we revisit the definition and scope of digital sovereignty through extending it to cover the entire value chain of using, owning, and producing digital assets. We emphasize the importance of protecting the operational resources, both raw materials and human expertise, in addition to research and innovation necessary to achieve sustainable sovereignty. We also show that digital sovereignty by autonomy is often impossible, and by mutual cooperation is not always sustainable. To this end, we propose implementing digital sovereignty using Nash Equilibrium, often studied in Game Theory, to govern the relation with Rational states. Finally, we propose a digital sovereignty agenda for different country's digital profiles, based on their status quo, priorities, and capabilities. We survey state-of-the-art digital technology that is useful to make the current digital assets sovereign. Additionally, we propose a roadmap that aims to develop a sovereign digital nation, as close as possible to autonomy. Finally, we draw attention to the need of more research to better understand and implement digital sovereignty from different perspectives: technological, economic, and geopolitical.

8.ProPILE: Probing Privacy Leakage in Large Language Models

Authors:Siwon Kim, Sangdoo Yun, Hwaran Lee, Martin Gubri, Sungroh Yoon, Seong Joon Oh

Abstract: The rapid advancement and widespread use of large language models (LLMs) have raised significant concerns regarding the potential leakage of personally identifiable information (PII). These models are often trained on vast quantities of web-collected data, which may inadvertently include sensitive personal data. This paper presents ProPILE, a novel probing tool designed to empower data subjects, or the owners of the PII, with awareness of potential PII leakage in LLM-based services. ProPILE lets data subjects formulate prompts based on their own PII to evaluate the level of privacy intrusion in LLMs. We demonstrate its application on the OPT-1.3B model trained on the publicly available Pile dataset. We show how hypothetical data subjects may assess the likelihood of their PII being included in the Pile dataset being revealed. ProPILE can also be leveraged by LLM service providers to effectively evaluate their own levels of PII leakage with more powerful prompts specifically tuned for their in-house models. This tool represents a pioneering step towards empowering the data subjects for their awareness and control over their own data on the web.

9.An Algorithm for Persistent Homology Computation Using Homomorphic Encryption

Authors:Dominic Gold, Koray Karabina, Francis C. Motta

Abstract: Topological Data Analysis (TDA) offers a suite of computational tools that provide quantified shape features in high dimensional data that can be used by modern statistical and predictive machine learning (ML) models. In particular, persistent homology (PH) takes in data (e.g., point clouds, images, time series) and derives compact representations of latent topological structures, known as persistence diagrams (PDs). Because PDs enjoy inherent noise tolerance, are interpretable and provide a solid basis for data analysis, and can be made compatible with the expansive set of well-established ML model architectures, PH has been widely adopted for model development including on sensitive data, such as genomic, cancer, sensor network, and financial data. Thus, TDA should be incorporated into secure end-to-end data analysis pipelines. In this paper, we take the first step to address this challenge and develop a version of the fundamental algorithm to compute PH on encrypted data using homomorphic encryption (HE).

1.Cryptography and Key Management Schemes for Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors:Jaydip Sen

Abstract: Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are made up of a large number of tiny sensors, which can sense, analyze, and communicate information about the outside world. These networks play a significant role in a broad range of fields, from crucial military surveillance applications to monitoring building security. Key management in WSNs is a critical task. While the security and integrity of messages communicated through these networks and the authenticity of the nodes are dependent on the robustness of the key management schemes, designing an efficient key generation, distribution, and revocation scheme is quite challenging. While resource-constrained sensor nodes should not be exposed to computationally demanding asymmetric key algorithms, the use of symmetric key-based systems leaves the entire network vulnerable to several attacks. This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of several well-known cryptographic mechanisms and key management schemes for WSNs.

2.Practical Non-Invasive Probing Attacks Against Novel Carbon-Nanotube-Based Physical Unclonable Functions

Authors:Nikolaos Athanasios Anagnostopoulos, Alexander Braml, Nico Mexis, Florian Frank, Simon Böttger, Martin Hartmann, Sascha Hermann, Elif Bilge Kavun, Stefan Katzenbeisser, Tolga Arul

Abstract: As the number of devices being interconnected increases, so does also the demand for (lightweight) security. To this end, Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs) have been proposed as hardware primitives that can act as roots of trust and security. Recently, a new type of PUF based on Carbon NanoTubes (CNTs) has been proposed. At the same time, attacks and testing based on direct electrical probing appear to be moving towards non-invasive techniques. In this context, this work attempts to examine the potential for practical non-invasive probing attacks against the CNT-PUF, a novel PUF based on CNTs. Our results indicate that direct probing might potentially compromise the security of this PUF. Nevertheless, we note that this holds true only in the case that the attacker can directly probe the wire corresponding to the secret value of each CNT-PUF cell. Thus, we can conclude that the examined CNT-PUFs are rather resilient to direct probing attacks, that non-invasive probing methods appear to be promising for testing such PUFs, and that, in order for the attacker to gain the full-length value of the secret, all the relevant channels would need to be probed. Nevertheless, as our work proves, practical non-invasive attacks against the CNT-PUF are feasible and adequate countermeasures need to be employed in order to address this issue.

3.Passive Query-Recovery Attack Against Secure Conjunctive Keyword Search Schemes

Authors:Marco Dijkslag, Marc Damie, Florian Hahn, Andreas Peter

Abstract: While storing documents on the cloud can be attractive, the question remains whether cloud providers can be trusted with storing private documents. Even if trusted, data breaches are ubiquitous. To prevent information leakage one can store documents encrypted. If encrypted under traditional schemes, one loses the ability to perform simple operations over the documents, such as searching through them. Searchable encryption schemes were proposed allowing some search functionality while documents remain encrypted. Orthogonally, research is done to find attacks that exploit search and access pattern leakage that most efficient schemes have. One type of such an attack is the ability to recover plaintext queries. Passive query-recovery attacks on single-keyword search schemes have been proposed in literature, however, conjunctive keyword search has not been considered, although keyword searches with two or three keywords appear more frequently in online searches. We introduce a generic extension strategy for existing passive query-recovery attacks against single-keyword search schemes and explore its applicability for the attack presented by Damie et al. (USENIX Security '21). While the original attack achieves up to a recovery rate of 85% against single-keyword search schemes for an attacker without exact background knowledge, our experiments show that the generic extension to conjunctive queries comes with a significant performance decrease achieving recovery rates of at most 32%. Assuming a stronger attacker with partial knowledge of the indexed document set boosts the recovery rate to 85% for conjunctive keyword queries with two keywords and achieves similar recovery rates as previous attacks by Cash et al. (CCS '15) and Islam et al. (NDSS '12) in the same setting for single-keyword search schemes.

4.Patient-centric health data sovereignty: an approach using Proxy re-encryption

Authors:Bruno Rodrigues, Ivone Amorim, Ivan Costa, Alexandra Mendes

Abstract: The exponential growth in the digitisation of services implies the handling and storage of large volumes of data. Businesses and services see data sharing and crossing as an opportunity to improve and produce new business opportunities. The health sector is one area where this proves to be true, enabling better and more innovative treatments. Notwithstanding, this raises concerns regarding personal data being treated and processed. In this paper, we present a patient-centric platform for the secure sharing of health records by shifting the control over the data to the patient, therefore, providing a step further towards data sovereignty. Data sharing is performed only with the consent of the patient, allowing it to revoke access at any given time. Furthermore, we also provide a break-glass approach, resorting to Proxy Re-encryption (PRE) and the concept of a centralised trusted entity that possesses instant access to patients' medical records. Lastly, an analysis is made to assess the performance of the platform's key operations, and the impact that a PRE scheme has on those operations.

5.Pareto-Secure Machine Learning (PSML): Fingerprinting and Securing Inference Serving Systems

Authors:Debopam Sanyal Georgia Institute of Technology, Jui-Tse Hung Georgia Institute of Technology, Manav Agrawal Georgia Institute of Technology, Prahlad Jasti Georgia Institute of Technology, Shahab Nikkhoo University of California, Riverside, Somesh Jha University of Wisconsin, Madison, Tianhao Wang University of Virginia, Sibin Mohan The George Washington University, Alexey Tumanov Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: With the emergence of large foundational models, model-serving systems are becoming popular. In such a system, users send the queries to the server and specify the desired performance metrics (e.g., accuracy, latency, etc.). The server maintains a set of models (model zoo) in the back-end and serves the queries based on the specified metrics. This paper examines the security, specifically robustness against model extraction attacks, of such systems. Existing black-box attacks cannot be directly applied to extract a victim model, as models hide among the model zoo behind the inference serving interface, and attackers cannot identify which model is being used. An intermediate step is required to ensure that every input query gets the output from the victim model. To this end, we propose a query-efficient fingerprinting algorithm to enable the attacker to trigger any desired model consistently. We show that by using our fingerprinting algorithm, model extraction can have fidelity and accuracy scores within $1\%$ of the scores obtained if attacking in a single-model setting and up to $14.6\%$ gain in accuracy and up to $7.7\%$ gain in fidelity compared to the naive attack. Finally, we counter the proposed attack with a noise-based defense mechanism that thwarts fingerprinting by adding noise to the specified performance metrics. Our defense strategy reduces the attack's accuracy and fidelity by up to $9.8\%$ and $4.8\%$, respectively (on medium-sized model extraction). We show that the proposed defense induces a fundamental trade-off between the level of protection and system goodput, achieving configurable and significant victim model extraction protection while maintaining acceptable goodput ($>80\%$). We provide anonymous access to our code.

1.An ontological approach to compliance verification of the NIS 2 directive

Authors:Gianpietro Castiglione, Daniele Francesco Santamaria, Giampaolo Bella

Abstract: Cybersecurity, which notoriously concerns both human and technological aspects, is becoming more and more regulated by a number of textual documents spanning several pages, such as the European GDPR Regulation and the NIS Directive. This paper introduces an approach that leverages techniques of semantic representation and reasoning, hence an ontological approach, towards the compliance check with the security measures that textual documents prescribe. We choose the ontology instrument to achieve two fundamental objectives: domain modelling and resource interrogation. The formalisation of entities and relations from the directive, and the consequent improved structuring with respect to sheer prose is dramatically helpful for any organisation through the hard task of compliance verification. The semantic approach is demonstrated with two articles of the new European NIS 2 directive.

2.Research on Virus Cyberattack-Defense Based on Electromagnetic Radiation

Authors:Ruochen Wu

Abstract: Information technology and telecommunications have rapidly permeated various domains, resulting in a significant influx of data traversing the networks between computers. Consequently, research of cyberattacks in computer systems has become crucial for many organizations. Accordingly, recent cybersecurity incidents have underscored the rapidly evolving nature of future threats and attack methods, particularly those involving computer viruses wireless injection. This paper aims to study and demonstrate the feasibility of remote computer virus radiation injection. To achieve this objective, digital signal processing (DSP) plays a vital role. By studying the principles and models of radiation attacks and computer virus propagation, the modulation of the binary data stream of the simulated virus into a terahertz radar carrier signal by Phase-Shift Keying (PSK) is simulated, enabling the implementation of an attack through the "field to line" coupling of electromagnetic signals. Finally, the defense and countermeasures based on signal recognition are discussed for such attacks. Additionally, an idea of establishing a virus library for cyberattack signals and employing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for automated intrusion detection is proposed as a means to achieve cybersecurity situation awareness.

3.A Quic(k) Security Overview: A Literature Research on Implemented Security Recommendations

Authors:Stefan Tatschner Fraunhofer Institute AISEC University of Limerick, Sebastian N. Peters Fraunhofer Institute AISEC, David Emeis Fraunhofer Institute AISEC, John Morris University of Limerick, Thomas Newe University of Limerick

Abstract: Built on top of UDP, the relatively new QUIC protocol serves as the baseline for modern web protocol stacks. Equipped with a rich feature set, the protocol is defined by a 151 pages strong IETF standard complemented by several additional documents. Enabling fast updates and feature iteration, most QUIC implementations are implemented as user space libraries leading to a large and fragmented ecosystem. This work addresses the research question, "if a complex standard with a large number of different implementations leads to an insecure ecosystem?". The relevant RFC documents were studied and "Security Consideration" items describing conceptional problems were extracted. During the research, 13 popular production ready QUIC implementations were compared by evaluating 10 security considerations from RFC9000. While related studies mostly focused on the functional part of QUIC, this study confirms that available QUIC implementations are not yet mature enough from a security point of view.

4.Centauri: Practical Rowhammer Fingerprinting

Authors:Hari Venugopalan, Kaustav Goswami, Zainul Abi Din, Jason Lowe-Power, Samuel T. King, Zubair Shafiq

Abstract: Fingerprinters leverage the heterogeneity in hardware and software configurations to extract a device fingerprint. Fingerprinting countermeasures attempt to normalize these attributes such that they present a uniform fingerprint across different devices or present different fingerprints for the same device each time. We present Centauri, a Rowhammer fingerprinting approach that can build a unique and stable fingerprints even across devices with homogeneous or normalized/obfuscated hardware and software configurations. To this end, Centauri leverages the process variation in the underlying manufacturing process that gives rise to unique distributions of Rowhammer-induced bit flips across different DRAM modules. Centauri's design and implementation is able to overcome memory allocation constrains without requiring root privileges. Our evaluation on a test bed of about one hundred DRAM modules shows that system achieves 99.91% fingerprinting accuracy. Centauri's fingerprints are also stable with daily experiments over a period of 10 days revealing no loss in fingerprinting accuracy. We show that Centauri is efficient, taking as little as 9.92 seconds to extract a fingerprint. Centauri is the first practical Rowhammer fingerprinting approach that is able to extract unique and stable fingerprints efficiently and at-scale.

1.SWAT: A System-Wide Approach to Tunable Leakage Mitigation in Encrypted Data Stores

Authors:Leqian Zheng, Lei Xu, Cong Wang, Sheng Wang, Yuke Hu, Zhan Qin, Feifei Li, Kui Ren

Abstract: Numerous studies have underscored the significant privacy risks associated with various leakage patterns in encrypted data stores. Most existing systems that conceal leakage either (1) incur substantial overheads, (2) focus on specific subsets of leakage patterns, or (3) apply the same security notion across various workloads, thereby impeding the attainment of fine-tuned privacy-efficiency trade-offs. In light of various detrimental leakage patterns, this paper starts with an investigation into which specific leakage patterns require our focus respectively in the contexts of key-value, range-query, and dynamic workloads. Subsequently, we introduce new security notions tailored to the specific privacy requirements of these workloads. Accordingly, we present, SWAT, an efficient construction that progressively enables these workloads, while provably mitigating system-wide leakage via a suite of algorithms with tunable privacy-efficiency trade-offs. We conducted extensive experiments and compiled a detailed result analysis, showing the efficiency of our solution. SWAT is about $10.6\times$ slower than an encryption-only data store that reveals various leakage patterns and is $31.6\times$ faster than a trivially zero-leakage solution. Meanwhile, the performance of SWAT remains highly competitive compared to other designs that mitigate specific types of leakage.

2.VibHead: An Authentication Scheme for Smart Headsets through Vibration

Authors:Feng Li, Jiayi Zhao, Huan Yang, Dongxiao Yu, Yuanfeng Zhou, Yiran Shen

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed the fast penetration of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems into our daily life, the security and privacy issues of the VR/AR applications have been attracting considerable attention. Most VR/AR systems adopt head-mounted devices (i.e., smart headsets) to interact with users and the devices usually store the users' private data. Hence, authentication schemes are desired for the head-mounted devices. Traditional knowledge-based authentication schemes for general personal devices have been proved vulnerable to shoulder-surfing attacks, especially considering the headsets may block the sight of the users. Although the robustness of the knowledge-based authentication can be improved by designing complicated secret codes in virtual space, this approach induces a compromise of usability. Another choice is to leverage the users' biometrics; however, it either relies on highly advanced equipments which may not always be available in commercial headsets or introduce heavy cognitive load to users. In this paper, we propose a vibration-based authentication scheme, VibHead, for smart headsets. Since the propagation of vibration signals through human heads presents unique patterns for different individuals, VibHead employs a CNN-based model to classify registered legitimate users based the features extracted from the vibration signals. We also design a two-step authentication scheme where the above user classifiers are utilized to distinguish the legitimate user from illegitimate ones. We implement VibHead on a Microsoft HoloLens equipped with a linear motor and an IMU sensor which are commonly used in off-the-shelf personal smart devices. According to the results of our extensive experiments, with short vibration signals ($\leq 1s$), VibHead has an outstanding authentication accuracy; both FAR and FRR are around 5%.

3.RowPress: Amplifying Read Disturbance in Modern DRAM Chips

Authors:Haocong Luo, Ataberk Olgun, A. Giray Yağlıkçı, Yahya Can Tuğrul, Steve Rhyner, Meryem Banu Cavlak, Joël Lindegger, Mohammad Sadrosadati, Onur Mutlu

Abstract: Memory isolation is critical for system reliability, security, and safety. Unfortunately, read disturbance can break memory isolation in modern DRAM chips. For example, RowHammer is a well-studied read-disturb phenomenon where repeatedly opening and closing (i.e., hammering) a DRAM row many times causes bitflips in physically nearby rows. This paper experimentally demonstrates and analyzes another widespread read-disturb phenomenon, RowPress, in real DDR4 DRAM chips. RowPress breaks memory isolation by keeping a DRAM row open for a long period of time, which disturbs physically nearby rows enough to cause bitflips. We show that RowPress amplifies DRAM's vulnerability to read-disturb attacks by significantly reducing the number of row activations needed to induce a bitflip by one to two orders of magnitude under realistic conditions. In extreme cases, RowPress induces bitflips in a DRAM row when an adjacent row is activated only once. Our detailed characterization of 164 real DDR4 DRAM chips shows that RowPress 1) affects chips from all three major DRAM manufacturers, 2) gets worse as DRAM technology scales down to smaller node sizes, and 3) affects a different set of DRAM cells from RowHammer and behaves differently from RowHammer as temperature and access pattern changes. We demonstrate in a real DDR4-based system with RowHammer protection that 1) a user-level program induces bitflips by leveraging RowPress while conventional RowHammer cannot do so, and 2) a memory controller that adaptively keeps the DRAM row open for a longer period of time based on access pattern can facilitate RowPress-based attacks. To prevent bitflips due to RowPress, we describe and evaluate a new methodology that adapts existing RowHammer mitigation techniques to also mitigate RowPress with low additional performance overhead. We open source all our code and data to facilitate future research on RowPress.

4.Honesty is the Best Policy: On the Accuracy of Apple Privacy Labels Compared to Apps' Privacy Policies

Authors:Mir Masood Ali, David G. Balash, Chris Kanich, Adam J. Aviv

Abstract: Apple introduced \textit{privacy labels} in Dec. 2020 as a way for developers to report the privacy behaviors of their apps. While Apple does not validate labels, they do also require developers to provide a privacy policy, which offers an important comparison point. In this paper, we applied the NLP framework of Polisis to extract features of the privacy policy for 515,920 apps on the iOS App Store comparing the output to the privacy labels. We identify discrepancies between the policies and the labels, particularly as it relates to data collected that is linked to users. We find that 287$\pm196$K apps' privacy policies may indicate data collection that is linked to users than what is reported in the privacy labels. More alarming, a large number of (97$\pm30$\%) of the apps that have {\em Data Not Collected} privacy label have a privacy policy that indicates otherwise. We provide insights into potential sources for discrepancies, including the use of templates and confusion around Apple's definitions and requirements. These results suggest that there is still significant work to be done to help developers more accurately labeling their apps. Incorporating a Polisis-like system as a first-order check can help improve the current state and better inform developers when there are possible misapplication of privacy labels.

5.ItyFuzz: Snapshot-Based Fuzzer for Smart Contract

Authors:Chaofan Shou, Shangyin Tan, Koushik Sen

Abstract: Smart contracts are critical financial instruments, and their security is of utmost importance. However, smart contract programs are difficult to fuzz due to the persistent blockchain state behind all transactions. Mutating sequences of transactions are complex and often lead to a suboptimal exploration for both input and program spaces. In this paper, we introduce a novel snapshot-based fuzzer ItyFuzz for testing smart contracts. In ItyFuzz, instead of storing sequences of transactions and mutating from them, we snapshot states and singleton transactions. To explore interesting states, ItyFuzz introduces a dataflow waypoint mechanism to identify states with more potential momentum. ItyFuzz also incorporates comparison waypoints to prune the space of states. By maintaining snapshots of the states, ItyFuzz can synthesize concrete exploits like reentrancy attacks quickly. Because ItyFuzz has second-level response time to test a smart contract, it can be used for on-chain testing, which has many benefits compared to local development testing. Finally, we evaluate ItyFuzz on real-world smart contracts and some hacked on-chain DeFi projects. ItyFuzz outperforms existing fuzzers in terms of instructional coverage and can find and generate realistic exploits for on-chain projects quickly.

1.Fast and Frobenius: Rational Isogeny Evaluation over Finite Fields

Authors:Gustavo Banegas ULB, Valerie Gilchrist ULB, Anaëlle Le Dévéhat GRACE, Benjamin Smith GRACE

Abstract: Consider the problem of efficiently evaluating isogenies $\phi: E \to E/H$ of elliptic curves over a finite field $\mathbb{F}_q$, where the kernel $H = \langle G\rangle$ is a cyclic group of odd (prime) order: given $E$, $G$, and a point (or several points) $P$ on $E$, we want to compute $\phi(P)$. This problem is at the heart of efficient implementations of group-action- and isogeny-based post-quantum cryptosystems such as CSIDH. Algorithms based on V{\'e}lu's formulae give an efficient solution to this problem when the kernel generator $G$ is defined over $\mathbb{F}_q$. However, for general isogenies, $G$ is only defined over some extension $\mathbb{F}_{q^k}$, even though $\langle G\rangle$ as a whole (and thus $\phi$) is defined over the base field $\mathbb{F}_q$; and the performance of V{\'e}lu-style algorithms degrades rapidly as $k$ grows. In this article we revisit the isogeny-evaluation problem with a special focus on the case where $1 \le k \le 12$. We improve V{\'e}lu-style isogeny evaluation for many cases where $k = 1$ using special addition chains, and combine this with the action of Galois to give greater improvements when $k > 1$.

2.Can Twitter be used to Acquire Reliable Alerts against Novel Cyber Attacks?

Authors:Dincy R Arikkat, Vinod P., Rafidha Rehiman K. A., Andrea Di Sorbo, Corrado A. Visaggio, Mauro Conti

Abstract: Time-relevant and accurate threat information from public domains are essential for cyber security. In a constantly evolving threat landscape, such information assists security researchers in thwarting attack strategies. In this work, we collect and analyze threat-related information from Twitter to extract intelligence for proactive security. We first use a convolutional neural network to classify the tweets as containing or not valuable threat indicators. In particular, to gather threat intelligence from social media, the proposed approach collects pertinent Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) from tweets, such as IP addresses, URLs, File hashes, domain addresses, and CVE IDs. Then, we analyze the IoCs to confirm whether they are reliable and valuable for threat intelligence using performance indicators, such as correctness, timeliness, and overlap. We also evaluate how fast Twitter shares IoCs compared to existing threat intelligence services. Furthermore, through machine learning models, we classify Twitter accounts as either automated or human-operated and delve into the role of bot accounts in disseminating cyber threat information on social media. Our results demonstrate that Twitter is growing into a powerful platform for gathering precise and pertinent malware IoCs and a reliable source for mining threat intelligence.

3.Retrospective: Flipping Bits in Memory Without Accessing Them: An Experimental Study of DRAM Disturbance Errors

Authors:Onur Mutlu

Abstract: Our ISCA 2014 paper provided the first scientific and detailed characterization, analysis, and real-system demonstration of what is now popularly known as the RowHammer phenomenon (or vulnerability) in modern commodity DRAM chips, which are used as main memory in almost all modern computing systems. It experimentally demonstrated that more than 80% of all DRAM modules we tested from the three major DRAM vendors were vulnerable to the RowHammer read disturbance phenomenon: one can predictably induce bitflips (i.e., data corruption) in real DRAM modules by repeatedly accessing a DRAM row and thus causing electrical disturbance to physically nearby rows. We showed that a simple unprivileged user-level program induced RowHammer bitflips in multiple real systems and suggested that a security attack can be built using this proof-of-concept to hijack control of the system or cause other harm. To solve the RowHammer problem, our paper examined seven different approaches (including a novel probabilistic approach that has very low cost), some of which influenced or were adopted in different industrial products. Many later works from various research communities examined RowHammer, building real security attacks, proposing new defenses, further analyzing the problem at various (e.g., device/circuit, architecture, and system) levels, and exploiting RowHammer for various purposes (e.g., to reverse-engineer DRAM chips). Industry has worked to mitigate the problem, changing both memory controllers and DRAM standards/chips. Two major DRAM vendors finally wrote papers on the topic in 2023, describing their current approaches to mitigate RowHammer. Research & development on RowHammer in both academia & industry continues to be very active and fascinating. This short retrospective provides a brief analysis of our ISCA 2014 paper and its impact.

4.VERTICES: Efficient Two-Party Vertical Federated Linear Model with TTP-aided Secret Sharing

Authors:Mingxuan Fan, Yilun Jin, Liu Yang, Zhenghang Ren, Kai Chen

Abstract: Vertical Federated Learning (VFL) has emerged as one of the most predominant approaches for secure collaborative machine learning where the training data is partitioned by features among multiple parties. Most VFL algorithms primarily rely on two fundamental privacy-preserving techniques: Homomorphic Encryption (HE) and secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC). Though generally considered with stronger privacy guarantees, existing general-purpose MPC frameworks suffer from expensive computation and communication overhead and are inefficient especially under VFL settings. This study centers around MPC-based VFL algorithms and presents a novel approach for two-party vertical federated linear models via an efficient secret sharing (SS) scheme with a trusted coordinator. Our approach can achieve significant acceleration of the training procedure in vertical federated linear models of between 2.5x and 6.6x than other existing MPC frameworks under the same security setting.

5.Seeing is Believing: Detecting Sybil Attack in FANET by Matching Visual and Auditory Domains

Authors:Yanpeng Cui, Qixun Zhang, Zhiyong Feng, Xiong Li, Zhiqing Wei, Ping Zhang

Abstract: The flying ad hoc network (FANET) will play a crucial role in the B5G/6G era since it provides wide coverage and on-demand deployment services in a distributed manner. The detection of Sybil attacks is essential to ensure trusted communication in FANET. Nevertheless, the conventional methods only utilize the untrusted information that UAV nodes passively ``heard'' from the ``auditory" domain (AD), resulting in severe communication disruptions and even collision accidents. In this paper, we present a novel VA-matching solution that matches the neighbors observed from both the AD and the ``visual'' domain (VD), which is the first solution that enables UAVs to accurately correlate what they ``see'' from VD and ``hear'' from AD to detect the Sybil attacks. Relative entropy is utilized to describe the similarity of observed characteristics from dual domains. The dynamic weight algorithm is proposed to distinguish neighbors according to the characteristics' popularity. The matching model of neighbors observed from AD and VD is established and solved by the vampire bat optimizer. Experiment results show that the proposed VA-matching solution removes the unreliability of individual characteristics and single domains. It significantly outperforms the conventional RSSI-based method in detecting Sybil attacks. Furthermore, it has strong robustness and achieves high precision and recall rates.

6.The Power of Telemetry: Uncovering Software-Based Side-Channel Attacks on Apple M1/M2 Systems

Authors:Nikhil Chawla, Chen Liu, Abhishek Chakraborty, Igor Chervatyuk, Ke Sun, Thais Moreira Hamasaki, Henrique Kawakami

Abstract: Power analysis is a class of side-channel attacks, where power consumption data is used to infer sensitive information and extract secrets from a system. Traditionally, such attacks required physical access to the target, as well as specialized devices to measure the power consumption with enough precision. The PLATYPUS attack has shown that on-chip power meter capabilities exposed to a software interface might form a new class of power side-channel attacks. This paper presents a software-based power side-channel attack on Apple Silicon M1/M2 platforms, exploiting the System Management Controller (SMC) and its power-related keys, which provides access to the on-chip power meters through a software interface to user space software. We observed data-dependent power consumption reporting from such keys and analyzed the correlations between the power consumption and the processed data. Our work also demonstrated how an unprivileged user mode application successfully recovers bytes from an AES encryption key from a cryptographic service supported by a kernel mode driver in macOS. Furthermore, we discuss the impact of software-based power side-channels in the industry, possible countermeasures, and the overall implications of software interfaces for modern on-chip power management systems.

1.Errorless Robust JPEG Steganography Using Steganographic Polar Codes

Authors:Jimin Zhang, Xianfeng Zhao, Xiaolei He

Abstract: Recently, a robust steganographic algorithm that achieves errorless robustness against JPEG recompression is proposed. The method evaluates the behavior of DCT coefficients after recompression using the local JPEG encoder to select robust coefficients and sets the other coefficients as wet cost. Combining the lattice embedding scheme, the method is errorless by construction. However, the authors only concern with the success rate under theoretical embedding, while the success rate of the implementation with practical steganographic codes is not verified. In this letter, we implement the method with two steganographic codes, i.e., steganographic polar code and syndrome-trellis code. By analyzing the possibility of success embedding of two steganographic codes under wet paper embedding, we discover that steganographic polar code achieves success embedding with a larger number of wet coefficients compared with syndrome-trellis code, which makes steganographic polar code more suitable under the errorless robust embedding paradigm. The experimental results show that the combination of steganographic polar code and errorless robust embedding achieves a higher success rate compared with the implementation with syndrome-trellis code under close security performance.

2.Catch Me If You Can: A New Low-Rate DDoS Attack Strategy Disguised by Feint

Authors:Tianyang Cai, Yuqi Li, Tao Jia, Leo Yu Zhang, Zheng Yang

Abstract: While collaborative systems provide convenience to our lives, they also face many security threats. One of them is the Low-rate Distributed Denial-of-Service (LDDoS) attack, which is a worthy concern. Unlike volumetric DDoS attacks that continuously send large volumes of traffic, LDDoS attacks are more stealthy and difficult to be detected owing to their low-volume feature. Due to its stealthiness and harmfulness, LDDoS has become one of the most destructive attacks in cloud computing. Although a few LDDoS attack detection and defense methods have been proposed, we observe that sophisticated LDDoS attacks (being more stealthy) can bypass some of the existing LDDoS defense methods. To verify our security observation, we proposed a new Feint-based LDDoS (F-LDDoS) attack strategy. In this strategy, we divide a Pulse Interval into a Feinting Interval and an Attack Interval. Unlike the previous LDDoS attacks, the bots also send traffic randomly in the Feinting Interval, thus disguise themselves as benign users during the F-LDDoS attack. In this way, although the victim detects that it is under an LDDoS attack, it is difficult to locate the attack sources and apply mitigation solutions. Experimental results show that F-LDDoS attack can degrade TCP bandwidth 6.7%-14% more than the baseline LDDoS attack. Besides, F-LDDoS also reduces the similarities between bot traffic and aggregated attack traffic, and increases the uncertainty of packet arrival. These results mean that the proposed F-LDDoS is more effective and more stealthy than normal LDDoS attacks. Finally, we discuss the countermeasures of F-LDDoS to draw the attention of defenders and improve the defense methods.

3.A Highly Accurate Query-Recovery Attack against Searchable Encryption using Non-Indexed Documents

Authors:Marc Damie, Florian Hahn, Andreas Peter

Abstract: Cloud data storage solutions offer customers cost-effective and reduced data management. While attractive, data security issues remain to be a core concern. Traditional encryption protects stored documents, but hinders simple functionalities such as keyword search. Therefore, searchable encryption schemes have been proposed to allow for the search on encrypted data. Efficient schemes leak at least the access pattern (the accessed documents per keyword search), which is known to be exploitable in query recovery attacks assuming the attacker has a significant amount of background knowledge on the stored documents. Existing attacks can only achieve decent results with strong adversary models (e.g. at least 20% of previously known documents or require additional knowledge such as on query frequencies) and they give no metric to evaluate the certainty of recovered queries. This hampers their practical utility and questions their relevance in the real-world. We propose a refined score attack which achieves query recovery rates of around 85% without requiring exact background knowledge on stored documents; a distributionally similar, but otherwise different (i.e., non-indexed), dataset suffices. The attack starts with very few known queries (around 10 known queries in our experiments over different datasets of varying size) and then iteratively recovers further queries with confidence scores by adding previously recovered queries that had high confidence scores to the set of known queries. Additional to high recovery rates, our approach yields interpretable results in terms of confidence scores.

4.Your Attack Is Too DUMB: Formalizing Attacker Scenarios for Adversarial Transferability

Authors:Marco Alecci, Mauro Conti, Francesco Marchiori, Luca Martinelli, Luca Pajola

Abstract: Evasion attacks are a threat to machine learning models, where adversaries attempt to affect classifiers by injecting malicious samples. An alarming side-effect of evasion attacks is their ability to transfer among different models: this property is called transferability. Therefore, an attacker can produce adversarial samples on a custom model (surrogate) to conduct the attack on a victim's organization later. Although literature widely discusses how adversaries can transfer their attacks, their experimental settings are limited and far from reality. For instance, many experiments consider both attacker and defender sharing the same dataset, balance level (i.e., how the ground truth is distributed), and model architecture. In this work, we propose the DUMB attacker model. This framework allows analyzing if evasion attacks fail to transfer when the training conditions of surrogate and victim models differ. DUMB considers the following conditions: Dataset soUrces, Model architecture, and the Balance of the ground truth. We then propose a novel testbed to evaluate many state-of-the-art evasion attacks with DUMB; the testbed consists of three computer vision tasks with two distinct datasets each, four types of balance levels, and three model architectures. Our analysis, which generated 13K tests over 14 distinct attacks, led to numerous novel findings in the scope of transferable attacks with surrogate models. In particular, mismatches between attackers and victims in terms of dataset source, balance levels, and model architecture lead to non-negligible loss of attack performance.

5.A New Mathematical Optimization-Based Method for the m-invariance Problem

Authors:Adrian Tobar, Jordi Castro, Claudio Gentile

Abstract: The issue of ensuring privacy for users who share their personal information has been a growing priority in a business and scientific environment where the use of different types of data and the laws that protect it have increased in tandem. Different technologies have been widely developed for static publications, i.e., where the information is published only once, such as k-anonymity and {\epsilon}-differential privacy. In the case where microdata information is published dynamically, although established notions such as m-invariance and {\tau}-safety already exist, developments for improving utility remain superficial. We propose a new heuristic approach for the NP-hard combinatorial problem of m-invariance and {\tau}-safety, which is based on a mathematical optimization column generation scheme. The quality of a solution to m-invariance and {\tau}-safety can be measured by the Information Loss (IL), a value in [0,100], the closer to 0 the better. We show that our approach improves by far current heuristics, providing in some instances solutions with ILs of 1.87, 8.5 and 1.93, while the state-of-the art methods reported ILs of 39.03, 51.84 and 57.97, respectively.

6.Identifying Practical Challenges in the Implementation of Technical Measures for Data Privacy Compliance

Authors:Oleksandra Klymenko, Stephen Meisenbacher, Florian Matthes

Abstract: Modern privacy regulations provide a strict mandate for data processing entities to implement appropriate technical measures to demonstrate compliance. In practice, determining what measures are indeed "appropriate" is not trivial, particularly in light of vague guidelines provided by privacy regulations. To exacerbate the issue, challenges arise not only in the implementation of the technical measures themselves, but also in a variety of factors involving the roles, processes, decisions, and culture surrounding the pursuit of privacy compliance. In this paper, we present 33 challenges faced in the implementation of technical measures for privacy compliance, derived from a qualitative analysis of 16 interviews with privacy professionals. In addition, we evaluate the interview findings in a survey study, which gives way to a discussion of the identified challenges and their implications.

7.PASNet: Polynomial Architecture Search Framework for Two-party Computation-based Secure Neural Network Deployment

Authors:Hongwu Peng, Shanglin Zhou, Yukui Luo, Nuo Xu, Shijin Duan, Ran Ran, Jiahui Zhao, Chenghong Wang, Tong Geng, Wujie Wen, Xiaolin Xu, Caiwen Ding

Abstract: Two-party computation (2PC) is promising to enable privacy-preserving deep learning (DL). However, the 2PC-based privacy-preserving DL implementation comes with high comparison protocol overhead from the non-linear operators. This work presents PASNet, a novel systematic framework that enables low latency, high energy efficiency & accuracy, and security-guaranteed 2PC-DL by integrating the hardware latency of the cryptographic building block into the neural architecture search loss function. We develop a cryptographic hardware scheduler and the corresponding performance model for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) as a case study. The experimental results demonstrate that our light-weighted model PASNet-A and heavily-weighted model PASNet-B achieve 63 ms and 228 ms latency on private inference on ImageNet, which are 147 and 40 times faster than the SOTA CryptGPU system, and achieve 70.54% & 78.79% accuracy and more than 1000 times higher energy efficiency.

8.RansomAI: AI-powered Ransomware for Stealthy Encryption

Authors:Jan von der Assen, Alberto Huertas Celdrán, Janik Luechinger, Pedro Miguel Sánchez Sánchez, Gérôme Bovet, Gregorio Martínez Pérez, Burkhard Stiller

Abstract: Cybersecurity solutions have shown promising performance when detecting ransomware samples that use fixed algorithms and encryption rates. However, due to the current explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI), sooner than later, ransomware (and malware in general) will incorporate AI techniques to intelligently and dynamically adapt its encryption behavior to be undetected. It might result in ineffective and obsolete cybersecurity solutions, but the literature lacks AI-powered ransomware to verify it. Thus, this work proposes RansomAI, a Reinforcement Learning-based framework that can be integrated into existing ransomware samples to adapt their encryption behavior and stay stealthy while encrypting files. RansomAI presents an agent that learns the best encryption algorithm, rate, and duration that minimizes its detection (using a reward mechanism and a fingerprinting intelligent detection system) while maximizing its damage function. The proposed framework was validated in a ransomware, Ransomware-PoC, that infected a Raspberry Pi 4, acting as a crowdsensor. A pool of experiments with Deep Q-Learning and Isolation Forest (deployed on the agent and detection system, respectively) has demonstrated that RansomAI evades the detection of Ransomware-PoC affecting the Raspberry Pi 4 in a few minutes with >90% accuracy.

9.MTFS: a Moving Target Defense-Enabled File System for Malware Mitigation

Authors:Jan von der Assen, Alberto Huertas Celdrán, Rinor Sefa, Gérôme Bovet, Burkhard Stiller

Abstract: Ransomware has remained one of the most notorious threats in the cybersecurity field. Moving Target Defense (MTD) has been proposed as a novel paradigm for proactive defense. Although various approaches leverage MTD, few of them rely on the operating system and, specifically, the file system, thereby making them dependent on other computing devices. Furthermore, existing ransomware defense techniques merely replicate or detect attacks, without preventing them. Thus, this paper introduces the MTFS overlay file system and the design and implementation of three novel MTD techniques implemented on top of it. One delaying attackers, one trapping recursive directory traversal, and another one hiding file types. The effectiveness of the techniques are shown in two experiments. First, it is shown that the techniques can delay and mitigate ransomware on real IoT devices. Secondly, in a broader scope, the solution was confronted with 14 ransomware samples, highlighting that it can save 97% of the files.

10.Developing and Deploying Security Applications for In-Vehicle Networks

Authors:Samuel C Hollifield, Pablo Moriano, William L Lambert, Joel Asiamah, Isaac Sikkema, Michael D Iannacone

Abstract: Radiological material transportation is primarily facilitated by heavy-duty on-road vehicles. Modern vehicles have dozens of electronic control units or ECUs, which are small, embedded computers that communicate with sensors and each other for vehicle functionality. ECUs use a standardized network architecture--Controller Area Network or CAN--which presents grave security concerns that have been exploited by researchers and hackers alike. For instance, ECUs can be impersonated by adversaries who have infiltrated an automotive CAN and disable or invoke unintended vehicle functions such as brakes, acceleration, or safety mechanisms. Further, the quality of security approaches varies wildly between manufacturers. Thus, research and development of after-market security solutions have grown remarkably in recent years. Many researchers are exploring deployable intrusion detection and prevention mechanisms using machine learning and data science techniques. However, there is a gap between developing security system algorithms and deploying prototype security appliances in-vehicle. In this paper, we, a research team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory working in this space, highlight challenges in the development pipeline, and provide techniques to standardize methodology and overcome technological hurdles.

11.Automated Fuzzing Harness Generation for Library APIs and Binary Protocol Parsers

Authors:Chaitanya Rahalkar

Abstract: Fuzzing is a widely used software security testing technique that is designed to identify vulnerabilities in systems by providing invalid or unexpected input. Continuous fuzzing systems like OSS-FUZZ have been successful in finding security bugs in many different software systems. The typical process of finding security bugs using fuzzing involves several steps: first, the "fuzz-worthy" functions that are likely to contain vulnerabilities must be identified; second, the setup requirements for the API must be understood before it can be called; third, a fuzzing harness must be written and bound to a coverage-guided fuzzer like LLVM's LibFuzzer; and finally, the security bugs discovered by the fuzzing harness must be triaged and checked for reproducibility. This project focuses on automating the first two steps in this process. In particular, we present an automated system that can generate fuzzing harnesses for library APIs and binary protocol parsers by analyzing unit tests. This allows for the scaling of the fuzzing infrastructure in proportion to the growth of the codebase, without the need for manual coding of harnesses. Additionally, we develop a metric to assess the "fuzz-worthiness" of an API, enabling us to prioritize the most promising targets for testing.

1.Silca: Singular Caching of Homomorphic Encryption for Outsourced Databases in Cloud Computing

Authors:Dongfang Zhao

Abstract: Ensuring the confidentiality and privacy of sensitive information in cloud computing and outsourced databases is crucial. Homomorphic encryption (HE) offers a solution by enabling computations on encrypted data without decryption, allowing secure outsourcing while maintaining data confidentiality. However, HE faces performance challenges in query-intensive databases. To address this, we propose two novel optimizations, Silca and SilcaZ, tailored to outsourced databases in cloud computing. Silca utilizes a singular caching technique to reduce computational overhead, while SilcaZ leverages modular arithmetic operations to ensure the applicability of singular caching for intensive HE operations. We prove the semantic security of Silca and SilcaZ and implement them with CKKS and BGV in HElib as MySQL loadable functions. Extensive experiments with seven real-world datasets demonstrate their superior performance compared to existing HE schemes, bridging the gap between theoretical advancements and practical applications in applying HE schemes on outsourced databases in cloud computing.

2.Your Code is 0000: An Analysis of the Disposable Phone Numbers Ecosystem

Authors:José Miguel Moreno, Srdjan Matic, Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Juan Tapiador

Abstract: Short Message Service (SMS) is a popular channel for online service providers to verify accounts and authenticate users registered to a particular service. Specialized applications, called Public SMS Gateways (PSGs), offer free Disposable Phone Numbers (DPNs) that can be used to receive SMS messages. DPNs allow users to protect their privacy when creating online accounts. However, they can also be abused for fraudulent activities and to bypass security mechanisms like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). In this paper, we perform a large-scale and longitudinal study of the DPN ecosystem by monitoring 17,141 unique DPNs in 29 PSGs over the course of 12 months. Using a dataset of over 70M messages, we provide an overview of the ecosystem and study the different services that offer DPNs and their relationships. Next, we build a framework that (i) identifies and classifies the purpose of an SMS; and (ii) accurately attributes every message to more than 200 popular Internet services that require SMS for creating registered accounts. Our results indicate that the DPN ecosystem is globally used to support fraudulent account creation and access, and that this issue is ubiquitous and affects all major Internet platforms and specialized online services.

3.Practical Privacy-Preserving Gaussian Process Regression via Secret Sharing

Authors:Jinglong Luo, Yehong Zhang, Jiaqi Zhang, Shuang Qin, Hui Wang, Yue Yu, Zenglin Xu

Abstract: Gaussian process regression (GPR) is a non-parametric model that has been used in many real-world applications that involve sensitive personal data (e.g., healthcare, finance, etc.) from multiple data owners. To fully and securely exploit the value of different data sources, this paper proposes a privacy-preserving GPR method based on secret sharing (SS), a secure multi-party computation (SMPC) technique. In contrast to existing studies that protect the data privacy of GPR via homomorphic encryption, differential privacy, or federated learning, our proposed method is more practical and can be used to preserve the data privacy of both the model inputs and outputs for various data-sharing scenarios (e.g., horizontally/vertically-partitioned data). However, it is non-trivial to directly apply SS on the conventional GPR algorithm, as it includes some operations whose accuracy and/or efficiency have not been well-enhanced in the current SMPC protocol. To address this issue, we derive a new SS-based exponentiation operation through the idea of 'confusion-correction' and construct an SS-based matrix inversion algorithm based on Cholesky decomposition. More importantly, we theoretically analyze the communication cost and the security of the proposed SS-based operations. Empirical results show that our proposed method can achieve reasonable accuracy and efficiency under the premise of preserving data privacy.

4.ChatIDS: Explainable Cybersecurity Using Generative AI

Authors:Victor Jüttner, Martin Grimmer, Erik Buchmann

Abstract: Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are a proven approach to secure networks. However, in a privately used network, it is difficult for users without cybersecurity expertise to understand IDS alerts, and to respond in time with adequate measures. This puts the security of home networks, smart home installations, home-office workers, etc. at risk, even if an IDS is correctly installed and configured. In this work, we propose ChatIDS, our approach to explain IDS alerts to non-experts by using large language models. We evaluate the feasibility of ChatIDS by using ChatGPT, and we identify open research issues with the help of interdisciplinary experts in artificial intelligence. Our results show that ChatIDS has the potential to increase network security by proposing meaningful security measures in an intuitive language from IDS alerts. Nevertheless, some potential issues in areas such as trust, privacy, ethics, etc. need to be resolved, before ChatIDS might be put into practice.

5.MFDPG: Multi-Factor Authenticated Password Management With Zero Stored Secrets

Authors:Vivek Nair, Dawn Song

Abstract: While password managers are a vital tool for internet security, they can also create a massive central point of failure, as evidenced by several major recent data breaches. For over 20 years, deterministic password generators (DPGs) have been proposed, and largely rejected, as a viable alternative to password management tools. In this paper, we survey 45 existing DPGs to asses the main security, privacy, and usability issues hindering their adoption. We then present a new multi-factor deterministic password generator (MFDPG) design that aims to address these shortcomings. The result not only achieves strong, practical password management with zero credential storage, but also effectively serves as a progressive client-side upgrade of weak password-only websites to strong multi-factor authentication.

6.Ensemble of Random and Isolation Forests for Graph-Based Intrusion Detection in Containers

Authors:Alfonso Iacovazzi, Shahid Raza

Abstract: We propose a novel solution combining supervised and unsupervised machine learning models for intrusion detection at kernel level in cloud containers. In particular, the proposed solution is built over an ensemble of random and isolation forests trained on sequences of system calls that are collected at the hosting machine's kernel level. The sequence of system calls are translated into a weighted and directed graph to obtain a compact description of the container behavior, which is given as input to the ensemble model. We executed a set of experiments in a controlled environment in order to test our solution against the two most common threats that have been identified in cloud containers, and our results show that we can achieve high detection rates and low false positives in the tested attacks.

7.Performance Analysis and Evaluation of Post Quantum Secure Blockchain Federated Learning

Authors:Dev Gurung, Shiva Raj Pokhrel, Gang Li

Abstract: Post-quantum security is critical in the quantum era. Quantum computers, along with quantum algorithms, make the standard cryptography based on RSA or ECDSA over FL or Blockchain vulnerable. The implementation of post-quantum cryptography (PQC) over such systems is poorly understood as PQC is still in its standardization phase. In this work, we propose a hybrid approach to employ PQC over blockchain-based FL (BFL), where we combine a stateless signature scheme like Dilithium (or Falcon) with a stateful hash-based signature scheme like the extended Merkle Signature Scheme (XMSS). We propose a linearbased formulaic approach to device role selection mechanisms based on multiple factors to address the performance aspect. Our holistic approach of utilizing a verifiable random function (VRF) to assist in the blockchain consensus mechanism shows the practicality of the proposed approaches. The proposed method and extensive experimental results contribute to enhancing the security and performance aspects of BFL systems.

8.On the Resilience of Machine Learning-Based IDS for Automotive Networks

Authors:Ivo Zenden, Han Wang, Alfonso Iacovazzi, Arash Vahidi, Rolf Blom, Shahid Raza

Abstract: Modern automotive functions are controlled by a large number of small computers called electronic control units (ECUs). These functions span from safety-critical autonomous driving to comfort and infotainment. ECUs communicate with one another over multiple internal networks using different technologies. Some, such as Controller Area Network (CAN), are very simple and provide minimal or no security services. Machine learning techniques can be used to detect anomalous activities in such networks. However, it is necessary that these machine learning techniques are not prone to adversarial attacks. In this paper, we investigate adversarial sample vulnerabilities in four different machine learning-based intrusion detection systems for automotive networks. We show that adversarial samples negatively impact three of the four studied solutions. Furthermore, we analyze transferability of adversarial samples between different systems. We also investigate detection performance and the attack success rate after using adversarial samples in the training. After analyzing these results, we discuss whether current solutions are mature enough for a use in modern vehicles.

9.Private Federated Learning in Gboard

Authors:Yuanbo Zhang, Daniel Ramage, Zheng Xu, Yanxiang Zhang, Shumin Zhai, Peter Kairouz

Abstract: This white paper describes recent advances in Gboard(Google Keyboard)'s use of federated learning, DP-Follow-the-Regularized-Leader (DP-FTRL) algorithm, and secure aggregation techniques to train machine learning (ML) models for suggestion, prediction and correction intelligence from many users' typing data. Gboard's investment in those privacy technologies allows users' typing data to be processed locally on device, to be aggregated as early as possible, and to have strong anonymization and differential privacy where possible. Technical strategies and practices have been established to allow ML models to be trained and deployed with meaningfully formal DP guarantees and high utility. The paper also looks ahead to how technologies such as trusted execution environments may be used to further improve the privacy and security of Gboard's ML models.

10.Blockchain technology research and application: a systematic literature review and future trends

Authors:Min An, Qiyuan Fan, Hao Yu, Haiyang Zhao

Abstract: Blockchain, as the basis for cryptocurrencies, has received extensive attentions recently. Blockchain serves as an immutable distributed ledger technology which allows transactions to be carried out credibly in a decentralized environment. Blockchain-based applications are springing up, covering numerous fields including financial services, reputation system and Internet of Things (IoT), and so on. However, there are still many challenges of blockchain technology such as scalability, security and other issues waiting to be overcome. This article provides a comprehensive overview of blockchain technology and its applications. We begin with a summary of the development of blockchain, and then give an overview of the blockchain architecture and a systematic review of the research and application of blockchain technology in different fields from the perspective of academic research and industry technology. Furthermore, technical challenges and recent developments are also briefly listed. We also looked at the possible future trends of blockchain.

11.Citadel: Side-Channel-Resistant Enclaves with Secure Shared Memory on a Speculative Out-of-Order Processor

Authors:Jules Drean, Miguel Gomez-Garcia, Thomas Bourgeat, Srinivas Devadas

Abstract: We present Citadel, to our knowledge, the first side-channel-resistant enclave platform to run realistic secure programs on a speculative out-of-order multicore processor. First, we develop a new hardware mechanism to enable secure shared memory while defending against transient execution attacks. Then, we develop an efficient dynamic cache partitioning scheme, improving both enclaves' and unprotected processes' performance. We conduct an in-depth security analysis and a performance evaluation of our new mechanisms. Finally, we build the hardware and software infrastructure required to run our secure enclaves. Our multicore processor runs on an FPGA and boots untrusted Linux from which users can securely launch and interact with enclaves. We open-source our end-to-end hardware and software infrastructure, hoping to spark more research and bridge the gap between conceptual proposals and FPGA prototypes.

1.Preventing EFail Attacks with Client-Side WebAssembly: The Case of Swiss Post's IncaMail

Authors:Pascal Gerig, Jämes Ménétrey, Baptiste Lanoix, Florian Stoller, Pascal Felber, Marcelo Pasin, Valerio Schiavoni

Abstract: Traditional email encryption schemes are vulnerable to EFail attacks, which exploit the lack of message authentication by manipulating ciphertexts and exfiltrating plaintext via HTML backchannels. Swiss Post's IncaMail, a secure email service for transmitting legally binding, encrypted, and verifiable emails, counters EFail attacks using an authenticated-encryption with associated data (AEAD) encryption scheme to ensure message privacy and authentication between servers. IncaMail relies on a trusted infrastructure backend and encrypts messages per user policy. This paper presents a revised IncaMail architecture that offloads the majority of cryptographic operations to clients, offering benefits such as reduced computational load and energy footprint, relaxed trust assumptions, and per-message encryption key policies. Our proof-of-concept prototype and benchmarks demonstrate the robustness of the proposed scheme, with client-side WebAssembly-based cryptographic operations yielding significant performance improvements (up to ~14x) over conventional JavaScript implementations.

2.Full Transparency in DBI frameworks

Authors:Vlad Crăciun, Andrei Mogage, Dorel Lucanu

Abstract: Following the increasing trends of malicious applications or cyber threats in general, program analysis has become a ubiquitous technique in extracting relevant features. The current state-of-the-art solutions seem to fall behind new techniques. For instance, dynamic binary instrumentation (DBI) provides some promising results, but falls short when it comes to ease of use and overcoming analysis evasion. In this regard, we propose a two-fold contribution. First, we introduce COBAI (Complex Orchestrator for Binary Analysis and Instrumentation), a DBI framework designed for malware analysis, prioritizing ease-of-use and analysis transparency, without imposing a significant overhead. Second, we introduce an aggregated test suite intended to stand as a benchmark in determining the quality of an analysis solution regarding the protection against evasion mechanisms. The efficiency of our solution is validated by a careful evaluation taking into consideration other DBI frameworks, analysis environments, and the proposed benchmark.

3.Fuzzification-based Feature Selection for Enhanced Website Content Encryption

Authors:Mike Nkongolo

Abstract: We propose a novel approach that utilizes fuzzification theory to perform feature selection on website content for encryption purposes. Our objective is to identify and select the most relevant features from the website by harnessing the principles of fuzzy logic. Fuzzification allows us to transform the crisp website content into fuzzy representations, enabling a more nuanced analysis of their characteristics. By considering the degree of membership of each feature in different fuzzy categories, we can evaluate their importance and relevance for encryption. This approach enables us to prioritize and focus on the features that exhibit higher membership degrees, indicating their significance in the encryption process. By employing fuzzification-based feature selection, we aim to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of website content encryption, ultimately improving the overall internet security.

4.The Landscape of Computing Symmetric $n$-Variable Functions with $2n$ Cards

Authors:Suthee Ruangwises

Abstract: Secure multi-party computation using a physical deck of cards, often called card-based cryptography, has been extensively studied during the past decade. Many card-based protocols to securely compute various Boolean functions have been developed. As each input bit is typically encoded by two cards, computing an $n$-variable Boolean function requires at least $2n$ cards. We are interested in optimal protocols that use exactly $2n$ cards. In particular, we focus on symmetric functions, where the output only depends on the number of 1s in the inputs. In this paper, we formulate the problem of developing $2n$-card protocols to compute $n$-variable symmetric Boolean functions by classifying all such functions into several NPN-equivalence classes. We then summarize existing protocols that can compute some representative functions from these classes, and also solve some of the open problems by developing protocols to compute particular functions in the cases $n=4$, $5$, $6$, and $7$.

5.Creating Valid Adversarial Examples of Malware

Authors:Matouš Kozák, Martin Jureček, Mark Stamp, Fabio Di Troia

Abstract: Machine learning is becoming increasingly popular as a go-to approach for many tasks due to its world-class results. As a result, antivirus developers are incorporating machine learning models into their products. While these models improve malware detection capabilities, they also carry the disadvantage of being susceptible to adversarial attacks. Although this vulnerability has been demonstrated for many models in white-box settings, a black-box attack is more applicable in practice for the domain of malware detection. We present a generator of adversarial malware examples using reinforcement learning algorithms. The reinforcement learning agents utilize a set of functionality-preserving modifications, thus creating valid adversarial examples. Using the proximal policy optimization (PPO) algorithm, we achieved an evasion rate of 53.84% against the gradient-boosted decision tree (GBDT) model. The PPO agent previously trained against the GBDT classifier scored an evasion rate of 11.41% against the neural network-based classifier MalConv and an average evasion rate of 2.31% against top antivirus programs. Furthermore, we discovered that random application of our functionality-preserving portable executable modifications successfully evades leading antivirus engines, with an average evasion rate of 11.65%. These findings indicate that machine learning-based models used in malware detection systems are vulnerable to adversarial attacks and that better safeguards need to be taken to protect these systems.

1.Proof of reserves and non-double spends for Chaumian Mints

Authors:Cyril Grunspan, Ricardo Perez-Marco

Abstract: E-cash was invented in 1982 by David Chaum as an anonymous cryptographic electronic cash system based on blind signatures. It is not a decentralized form of money as Bitcoin. It requires trust on the server or Mint issuing the e-cash tokens and validating the transactions for preventing double spends. Moreover, the users also need to trust the Mint to not debase the value of e-cash tokens by Minting an uncontrolled number. In particular, this is critical for e-cash tokens representing a note of another asset as a currency, or bitcoin, or another cryptocurrency. Thus it would be suitable to implement a public auditing system providing a proof of reserves that ensures that the Mint is not engaging into a fractional reserve system. In this article we describe how to implement a proof of reserves system for Chaumian Mints. The protocol also provides a proof of non-double spends.

2.On the Construction of Near-MDS Matrices

Authors:Kishan Chand Gupta, Sumit Kumar Pandey, Susanta Samanta

Abstract: The optimal branch number of MDS matrices makes them a preferred choice for designing diffusion layers in many block ciphers and hash functions. However, in lightweight cryptography, Near-MDS (NMDS) matrices with sub-optimal branch numbers offer a better balance between security and efficiency as a diffusion layer, compared to MDS matrices. In this paper, we study NMDS matrices, exploring their construction in both recursive and nonrecursive settings. We provide several theoretical results and explore the hardware efficiency of the construction of NMDS matrices. Additionally, we make comparisons between the results of NMDS and MDS matrices whenever possible. For the recursive approach, we study the DLS matrices and provide some theoretical results on their use. Some of the results are used to restrict the search space of the DLS matrices. We also show that over a field of characteristic 2, any sparse matrix of order $n\geq 4$ with fixed XOR value of 1 cannot be an NMDS when raised to a power of $k\leq n$. Following that, we use the generalized DLS (GDLS) matrices to provide some lightweight recursive NMDS matrices of several orders that perform better than the existing matrices in terms of hardware cost or the number of iterations. For the nonrecursive construction of NMDS matrices, we study various structures, such as circulant and left-circulant matrices, and their generalizations: Toeplitz and Hankel matrices. In addition, we prove that Toeplitz matrices of order $n>4$ cannot be simultaneously NMDS and involutory over a field of characteristic 2. Finally, we use GDLS matrices to provide some lightweight NMDS matrices that can be computed in one clock cycle. The proposed nonrecursive NMDS matrices of orders 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 can be implemented with 24, 50, 65, 96, and 108 XORs over $\mathbb{F}_{2^4}$, respectively.

3.XACML Extension for Graphs: Flexible Authorization Policy Specification and Datastore-independent Enforcement

Authors:Aya Mohamed, Dagmar Auer, Daniel Hofer, Josef Küng

Abstract: The increasing use of graph-structured data for business- and privacy-critical applications requires sophisticated, flexible and fine-grained authorization and access control. Currently, role-based access control is supported in graph databases, where access to objects is restricted via roles. This does not take special properties of graphs into account such as vertices and edges along the path between a given subject and resource. In previous iterations of our research, we started to design an authorization policy language and access control model, which considers the specification of graph paths and enforces them in the multi-model database ArangoDB. Since this approach is promising to consider graph characteristics in data protection, we improve the language in this work to provide flexible path definitions and specifying edges as protected resources. Furthermore, we introduce a method for a datastore-independent policy enforcement. Besides discussing the latest work in our XACML4G model, which is an extension to the Extensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML), we demonstrate our prototypical implementation with a real case and give an outlook on performance.

4.Decentralized Online Federated G-Network Learning for Lightweight Intrusion Detection

Authors:Mert Nakıp, Baran Can Gül, Erol Gelenbe

Abstract: Cyberattacks are increasingly threatening networked systems, often with the emergence of new types of unknown (zero-day) attacks and the rise of vulnerable devices. While Machine Learning (ML)-based Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) have been shown to be extremely promising in detecting these attacks, the need to learn large amounts of labelled data often limits the applicability of ML-based IDSs to cybersystems that only have access to private local data. To address this issue, this paper proposes a novel Decentralized and Online Federated Learning Intrusion Detection (DOF-ID) architecture. DOF-ID is a collaborative learning system that allows each IDS used for a cybersystem to learn from experience gained in other cybersystems in addition to its own local data without violating the data privacy of other systems. As the performance evaluation results using public Kitsune and Bot-IoT datasets show, DOF-ID significantly improves the intrusion detection performance in all collaborating nodes simultaneously with acceptable computation time for online learning.

5.Online Self-Supervised Learning in Machine Learning Intrusion Detection for the Internet of Things

Authors:Mert Nakıp, Erol Gelenbe

Abstract: This paper proposes a novel Self-Supervised Intrusion Detection (SSID) framework, which enables a fully online Machine Learning (ML) based Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that requires no human intervention or prior off-line learning. The proposed framework analyzes and labels incoming traffic packets based only on the decisions of the IDS itself using an Auto-Associative Deep Random Neural Network, and on an online estimate of its statistically measured trustworthiness. The SSID framework enables IDS to adapt rapidly to time-varying characteristics of the network traffic, and eliminates the need for offline data collection. This approach avoids human errors in data labeling, and human labor and computational costs of model training and data collection. The approach is experimentally evaluated on public datasets and compared with well-known ML models, showing that this SSID framework is very useful and advantageous as an accurate and online learning ML-based IDS for IoT systems.

6.Impacts and Risk of Generative AI Technology on Cyber Defense

Authors:Subash Neupane, Ivan A. Fernandez, Sudip Mittal, Shahram Rahimi

Abstract: Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) has emerged as a powerful technology capable of autonomously producing highly realistic content in various domains, such as text, images, audio, and videos. With its potential for positive applications in creative arts, content generation, virtual assistants, and data synthesis, GenAI has garnered significant attention and adoption. However, the increasing adoption of GenAI raises concerns about its potential misuse for crafting convincing phishing emails, generating disinformation through deepfake videos, and spreading misinformation via authentic-looking social media posts, posing a new set of challenges and risks in the realm of cybersecurity. To combat the threats posed by GenAI, we propose leveraging the Cyber Kill Chain (CKC) to understand the lifecycle of cyberattacks, as a foundational model for cyber defense. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the risk areas introduced by the offensive use of GenAI techniques in each phase of the CKC framework. We also analyze the strategies employed by threat actors and examine their utilization throughout different phases of the CKC, highlighting the implications for cyber defense. Additionally, we propose GenAI-enabled defense strategies that are both attack-aware and adaptive. These strategies encompass various techniques such as detection, deception, and adversarial training, among others, aiming to effectively mitigate the risks posed by GenAI-induced cyber threats.

1.Cryptographic ransomware encryption detection: Survey

Authors:Kenan Begovic, Abdulaziz Al-Ali, Qutaibah Malluhi

Abstract: The ransomware threat has loomed over our digital life since 1989. Criminals use this type of cyber attack to lock or encrypt victims' data, often coercing them to pay exorbitant amounts in ransom. The damage ransomware causes ranges from monetary losses paid for ransom at best to endangering human lives. Cryptographic ransomware, where attackers encrypt the victim's data, stands as the predominant ransomware variant. The primary characteristics of these attacks have remained the same since the first ransomware attack. For this reason, we consider this a key factor differentiating ransomware from other cyber attacks, making it vital in tackling the threat of cryptographic ransomware. This paper proposes a cyber kill chain that describes the modern crypto-ransomware attack. The survey focuses on the Encryption phase as described in our proposed cyber kill chain and its detection techniques. We identify three main methods used in detecting encryption-related activities by ransomware, namely API and System calls, I/O monitoring, and file system activities monitoring. Machine learning (ML) is a tool used in all three identified methodologies, and some of the issues within the ML domain related to this survey are also covered as part of their respective methodologies. The survey of selected proposals is conducted through the prism of those three methodologies, showcasing the importance of detecting ransomware during pre-encryption and encryption activities and the windows of opportunity to do so. We also examine commercial crypto-ransomware protection and detection offerings and show the gap between academic research and commercial applications.

1.Mitigating Speculation-based Attacks through Configurable Hardware/Software Co-design

Authors:Ali Hajiabadi, Archit Agarwal, Andreas Diavastos, Trevor E. Carlson

Abstract: New speculation-based attacks that affect large numbers of modern systems are disclosed regularly. Currently, CPU vendors regularly fall back to heavy-handed mitigations like using barriers or enforcing strict programming guidelines resulting in significant performance overhead. What is missing is a solution that allows for efficient mitigation and is flexible enough to address both current and future speculation vulnerabilities, without additional hardware changes. In this work, we present SpecControl, a novel hardware/software co-design, that enables new levels of security while reducing the performance overhead that has been demonstrated by state-of-the-art methodologies. SpecControl introduces a communication interface that allows compilers and application developers to inform the hardware about true branch dependencies, confidential control-flow instructions, and fine-grained instruction constraints in order to apply restrictions only when necessary. We evaluate SpecControl against known speculative execution attacks and in addition, present a new speculative fetch attack variant on the Pattern History Table (PHT) in branch predictors that shows how similar previously reported vulnerabilities are more dangerous by enabling unprivileged attacks, especially with the state-of-the-art branch predictors. SpecControl provides stronger security guarantees compared to the existing defenses while reducing the performance overhead of two state-of-the-art defenses from 51% and 43% to just 23%.

2.BASS: Boolean Automorphisms Signature Scheme

Authors:Dima Grigoriev, Ilia Ilmer, Alexey Ovchinnikov, Vladimir Shpilrain

Abstract: We offer a digital signature scheme using Boolean automorphisms of a multivariate polynomial algebra over integers. Verification part of this scheme is based on the approximation of the number of zeros of a multivariate Boolean function.

3.Reversible Adversarial Examples with Beam Search Attack and Grayscale Invariance

Authors:Haodong Zhang, Chi Man Pun, Xia Du

Abstract: Reversible adversarial examples (RAE) combine adversarial attacks and reversible data-hiding technology on a single image to prevent illegal access. Most RAE studies focus on achieving white-box attacks. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to generate reversible adversarial examples, which combines a novel beam search based black-box attack and reversible data hiding with grayscale invariance (RDH-GI). This RAE uses beam search to evaluate the adversarial gain of historical perturbations and guide adversarial perturbations. After the adversarial examples are generated, the framework RDH-GI embeds the secret data that can be recovered losslessly. Experimental results show that our method can achieve an average Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR) of at least 40dB compared to source images with limited query budgets. Our method can also achieve a targeted black-box reversible adversarial attack for the first time.

4.FDInet: Protecting against DNN Model Extraction via Feature Distortion Index

Authors:Hongwei Yao, Zheng Li, Haiqin Weng, Feng Xue, Kui Ren, Zhan Qin

Abstract: Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) platforms have gained popularity due to their accessibility, cost-efficiency, scalability, and rapid development capabilities. However, recent research has highlighted the vulnerability of cloud-based models in MLaaS to model extraction attacks. In this paper, we introduce FDINET, a novel defense mechanism that leverages the feature distribution of deep neural network (DNN) models. Concretely, by analyzing the feature distribution from the adversary's queries, we reveal that the feature distribution of these queries deviates from that of the model's training set. Based on this key observation, we propose Feature Distortion Index (FDI), a metric designed to quantitatively measure the feature distribution deviation of received queries. The proposed FDINET utilizes FDI to train a binary detector and exploits FDI similarity to identify colluding adversaries from distributed extraction attacks. We conduct extensive experiments to evaluate FDINET against six state-of-the-art extraction attacks on four benchmark datasets and four popular model architectures. Empirical results demonstrate the following findings FDINET proves to be highly effective in detecting model extraction, achieving a 100% detection accuracy on DFME and DaST. FDINET is highly efficient, using just 50 queries to raise an extraction alarm with an average confidence of 96.08% for GTSRB. FDINET exhibits the capability to identify colluding adversaries with an accuracy exceeding 91%. Additionally, it demonstrates the ability to detect two types of adaptive attacks.

5.A Survey of Multivariate Polynomial Commitment Schemes

Authors:Ihyun Nam

Abstract: A commitment scheme is a cryptographic tool that allows one to commit to a hidden value, with the option to open it later at requested places without revealing the secret itself. Commitment schemes have important applications in zero-knowledge proofs and secure multi-party computation, just to name a few. This survey introduces a few multivariate polynomial commitment schemes that are built from a variety of mathematical structures. We study how Orion is constructed using hash functions; Dory, Bulletproofs, and Vampire using the inner-product argument; Signatures of Correct Computation using polynomial factoring; DARK and Dew using groups of unknown order; and Orion+ using a CP-SNARK. For each protocol, we prove its completeness and state its security assumptions.

6.The Pricing And Hedging Of Constant Function Market Makers

Authors:Richard Dewey, Craig Newbold

Abstract: We investigate the most common type of blockchain-based decentralized exchange, which are known as constant function market makers (CFMMs). We examine the the market microstructure around CFMMs and present a model for valuing the liquidity provider (LP) mechanism and estimating the value of the associated derivatives. We develop a model with two types of traders that have different information and contribute methods for simulating the behavior of each trader and accounting for trade PnL. We also develop ideas around the equilibrium distribution of fair price conditional on the arrival of traders. Finally, we show how these findings might be used to think about parameters for alternative CFMMs.

7.SALSA VERDE: a machine learning attack on Learning With Errors with sparse small secrets

Authors:Cathy Li, Jana Sotakova, Emily Wenger, Zeyuan Allen-Zhu, Francois Charton, Kristin Lauter

Abstract: Learning with Errors (LWE) is a hard math problem used in post-quantum cryptography. Homomorphic Encryption (HE) schemes rely on the hardness of the LWE problem for their security, and two LWE-based cryptosystems were recently standardized by NIST for digital signatures and key exchange (KEM). Thus, it is critical to continue assessing the security of LWE and specific parameter choices. For example, HE uses small secrets, and the HE community has considered standardizing small sparse secrets to improve efficiency and functionality. However, prior work, SALSA and PICANTE, showed that ML attacks can recover sparse binary secrets. Building on these, we propose VERDE, an improved ML attack that can recover sparse binary, ternary, and small Gaussian secrets. Using improved preprocessing and secret recovery techniques, VERDE can attack LWE with larger dimensions ($n=512$) and smaller moduli ($\log_2 q=12$ for $n=256$), using less time and power. We propose novel architectures for scaling. Finally, we develop a theory that explains the success of ML LWE attacks.

8.On Cross-Layer Interactions of QUIC, Encrypted DNS and HTTP/3: Design, Evaluation and Dataset

Authors:Jayasree Sengupta, Mike Kosek, Justus Fries, Simone Ferlin, Pratyush Dikshit, Vaibhav Bajpai

Abstract: Every Web session involves a DNS resolution. While, in the last decade, we witnessed a promising trend towards an encrypted Web in general, DNS encryption has only recently gained traction with the standardisation of DNS over TLS (DoT) and DNS over HTTPS (DoH). Meanwhile, the rapid rise of QUIC deployment has now opened up an exciting opportunity to utilise the same protocol to not only encrypt Web communications, but also DNS. In this paper, we evaluate this benefit of using QUIC to coalesce name resolution via DNS over QUIC (DoQ), and Web content delivery via HTTP/3 (H3) with 0-RTT. We compare this scenario using several possible combinations where H3 is used in conjunction with DoH and DoQ, as well as the unencrypted DNS over UDP (DoUDP). We observe, that when using H3 1-RTT, page load times with DoH can get inflated by $>$30\% over fixed-line and by $>$50\% over mobile when compared to unencrypted DNS with DoUDP. However, this cost of encryption can be drastically reduced when encrypted connections are coalesced (DoQ + H3 0-RTT), thereby reducing the page load times by 1/3 over fixed-line and 1/2 over mobile, overall making connection coalescing with QUIC the best option for encrypted communication on the Internet.

9.Protecting the Decentralized Future: An Exploration of Common Blockchain Attacks and their Countermeasures

Authors:Bilash Saha, Md Mehedi Hasan, Nafisa Anjum, Sharaban Tahora, Aiasha Siddika, Hossain Shahriar

Abstract: Blockchain technology transformed the digital sphere by providing a transparent, secure, and decentralized platform for data security across a range of industries, including cryptocurrencies and supply chain management. Blockchain's integrity and dependability have been jeopardized by the rising number of security threats, which have attracted cybercriminals as a target. By summarizing suggested fixes, this research aims to offer a thorough analysis of mitigating blockchain attacks. The objectives of the paper include identifying weak blockchain attacks, evaluating various solutions, and determining how effective and effective they are at preventing these attacks. The study also highlights how crucial it is to take into account the particular needs of every blockchain application. This study provides beneficial perspectives and insights for blockchain researchers and practitioners, making it essential reading for those interested in current and future trends in blockchain security research.

10.Deep perceptual hashing algorithms with hidden dual purpose: when client-side scanning does facial recognition

Authors:Shubham Jain, Ana-Maria Cretu, Antoine Cully, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye

Abstract: End-to-end encryption (E2EE) provides strong technical protections to individuals from interferences. Governments and law enforcement agencies around the world have however raised concerns that E2EE also allows illegal content to be shared undetected. Client-side scanning (CSS), using perceptual hashing (PH) to detect known illegal content before it is shared, is seen as a promising solution to prevent the diffusion of illegal content while preserving encryption. While these proposals raise strong privacy concerns, proponents of the solutions have argued that the risk is limited as the technology has a limited scope: detecting known illegal content. In this paper, we show that modern perceptual hashing algorithms are actually fairly flexible pieces of technology and that this flexibility could be used by an adversary to add a secondary hidden feature to a client-side scanning system. More specifically, we show that an adversary providing the PH algorithm can ``hide" a secondary purpose of face recognition of a target individual alongside its primary purpose of image copy detection. We first propose a procedure to train a dual-purpose deep perceptual hashing model by jointly optimizing for both the image copy detection and the targeted facial recognition task. Second, we extensively evaluate our dual-purpose model and show it to be able to reliably identify a target individual 67% of the time while not impacting its performance at detecting illegal content. We also show that our model is neither a general face detection nor a facial recognition model, allowing its secondary purpose to be hidden. Finally, we show that the secondary purpose can be enabled by adding a single illegal looking image to the database. Taken together, our results raise concerns that a deep perceptual hashing-based CSS system could turn billions of user devices into tools to locate targeted individuals.

1.Lost and not Found: An Investigation of Recovery Methods for Multi-Factor Authentication

Authors:Sabrina Amft, Sandra Höltervennhoff, Nicolas Huaman, Alexander Krause, Lucy Simko, Yasemin Acar, Sascha Fahl

Abstract: Multi-Factor Authentication is intended to strengthen the security of password-based authentication by adding another factor, such as hardware tokens or one-time passwords using mobile apps. However, this increased authentication security comes with potential drawbacks that can lead to account and asset loss. If users lose access to their additional authentication factors for any reason, they will be locked out of their accounts. Consequently, services that provide Multi-Factor Authentication should deploy procedures to allow their users to recover from losing access to their additional factor that are both secure and easy-to-use. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to first-hand investigate the security and user experience of deployed Multi-Factor Authentication recovery procedures. We first evaluate the official help and support pages of 1,303 websites that provide Multi-Factor Authentication and collect documented information about their recovery procedures. Second, we select a subset of 71 websites, create accounts, set up Multi-Factor Authentication, and perform an in-depth investigation of their recovery procedure security and user experience. We find that many websites deploy insecure Multi-Factor Authentication recovery procedures and allowed us to circumvent and disable Multi-Factor Authentication when having access to the accounts' associated email addresses. Furthermore, we commonly observed discrepancies between our in-depth analysis and the official help and support pages, implying that information meant to aid users is often either incorrect or outdated.

2.PIEChain -- A Practical Blockchain Interoperability Framework

Authors:Daniël Reijsbergen, Aung Maw, Jingchi Zhang, Tien Tuan Anh Dinh, Anwitaman Datta

Abstract: A plethora of different blockchain platforms have emerged in recent years, but many of them operate in silos. As such, there is a need for reliable cross-chain communication to enable blockchain interoperability. Blockchain interoperability is challenging because transactions can typically not be reverted - as such, if one transaction is committed then the protocol must ensure that all related transactions are committed as well. Existing interoperability approaches, e.g., Cosmos and Polkadot, are limited in the sense that they only support interoperability between their own subchains, or require intrusive changes to existing blockchains. To overcome this limitation, we propose PIEChain, a general, Kafka-based cross-chain communication framework. We utilize PIEChain for a practical case study: a cross-chain auction in which users who hold tokens on multiple chains bid for a ticket sold on another chain. PIEChain is the first publicly available, practical implementation of a general framework for cross-chain communication.

3.CroCoDai: A Stablecoin for Cross-Chain Commerce

Authors:Daniël Reijsbergen, Bretislav Hajek, Tien Tuan Anh Dinh, Jussi Keppo, Hank Korth, Anwitaman Datta

Abstract: Decentralized Finance (DeFi), in which digital assets are exchanged without trusted intermediaries, has grown rapidly in value in recent years. The global DeFi ecosystem is fragmented into multiple blockchains, fueling the demand for cross-chain commerce. Existing approaches for cross-chain transactions, e.g., bridges and cross-chain deals, achieve atomicity by locking assets in escrow. However, locking up assets increases the financial risks for the participants, especially due to price fluctuations and the long latency of cross-chain transactions. Stablecoins, which are pegged to a non-volatile asset such as the US dollar, help mitigate the risk associated with price fluctuations. However, existing stablecoin designs are tied to individual blockchain platforms, and trusted parties or complex protocols are needed to exchange stablecoin tokens between blockchains. Our goal is to design a practical stablecoin for cross-chain commerce. Realizing this goal requires addressing two challenges. The first challenge is to support a large and growing number of blockchains efficiently. The second challenge is to be resilient to price fluctuations and blockchain platform failures. We present CroCoDai to address these challenges. We also present three prototype implementations of our stablecoin system, and show that it incurs small execution overhead.

4.Query-Free Evasion Attacks Against Machine Learning-Based Malware Detectors with Generative Adversarial Networks

Authors:Daniel Gibert, Jordi Planes, Quan Le, Giulio Zizzo

Abstract: Malware detectors based on machine learning (ML) have been shown to be susceptible to adversarial malware examples. However, current methods to generate adversarial malware examples still have their limits. They either rely on detailed model information (gradient-based attacks), or on detailed outputs of the model - such as class probabilities (score-based attacks), neither of which are available in real-world scenarios. Alternatively, adversarial examples might be crafted using only the label assigned by the detector (label-based attack) to train a substitute network or an agent using reinforcement learning. Nonetheless, label-based attacks might require querying a black-box system from a small number to thousands of times, depending on the approach, which might not be feasible against malware detectors. This work presents a novel query-free approach to craft adversarial malware examples to evade ML-based malware detectors. To this end, we have devised a GAN-based framework to generate adversarial malware examples that look similar to benign executables in the feature space. To demonstrate the suitability of our approach we have applied the GAN-based attack to three common types of features usually employed by static ML-based malware detectors: (1) Byte histogram features, (2) API-based features, and (3) String-based features. Results show that our model-agnostic approach performs on par with MalGAN, while generating more realistic adversarial malware examples without requiring any query to the malware detectors. Furthermore, we have tested the generated adversarial examples against state-of-the-art multimodal and deep learning malware detectors, showing a decrease in detection performance, as well as a decrease in the average number of detections by the anti-malware engines in VirusTotal.

5.Data Protection for Data Privacy-A South African Problem?

Authors:Venessa Darwin, Mike Nkongolo

Abstract: This study proposes a comprehensive framework for enhancing data security and privacy within organizations through data protection awareness. It employs a quantitative method and survey research strategy to assess the level of data protection awareness among employees of a public organization.

1.Detecting Misuses of Security APIs: A Systematic Review

Authors:Zahra Mousavi, Chadni Islam, M. Ali Babar, Alsharif Abuadbba, Kristen Moore

Abstract: Security Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) play a vital role in ensuring software security. However, misuse of security APIs may introduce vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. API design complexities, inadequate documentation and insufficient security training are some of the reasons for misusing security APIs. In order to help developers and organizations, software security community have devised and evaluated several approaches to detecting misuses of security APIs. We rigorously analyzed and synthesized the literature on security APIs misuses for building a body of knowledge on the topic. Our review has identified and discussed the security APIs studied from misuse perspective, the types of reported misuses and the approaches developed to detect misuses and how the proposed approaches have been evaluated. Our review has also highlighted the open research issues for advancing the state-of-the-art of detecting misuse of security APIs.

2.Digital signature schemes using non-square matrices or scrap automorphisms

Authors:Jiale Chen, Dima Grigoriev, Vladimir Shpilrain

Abstract: We offer two very transparent digital signature schemes: one using non-square matrices and the other using scrap automorphisms. The former can be easily converted to a public key encryption scheme.

3.An Efficient and Multi-private Key Secure Aggregation for Federated Learning

Authors:Xue Yang, Zifeng Liu, Xiaohu Tang, Rongxing Lu, Bo Liu

Abstract: With the emergence of privacy leaks in federated learning, secure aggregation protocols that mainly adopt either homomorphic encryption or threshold secret sharing have been widely developed for federated learning to protect the privacy of the local training data of each client. However, these existing protocols suffer from many shortcomings, such as the dependence on a trusted third party, the vulnerability to clients being corrupted, low efficiency, the trade-off between security and fault tolerance, etc. To solve these disadvantages, we propose an efficient and multi-private key secure aggregation scheme for federated learning. Specifically, we skillfully modify the variant ElGamal encryption technique to achieve homomorphic addition operation, which has two important advantages: 1) The server and each client can freely select public and private keys without introducing a trust third party and 2) Compared to the variant ElGamal encryption, the plaintext space is relatively large, which is more suitable for the deep model. Besides, for the high dimensional deep model parameter, we introduce a super-increasing sequence to compress multi-dimensional data into 1-D, which can greatly reduce encryption and decryption times as well as communication for ciphertext transmission. Detailed security analyses show that our proposed scheme achieves the semantic security of both individual local gradients and the aggregated result while achieving optimal robustness in tolerating both client collusion and dropped clients. Extensive simulations demonstrate that the accuracy of our scheme is almost the same as the non-private approach, while the efficiency of our scheme is much better than the state-of-the-art homomorphic encryption-based secure aggregation schemes. More importantly, the efficiency advantages of our scheme will become increasingly prominent as the number of model parameters increases.

4.Who Let the Smart Toaster Hack the House? An Investigation into the Security Vulnerabilities of Consumer IoT Devices

Authors:Yang Li, Anna Maria Mandalari, Isabel Straw

Abstract: For smart homes to be safe homes, they must be designed with security in mind. Yet, despite the widespread proliferation of connected digital technologies in the home environment, there is a lack of research evaluating the security vulnerabilities and potential risks present within these systems. Our research presents a comprehensive methodology for conducting systematic IoT security attacks, intercepting network traffic and evaluating the security risks of smart home devices. We perform thousands of automated experiments using 11 popular commercial IoT devices when deployed in a testbed, exposed to a series of real deployed attacks (flooding, port scanning and OS scanning). Our findings indicate that these devices are vulnerable to security attacks and our results are relevant to the security research community, device engineers and the users who rely on these technologies in their daily lives.

5.A Learning Assisted Method for Uncovering Power Grid Generation and Distribution System Vulnerabilities

Authors:Suman Maiti, Anjana B, Sunandan Adhikary, Ipsita Koley, Soumyajit Dey

Abstract: Intelligent attackers can suitably tamper sensor/actuator data at various Smart grid surfaces causing intentional power oscillations, which if left undetected, can lead to voltage disruptions. We develop a novel combination of formal methods and machine learning tools that learns power system dynamics with the objective of generating unsafe yet stealthy false data based attack sequences. We enable the grid with anomaly detectors in a generalized manner so that it is difficult for an attacker to remain undetected. Our methodology, when applied on an IEEE 14 bus power grid model, uncovers stealthy attack vectors even in presence of such detectors.

6.High-Resolution Convolutional Neural Networks on Homomorphically Encrypted Data via Sharding Ciphertexts

Authors:Vivian Maloney, Richard F. Obrecht, Vikram Saraph, Prathibha Rama, Kate Tallaksen

Abstract: Recently, Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNNs) including the ResNet-20 architecture have been privately evaluated on encrypted, low-resolution data with the Residue-Number-System Cheon-Kim-Kim-Song (RNS-CKKS) homomorphic encryption scheme. We extend methods for evaluating DCNNs on images with larger dimensions and many channels, beyond what can be stored in single ciphertexts. Additionally, we simplify and improve the efficiency of the recently introduced multiplexed image format, demonstrating that homomorphic evaluation can work with standard, row-major matrix packing and results in encrypted inference time speedups by $4.6-6.5\times$. We also show how existing DCNN models can be regularized during the training process to further improve efficiency and accuracy. These techniques are applied to homomorphically evaluate a DCNN with high accuracy on the high-resolution ImageNet dataset for the first time, achieving $80.2\%$ top-1 accuracy. We also achieve the highest reported accuracy of homomorphically evaluated CNNs on the CIFAR-10 dataset of $98.3\%$.

7.Concealing CAN Message Sequences to Prevent Schedule-based Bus-off Attacks

Authors:Sunandan Adhikary, Ipsita Koley, Arkaprava Sain, Soumyadeep das, Shuvam Saha, Soumyajit Dey

Abstract: This work focuses on eliminating timing-side channels in real-time safety-critical cyber-physical network protocols like Controller Area Networks (CAN). Automotive Electronic Control Units (ECUs) implement predictable scheduling decisions based on task level response time estimation. Such levels of determinism exposes timing information about task executions and therefore corresponding message transmissions via the network buses (that connect the ECUs and actuators). With proper analysis, such timing side channels can be utilized to launch several schedule-based attacks that can lead to eventual denial-of-service or man-in-the-middle-type attacks. To eliminate this determinism, we propose a novel schedule obfuscation strategy by skipping certain control task executions and related data transmissions along with random shifting of the victim task instance. While doing this, our strategy contemplates the performance of the control task as well by bounding the number of control execution skips. We analytically demonstrate how the attack success probability (ASP) is reduced under this proposed attack-aware skipping and randomization. We also demonstrate the efficacy and real-time applicability of our attack-aware schedule obfuscation strategy Hide-n-Seek by applying it to synthesized automotive task sets in a real-time Hardware-in-loop (HIL) setup.

8.Inroads into Autonomous Network Defence using Explained Reinforcement Learning

Authors:Myles Foley, Mia Wang, Zoe M, Chris Hicks, Vasilios Mavroudis

Abstract: Computer network defence is a complicated task that has necessitated a high degree of human involvement. However, with recent advancements in machine learning, fully autonomous network defence is becoming increasingly plausible. This paper introduces an end-to-end methodology for studying attack strategies, designing defence agents and explaining their operation. First, using state diagrams, we visualise adversarial behaviour to gain insight about potential points of intervention and inform the design of our defensive models. We opt to use a set of deep reinforcement learning agents trained on different parts of the task and organised in a shallow hierarchy. Our evaluation shows that the resulting design achieves a substantial performance improvement compared to prior work. Finally, to better investigate the decision-making process of our agents, we complete our analysis with a feature ablation and importance study.

1.How Secure is Your Website? A Comprehensive Investigation on CAPTCHA Providers and Solving Services

Authors:Rui Jin, Lin Huang, Jikang Duan, Wei Zhao, Yong Liao, Pengyuan Zhou

Abstract: Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) has been implemented on many websites to identify between harmful automated bots and legitimate users. However, the revenue generated by the bots has turned circumventing CAPTCHAs into a lucrative business. Although earlier studies provided information about text-based CAPTCHAs and the associated CAPTCHA-solving services, a lot has changed in the past decade regarding content, suppliers, and solvers of CAPTCHA. We have conducted a comprehensive investigation of the latest third-party CAPTCHA providers and CAPTCHA-solving services' attacks. We dug into the details of CAPTCHA-As-a-Service and the latest CAPTCHA-solving services and carried out adversarial experiments on CAPTCHAs and CAPTCHA solvers. The experiment results show a worrying fact: most latest CAPTCHAs are vulnerable to both human solvers and automated solvers. New CAPTCHAs based on hard AI problems and behavior analysis are needed to stop CAPTCHA solvers.

2.Intrusion Detection: A Deep Learning Approach

Authors:Ishaan Shivhare, Joy Purohit, Vinay Jogani, Samina Attari, Dr. Madhav Chandane

Abstract: Network intrusions are a significant problem in all industries today. A critical part of the solution is being able to effectively detect intrusions. With recent advances in artificial intelligence, current research has begun adopting deep learning approaches for intrusion detection. Current approaches for multi-class intrusion detection include the use of a deep neural network. However, it fails to take into account spatial relationships between the data objects and long term dependencies present in the dataset. The paper proposes a novel architecture to combat intrusion detection that has a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) module, along with a Long Short Term Memory(LSTM) module and with a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classification function. The analysis is followed by a comparison of both conventional machine learning techniques and deep learning methodologies, which highlights areas that could be further explored.

3.Few-shot Multi-domain Knowledge Rearming for Context-aware Defence against Advanced Persistent Threats

Authors:Gaolei Li, Yuanyuan Zhao, Wenqi Wei, Yuchen Liu

Abstract: Advanced persistent threats (APTs) have novel features such as multi-stage penetration, highly-tailored intention, and evasive tactics. APTs defense requires fusing multi-dimensional Cyber threat intelligence data to identify attack intentions and conducts efficient knowledge discovery strategies by data-driven machine learning to recognize entity relationships. However, data-driven machine learning lacks generalization ability on fresh or unknown samples, reducing the accuracy and practicality of the defense model. Besides, the private deployment of these APT defense models on heterogeneous environments and various network devices requires significant investment in context awareness (such as known attack entities, continuous network states, and current security strategies). In this paper, we propose a few-shot multi-domain knowledge rearming (FMKR) scheme for context-aware defense against APTs. By completing multiple small tasks that are generated from different network domains with meta-learning, the FMKR firstly trains a model with good discrimination and generalization ability for fresh and unknown APT attacks. In each FMKR task, both threat intelligence and local entities are fused into the support/query sets in meta-learning to identify possible attack stages. Secondly, to rearm current security strategies, an finetuning-based deployment mechanism is proposed to transfer learned knowledge into the student model, while minimizing the defense cost. Compared to multiple model replacement strategies, the FMKR provides a faster response to attack behaviors while consuming less scheduling cost. Based on the feedback from multiple real users of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) over 2 months, we demonstrate that the proposed scheme can improve the defense satisfaction rate.

4.Freaky Leaky SMS: Extracting User Locations by Analyzing SMS Timings

Authors:Evangelos Bitsikas, Theodor Schnitzler, Christina Pöpper, Aanjhan Ranganathan

Abstract: Short Message Service (SMS) remains one of the most popular communication channels since its introduction in 2G cellular networks. In this paper, we demonstrate that merely receiving silent SMS messages regularly opens a stealthy side-channel that allows other regular network users to infer the whereabouts of the SMS recipient. The core idea is that receiving an SMS inevitably generates Delivery Reports whose reception bestows a timing attack vector at the sender. We conducted experiments across various countries, operators, and devices to show that an attacker can deduce the location of an SMS recipient by analyzing timing measurements from typical receiver locations. Our results show that, after training an ML model, the SMS sender can accurately determine multiple locations of the recipient. For example, our model achieves up to 96% accuracy for locations across different countries, and 86% for two locations within Belgium. Due to the way cellular networks are designed, it is difficult to prevent Delivery Reports from being returned to the originator making it challenging to thwart this covert attack without making fundamental changes to the network architecture.

5.An Inverse Approach to Windows' Resource-Based Permission Mechanism for Access Permission Vulnerability Detection

Authors:Hakan Temiz, Ahmet Buyukeke

Abstract: In organizations, employees work with information stored in files according to their duties and responsibilities. Windows uses resource-based access permissions that any permission for any user has to be set separately per resource. This approach gets complicated as the number of resources and users increase, and causes oversights in assigning permissions. Therefore, a special mechanism is required to scrutinize what permissions any employee has on any set of resources. This requirement is circumvented by reversing the Windows approach in terms of user-accessible resources. This approach is implemented by a program allowing quick and easy examination of any type of permissions granted or denied to active directory users on any folder. In this way, administrators can make sure there is no any missing or overlooked setting that could cause a security vulnerability. This approach can easily be extended to scrutinize other resources, and for other local or active directory objects.

6.Generated Graph Detection

Authors:Yihan Ma, Zhikun Zhang, Ning Yu, Xinlei He, Michael Backes, Yun Shen, Yang Zhang

Abstract: Graph generative models become increasingly effective for data distribution approximation and data augmentation. While they have aroused public concerns about their malicious misuses or misinformation broadcasts, just as what Deepfake visual and auditory media has been delivering to society. Hence it is essential to regulate the prevalence of generated graphs. To tackle this problem, we pioneer the formulation of the generated graph detection problem to distinguish generated graphs from real ones. We propose the first framework to systematically investigate a set of sophisticated models and their performance in four classification scenarios. Each scenario switches between seen and unseen datasets/generators during testing to get closer to real-world settings and progressively challenge the classifiers. Extensive experiments evidence that all the models are qualified for generated graph detection, with specific models having advantages in specific scenarios. Resulting from the validated generality and oblivion of the classifiers to unseen datasets/generators, we draw a safe conclusion that our solution can sustain for a decent while to curb generated graph misuses.

1.VillanDiffusion: A Unified Backdoor Attack Framework for Diffusion Models

Authors:Sheng-Yen Chou, Pin-Yu Chen, Tsung-Yi Ho

Abstract: Diffusion Models (DMs) are state-of-the-art generative models that learn a reversible corruption process from iterative noise addition and denoising. They are the backbone of many generative AI applications, such as text-to-image conditional generation. However, recent studies have shown that basic unconditional DMs (e.g., DDPM and DDIM) are vulnerable to backdoor injection, a type of output manipulation attack triggered by a maliciously embedded pattern at model input. This paper presents a unified backdoor attack framework (VillanDiffusion) to expand the current scope of backdoor analysis for DMs. Our framework covers mainstream unconditional and conditional DMs (denoising-based and score-based) and various training-free samplers for holistic evaluations. Experiments show that our unified framework facilitates the backdoor analysis of different DM configurations and provides new insights into caption-based backdoor attacks on DMs.

2.SecOComp: A Fast and Secure Simultaneous Compression and Encryption Scheme

Authors:Nivedita Shrivastava, Smruti R. Sarangi

Abstract: We live in a data-driven era that involves the generation, collection and processing of a massive amount of data. This data often contains valuable intellectual property and sensitive user information that must be safeguarded. There is a need to both encrypt and compress the data at line speed and sometimes with added power constraints. The majority of the currently available simultaneous compression and encryption (SCE) schemes are tailored for a specific type of data such as images for instance. This reduces their generic applicability. In this paper, we tackle this issue and propose a generic, efficient, and secure simultaneous compression and encryption scheme where the data is simultaneously encrypted using chaotic maps and compressed using a fast lossless compression algorithm. We claim that employing multiple chaotic maps and a lossless compression method can help us create not only an efficient encryption scheme but also compress the data efficiently in a hardware-friendly manner. We avoid all the known pitfalls of chaos theory based encryption that have prevented its widespread usage. Our algorithm passes all the NIST tests for nine different types of popular datasets. The proposed implementation uses 1.51x less storage as compared to the nearest computing work.

3.When Vision Fails: Text Attacks Against ViT and OCR

Authors:Nicholas Boucher, Jenny Blessing, Ilia Shumailov, Ross Anderson, Nicolas Papernot

Abstract: While text-based machine learning models that operate on visual inputs of rendered text have become robust against a wide range of existing attacks, we show that they are still vulnerable to visual adversarial examples encoded as text. We use the Unicode functionality of combining diacritical marks to manipulate encoded text so that small visual perturbations appear when the text is rendered. We show how a genetic algorithm can be used to generate visual adversarial examples in a black-box setting, and conduct a user study to establish that the model-fooling adversarial examples do not affect human comprehension. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these attacks in the real world by creating adversarial examples against production models published by Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and Google.

4.On building machine learning pipelines for Android malware detection: a procedural survey of practices, challenges and opportunities

Authors:Masoud Mehrabi Koushki, Ibrahim AbuAlhaol, Anandharaju Durai Raju, Yang Zhou, Ronnie Salvador Giagone, Huang Shengqiang

Abstract: As the smartphone market leader, Android has been a prominent target for malware attacks. The number of malicious applications (apps) identified for it has increased continually over the past decade, creating an immense challenge for all parties involved. For market holders and researchers, in particular, the large number of samples has made manual malware detection unfeasible, leading to an influx of research that investigate Machine Learning (ML) approaches to automate this process. However, while some of the proposed approaches achieve high performance, rapidly evolving Android malware has made them unable to maintain their accuracy over time. This has created a need in the community to conduct further research, and build more flexible ML pipelines. Doing so, however, is currently hindered by a lack of systematic overview of the existing literature, to learn from and improve upon the existing solutions. Existing survey papers often focus only on parts of the ML process (e.g., data collection or model deployment), while omitting other important stages, such as model evaluation and explanation. In this paper, we address this problem with a review of 42 highly-cited papers, spanning a decade of research (from 2011 to 2021). We introduce a novel procedural taxonomy of the published literature, covering how they have used ML algorithms, what features they have engineered, which dimensionality reduction techniques they have employed, what datasets they have employed for training, and what their evaluation and explanation strategies are. Drawing from this taxonomy, we also identify gaps in knowledge and provide ideas for improvement and future work.

5.Cybersecurity Training for Users of Remote Computing

Authors:Marcelo Ponce, Ramses van Zon

Abstract: End users of remote computing systems are frequently not aware of basic ways in which they could enhance protection against cyber-threats and attacks. In this paper, we discuss specific techniques to help and train users to improve cybersecurity when using such systems. To explain the rationale behind these techniques, we go into some depth explaining possible threats in the context of using remote, shared computing resources. Although some of the details of these prescriptions and recommendations apply to specific use cases when connecting to remote servers, such as a supercomputer, cluster, or Linux workstation, the main concepts and ideas can be applied to a wider spectrum of cases.

6.Generic Attacks against Cryptographic Hardware through Long-Range Deep Learning

Authors:Elie Bursztein, Luca Invernizzi, Karel Král, Daniel Moghimi, Jean-Michel Picod, Marina Zhang

Abstract: Hardware-based cryptographic implementations utilize countermeasures to resist side-channel attacks. In this paper, we propose a novel deep-learning architecture for side-channel analysis called SCANET that generalizes across multiple implementations and algorithms without manual tuning or trace pre-processing. We achieve this by combining a novel input processing technique with several advanced deep learning techniques including transformer blocks and multi-task learning. We demonstrate the generality of our approach by successfully attacking four hardware-accelerated countermeasures for elliptic curve digital signatures in an end-to-end manner without human tuning. Additionally, we showcase SCANET's ability to generalize across multiple algorithms by successfully replicating state-of-the-art attacks against protected AES without the need for trace preprocessing, hand-tuning, or model architectural changes. These results offer promising prospects for generic and automated side-channel leakage evaluation without manual effort.

1.JABBERWOCK: A Tool for WebAssembly Dataset Generation and Its Application to Malicious Website Detection

Authors:Chika Komiya, Naoto Yanai, Kyosuke Yamashita, Shingo Okamura

Abstract: Machine learning is often used for malicious website detection, but an approach incorporating WebAssembly as a feature has not been explored due to a limited number of samples, to the best of our knowledge. In this paper, we propose JABBERWOCK (JAvascript-Based Binary EncodeR by WebAssembly Optimization paCKer), a tool to generate WebAssembly datasets in a pseudo fashion via JavaScript. Loosely speaking, JABBERWOCK automatically gathers JavaScript code in the real world, convert them into WebAssembly, and then outputs vectors of the WebAssembly as samples for malicious website detection. We also conduct experimental evaluations of JABBERWOCK in terms of the processing time for dataset generation, comparison of the generated samples with actual WebAssembly samples gathered from the Internet, and an application for malicious website detection. Regarding the processing time, we show that JABBERWOCK can construct a dataset in 4.5 seconds per sample for any number of samples. Next, comparing 10,000 samples output by JABBERWOCK with 168 gathered WebAssembly samples, we believe that the generated samples by JABBERWOCK are similar to those in the real world. We then show that JABBERWOCK can provide malicious website detection with 99\% F1-score because JABBERWOCK makes a gap between benign and malicious samples as the reason for the above high score. We also confirm that JABBERWOCK can be combined with an existing malicious website detection tool to improve F1-scores. JABBERWOCK is publicly available via GitHub (https://github.com/c-chocolate/Jabberwock).

2.Cross-Consensus Measurement of Individual-level Decentralization in Blockchains

Authors:Chao Li, Balaji Palanisamy, Runhua Xu, Li Duan

Abstract: Decentralization is widely recognized as a crucial characteristic of blockchains that enables them to resist malicious attacks such as the 51% attack and the takeover attack. Prior research has primarily examined decentralization in blockchains employing the same consensus protocol or at the level of block producers. This paper presents the first individual-level measurement study comparing the decentralization of blockchains employing different consensus protocols. To facilitate cross-consensus evaluation, we present a two-level comparison framework and a new metric. We apply the proposed methods to Ethereum and Steem, two representative blockchains for which decentralization has garnered considerable interest. Our findings dive deeper into the level of decentralization, suggest the existence of centralization risk at the individual level in Steem, and provide novel insights into the cross-consensus comparison of decentralization in blockchains.

3.Detecting Phishing Sites Using ChatGPT

Authors:Takashi Koide, Naoki Fukushi, Hiroki Nakano, Daiki Chiba

Abstract: The rise of large language models (LLMs) has had a significant impact on various domains, including natural language processing and artificial intelligence. While LLMs such as ChatGPT have been extensively researched for tasks such as code generation and text synthesis, their application in detecting malicious web content, particularly phishing sites, has been largely unexplored. To combat the rising tide of automated cyber attacks facilitated by LLMs, it is imperative to automate the detection of malicious web content, which requires approaches that leverage the power of LLMs to analyze and classify phishing sites. In this paper, we propose a novel method that utilizes ChatGPT to detect phishing sites. Our approach involves leveraging a web crawler to gather information from websites and generate prompts based on this collected data. This approach enables us to detect various phishing sites without the need for fine-tuning machine learning models and identify social engineering techniques from the context of entire websites and URLs. To evaluate the performance of our proposed method, we conducted experiments using a dataset. The experimental results using GPT-4 demonstrated promising performance, with a precision of 98.3% and a recall of 98.4%. Comparative analysis between GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 revealed an enhancement in the latter's capability to reduce false negatives. These findings not only highlight the potential of LLMs in efficiently identifying phishing sites but also have significant implications for enhancing cybersecurity measures and protecting users from the dangers of online fraudulent activities.

4.You Can Tell a Cybercriminal by the Company they Keep: A Framework to Infer the Relevance of Underground Communities to the Threat Landscape

Authors:Michele Campobasso, Luca Allodi

Abstract: The criminal underground is populated with forum marketplaces where, allegedly, cybercriminals share and trade knowledge, skills, and cybercrime products. However, it is still unclear whether all marketplaces matter the same in the overall threat landscape. To effectively support trade and avoid degenerating into scams-for-scammers places, underground markets must address fundamental economic problems (such as moral hazard, adverse selection) that enable the exchange of actual technology and cybercrime products (as opposed to repackaged malware or years-old password databases). From the relevant literature and manual investigation, we identify several mechanisms that marketplaces implement to mitigate these problems, and we condense them into a market evaluation framework based on the Business Model Canvas. We use this framework to evaluate which mechanisms `successful' marketplaces have in place, and whether these differ from those employed by `unsuccessful' marketplaces. We test the framework on 23 underground forum markets by searching 836 aliases of indicted cybercriminals to identify `successful' marketplaces. We find evidence that marketplaces whose administrators are impartial in trade, verify their sellers, and have the right economic incentives to keep the market functional are more likely to be credible sources of threat.

5.GAN-CAN: A Novel Attack to Behavior-Based Driver Authentication Systems

Authors:Emad Efatinasab, Francesco Marchiori, Denis Donadel, Alessandro Brighente

Abstract: For many years, car keys have been the sole mean of authentication in vehicles. Whether the access control process is physical or wireless, entrusting the ownership of a vehicle to a single token is prone to stealing attempts. For this reason, many researchers started developing behavior-based authentication systems. By collecting data in a moving vehicle, Deep Learning (DL) models can recognize patterns in the data and identify drivers based on their driving behavior. This can be used as an anti-theft system, as a thief would exhibit a different driving style compared to the vehicle owner's. However, the assumption that an attacker cannot replicate the legitimate driver behavior falls under certain conditions. In this paper, we propose GAN-CAN, the first attack capable of fooling state-of-the-art behavior-based driver authentication systems in a vehicle. Based on the adversary's knowledge, we propose different GAN-CAN implementations. Our attack leverages the lack of security in the Controller Area Network (CAN) to inject suitably designed time-series data to mimic the legitimate driver. Our design of the malicious time series results from the combination of different Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and our study on the safety importance of the injected values during the attack. We tested GAN-CAN in an improved version of the most efficient driver behavior-based authentication model in the literature. We prove that our attack can fool it with an attack success rate of up to 0.99. We show how an attacker, without prior knowledge of the authentication system, can steal a car by deploying GAN-CAN in an off-the-shelf system in under 22 minutes.

6."My sex-related data is more sensitive than my financial data and I want the same level of security and privacy": User Risk Perceptions and Protective Actions in Female-oriented Technologies

Authors:Maryam Mehrnezhad, Teresa Almeida

Abstract: The digitalization of the reproductive body has engaged myriads of cutting-edge technologies in supporting people to know and tackle their intimate health. Generally understood as female technologies (aka female-oriented technologies or 'FemTech'), these products and systems collect a wide range of intimate data which are processed, transferred, saved and shared with other parties. In this paper, we explore how the "data-hungry" nature of this industry and the lack of proper safeguarding mechanisms, standards, and regulations for vulnerable data can lead to complex harms or faint agentic potential. We adopted mixed methods in exploring users' understanding of the security and privacy (SP) of these technologies. Our findings show that while users can speculate the range of harms and risks associated with these technologies, they are not equipped and provided with the technological skills to protect themselves against such risks. We discuss a number of approaches, including participatory threat modelling and SP by design, in the context of this work and conclude that such approaches are critical to protect users in these sensitive systems.

1.FedMLSecurity: A Benchmark for Attacks and Defenses in Federated Learning and LLMs

Authors:Shanshan Han, Baturalp Buyukates, Zijian Hu, Han Jin, Weizhao Jin, Lichao Sun, Xiaoyang Wang, Chulin Xie, Kai Zhang, Qifan Zhang, Yuhui Zhang, Chaoyang He, Salman Avestimehr

Abstract: This paper introduces FedMLSecurity, a benchmark that simulates adversarial attacks and corresponding defense mechanisms in Federated Learning (FL). As an integral module of the open-sourced library FedML that facilitates FL algorithm development and performance comparison, FedMLSecurity enhances the security assessment capacity of FedML. FedMLSecurity comprises two principal components: FedMLAttacker, which simulates attacks injected into FL training, and FedMLDefender, which emulates defensive strategies designed to mitigate the impacts of the attacks. FedMLSecurity is open-sourced 1 and is customizable to a wide range of machine learning models (e.g., Logistic Regression, ResNet, GAN, etc.) and federated optimizers (e.g., FedAVG, FedOPT, FedNOVA, etc.). Experimental evaluations in this paper also demonstrate the ease of application of FedMLSecurity to Large Language Models (LLMs), further reinforcing its versatility and practical utility in various scenarios.

2.Machine Learning in Digital Forensics: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors:Tahereh Nayerifard, Haleh Amintoosi, Abbas Ghaemi Bafghi, Ali Dehghantanha

Abstract: Development and exploitation of technology have led to the further expansion and complexity of digital crimes. On the other hand, the growing volume of data and, subsequently, evidence is a severe challenge in digital forensics. In recent years, the application of machine learning techniques to identify and analyze evidence has been on the rise in different digital forensics domains. This paper offers a systematic literature review of the research published in major academic databases from January 2010 to December 2021 on the application of machine learning in digital forensics, which was not presented yet to the best of our knowledge as comprehensive as this. The review also identifies the domains of digital forensics and machine learning methods that have received the most attention in the previous papers and finally introduces remaining research gaps. Our findings demonstrate that image forensics has obtained the greatest benefit from using machine learning methods, compared to other forensic domains. Moreover, CNN-based models are the most important machine learning methods that are increasingly being used in digital forensics. We present a comprehensive mind map to provide a proper perspective for valuable analytical results. Furthermore, visual analysis has been conducted based on the keywords of the papers, providing different thematic relevance topics. This research will give digital forensics investigators, machine learning developers, security researchers, and enthusiasts a broad view of the application of machine learning in digital forensics.

3.G$^2$uardFL: Safeguarding Federated Learning Against Backdoor Attacks through Attributed Client Graph Clustering

Authors:Hao Yu, Chuan Ma, Meng Liu, Xinwang Liu, Zhe Liu, Ming Ding

Abstract: As a collaborative paradigm, Federated Learning (FL) empowers clients to engage in collective model training without exchanging their respective local data. Nevertheless, FL remains vulnerable to backdoor attacks in which an attacker compromises malicious clients, and injects poisoned model weights into the aggregation process to yield attacker-chosen predictions for particular samples. Existing countermeasures, mainly based on anomaly detection, may erroneously reject legitimate weights while accepting malicious ones, which is due to inadequacies in quantifying client model similarities. Other defense mechanisms prove effective exclusively when confronted with a restricted number of malicious clients, e.g., less than 10%. To address these vulnerabilities, we present G$^2$uardFL, a protective framework that reframes the detection of malicious clients as an attributed graph clustering problem, thereby safeguarding FL systems. This framework employs a client graph clustering technique to identify malicious clients and incorporates an adaptive method to amplify the disparity between the aggregated model and poisoned client models, thereby eliminating previously embedded backdoors. A theoretical analysis of convergence is also performed to demonstrate that the global model closely approximates the model untouched by any backdoor. Through empirical evaluation compared to cutting-edge defenses and against various backdoor attacks, our experimental results indicate that G$^2$uardFL considerably undermines the effectiveness of backdoor attacks while maintaining a negligible impact on the benign sample performance.

4.Parallel and Asynchronous Smart Contract Execution

Authors:Jian Liu, Peilun Li, Raymond~Cheng, N. Asokan, Dawn Song

Abstract: Today's blockchains suffer from low throughput and high latency, which impedes their widespread adoption of more complex applications like smart contracts. In this paper, we propose a novel paradigm for smart contract execution. It distinguishes between consensus nodes and execution nodes: different groups of execution nodes can execute transactions in parallel; meanwhile, consensus nodes can asynchronously order transactions and process execution results. Moreover, it requires no coordination among execution nodes and can effectively prevent livelocks. We show two ways of applying this paradigm to blockchains. First, we show how we can make Ethereum support parallel and asynchronous contract execution \emph{without hard-forks}. Then, we propose a new public, permissionless blockchain. Our benchmark shows that, with a fast consensus layer, it can provide a high throughput even for complex transactions like Cryptokitties gene mixing. It can also protect simple transactions from being starved by complex transactions.

5.SmartBugs 2.0: An Execution Framework for Weakness Detection in Ethereum Smart Contracts

Authors:Monika di Angelo, Thomas Durieux, João F. Ferreira, Gernot Salzer

Abstract: Smart contracts are blockchain programs that often handle valuable assets. Writing secure smart contracts is far from trivial, and any vulnerability may lead to significant financial losses. To support developers in identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities, methods and tools for the automated analysis have been proposed. However, the lack of commonly accepted benchmark suites and performance metrics makes it difficult to compare and evaluate such tools. Moreover, the tools are heterogeneous in their interfaces and reports as well as their runtime requirements, and installing several tools is time-consuming. In this paper, we present SmartBugs 2.0, a modular execution framework. It provides a uniform interface to 19 tools aimed at smart contract analysis and accepts both Solidity source code and EVM bytecode as input. After describing its architecture, we highlight the features of the framework. We evaluate the framework via its reception by the community and illustrate its scalability by describing its role in a study involving 3.25 million analyses.

6.Re-aligning Shadow Models can Improve White-box Membership Inference Attacks

Authors:Ana-Maria Cretu, Daniel Jones, Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Shruti Tople

Abstract: Machine learning models have been shown to leak sensitive information about their training datasets. As models are being increasingly used, on devices, to automate tasks and power new applications, there have been concerns that such white-box access to its parameters, as opposed to the black-box setting which only provides query access to the model, increases the attack surface. Directly extending the shadow modelling technique from the black-box to the white-box setting has been shown, in general, not to perform better than black-box only attacks. A key reason is misalignment, a known characteristic of deep neural networks. We here present the first systematic analysis of the causes of misalignment in shadow models and show the use of a different weight initialisation to be the main cause of shadow model misalignment. Second, we extend several re-alignment techniques, previously developed in the model fusion literature, to the shadow modelling context, where the goal is to re-align the layers of a shadow model to those of the target model.We show re-alignment techniques to significantly reduce the measured misalignment between the target and shadow models. Finally, we perform a comprehensive evaluation of white-box membership inference attacks (MIA). Our analysis reveals that (1) MIAs suffer from misalignment between shadow models, but that (2) re-aligning the shadow models improves, sometimes significantly, MIA performance. On the CIFAR10 dataset with a false positive rate of 1\%, white-box MIA using re-aligned shadow models improves the true positive rate by 4.5\%.Taken together, our results highlight that on-device deployment increase the attack surface and that the newly available information can be used by an attacker.

7.PriSampler: Mitigating Property Inference of Diffusion Models

Authors:Hailong Hu, Jun Pang

Abstract: Diffusion models have been remarkably successful in data synthesis. Such successes have also driven diffusion models to apply to sensitive data, such as human face data, but this might bring about severe privacy concerns. In this work, we systematically present the first privacy study about property inference attacks against diffusion models, in which adversaries aim to extract sensitive global properties of the training set from a diffusion model, such as the proportion of the training data for certain sensitive properties. Specifically, we consider the most practical attack scenario: adversaries are only allowed to obtain synthetic data. Under this realistic scenario, we evaluate the property inference attacks on different types of samplers and diffusion models. A broad range of evaluations shows that various diffusion models and their samplers are all vulnerable to property inference attacks. Furthermore, one case study on off-the-shelf pre-trained diffusion models also demonstrates the effectiveness of the attack in practice. Finally, we propose a new model-agnostic plug-in method PriSampler to mitigate the property inference of diffusion models. PriSampler can be directly applied to well-trained diffusion models and support both stochastic and deterministic sampling. Extensive experiments illustrate the effectiveness of our defense and it makes adversaries infer the proportion of properties as close as random guesses. PriSampler also shows its significantly superior performance to diffusion models trained with differential privacy on both model utility and defense performance.

8.Ownership Protection of Generative Adversarial Networks

Authors:Hailong Hu, Jun Pang

Abstract: Generative adversarial networks (GANs) have shown remarkable success in image synthesis, making GAN models themselves commercially valuable to legitimate model owners. Therefore, it is critical to technically protect the intellectual property of GANs. Prior works need to tamper with the training set or training process, and they are not robust to emerging model extraction attacks. In this paper, we propose a new ownership protection method based on the common characteristics of a target model and its stolen models. Our method can be directly applicable to all well-trained GANs as it does not require retraining target models. Extensive experimental results show that our new method can achieve the best protection performance, compared to the state-of-the-art methods. Finally, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method with respect to the number of generations of model extraction attacks, the number of generated samples, different datasets, as well as adaptive attacks.

9.Detecting Neural Trojans Through Merkle Trees

Authors:Joshua Strubel

Abstract: Deep neural networks are utilized in a growing number of industries. Much of the current literature focuses on the applications of deep neural networks without discussing the security of the network itself. One security issue facing deep neural networks is neural trojans. Through a neural trojan, a malicious actor may force the deep neural network to act in unintended ways. Several potential defenses have been proposed, but they are computationally expensive, complex, or unusable in commercial applications. We propose Merkle trees as a novel way to detect and isolate neural trojans.

1.Extracting Cloud-based Model with Prior Knowledge

Authors:Shiqian Zhao, Kangjie Chen, Meng Hao, Jian Zhang, Guowen Xu, Hongwei Li, Tianwei Zhang

Abstract: Machine Learning-as-a-Service, a pay-as-you-go business pattern, is widely accepted by third-party users and developers. However, the open inference APIs may be utilized by malicious customers to conduct model extraction attacks, i.e., attackers can replicate a cloud-based black-box model merely via querying malicious examples. Existing model extraction attacks mainly depend on the posterior knowledge (i.e., predictions of query samples) from Oracle. Thus, they either require high query overhead to simulate the decision boundary, or suffer from generalization errors and overfitting problems due to query budget limitations. To mitigate it, this work proposes an efficient model extraction attack based on prior knowledge for the first time. The insight is that prior knowledge of unlabeled proxy datasets is conducive to the search for the decision boundary (e.g., informative samples). Specifically, we leverage self-supervised learning including autoencoder and contrastive learning to pre-compile the prior knowledge of the proxy dataset into the feature extractor of the substitute model. Then we adopt entropy to measure and sample the most informative examples to query the target model. Our design leverages both prior and posterior knowledge to extract the model and thus eliminates generalizability errors and overfitting problems. We conduct extensive experiments on open APIs like Traffic Recognition, Flower Recognition, Moderation Recognition, and NSFW Recognition from real-world platforms, Azure and Clarifai. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our attack. For example, our attack achieves 95.1% fidelity with merely 1.8K queries (cost 2.16$) on the NSFW Recognition API. Also, the adversarial examples generated with our substitute model have better transferability than others, which reveals that our scheme is more conducive to downstream attacks.

2.Is Homomorphic Encryption Feasible for Smart Mobility?

Authors:Anika Hannemann, Erik Buchmann

Abstract: Smart mobility is a promising approach to meet urban transport needs in an environmentally and and user-friendly way. Smart mobility computes itineraries with multiple means of transportation, e.g., trams, rental bikes or electric scooters, according to customer preferences. A mobility platform cares for reservations, connecting transports, invoicing and billing. This requires sharing sensible personal data with multiple parties, and puts data privacy at risk. In this paper, we investigate if fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) can be applied in practice to mitigate such privacy issues. FHE allows to calculate on encrypted data, without having to decrypt it first. We implemented three typical distributed computations in a smart mobility scenario with SEAL, a recent programming library for FHE. With this implementation, we have measured memory consumption and execution times for three variants of distributed transactions, that are representative for a wide range of smart mobility tasks. Our evaluation shows, that FHE is indeed applicable to smart mobility: With today's processing capabilities, state-of-the-art FHE increases a smart mobility transaction by about 100 milliseconds and less than 3 microcents.

3.A Threat Model for Soft Privacy on Smart Cars

Authors:Mario Raciti, Giampaolo Bella

Abstract: Modern cars are getting so computerised that ENISA's phrase "smart cars" is a perfect fit. The amount of personal data that they process is very large and, yet, increasing. Hence, the need to address citizens' privacy while they drive and, correspondingly, the importance of privacy threat modelling (in support of a respective risk assessment, such as through a Data Protection Impact Assessment). This paper addresses privacy threats by advancing a general modelling methodology and by demonstrating it specifically on soft privacy, which ensures citizens' full control on their personal data. By considering all relevant threat agents, the paper applies the methodology to the specific automotive domain while keeping threats at the same level of detail as ENISA's. The main result beside the modelling methodology consists of both domain-independent and automotive domain-dependent soft privacy threats. While cybersecurity has been vastly threat-modelled so far, this paper extends the literature with a threat model for soft privacy on smart cars, producing 17 domain-independent threats that, associated with 41 domain-specific assets, shape a novel set of domain-dependent threats in automotive.

4.High-Performance Caching of Homomorphic Encryption for Cloud Databases

Authors:Dongfang Zhao

Abstract: While homomorphic encryption (HE) has garnered significant research interest in cloud-based outsourced databases due to its algebraic properties over ciphertexts, the computational overhead associated with HE has hindered its widespread adoption in production database systems. Recently, a caching technique called Radix-based additive caching of homomorphic encryption (Rache) was proposed in SIGMOD'23. The primary objective of this paper is to address the performance overhead resulting from the expensive randomization process in Rache. To achieve this, we propose a novel encryption algorithm called $ASEnc$, which replaces the computationally intensive full scan of radixes with the caching of a polynomial number of radix-powers during an offline stage. This design significantly reduces the performance impact caused by randomization. Furthermore, this paper aims to extend Rache's capabilities to support floating-point numbers. To accomplish this, we introduce a new encryption algorithm named $FSEnc$, leveraging efficient constant multiplication available in state-of-the-art fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) schemes. Notably, $FSEnc$ offers the flexibility to cache the coefficients instead of the radixes themselves, which may result in a large number of cached ciphertexts. However, we manage this efficiently by streaming the dynamically cached ciphertexts through a vector of circular buffers. We demonstrate that both encryption algorithms guarantee semantic security (IND-CPA). To validate their performance, we implement both algorithms as loadable functions in MySQL 8.0 and deploy the system prototype on a 96-core server hosted in the Chameleon Cloud. Experimental results showcase that $ASEnc$ outperforms Rache by 2.3--3.3$\times$, while $FSEnc$ surpasses the state-of-the-art floating-point FHE CKKS by 1.8--5.6$\times$.

5.An Empirical Study of Impact of Solidity Compiler Updates on Vulnerabilities in Ethereum Smart Contracts

Authors:Chihiro Kado, Naoto Yanai, Jason Paul Cruz, Kyosuke Yamashita, Shingo Okamura

Abstract: Vulnerabilities of Ethereum smart contracts often cause serious financial damage. Whereas the Solidity compiler has been updated to prevent vulnerabilities, its effectiveness has not been revealed so far, to the best of our knowledge. In this paper, we shed light on the impact of compiler versions of vulnerabilities of Ethereum smart contracts. To this end, we collected 503,572 contracts with Solidity source codes in the Ethereum blockchain and then analyzed their vulnerabilities. For three vulnerabilities with high severity, i.e., Locked Money, Using tx.origin, and Unchecked Call, we show that their appearance rates are decreased by virtue of major updates of the Solidity compiler. We then found the following four key insights. First, after the release of version 0.6, the appearance rate for Locked Money has decreased. Second, regardless of compiler updates, the appearance rate for Using tx.origin is significantly low. Third, although the appearance rate for Unchecked Call has decreased in version 0.8, it still remains high due to various factors, including code clones. Fourth, through analysis of code clones, our promising results show that the appearance rate for Unchecked Call can be further decreased by removing the code clones.

6.Development and Analysis of P2SCP: A Paradigm for Penetration Testing of Systems that Cannot be Subjected to the Risk of Penetration Testing

Authors:Jeremy Straub

Abstract: Penetration testing increases the security of systems through tasking testers to 'think like the adversary' and attempt to find the ways that an attacker would break into the system. For many systems, this can be conducted in a safe and controlled way; however, some systems are so critical to human life and safety that the risk of their failure or disablement due to active penetration testing cannot be assumed. These systems are also critical to evaluate the security of, to prevent attackers from disabling them or causing their maloperation; however, this must be done in a manner that doesn't risk the very malady that testing seeks to avoid through the testing process itself. This paper presents P2SCP, a paradigm for penetration testing of systems that cannot be subjected to the risk of penetration testing. It discusses how data collection, the creation of digital twins and cousins and evaluative analysis can be utilized to conduct virtual penetration tests on critical infrastructure systems. This proposed paradigm is analyzed through the use of several case studies.

7.Development of a System Vulnerability Analysis Tool for Assessment of Complex Mission Critical Systems

Authors:Matthew Tassava, Cameron Kolodjski, Jeremy Straub

Abstract: A system vulnerability analysis technique (SVAT) for complex mission critical systems (CMCS) was developed in response to the need to be able to conduct penetration testing on large industrial systems which cannot be taken offline or risk disablement or impairment for conventional penetration testing. SVAT-CMCS facilitates the use of known vulnerability and exploit information, incremental testing of system components and data analysis techniques to identify attack pathways in CMCSs. This data can be utilized for corrective activities or to target controlled manual follow-up testing. This paper presents the SVAT-CMCS paradigm and describes its implementation in a software tool, which was built using the Blackboard Architecture, that can be utilized for attack pathway identification. The performance of this tool is characterized using three example models. In particular, it explores the path generation speed and the impact of link cap restrictions on system operations, under different levels of network size and complexity. Accurate fact-rule processing is also tested using these models. The results show significant decreases in path generation efficiency as the link cap and network complexity increase; however, rule processing accuracy is not impacted.

8.Development of a Multi-purpose Fuzzer to Perform Assessment as Input to a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment and Analysis System

Authors:Jack Hance, Jeremy Straub

Abstract: Fuzzing is utilized for testing software and systems for cybersecurity risk via the automated adaptation of inputs. It facilitates the identification of software bugs and misconfigurations that may create vulnerabilities, cause abnormal operations or result in systems' failure. While many fuzzers have been purpose-developed for testing specific systems, this paper proposes a generalized fuzzer that provides a specific capability for testing software and cyber-physical systems which utilize configuration files. While this fuzzer facilitates the detection of system and software defects and vulnerabilities, it also facilitates the determination of the impact of settings on device operations. This later capability facilitates the modeling of the devices in a cybersecurity risk assessment and analysis system. This paper describes and assesses the performance of the proposed fuzzer technology. It also details how the fuzzer operates as part of the broader cybersecurity risk assessment and analysis system.

9.Security Analysis of WG-7 Lightweight Stream Cipher against Cube Attack

Authors:Bijoy Das, Abhijit Das, Dipanwita Roy Chowdhury

Abstract: Welch--Gong (WG) is a hardware-oriented LFSR-based stream cipher. WG-7 is a version of the eStream submission Welch--Gong, used for RFID encryption and authentication purposes. It offers 80-bit cryptographic security. In modern days, almost all ciphers achieve the security by exploiting the nonlinear feedback structure. In this paper, we investigate the security of the nonlinear feedback-based initialization phase of the WG-7 stream cipher using the conventional bit-based division property of cube attack, by considering the cipher in a non-blackbox polynomial setting. In our work, we mount the cube attack using mixed-integer-linear-programming(MILP) models. The results of our attack enable us to recover the secret key of WG-7 after 20 rounds of initialization utilizing $2^{10}$ keystream bits in $2^{73}$ time. We show that our proposed attack takes significantly lower data complexity. To the best of our knowledge, our attack is the first one that investigates the security of the nonlinear feedback-based initialization phase of WG-7 cipher.

10.Hardening and Speeding Up Zero-interaction Pairing and Authentication

Authors:Mikhail Fomichev, Timm Lippert, Matthias Hollick

Abstract: Establishing and maintaining secure communications in the Internet of Things (IoT) is vital to protect smart devices. Zero-interaction pairing (ZIP) and zero-interaction authentication (ZIA) enable IoT devices to establish and maintain secure communications without user interaction by utilizing devices' ambient context, e.g., audio. For autonomous operation, ZIP and ZIA require the context to have enough entropy to resist attacks and complete in a timely manner. Despite the low-entropy context being the norm, like inside an unoccupied room, the research community has yet to come up with ZIP and ZIA schemes operating under such conditions. We propose HARDZIPA, a novel approach that turns commodity IoT actuators into injecting devices, generating high-entropy context. Here, we combine the capability of IoT actuators to impact the environment, e.g., emitting a sound, with a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) featured by many actuators to craft hard-to-predict context stimuli. To demonstrate the feasibility of HARDZIPA, we implement it on off-the-shelf IoT actuators, i.e., smart speakers, lights, and humidifiers. We comprehensively evaluate HARDZIPA, collecting over 80 hours of various context data in real-world scenarios. Our results show that HARDZIPA is able to thwart advanced active attacks on ZIP and ZIA schemes, while doubling the amount of context entropy in many cases, which allows two times faster pairing and authentication.

11.Vulnerable Smart Contract Function Locating Based on Multi-Relational Nested Graph Convolutional Network

Authors:Haiyang Liu, Yuqi Fan, Lin Feng, Zhenchun Wei

Abstract: The immutable and trustable characteristics of blockchain enable smart contracts to be applied in various fields. Unfortunately, smart contracts are subject to various vulnerabilities, which are frequently exploited by attackers, causing financial damage to users.In this paper, we study the problem of vulnerable smart contract function locating. We construct a novel Multi-Relational Nested contract Graph (MRNG) to better characterize the rich syntactic and semantic information in the smart contract code, including the relationships between data and instructions. An MRNG represents a smart contract, where each node represents a function in the smart contract and each edge describes the calling relationship between the functions. In addition, we create a Multi-Relational Function Graph (MRFG) for each function, which characterizes the corresponding function code. That is, each function is characterized as an MRFG, which corresponds to a node in the MRNG. Each MRFG uses different types of edges to represent the different control and data relationships between nodes within a function. We also propose a Multi-Relational Nested Graph Convolutional Network (MRN-GCN) to process the MRNG. MRN-GCN first extracts and aggregates features from each MRFG, using the edge-enhanced graph convolution network and self-attention mechanism. The extracted feature vector is then assigned to the corresponding node in the MRNG to obtain a new Featured Contract Graph (FCG) for the smart contract. Graph convolution is used to further extract features from the FCG. Finally, a feed forward network with a Sigmoid function is used to locate the vulnerable functions. Experimental results on the real-world smart contract datasets show that model MRN-GCN can effectively improve the accuracy, precision, recall and F1-score performance of vulnerable smart contract function locating.

12.Differentially Private Selection from Secure Distributed Computin

Authors:Ivan Damgård, Hannah Keller, Boel Nelson, Claudio Orlandi, Rasmus Pagh

Abstract: Given a collection of vectors $x^{(1)},\dots,x^{(n)} \in \{0,1\}^d$, the selection problem asks to report the index of an "approximately largest" entry in $x=\sum_{j=1}^n x^{(j)}$. Selection abstracts a host of problems--in machine learning it can be used for hyperparameter tuning, feature selection, or to model empirical risk minimization. We study selection under differential privacy, where a released index guarantees privacy for each vectors. Though selection can be solved with an excellent utility guarantee in the central model of differential privacy, the distributed setting lacks solutions. Specifically, strong privacy guarantees with high utility are offered in high trust settings, but not in low trust settings. For example, in the popular shuffle model of distributed differential privacy, there are strong lower bounds suggesting that the utility of the central model cannot be obtained. In this paper we design a protocol for differentially private selection in a trust setting similar to the shuffle model--with the crucial difference that our protocol tolerates corrupted servers while maintaining privacy. Our protocol uses techniques from secure multi-party computation (MPC) to implement a protocol that: (i) has utility on par with the best mechanisms in the central model, (ii) scales to large, distributed collections of high-dimensional vectors, and (iii) uses $k\geq 3$ servers that collaborate to compute the result, where the differential privacy holds assuming an honest majority. Since general-purpose MPC techniques are not sufficiently scalable, we propose a novel application of integer secret sharing, and evaluate the utility and efficiency of our protocol theoretically and empirically. Our protocol is the first to demonstrate that large-scale differentially private selection is possible in a distributed setting.

13.The Effect of Length on Key Fingerprint Verification Security and Usability

Authors:Dan Turner, Siamak F. Shahandashti, Helen Petrie

Abstract: In applications such as end-to-end encrypted instant messaging, secure email, and device pairing, users need to compare key fingerprints to detect impersonation and adversary-in-the-middle attacks. Key fingerprints are usually computed as truncated hashes of each party's view of the channel keys, encoded as an alphanumeric or numeric string, and compared out-of-band, e.g. manually, to detect any inconsistencies. Previous work has extensively studied the usability of various verification strategies and encoding formats, however, the exact effect of key fingerprint length on the security and usability of key fingerprint verification has not been rigorously investigated. We present a 162-participant study on the effect of numeric key fingerprint length on comparison time and error rate. While the results confirm some widely-held intuitions such as general comparison times and errors increasing significantly with length, a closer look reveals interesting nuances. The significant rise in comparison time only occurs when highly similar fingerprints are compared, and comparison time remains relatively constant otherwise. On errors, our results clearly distinguish between security non-critical errors that remain low irrespective of length and security critical errors that significantly rise, especially at higher fingerprint lengths. A noteworthy implication of this latter result is that Signal/WhatsApp key fingerprints provide a considerably lower level of security than usually assumed.

14.Prefix Siphoning: Exploiting LSM-Tree Range Filters For Information Disclosure (Full Version)

Authors:Adi Kafuman, Moshik Hershcovitch, Adam Morrison

Abstract: Key-value stores typically leave access control to the systems for which they act as storage engines. Unfortunately, attackers may circumvent such read access controls via timing attacks on the key-value store, which use differences in query response times to glean information about stored data. To date, key-value store timing attacks have aimed to disclose stored values and have exploited external mechanisms that can be disabled for protection. In this paper, we point out that key disclosure is also a security threat -- and demonstrate key disclosure timing attacks that exploit mechanisms of the key-value store itself. We target LSM-tree based key-value stores utilizing range filters, which have been recently proposed to optimize LSM-tree range queries. We analyze the impact of the range filters SuRF and prefix Bloom filter on LSM-trees through a security lens, and show that they enable a key disclosure timing attack, which we call prefix siphoning. Prefix siphoning successfully leverages benign queries for non-present keys to identify prefixes of actual keys -- and in some cases, full keys -- in scenarios where brute force searching for keys (via exhaustive enumeration or random guesses) is infeasible.

1.Protecting the Intellectual Property of Diffusion Models by the Watermark Diffusion Process

Authors:Sen Peng, Yufei Chen, Cong Wang, Xiaohua Jia

Abstract: Diffusion models have emerged as state-of-the-art deep generative architectures with the increasing demands for generation tasks. Training large diffusion models for good performance requires high resource costs, making them valuable intellectual properties to protect. While most of the existing ownership solutions, including watermarking, mainly focus on discriminative models. This paper proposes WDM, a novel watermarking method for diffusion models, including watermark embedding, extraction, and verification. WDM embeds the watermark data through training or fine-tuning the diffusion model to learn a Watermark Diffusion Process (WDP), different from the standard diffusion process for the task data. The embedded watermark can be extracted by sampling using the shared reverse noise from the learned WDP without degrading performance on the original task. We also provide theoretical foundations and analysis of the proposed method by connecting the WDP to the diffusion process with a modified Gaussian kernel. Extensive experiments are conducted to demonstrate its effectiveness and robustness against various attacks.

2.Correlated Pseudorandomness from the Hardness of Quasi-Abelian Decoding

Authors:Maxime Bombar, Geoffroy Couteau, Alain Couvreur, Clément Ducros

Abstract: Secure computation often benefits from the use of correlated randomness to achieve fast, non-cryptographic online protocols. A recent paradigm put forth by Boyle $\textit{et al.}$ (CCS 2018, Crypto 2019) showed how pseudorandom correlation generators (PCG) can be used to generate large amounts of useful forms of correlated (pseudo)randomness, using minimal interactions followed solely by local computations, yielding silent secure two-party computation protocols (protocols where the preprocessing phase requires almost no communication). An additional property called programmability allows to extend this to build N-party protocols. However, known constructions for programmable PCG's can only produce OLE's over large fields, and use rather new splittable Ring-LPN assumption. In this work, we overcome both limitations. To this end, we introduce the quasi-abelian syndrome decoding problem (QA-SD), a family of assumptions which generalises the well-established quasi-cyclic syndrome decoding assumption. Building upon QA-SD, we construct new programmable PCG's for OLE's over any field $\mathbb{F}_q$ with $q>2$. Our analysis also sheds light on the security of the ring-LPN assumption used in Boyle $\textit{et al.}$ (Crypto 2020). Using our new PCG's, we obtain the first efficient N-party silent secure computation protocols for computing general arithmetic circuit over $\mathbb{F}_q$ for any $q>2$.

3.Adversarial Attacks and Defenses for Semantic Communication in Vehicular Metaverses

Authors:Jiawen Kang, Jiayi He, Hongyang Du, Zehui Xiong, Zhaohui Yang, Xumin Huang, Shengli Xie

Abstract: For vehicular metaverses, one of the ultimate user-centric goals is to optimize the immersive experience and Quality of Service (QoS) for users on board. Semantic Communication (SemCom) has been introduced as a revolutionary paradigm that significantly eases communication resource pressure for vehicular metaverse applications to achieve this goal. SemCom enables high-quality and ultra-efficient vehicular communication, even with explosively increasing data traffic among vehicles. In this article, we propose a hierarchical SemCom-enabled vehicular metaverses framework consisting of the global metaverse, local metaverses, SemCom module, and resource pool. The global and local metaverses are brand-new concepts from the metaverse's distribution standpoint. Considering the QoS of users, this article explores the potential security vulnerabilities of the proposed framework. To that purpose, this study highlights a specific security risk to the framework's SemCom module and offers a viable defense solution, so encouraging community researchers to focus more on vehicular metaverse security. Finally, we provide an overview of the open issues of secure SemCom in the vehicular metaverses, notably pointing out potential future research directions.

4.Greedy-Mine: A Profitable Mining Attack Strategy in Bitcoin-NG

Authors:Junjie Hu, Zhe Jiang, Chunxiang Xu

Abstract: Bitcoin-NG is an extensible blockchain protocol based on the same trust model as Bitcoin. It divides each epoch into one Key-Block and multiple Micro-Blocks, effectively improving transaction processing capacity. Bitcoin-NG adopts a special incentive mechanism (i.e., the transaction fees in each epoch are split to the current and next leader) to maintain its security. However, there are some limitations to the existing incentive analysis of Bitcoin-NG in recent works. First, the incentive division method of Bitcoin-NG only includes some specific mining attack strategies of adversary, while ignoring more stubborn attack strategies. Second, once adversaries find a whale transaction, they will deviate from honest mining strategy to obtain extra reward. In this paper, we are committed to solving these two limitations. First, we propose a novel mining strategy named Greedy-Mine attack. Then, we formulate a Markov Decision Process (MDP) model to analyze the competition of honest miners and adversaries. Furthermore, we analysis the extra reward of adversaries and summarize the mining power proportion range required for malicious adversaries to launch Greedy-Mine to obtain extra returns. Finally, we make a backward-compatibility progressive modification to Bitcoin-NG protocol that would raise the threshold of propagation factor from 0 to 1. Meanwhile, we get the winning condition of adversaries when adopting Greedy-Mine, compared with honest mining. Simulation and experimental results indicate that Bitcoin-NG is not incentive compatible, which is vulnerable to Greedy-Mine attack.

5.A Practical Framework for Storing and Searching Encrypted Data on Cloud Storage

Authors:Mazharul Islam

Abstract: Security has become a significant concern with the increased popularity of cloud storage services. It comes with the vulnerability of being accessed by third parties. Security is one of the major hurdles in the cloud server for the user when the user data that reside in local storage is outsourced to the cloud. It has given rise to security concerns involved in data confidentiality even after the deletion of data from cloud storage. Though, it raises a serious problem when the encrypted data needs to be shared with more people than the data owner initially designated. However, searching on encrypted data is a fundamental issue in cloud storage. The method of searching over encrypted data represents a significant challenge in the cloud. Searchable encryption allows a cloud server to conduct a search over encrypted data on behalf of the data users without learning the underlying plaintexts. While many academic SE schemes show provable security, they usually expose some query information, making them less practical, weak in usability, and challenging to deploy. Also, sharing encrypted data with other authorized users must provide each document's secret key. However, this way has many limitations due to the difficulty of key management and distribution. We have designed the system using the existing cryptographic approaches, ensuring the search on encrypted data over the cloud. The primary focus of our proposed model is to ensure user privacy and security through a less computationally intensive, user-friendly system with a trusted third party entity. To demonstrate our proposed model, we have implemented a web application called CryptoSearch as an overlay system on top of a well-known cloud storage domain. It exhibits secure search on encrypted data with no compromise to the user-friendliness and the scheme's functional performance in real-world applications.

6.Machine Unlearning: A Survey

Authors:Heng Xu, Tianqing Zhu, Lefeng Zhang, Wanlei Zhou, Philip S. Yu

Abstract: Machine learning has attracted widespread attention and evolved into an enabling technology for a wide range of highly successful applications, such as intelligent computer vision, speech recognition, medical diagnosis, and more. Yet a special need has arisen where, due to privacy, usability, and/or the right to be forgotten, information about some specific samples needs to be removed from a model, called machine unlearning. This emerging technology has drawn significant interest from both academics and industry due to its innovation and practicality. At the same time, this ambitious problem has led to numerous research efforts aimed at confronting its challenges. To the best of our knowledge, no study has analyzed this complex topic or compared the feasibility of existing unlearning solutions in different kinds of scenarios. Accordingly, with this survey, we aim to capture the key concepts of unlearning techniques. The existing solutions are classified and summarized based on their characteristics within an up-to-date and comprehensive review of each category's advantages and limitations. The survey concludes by highlighting some of the outstanding issues with unlearning techniques, along with some feasible directions for new research opportunities.

7.mdTLS: How to Make middlebox-aware TLS more efficient?

Authors:Taehyun Ahn, Jiwon Kwak, Seungjoo Kim

Abstract: The more data transmission over TLS protocol becomes increasingly common in IT Systems, the more middleboxes are deployed in networks. These middleboxes have several advantages, however, they become the target of cyber-attacks. Many researchers proposed revised versions of TLS protocols to make them secure, however, their approaches had some limitations. In this paper, we propose a middlebox-delegated TLS (mdTLS) protocol to improve performance based on the middlebox-aware TLS (maTLS), one of the most secure TLS protocols. We found out that the computational complexity of mdTLS is about twice as low as that of maTLS. Furthermore, we formally verified that our proposal meets newly defined security goals as well as those verified by maTLS. All of the formal models and lemmas are open to the public through following url https://github.com/HackProof/mdTLS.

8.TALUS: Reinforcing TEE Confidentiality with Cryptographic Coprocessors (Technical Report)

Authors:Dhiman Chakraborty, Michael Schwarz, Sven Bugiel

Abstract: Platforms are nowadays typically equipped with tristed execution environments (TEES), such as Intel SGX and ARM TrustZone. However, recent microarchitectural attacks on TEEs repeatedly broke their confidentiality guarantees, including the leakage of long-term cryptographic secrets. These systems are typically also equipped with a cryptographic coprocessor, such as a TPM or Google Titan. These coprocessors offer a unique set of security features focused on safeguarding cryptographic secrets. Still, despite their simultaneous availability, the integration between these technologies is practically nonexistent, which prevents them from benefitting from each other's strengths. In this paper, we propose TALUS, a general design and a set of three main requirements for a secure symbiosis between TEEs and cryptographic coprocessors. We implement a proof-of-concept of TALUS based on Intel SGX and a hardware TPM. We show that with TALUS, the long-term secrets used in the SGX life cycle can be moved to the TPM. We demonstrate that our design is robust even in the presence of transient execution attacks, preventing an entire class of attacks due to the reduced attack surface on the shared hardware.

9.Effective Intrusion Detection in Highly Imbalanced IoT Networks with Lightweight S2CGAN-IDS

Authors:Caihong Wang, Du Xu, Zonghang Li, Dusit Niyato

Abstract: Since the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), exchanging vast amounts of information has increased the number of security threats in networks. As a result, intrusion detection based on deep learning (DL) has been developed to achieve high throughput and high precision. Unlike general deep learning-based scenarios, IoT networks contain benign traffic far more than abnormal traffic, with some rare attacks. However, most existing studies have been focused on sacrificing the detection rate of the majority class in order to improve the detection rate of the minority class in class-imbalanced IoT networks. Although this way can reduce the false negative rate of minority classes, it both wastes resources and reduces the credibility of the intrusion detection systems. To address this issue, we propose a lightweight framework named S2CGAN-IDS. The proposed framework leverages the distribution characteristics of network traffic to expand the number of minority categories in both data space and feature space, resulting in a substantial increase in the detection rate of minority categories while simultaneously ensuring the detection precision of majority categories. To reduce the impact of sparsity on the experiments, the CICIDS2017 numeric dataset is utilized to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The experimental results indicate that our proposed approach outperforms the superior method in both Precision and Recall, particularly with a 10.2% improvement in the F1-score.

10.A Novel Approach To User Agent String Parsing For Vulnerability Analysis Using Mutli-Headed Attention

Authors:Dhruv Nandakumar, Sathvik Murli, Ankur Khosla, Kevin Choi, Abdul Rahman, Drew Walsh, Scott Riede, Eric Dull, Edward Bowen

Abstract: The increasing reliance on the internet has led to the proliferation of a diverse set of web-browsers and operating systems (OSs) capable of browsing the web. User agent strings (UASs) are a component of web browsing that are transmitted with every Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request. They contain information about the client device and software, which is used by web servers for various purposes such as content negotiation and security. However, due to the proliferation of various browsers and devices, parsing UASs is a non-trivial task due to a lack of standardization of UAS formats. Current rules-based approaches are often brittle and can fail when encountering such non-standard formats. In this work, a novel methodology for parsing UASs using Multi-Headed Attention Based transformers is proposed. The proposed methodology exhibits strong performance in parsing a variety of UASs with differing formats. Furthermore, a framework to utilize parsed UASs to estimate the vulnerability scores for large sections of publicly visible IT networks or regions is also discussed. The methodology present here can also be easily extended or deployed for real-time parsing of logs in enterprise settings.

11.Interest-disclosing Mechanisms for Advertising are Privacy-Exposing (not Preserving)

Authors:Yohan Beugin, Patrick McDaniel

Abstract: Today, targeted online advertising relies on unique identifiers assigned to users through third-party cookies--a practice at odds with user privacy. While the web and advertising communities have proposed interest-disclosing mechanisms, including Google's Topics API, as solutions, an independent analysis of these proposals in realistic scenarios has yet to be performed. In this paper, we attempt to validate the privacy (i.e., preventing unique identification) and utility (i.e., enabling ad targeting) claims of Google's Topics proposal in the context of realistic user behavior. Through new statistical models of the distribution of user behaviors and resulting targeting topics, we analyze the capabilities of malicious advertisers observing users over time and colluding with other third parties. Our analysis shows that even in the best case, individual users' identification across sites is possible, as 0.4% of the 250k users we simulate are re-identified. These guarantees weaken further over time and when advertisers collude: 57% of users are uniquely re-identified after 15 weeks of browsing, increasing to 75% after 30 weeks. While measuring that the Topics API provides moderate utility, we also find that advertisers and publishers can abuse the Topics API to potentially assign unique identifiers to users, defeating the desired privacy guarantees. As a result, the inherent diversity of users' interests on the web is directly at odds with the privacy objectives of interest-disclosing mechanisms; we discuss how any replacement of third-party cookies may have to seek other avenues to achieve privacy for the web.

1.Building Resilient SMEs: Harnessing Large Language Models for Cyber Security in Australia

Authors:Benjamin Kereopa-Yorke

Abstract: The escalating digitalisation of our lives and enterprises has led to a parallel growth in the complexity and frequency of cyber-attacks. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in Australia, are experiencing increased vulnerability to cyber threats, posing a significant challenge to the nation's cyber security landscape. Embracing transformative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Large Language Models (LLMs) can potentially strengthen cyber security policies for Australian SMEs. However, their practical application, advantages, and limitations remain underexplored, with prior research mainly focusing on large corporations. This study aims to address this gap by providing a comprehensive understanding of the potential role of LLMs in enhancing cyber security policies for Australian SMEs. Employing a mixed-methods study design, this research includes a literature review, qualitative analysis of SME case studies, and a quantitative assessment of LLM performance metrics in cyber security applications. The findings highlight the promising potential of LLMs across various performance criteria, including relevance, accuracy, and applicability, though gaps remain in areas such as completeness and clarity. The study underlines the importance of integrating human expertise with LLM technology and refining model development to address these limitations. By proposing a robust conceptual framework guiding the effective adoption of LLMs, this research aims to contribute to a safer and more resilient cyber environment for Australian SMEs, enabling sustainable growth and competitiveness in the digital era.

2.Efficient Algorithms for Modeling SBoxes Using MILP

Authors:Debranjan Pal, Vishal Pankaj Chandratreya, Dipanwita Roy Chowdhury

Abstract: Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) is a well-known approach for the cryptanalysis of a symmetric cipher. A number of MILP-based security analyses have been reported for non-linear (SBoxes) and linear layers. Researchers proposed word- and bit-wise SBox modeling techniques using a set of inequalities which helps in searching differential trails for a cipher. In this paper, we propose two new techniques to reduce the number of inequalities to represent the valid differential transitions for SBoxes. Our first technique chooses the best greedy solution with a random tiebreaker and achieves improved results for the 4-bit SBoxes of MIBS, LBlock, and Serpent over the existing results of Sun et al. [25]. Subset addition, our second approach, is an improvement over the algorithm proposed by Boura and Coggia. Subset addition technique is faster than Boura and Coggia [10] and also improves the count of inequalities. Our algorithm emulates the existing results for the 4-bit SBoxes of Minalpher, LBlock, Serpent, Prince, and Rectangle. The subset addition method also works for 5-bit and 6-bit SBoxes. We improve the boundary of minimum number inequalities from the existing results for 5-bit SBoxes of ASCON and SC2000. Application of subset addition technique for 6-bit SBoxes of APN, FIDES, and SC2000 enhances the existing results. By applying multithreading, we reduced the execution time needed to find the minimum inequality set over the existing techniques.

3.Federated Intrusion Detection System based on Deep Belief Networks

Authors:Othmane Belarbi, Theodoros Spyridopoulos, Eirini Anthi, Ioannis Mavromatis, Pietro Carnelli, Aftab Khan

Abstract: The vast increase of IoT technologies and the ever-evolving attack vectors and threat actors have increased cyber-security risks dramatically. Novel attacks can compromise IoT devices to gain access to sensitive data or control them to deploy further malicious activities. The detection of novel attacks often relies upon AI solutions. A common approach to implementing AI-based IDS in distributed IoT systems is in a centralised manner. However, this approach may violate data privacy and secrecy. In addition, centralised data collection prohibits the scale-up of IDSs. Therefore, intrusion detection solutions in IoT ecosystems need to move towards a decentralised direction. FL has attracted significant interest in recent years due to its ability to perform collaborative learning while preserving data confidentiality and locality. Nevertheless, most FL-based IDS for IoT systems are designed under unrealistic data distribution conditions. To that end, we design an experiment representative of the real world and evaluate the performance of two FL IDS implementations, one based on DNNs and another on our previous work on DBNs. For our experiments, we rely on TON-IoT, a realistic IoT network traffic dataset, associating each IP address with a single FL client. Additionally, we explore pre-training and investigate various aggregation methods to mitigate the impact of data heterogeneity. Lastly, we benchmark our approach against a centralised solution. The comparison shows that the heterogeneous nature of the data has a considerable negative impact on the model performance when trained in a distributed manner. However, in the case of a pre-trained initial global FL model, we demonstrate a performance improvement of over 20% (F1-score) when compared against a randomly initiated global model.

4.Modular zk-Rollup On-Demand

Authors:Thomas Lavaur, Jonathan Detchart, Jérôme Lacan, Caroline P. C. Chanel

Abstract: The rapid expansion of the use of blockchain-based systems often leads to a choice between customizable private blockchains and more secure, scalable and decentralized but expensive public blockchains. This choice represents the trade-off between privacy and customization at a low cost and security, scalability, and a large user base but at a high cost. In order to improve the scalability of secure public blockchains while enabling privacy and cost reduction, zk-rollups, a layer 2 solution, appear to be a promising avenue. This paper explores the benefits of zk-rollups, including improved privacy, as well as their potential to support transactions designed for specific applications. We propose an innovative design that allows multiple zk-rollups to co-exist on the same smart contracts, simplifying their creation and customization. We then evaluate the first implementation of our system highlighting a low overhead on existing transaction types and on proof generation while strongly decreasing the cost of new transaction types and drastically reducing zk-rollup creation costs.

5.Evading Black-box Classifiers Without Breaking Eggs

Authors:Edoardo Debenedetti, Nicholas Carlini, Florian Tramèr

Abstract: Decision-based evasion attacks repeatedly query a black-box classifier to generate adversarial examples. Prior work measures the cost of such attacks by the total number of queries made to the classifier. We argue this metric is flawed. Most security-critical machine learning systems aim to weed out "bad" data (e.g., malware, harmful content, etc). Queries to such systems carry a fundamentally asymmetric cost: queries detected as "bad" come at a higher cost because they trigger additional security filters, e.g., usage throttling or account suspension. Yet, we find that existing decision-based attacks issue a large number of "bad" queries, which likely renders them ineffective against security-critical systems. We then design new attacks that reduce the number of bad queries by $1.5$-$7.3\times$, but often at a significant increase in total (non-bad) queries. We thus pose it as an open problem to build black-box attacks that are more effective under realistic cost metrics.

6.Hiding in Plain Sight: Disguising Data Stealing Attacks in Federated Learning

Authors:Kostadin Garov, Dimitar I. Dimitrov, Nikola Jovanović, Martin Vechev

Abstract: Malicious server (MS) attacks have enabled the scaling of data stealing in federated learning to large batch sizes and secure aggregation, settings previously considered private. However, many concerns regarding client-side detectability of MS attacks were raised, questioning their practicality once they are publicly known. In this work, for the first time, we thoroughly study the problem of client-side detectability.We demonstrate that most prior MS attacks, which fundamentally rely on one of two key principles, are detectable by principled client-side checks. Further, we formulate desiderata for practical MS attacks and propose SEER, a novel attack framework that satisfies all desiderata, while stealing user data from gradients of realistic networks, even for large batch sizes (up to 512 in our experiments) and under secure aggregation. The key insight of SEER is the use of a secret decoder, which is jointly trained with the shared model. Our work represents a promising first step towards more principled treatment of MS attacks, paving the way for realistic data stealing that can compromise user privacy in real-world deployments.

7.Discriminative Adversarial Privacy: Balancing Accuracy and Membership Privacy in Neural Networks

Authors:Eugenio Lomurno, Alberto Archetti, Francesca Ausonio, Matteo Matteucci

Abstract: The remarkable proliferation of deep learning across various industries has underscored the importance of data privacy and security in AI pipelines. As the evolution of sophisticated Membership Inference Attacks (MIAs) threatens the secrecy of individual-specific information used for training deep learning models, Differential Privacy (DP) raises as one of the most utilized techniques to protect models against malicious attacks. However, despite its proven theoretical properties, DP can significantly hamper model performance and increase training time, turning its use impractical in real-world scenarios. Tackling this issue, we present Discriminative Adversarial Privacy (DAP), a novel learning technique designed to address the limitations of DP by achieving a balance between model performance, speed, and privacy. DAP relies on adversarial training based on a novel loss function able to minimise the prediction error while maximising the MIA's error. In addition, we introduce a novel metric named Accuracy Over Privacy (AOP) to capture the performance-privacy trade-off. Finally, to validate our claims, we compare DAP with diverse DP scenarios, providing an analysis of the results from performance, time, and privacy preservation perspectives.

1.Proxy Re-encryption based Fair Trade Protocol for Digital Goods Transactions via Smart Contracts

Authors:Peng Zhang, Jiaquan Wei, Yuhong Liu, Hongwei Liu

Abstract: With the massive amount of digital data generated everyday, transactions of digital goods become a trend. One of the essential requirements for such transactions is fairness, which is defined as that both of the seller and the buyer get what they want, or neither. Current fair trade protocols generally involve a trusted third-party (TTP), which achieves fairness by heavily relying on the TTP's behaviors and the two parties' trust in the TTP. With the emergence of Blockchain, its decentralization and transparency make it a very good candidate to replace the TTP. In this work, we attempt to design a secure and fair protocol for digital goods transactions through smart contracts on Blockchain. To ensure security of the digital goods, we propose an advanced passive proxy re-encryption (PRE) scheme, which enables smart contracts to transfer the decryption right to a buyer after receiving his/her payment. Furthermore, based on smart contracts and the proposed passive PRE scheme, a fair trade protocol for digital goods transactions is proposed, whose fairness is guaranteed by the arbitration protocol. The proposed protocol supports Ciphertext publicity and repeatable sale, while involving less number of interactions. Comprehensive experiment results validate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed protocol.

2.Compatibility and Timing Attacks for JPEG Steganalysis

Authors:Etienne Levecque CRIStAL, Patrick Bas CRIStAL, Jan Butora CRIStAL

Abstract: This paper introduces a novel compatibility attack to detect a steganographic message embedded in the DCT domain of a JPEG image at high-quality factors (close to 100). Because the JPEG compression is not a surjective function, i.e. not every DCT blocks can be mapped from a pixel block, embedding a message in the DCT domain can create incompatible blocks. We propose a method to find such a block, which directly proves that a block has been modified during the embedding. This theoretical method provides many advantages such as being completely independent to Cover Source Mismatch, having good detection power, and perfect reliability since false alarms are impossible as soon as incompatible blocks are found. We show that finding an incompatible block is equivalent to proving the infeasibility of an Integer Linear Programming problem. However, solving such a problem requires considerable computational power and has not been reached for 8x8 blocks. Instead, a timing attack approach is presented to perform steganalysis without potentially any false alarms for large computing power.

3.FedCIP: Federated Client Intellectual Property Protection with Traitor Tracking

Authors:Junchuan Liang, Rong Wang

Abstract: Federated learning is an emerging privacy-preserving distributed machine learning that enables multiple parties to collaboratively learn a shared model while keeping each party's data private. However, federated learning faces two main problems: semi-honest server privacy inference attacks and malicious client-side model theft. To address privacy inference attacks, parameter-based encrypted federated learning secure aggregation can be used. To address model theft, a watermark-based intellectual property protection scheme can verify model ownership. Although watermark-based intellectual property protection schemes can help verify model ownership, they are not sufficient to address the issue of continuous model theft by uncaught malicious clients in federated learning. Existing IP protection schemes that have the ability to track traitors are also not compatible with federated learning security aggregation. Thus, in this paper, we propose a Federated Client-side Intellectual Property Protection (FedCIP), which is compatible with federated learning security aggregation and has the ability to track traitors. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first IP protection scheme in federated learning that is compatible with secure aggregation and tracking capabilities.

4.Towards Robust GAN-generated Image Detection: a Multi-view Completion Representation

Authors:Chi Liu, Tianqing Zhu, Sheng Shen, Wanlei Zhou

Abstract: GAN-generated image detection now becomes the first line of defense against the malicious uses of machine-synthesized image manipulations such as deepfakes. Although some existing detectors work well in detecting clean, known GAN samples, their success is largely attributable to overfitting unstable features such as frequency artifacts, which will cause failures when facing unknown GANs or perturbation attacks. To overcome the issue, we propose a robust detection framework based on a novel multi-view image completion representation. The framework first learns various view-to-image tasks to model the diverse distributions of genuine images. Frequency-irrelevant features can be represented from the distributional discrepancies characterized by the completion models, which are stable, generalized, and robust for detecting unknown fake patterns. Then, a multi-view classification is devised with elaborated intra- and inter-view learning strategies to enhance view-specific feature representation and cross-view feature aggregation, respectively. We evaluated the generalization ability of our framework across six popular GANs at different resolutions and its robustness against a broad range of perturbation attacks. The results confirm our method's improved effectiveness, generalization, and robustness over various baselines.

5.Network Agnostic MPC with Statistical Security

Authors:Ananya Appan, Ashish Choudhury

Abstract: We initiate the study of the network agnostic MPC protocols with statistical security. Network agnostic protocols give the best possible security guarantees irrespective of the underlying network type. We consider the general-adversary model, where the adversary is characterized by an adversary structure which enumerates all possible candidate subsets of corrupt parties. The $\mathcal{Q}^{(k)}$ condition enforces that the union of no $k$ subsets from the adversary structure covers the party set. Given an unconditionally-secure PKI setup, known statistically-secure synchronous MPC protocols are secure against adversary structures satisfying the $\mathcal{Q}^{(2)}$ condition. Known statistically-secure asynchronous MPC protocols can tolerate $\mathcal{Q}^{(3)}$ adversary structures. Fix a set of $n$ parties $\mathcal{P} = \{P_1, ... ,P_n\}$ and adversary structures $\mathcal{Z}_s$ and $\mathcal{Z}_a$, satisfying the $\mathcal{Q}^{(2)}$ and $\mathcal{Q}^{(3)}$ conditions respectively, where $\mathcal{Z}_a \subset \mathcal{Z}_s$. Then, given an unconditionally-secure PKI, we ask whether it is possible to design a statistically-secure MPC protocol resilient against $\mathcal{Z}_s$ and $\mathcal{Z}_a$ in a synchronous and an asynchronous network respectively if the parties in $\mathcal{P}$ are unaware of the network type. We show that it is possible iff $\mathcal{Z}_s$ and $\mathcal{Z}_a$ satisfy the $\mathcal{Q}^{(2,1)}$ condition, meaning that the union of any two subsets from $\mathcal{Z}_s$ and any one subset from $\mathcal{Z}_a$ is a proper subset of $\mathcal{P}$. We design several important network agnostic building blocks with the $\mathcal{Q}^{(2,1)}$ condition, such as Byzantine broadcast, Byzantine agreement, information checking protocol, verifiable secret-sharing and secure multiplication protocol, whose complexity is polynomial in $n$ and $|\mathcal{Z}_s|$.

6.Blockchain Model for Environment/Infrastructure Monitoring in Cloud-Enabled High-Altitude Platform Systems

Authors:Khaleel Mershad, Hayssam Dahrouj

Abstract: The recently accentuated features of augmenting conventional wireless networks with high altitude platform systems (HAPS) have fueled a plethora of applications, which promise to offer new services to ground users, as well to enhance the efficiency and pervasion of existing applications. Cloud-enabled HAPS, which aims to create HAPS-based datacenters that offer cloud services to users, has particularly emerged as a promising key enabler to provide large-scale equitable services from the sky. Although offering cloud services from the HAPS proves to be efficient, its practical deployment at the stratosphere level still faces many challenges such as high energy requirements, physical maintenance, and is particularly prone to security considerations. Safeguarding the cloud-enabled HAPS against various cyberattacks is a necessity to guarantee its safe operation. This paper proposes a blockchain model to secure cloud-enabled HAPS networks that contain a large number of HAPS stations from recurring cyberattacks within the context of the environment and infrastructure monitoring (EIM) application. To this end, the paper first presents a detailed blockchain framework, and describes the ways of integrating the developed framework into the various system components. We then discuss the details of the system implementation, including the storing and consuming of cloud transactions, the generation of new blocks, and the blockchain consensus protocol that is tailored to the EIM requirements. Finally, we present numerical simulations that illustrate the performance of the system in terms of throughput, latency, and resilience to attacks.

7.Poisoning Network Flow Classifiers

Authors:Giorgio Severi, Simona Boboila, Alina Oprea, John Holodnak, Kendra Kratkiewicz, Jason Matterer

Abstract: As machine learning (ML) classifiers increasingly oversee the automated monitoring of network traffic, studying their resilience against adversarial attacks becomes critical. This paper focuses on poisoning attacks, specifically backdoor attacks, against network traffic flow classifiers. We investigate the challenging scenario of clean-label poisoning where the adversary's capabilities are constrained to tampering only with the training data - without the ability to arbitrarily modify the training labels or any other component of the training process. We describe a trigger crafting strategy that leverages model interpretability techniques to generate trigger patterns that are effective even at very low poisoning rates. Finally, we design novel strategies to generate stealthy triggers, including an approach based on generative Bayesian network models, with the goal of minimizing the conspicuousness of the trigger, and thus making detection of an ongoing poisoning campaign more challenging. Our findings provide significant insights into the feasibility of poisoning attacks on network traffic classifiers used in multiple scenarios, including detecting malicious communication and application classification.

1.Developing and Building Ontologies in Cyber Security

Authors:Muhammad Shoaib Farooq, Muhammad Talha Waseem

Abstract: Cyber Security is one of the most arising disciplines in our modern society. We work on Cybersecurity domain and in this the topic we chose is Cyber Security Ontologies. In this we gather all latest and previous ontologies and compare them on the basis of different analyzing factors to get best of them. Reason to select this topic is to assemble different ontologies from different era of time. Because, researches that included in this SLR is mostly studied single ontology. If any researcher wants to study ontologies, he has to study every single ontology and select which one is best for his research. So, we assemble different types of ontology and compare them against each other to get best of them. A total 24 papers between years 2010-2020 are carefully selected through systematic process and classified accordingly. Lastly, this SLR have been presented to provide the researchers promising future directions in the domain of cybersecurity ontologies.

2.Challenges and Remedies to Privacy and Security in AIGC: Exploring the Potential of Privacy Computing, Blockchain, and Beyond

Authors:Chuan Chen, Zhenpeng Wu, Yanyi Lai, Wenlin Ou, Tianchi Liao, Zibin Zheng

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence Generated Content (AIGC) is one of the latest achievements in AI development. The content generated by related applications, such as text, images and audio, has sparked a heated discussion. Various derived AIGC applications are also gradually entering all walks of life, bringing unimaginable impact to people's daily lives. However, the rapid development of such generative tools has also raised concerns about privacy and security issues, and even copyright issues in AIGC. We note that advanced technologies such as blockchain and privacy computing can be combined with AIGC tools, but no work has yet been done to investigate their relevance and prospect in a systematic and detailed way. Therefore it is necessary to investigate how they can be used to protect the privacy and security of data in AIGC by fully exploring the aforementioned technologies. In this paper, we first systematically review the concept, classification and underlying technologies of AIGC. Then, we discuss the privacy and security challenges faced by AIGC from multiple perspectives and purposefully list the countermeasures that currently exist. We hope our survey will help researchers and industry to build a more secure and robust AIGC system.

3.Harnessing the Potential of Blockchain in DevOps: A Framework for Distributed Integration and Development

Authors:Muhammad Shoaib Farooq, Usman Ali

Abstract: As the use of DevOps practices continues to grow, organizations are seeking ways to improve collaboration, speed up development cycles, and increase security, transparency, and traceability. Blockchain technology has the potential to support these goals by providing a secure, decentralized platform for distributed integration and development. In this paper, we propose a framework for distributed DevOps that utilizes the benefits of blockchain technology that can eliminate the shortcomings of DevOps. We demonstrate the feasibility and potential benefits of the proposed framework that involves developing and deploying applications in a distributed environment. We present a benchmark result demonstrating the effectiveness of our framework in a real-world scenario, highlighting its ability to improve collaboration, reduce costs, and enhance the security of the DevOps pipeline. Conclusively, our research contributes to the growing body of literature on the intersection of blockchain and DevOps, providing a practical framework for organizations looking to leverage blockchain technology to improve their development processes.

4.EduChain: A Blockchain-based Education Data Management System

Authors:Yihan Liu, Ke Li, Zihao Huang, Bowen Li, Guiyan Wang, Wei Cai

Abstract: The predominant centralized paradigm in educational data management currently suffers from several critical issues such as vulnerability to malicious tampering, a high prevalence of diploma counterfeiting, and the onerous cost of certificate authentication. Decentralized blockchain technology, with its cutting-edge capabilities, presents a viable solution to these pervasive problems. In this paper, we illuminate the inherent limitations of existing centralized systems and introduce EduChain, a novel heterogeneous blockchain-based system for managing educational data. EduChain uniquely harnesses the strengths of both private and consortium blockchains, offering an unprecedented level of security and efficiency. In addition, we propose a robust mechanism for performing database consistency checks and error tracing. This is achieved through the implementation of a secondary consensus, employing the pt-table-checksum tool. This approach effectively addresses the prevalent issue of database mismatches. Our system demonstrates superior performance in key areas such as information verification, error traceback, and data security, thereby significantly improving the integrity and trustworthiness of educational data management. Through EduChain, we offer a powerful solution for future advancements in secure and efficient educational data management.

5.ExTRUST: Reducing Exploit Stockpiles with a Privacy-Preserving Depletion System for Inter-State Relationships

Authors:Thomas Reinhold, Philipp Kuehn, Daniel Günther, Thomas Schneider, Christian Reuter

Abstract: Cyberspace is a fragile construct threatened by malicious cyber operations of different actors, with vulnerabilities in IT hardware and software forming the basis for such activities, thus also posing a threat to global IT security. Advancements in the field of artificial intelligence accelerate this development, either with artificial intelligence enabled cyber weapons, automated cyber defense measures, or artificial intelligence-based threat and vulnerability detection. Especially state actors, with their long-term strategic security interests, often stockpile such knowledge of vulnerabilities and exploits to enable their military or intelligence service cyberspace operations. While treaties and regulations to limit these developments and to enhance global IT security by disclosing vulnerabilities are currently being discussed on the international level, these efforts are hindered by state concerns about the disclosure of unique knowledge and about giving up tactical advantages. This leads to a situation where multiple states are likely to stockpile at least some identical exploits, with technical measures to enable a depletion process for these stockpiles that preserve state secrecy interests and consider the special constraints of interacting states as well as the requirements within such environments being non-existent. This paper proposes such a privacy-preserving approach that allows multiple state parties to privately compare their stock of vulnerabilities and exploits to check for items that occur in multiple stockpiles without revealing them so that their disclosure can be considered. We call our system ExTRUST and show that it is scalable and can withstand several attack scenarios. Beyond the intergovernmental setting, ExTRUST can also be used for other zero-trust use cases, such as bug-bounty programs.

6.Spying on the Spy: Security Analysis of Hidden Cameras

Authors:Samuel Herodotou, Feng Hao

Abstract: Hidden cameras, also called spy cameras, are surveillance tools commonly used to spy on people without their knowledge. Whilst previous studies largely focused on investigating the detection of such a camera and the privacy implications, the security of the camera itself has received limited attention. Compared with ordinary IP cameras, spy cameras are normally sold in bulk at cheap prices and are ubiquitously deployed in hidden places within homes and workplaces. A security compromise of these cameras can have severe consequences. In this paper, we analyse a generic IP camera module, which has been packaged and re-branded for sale by several spy camera vendors. The module is controlled by mobile phone apps. By analysing the Android app and the traffic data, we reverse-engineered the security design of the whole system, including the module's Linux OS environment, the file structure, the authentication mechanism, the session management, and the communication with a remote server. Serious vulnerabilities have been identified in every component. Combined together, they allow an adversary to take complete control of a spy camera from anywhere over the Internet, enabling arbitrary code execution. This is possible even if the camera is behind a firewall. All that an adversary needs to launch an attack is the camera's serial number, which users sometimes unknowingly share in online reviews. We responsibly disclosed our findings to the manufacturer. Whilst the manufacturer acknowledged our work, they showed no intention to fix the problems. Patching or recalling the affected cameras is infeasible due to complexities in the supply chain. However, it is prudent to assume that bad actors have already been exploiting these flaws. We provide details of the identified vulnerabilities in order to raise public awareness, especially on the grave danger of disclosing a spy camera's serial number.

7.Physical Attacks on the Railway System

Authors:Lukas Iffländer, Thomas Buder, Teresa Loreth, Marina Alonso Villota, Walter Schmitz, Karl Adolf Neubecker, Stefan Pickl

Abstract: Recent attacks encouraged public interest in physical security for railways. Knowing about and learning from previous attacks is necessary to secure against them. This paper presents a structured data set of physical attacks against railways. We analyze the data regarding the used means, the railway system's target component, the attacker type, and the geographical distribution of attacks. The results indicate a growing heterogeneity of observed attacks in the recent decade compared to the previous decades and centuries, making protecting railways more complex.

8.CRS-FL: Conditional Random Sampling for Communication-Efficient and Privacy-Preserving Federated Learning

Authors:Jianhua Wang. Xiaolin Chang, Jelena Mišić, Vojislav B. Mišić, Lin Li, Yingying Yao

Abstract: Federated Learning (FL), a privacy-oriented distributed ML paradigm, is being gaining great interest in Internet of Things because of its capability to protect participants data privacy. Studies have been conducted to address challenges existing in standard FL, including communication efficiency and privacy-preserving. But they cannot achieve the goal of making a tradeoff between communication efficiency and model accuracy while guaranteeing privacy. This paper proposes a Conditional Random Sampling (CRS) method and implements it into the standard FL settings (CRS-FL) to tackle the above-mentioned challenges. CRS explores a stochastic coefficient based on Poisson sampling to achieve a higher probability of obtaining zero-gradient unbiasedly, and then decreases the communication overhead effectively without model accuracy degradation. Moreover, we dig out the relaxation Local Differential Privacy (LDP) guarantee conditions of CRS theoretically. Extensive experiment results indicate that (1) in communication efficiency, CRS-FL performs better than the existing methods in metric accuracy per transmission byte without model accuracy reduction in more than 7% sampling ratio (# sampling size / # model size); (2) in privacy-preserving, CRS-FL achieves no accuracy reduction compared with LDP baselines while holding the efficiency, even exceeding them in model accuracy under more sampling ratio conditions.

9.Impact of using a privacy model on smart buildings data for CO2 prediction

Authors:Marlon P. da Silva, Henry C. Nunes, Charles V. Neu, Luana T. Thomas, Avelino F. Zorzo, Charles Morisset

Abstract: There is a constant trade-off between the utility of the data collected and processed by the many systems forming the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and the privacy concerns of the users living in the spaces hosting these sensors. Privacy models, such as the SITA (Spatial, Identity, Temporal, and Activity) model, can help address this trade-off. In this paper, we focus on the problem of $CO_2$ prediction, which is crucial for health monitoring but can be used to monitor occupancy, which might reveal some private information. We apply a number of transformations on a real dataset from a Smart Building to simulate different SITA configurations on the collected data. We use the transformed data with multiple Machine Learning (ML) techniques to analyse the performance of the models to predict $CO_{2}$ levels. Our results show that, for different algorithms, different SITA configurations do not make one algorithm perform better or worse than others, compared to the baseline data; also, in our experiments, the temporal dimension was particularly sensitive, with scores decreasing up to $18.9\%$ between the original and the transformed data. The results can be useful to show the effect of different levels of data privacy on the data utility of IoT applications, and can also help to identify which parameters are more relevant for those systems so that higher privacy settings can be adopted while data utility is still preserved.

10.Interpreting GNN-based IDS Detections Using Provenance Graph Structural Features

Authors:Kunal Mukherjee, Joshua Wiedemeier, Tianhao Wang, Muhyun Kim, Feng Chen, Murat Kantarcioglu, Kangkook Jee

Abstract: The black-box nature of complex Neural Network (NN)-based models has hindered their widespread adoption in security domains due to the lack of logical explanations and actionable follow-ups for their predictions. To enhance the transparency and accountability of Graph Neural Network (GNN) security models used in system provenance analysis, we propose PROVEXPLAINER, a framework for projecting abstract GNN decision boundaries onto interpretable feature spaces. We first replicate the decision-making process of GNNbased security models using simpler and explainable models such as Decision Trees (DTs). To maximize the accuracy and fidelity of the surrogate models, we propose novel graph structural features founded on classical graph theory and enhanced by extensive data study with security domain knowledge. Our graph structural features are closely tied to problem-space actions in the system provenance domain, which allows the detection results to be explained in descriptive, human language. PROVEXPLAINER allowed simple DT models to achieve 95% fidelity to the GNN on program classification tasks with general graph structural features, and 99% fidelity on malware detection tasks with a task-specific feature package tailored for direct interpretation. The explanations for malware classification are demonstrated with case studies of five real-world malware samples across three malware families.

1.CryptOpt: Automatic Optimization of Straightline Code

Authors:Joel Kuepper, Andres Erbsen, Jason Gross, Owen Conoly, Chuyue Sun, Samuel Tian, David Wu, Adam Chlipala, Chitchanok Chuengsatiansup, Daniel Genkin, Markus Wagner, Yuval Yarom

Abstract: Manual engineering of high-performance implementations typically consumes many resources and requires in-depth knowledge of the hardware. Compilers try to address these problems; however, they are limited by design in what they can do. To address this, we present CryptOpt, an automatic optimizer for long stretches of straightline code. Experimental results across eight hardware platforms show that CryptOpt achieves a speed-up factor of up to 2.56 over current off-the-shelf compilers.

2.Concentrated Geo-Privacy

Authors:Yuting Liang, Ke Yi

Abstract: This paper proposes concentrated geo-privacy (CGP), a privacy notion that can be considered as the counterpart of concentrated differential privacy (CDP) for geometric data. Compared with the previous notion of geo-privacy [ABCP13, CABP13], which is the counterpart of standard differential privacy, CGP offers many benefits including simplicity of the mechanism, lower noise scale in high dimensions, and better composability known as advanced composition. The last one is the most important, as it allows us to design complex mechanisms using smaller building blocks while achieving better utilities. To complement this result, we show that the previous notion of geo-privacy inherently does not admit advanced composition even using its approximate version. Next, we study three problems on private geometric data: the identity query, k nearest neighbors, and convex hulls. While the first problem has been previously studied, we give the first mechanisms for the latter two under geo-privacy. For all three problems, composability is essential in obtaining good utility guarantees on the privatized query answer.

3.You Can Run But You Can't Hide: Runtime Protection Against Malicious Package Updates For Node.js

Authors:Marc Ohm, Timo Pohl, Felix Boes

Abstract: Maliciously prepared software packages are an extensively leveraged weapon for software supply chain attacks. The detection of malicious packages is undoubtedly of high priority and many academic and commercial approaches have been developed. In the inevitable case of an attack, one needs resilience against malicious code. To this end, we present a runtime protection for Node.js that automatically limits a package's capabilities to an established minimum. The detection of required capabilities as well as their enforcement at runtime has been implemented and evaluated against known malicious attacks. Our approach was able to prevent 9/10 historic attacks with a median install-time overhead of less than 0.6 seconds and a median runtime overhead of less than 0.2 seconds.

4.Off-By-One Implementation Error in J-UNIWARD

Authors:Benedikt Lorch

Abstract: J-UNIWARD is a popular steganography method for hiding secret messages in JPEG cover images. As a content-adaptive method, J-UNIWARD aims to embed into textured image regions where changes are difficult to detect. To this end, J-UNIWARD first assigns to each DCT coefficient an embedding cost calculated based on the image's Wavelet residual, and then uses a coding method that minimizes the cost while embedding the desired payload. Changing one DCT coefficient affects a 23x23 window of Wavelet coefficients. To speed up the costmap computation, the original implementation pre-computes the Wavelet residual and then considers per changed DCT coefficient a 23x23 window of the Wavelet residual. However, the implementation accesses a window accidentally shifted by one pixel to the bottom right. In this report, we evaluate the effect of this off-by-one error on the resulting costmaps. Some image blocks are over-priced while other image blocks are under-priced, but the difference is relatively small. The off-by-one error seems to make little difference for learning-based steganalysis.

5.A Hybrid Blockchain-Edge Architecture for Electronic Health Records Management with Attribute-based Cryptographic Mechanisms

Authors:Hao Guo, Wanxin Li, Mark Nejad, Chien-Chung Shen

Abstract: This paper presents a hybrid blockchain-edge architecture for managing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with attribute-based cryptographic mechanisms. The architecture introduces a novel attribute-based signature aggregation (ABSA) scheme and multi-authority attribute-based encryption (MA-ABE) integrated with Paillier homomorphic encryption (HE) to protect patients' anonymity and safeguard their EHRs. All the EHR activities and access control events are recorded permanently as blockchain transactions. We develop the ABSA module on Hyperledger Ursa cryptography library, MA-ABE module on OpenABE toolset, and blockchain network on Hyperledger Fabric. We measure the execution time of ABSA's signing and verification functions, MA-ABE with different access policies and homomorphic encryption schemes, and compare the results with other existing blockchain-based EHR systems. We validate the access activities and authentication events recorded in blockchain transactions and evaluate the transaction throughput and latency using Hyperledger Caliper. The results show that the performance meets real-world scenarios' requirements while safeguarding EHR and is robust against unauthorized retrievals.

6.Aggregated Zero-knowledge Proof and Blockchain-Empowered Authentication for Autonomous Truck Platooning

Authors:Wanxin Li, Collin Meese, Hao Guo, Mark Nejad

Abstract: Platooning technologies enable trucks to drive cooperatively and automatically, providing benefits including less fuel consumption, greater road capacity, and safety. This paper introduces an aggregated zero-knowledge proof and blockchain-empowered system for privacy-preserving identity verification in the mixed fleet platooning environment. The correctness proof and the security analysis of the proposed authentication scheme are provided, highlighting its increased security and fast performance in comparison to a single-proof design. The blockchain performs the role of verifier within the authentication scheme, reducing unnecessary communication overhead. Moreover, the blockchain improves system resilience by providing fault tolerance to the decentralized verification process. Platooning records are stored directly on the digital ledger to guarantee data immutability and integrity, while the programmable access control policies ensure data privacy. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach can perform authentication on the order of milliseconds, regardless of the number of proofs, highlighting feasibility for real-world deployment in truck platooning.

7.Lattice-Aided Extraction of Spread-Spectrum Hidden Data

Authors:Fan Yang, Shanxiang Lyu, Hao Cheng, Jinming Wen, Hao Chen

Abstract: This paper discusses the problem of extracting spread spectrum hidden data from the perspective of lattice decoding. Since the conventional blind extraction scheme multi-carrier iterative generalize least-squares (M-IGLS) and non-blind extraction scheme minimum mean square error (MMSE) suffer from performance degradation when the carriers lack sufficient orthogonality, we present two novel schemes from the viewpoint of lattice decoding, namely multi-carrier iterative successive interference cancellation (M-ISIC) and sphere decoding (SD). The better performance of M-ISIC and SD are confirmed by both theoretical justification and numerical simulations.

8.Hidden Stabilizers, the Isogeny To Endomorphism Ring Problem and the Cryptanalysis of pSIDH

Authors:Mingjie Chen, Muhammad Imran, Gábor Ivanyos, Péter Kutas, Antonin Leroux, Christophe Petit

Abstract: The Isogeny to Endomorphism Ring Problem (IsERP) asks to compute the endomorphism ring of the codomain of an isogeny between supersingular curves in characteristic $p$ given only a representation for this isogeny, i.e. some data and an algorithm to evaluate this isogeny on any torsion point. This problem plays a central role in isogeny-based cryptography; it underlies the security of pSIDH protocol (ASIACRYPT 2022) and it is at the heart of the recent attacks that broke the SIDH key exchange. Prior to this work, no efficient algorithm was known to solve IsERP for a generic isogeny degree, the hardest case seemingly when the degree is prime. In this paper, we introduce a new quantum polynomial-time algorithm to solve IsERP for isogenies whose degrees are odd and have $O(\log\log p)$ many prime factors. As main technical tools, our algorithm uses a quantum algorithm for computing hidden Borel subgroups, a group action on supersingular isogenies from EUROCRYPT 2021, various algorithms for the Deuring correspondence and a new algorithm to lift arbitrary quaternion order elements modulo an odd integer $N$ with $O(\log\log p)$ many prime factors to powersmooth elements. As a main consequence for cryptography, we obtain a quantum polynomial-time key recovery attack on pSIDH. The technical tools we use may also be of independent interest.

1.Lost at Sea: Assessment and Evaluation of Rootkit Attacks on Shipboard Microgrids

Authors:Suman Rath, Andres Intriago, Shamik Sengupta, Charalambos Konstantinou

Abstract: Increased dependence of the maritime industry on information and communication networks has made shipboard power systems vulnerable to stealthy cyber-attacks. One such attack variant, called rootkit, can leverage system knowledge to hide its presence and allow remotely located malware handlers to gain complete control of infected subsystems. This paper presents a comprehensive evaluation of the threat landscape imposed by such attack variants on Medium Voltage DC (MVDC) shipboard microgrids, including a discussion of their impact on the overall maritime sector in general, and provides several simulation results to demonstrate the same. It also analyzes and presents the actions of possible defense mechanisms, with specific emphasis on evasion, deception, and detection frameworks, that will help ship operators and maritime cybersecurity professionals protect their systems from such attacks.

1.An Experimental Analysis of RowHammer in HBM2 DRAM Chips

Authors:Ataberk Olgun, Majd Osseiran, Abdullah Giray Ya{ğ}lık{c}ı, Yahya Can Tuğrul, Haocong Luo, Steve Rhyner, Behzad Salami, Juan Gomez Luna, Onur Mutlu

Abstract: RowHammer (RH) is a significant and worsening security, safety, and reliability issue of modern DRAM chips that can be exploited to break memory isolation. Therefore, it is important to understand real DRAM chips' RH characteristics. Unfortunately, no prior work extensively studies the RH vulnerability of modern 3D-stacked high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips, which are commonly used in modern GPUs. In this work, we experimentally characterize the RH vulnerability of a real HBM2 DRAM chip. We show that 1) different 3D-stacked channels of HBM2 memory exhibit significantly different levels of RH vulnerability (up to 79% difference in bit error rate), 2) the DRAM rows at the end of a DRAM bank (rows with the highest addresses) exhibit significantly fewer RH bitflips than other rows, and 3) a modern HBM2 DRAM chip implements undisclosed RH defenses that are triggered by periodic refresh operations. We describe the implications of our observations on future RH attacks and defenses and discuss future work for understanding RH in 3D-stacked memories.

2.Blockchain Censorship

Authors:Anton Wahrstätter, Jens Ernstberger, Aviv Yaish, Liyi Zhou, Kaihua Qin, Taro Tsuchiya, Sebastian Steinhorst, Davor Svetinovic, Nicolas Christin, Mikolaj Barczentewicz, Arthur Gervais

Abstract: Permissionless blockchains promise to be resilient against censorship by a single entity. This suggests that deterministic rules, and not third-party actors, are responsible for deciding if a transaction is appended to the blockchain or not. In 2022, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Bitcoin mixer and an Ethereum application, putting the neutrality of permissionless blockchains to the test. In this paper, we formalize quantify and analyze the security impact of blockchain censorship. We start by defining censorship, followed by a quantitative assessment of current censorship practices. We find that 46% of Ethereum blocks were made by censoring actors that intend to comply with OFAC sanctions, indicating the significant impact of OFAC sanctions on the neutrality of public blockchains. We further uncover that censorship not only impacts neutrality, but also security. We show how after Ethereum's move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and adoption of Proposer-Builder Separation (PBS) the inclusion of censored transactions was delayed by an average of 85%. Inclusion delays compromise a transaction's security by, e.g., strengthening a sandwich adversary. Finally we prove a fundamental limitation of PoS and Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocols against censorship resilience.

3.Securing Cloud File Systems using Shielded Execution

Authors:Quinn Burke, Yohan Beugin, Blaine Hoak, Rachel King, Eric Pauley, Ryan Sheatsley, Mingli Yu, Ting He, Thomas La Porta, Patrick McDaniel

Abstract: Cloud file systems offer organizations a scalable and reliable file storage solution. However, cloud file systems have become prime targets for adversaries, and traditional designs are not equipped to protect organizations against the myriad of attacks that may be initiated by a malicious cloud provider, co-tenant, or end-client. Recently proposed designs leveraging cryptographic techniques and trusted execution environments (TEEs) still force organizations to make undesirable trade-offs, consequently leading to either security, functional, or performance limitations. In this paper, we introduce TFS, a cloud file system that leverages the security capabilities provided by TEEs to bootstrap new security protocols that meet real-world security, functional, and performance requirements. Through extensive security and performance analyses, we show that TFS can ensure stronger security guarantees while still providing practical utility and performance w.r.t. state-of-the-art systems; compared to the widely-used NFS, TFS achieves up to 2.1X speedups across micro-benchmarks and incurs <1X overhead for most macro-benchmark workloads. TFS demonstrates that organizations need not sacrifice file system security to embrace the functional and performance advantages of outsourcing.

1.Automated Verification of Correctness for Masked Arithmetic Programs

Authors:Mingyang Liu, Fu Song, Taolue Chen

Abstract: Masking is a widely-used effective countermeasure against power side-channel attacks for implementing cryptographic algorithms. Surprisingly, few formal verification techniques have addressed a fundamental question, i.e., whether the masked program and the original (unmasked) cryptographic algorithm are functional equivalent. In this paper, we study this problem for masked arithmetic programs over Galois fields of characteristic 2. We propose an automated approach based on term rewriting, aided by random testing and SMT solving. The overall approach is sound, and complete under certain conditions which do meet in practice. We implement the approach as a new tool FISCHER and carry out extensive experiments on various benchmarks. The results confirm the effectiveness, efficiency and scalability of our approach. Almost all the benchmarks can be proved for the first time by the term rewriting system solely. In particular, FISCHER detects a new flaw in a masked implementation published in EUROCRYPT 2017.

2.Panini -- Anonymous Anycast and an Instantiation

Authors:Christoph Coijanovic, Christiane Kuhn, Thorsten Strufe

Abstract: Anycast messaging (i.e., sending a message to an unspecified receiver) has long been neglected by the anonymous communication community. An anonymous anycast prevents senders from learning who the receiver of their message is, allowing for greater privacy in areas such as political activism and whistleblowing. While there have been some protocol ideas proposed, formal treatment of the problem is absent. Formal definitions of what constitutes anonymous anycast and privacy in this context are however a requirement for constructing protocols with provable guarantees. In this work, we define the anycast functionality and use a game-based approach to formalize its privacy and security goals. We further propose Panini, the first anonymous anycast protocol that only requires readily available infrastructure. We show that Panini allows the actual receiver of the anycast message to remain anonymous, even in the presence of an honest but curious sender. In an empirical evaluation, we find that Panini adds only minimal overhead over regular unicast: Sending a message anonymously to one of eight possible receivers results in an end-to-end latency of 0.76s.

1.Security Impact Analysis of Degree of Field Extension in Lattice Attacks on Ring-LWE Problem

Authors:Yuri Lucas Direbieski, Hiroki Tanioka, Kenji Matsuura, Hironori Takeuchi, Masahiko Sano, Tetsushi Ueta

Abstract: Modern information communications use cryptography to keep the contents of communications confidential. RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) cryptography and elliptic curve cryptography, which are public-key cryptosystems, are widely used cryptographic schemes. However, it is known that these cryptographic schemes can be deciphered in a very short time by Shor's algorithm when a quantum computer is put into practical use. Therefore, several methods have been proposed for quantum computer-resistant cryptosystems that cannot be cracked even by a quantum computer. A simple implementation of LWE-based lattice cryptography based on the LWE (Learning With Errors) problem requires a key length of $O(n^2)$ to ensure the same level of security as existing public-key cryptography schemes such as RSA and elliptic curve cryptography. In this paper, we attacked the Ring-LWE (RLWE) scheme, which can be implemented with a short key length, with a modified LLL (Lenstra-Lenstra-Lov\'asz) basis reduction algorithm and investigated the trend in the degree of field extension required to generate a secure and small key. Results showed that the lattice-based cryptography may be strengthened by employing Cullen or Mersenne prime numbers as the degree of field extension.

2.ACAI: Extending Arm Confidential Computing Architecture Protection from CPUs to Accelerators

Authors:Supraja Sridhara, Andrin Bertschi, Benedict Schlüter, Mark Kuhne, Fabio Aliberti, Shweta Shinde

Abstract: Trusted execution environments in several existing and upcoming CPUs demonstrate the success of confidential computing, with the caveat that tenants cannot use accelerators such as GPUs and FPGAs. If the accelerators have TEE support, the user-code executing on the CPU in a confidential VM has to rely on software-based encryption to facilitate communication between VMs and accelerators. Even after hardware changes to enable TEEs on both sides and software changes to adopt existing code to leverage these features, it results in redundant data copies and hardware encryption at the bus-level and on the accelerator thus degrading the performance and defeating the purpose of using accelerators. In this paper, we reconsider the Arm Confidential Computing Architecture (CCA) design-an upcoming TEE feature in Arm v9-to address this gap. We observe that CCA offers the right abstraction and mechanisms to allow confidential VM to use accelerators as a first class abstraction, while relying on the hardware-based memory protection to preserve security. We build Acai, a CCA-based solution, to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach without changes to hardware or software on the CPU and the accelerator. Our experimental results on GPU and FPGA show that Acai can achieve strong security guarantees with low performance overheads.

3.An Overview of FPGA-inspired Obfuscation Techniques

Authors:Zain Ul Abideen, Sumathi Gokulanathan, Muayad J. Aljafar, Samuel Pagliarini

Abstract: Building and maintaining a silicon foundry is a costly endeavor that requires substantial financial investment. From this scenario, the semiconductor business has largely shifted to a fabless model where the Integrated Circuit supply chain is globalized but potentially untrusted. In recent years, several hardware obfuscation techniques have emerged to thwart hardware security threats related to untrusted IC fabrication. Reconfigurable-based obfuscation schemes have shown great promise of security against state-of-the-art attacks -- these are techniques that rely on the transformation of static logic configurable elements such as Look Up Tables (LUTs). This survey provides a comprehensive analysis of reconfigurable-based obfuscation techniques, evaluating their overheads and enumerating their effectiveness against all known attacks. The techniques are also classified based on different factors, including the technology used, element type, and IP type. Additionally, we present a discussion on the advantages of reconfigurable-based obfuscation techniques when compared to Logic Locking techniques and the challenges associated with evaluating these techniques on hardware, primarily due to the lack of tapeouts. The survey's findings are essential for researchers interested in hardware obfuscation and future trends in this area.

4.Ring Signature from Bonsai Tree: How to Preserve the Long-Term Anonymity

Authors:Mingxing Hu

Abstract: Signer-anonymity is a central feature of ring signatures (RS) which enable a user to sign messages on behalf of an arbitrary set of users, called the ring, without revealing exactly which member of that ring actually generated the signature. The strong and long-term signer-ambiguous is a reassuring guarantee for the user hesitating to leak a secret, especially if the consequences of an identification are dire in some scenarios such as whistleblowing. The unconditional ambiguity notion, which protects the signer-ambiguous even confront with an infinitely powerful adversary, is considered for RS which wants to achieve long-term signer-ambiguous. However, the existing works that consider the unconditional ambiguity notion did not comprehensively and strictly capture the unconditional ambiguity notion, and the existing lattice-based RS constructions analyzed the unconditional ambiguity only in the random oracle model. In this paper, we reformalize the unconditional ambiguity notion for RS, which comprehensively and strictly captures the security requirements imposed by the practice. Then we propose a lattice-based RS construction with unconditional ambiguity and prove the security (unforgeability and signer-ambiguous) in the standard model.

5.A Survey of Security Concerns and Countermeasures in Modern Micro-architectures with Transient Execution

Authors:Nikhilesh Singh, Vinod Ganesan, Chester Rebeiro

Abstract: In the last two decades, the evolving cyber-threat landscape has brought to center stage the contentious tradeoffs between the security and performance of modern microprocessors. The guarantees provided by the hardware to ensure no violation of process boundaries have been shown to be breached in several real-world scenarios. While modern CPU features such as superscalar, out-of-order, simultaneous multi-threading, and speculative execution play a critical role in boosting system performance, they are central for a potent class of security attacks termed transient micro-architectural attacks. These attacks leverage shared hardware resources in the CPU that are used during speculative and out-of-order execution to steal sensitive information. Researchers have used these attacks to read data from the Operating Systems (OS) and Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) and to even break hardware-enforced isolation. Over the years, several variants of transient micro-architectural attacks have been developed. While each variant differs in the shared hardware resource used, the underlying attack follows a similar strategy. This paper presents a panoramic view of security concerns in modern CPUs, focusing on the mechanisms of these attacks and providing a classification of the variants. Further, we discuss state-of-the-art defense mechanisms towards mitigating these attacks.

6.FIDS: Fuzzy Intrusion Detection System for simultaneous detection of DoS/DDoS attacks in Cloud computing

Authors:Peyman Khordadpour, Saeed Ahmadi

Abstract: In recent times, I've encountered a principle known as cloud computing, a model that simplifies user access to data and computing power on a demand basis. The main objective of cloud computing is to accommodate users' growing needs by decreasing dependence on human resources, minimizing expenses, and enhancing the speed of data access. Nevertheless, preserving security and privacy in cloud computing systems pose notable challenges. This issue arises because these systems have a distributed structure, which is susceptible to unsanctioned access - a fundamental problem. In the context of cloud computing, the provision of services on demand makes them targets for common assaults like Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, which include Economic Denial of Sustainability (EDoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). These onslaughts can be classified into three categories: bandwidth consumption attacks, specific application attacks, and connection layer attacks. Most of the studies conducted in this arena have concentrated on a singular type of attack, with the concurrent detection of multiple DoS attacks often overlooked. This article proposes a suitable method to identify four types of assaults: HTTP, Database, TCP SYN, and DNS Flood. The aim is to present a universal algorithm that performs effectively in detecting all four attacks instead of using separate algorithms for each one. In this technique, seventeen server parameters like memory usage, CPU usage, and input/output counts are extracted and monitored for changes, identifying the failure point using the CUSUM algorithm to calculate the likelihood of each attack. Subsequently, a fuzzy neural network is employed to determine the occurrence of an attack. When compared to the Snort software, the proposed method's results show a significant improvement in the average detection rate, jumping from 57% to 95%.

7.Composing Bridges

Authors:Mugurel Barcau, Vicenţiu Paşol, George C. Ţurcaş

Abstract: The present work builds on previous investigations of the authors (and their collaborators) regarding bridges, a certain type of morphisms between encryption schemes, making a step forward in developing a (category theory) language for studying relations between encryption schemes. Here we analyse the conditions under which bridges can be performed sequentially, formalizing the notion of composability. One of our results gives a sufficient condition for a pair of bridges to be composable. We illustrate that composing two bridges, each independently satisfying a previously established IND-CPA security definition, can actually lead to an insecure bridge. Our main result gives a sufficient condition that a pair of secure composable bridges should satisfy in order for their composition to be a secure bridge. We also introduce the concept of a complete bridge and show that it is connected to the notion of Fully composable Homomorphic Encryption (FcHE), recently considered by Micciancio. Moreover, we show that a result of Micciancio which gives a construction of FcHE schemes can be phrased in the language of complete bridges, where his insights can be formalised in a greater generality.

8.5G/6G-Enabled Metaverse Technologies: Taxonomy, Applications, and Open Security Challenges with Future Research Directions

Authors:Muhammad Adil, Houbing Song, Muhammad Khurram Khan, Ahmed Farouk, Zhanpeng Jin

Abstract: Internet technology has proven to be a vital contributor to many cutting-edge innovations that have given humans access to interact virtually with objects. Until now, numerous virtual systems had been developed for digital transformation to enable access to thousands of services and applications that range from virtual gaming to social networks. However, the majority of these systems lack to maintain consistency during interconnectivity and communication. To explore this discussion, in the recent past a new term, Metaverse has been introduced, which is the combination of meta and universe that describes a shared virtual environment, where a number of technologies, such as 4th and 5th generation technologies, VR, ML algorithms etc., work collectively to support each other for the sake of one objective, which is the virtual accessibility of objects via one network platform. With the development, integration, and virtualization of technologies, a lot of improvement in daily life applications is expected, but at the same time, there is a big challenge for the research community to secure this platform from external and external threats, because this technology is exposed to many cybersecurity attacks. Hence, it is imperative to systematically review and understand the taxonomy, applications, open security challenges, and future research directions of the emerging Metaverse technologies. In this paper, we have made useful efforts to present a comprehensive survey regarding Metaverse technology by taking into account the aforesaid parameters. Following this, in the initial phase, we explored the future of Metaverse in the presence of 4th and 5th generation technologies. Thereafter, we discussed the possible attacks to set a preface for the open security challenges. Based on that, we suggested potential research directions that could be beneficial to address these challenges cost-effectively.

1.Confidential Truth Finding with Multi-Party Computation (Extended Version)

Authors:Angelo Saadeh, Pierre Senellart, Stéphane Bressan

Abstract: Federated knowledge discovery and data mining are challenged to assess the trustworthiness of data originating from autonomous sources while protecting confidentiality and privacy. Truth-finding algorithms help corroborate data from disagreeing sources. For each query it receives, a truth-finding algorithm predicts a truth value of the answer, possibly updating the trustworthiness factor of each source. Few works, however, address the issues of confidentiality and privacy. We devise and present a secure secret-sharing-based multi-party computation protocol for pseudo-equality tests that are used in truth-finding algorithms to compute additions depending on a condition. The protocol guarantees confidentiality of the data and privacy of the sources. We also present variants of truth-finding algorithms that would make the computation faster when executed using secure multi-party computation. We empirically evaluate the performance of the proposed protocol on two state-of-the-art truth-finding algorithms, Cosine, and 3-Estimates, and compare them with that of the baseline plain algorithms. The results confirm that the secret-sharing-based secure multi-party algorithms are as accurate as the corresponding baselines but for proposed numerical approximations that significantly reduce the efficiency loss incurred.

2.Towards Understanding Crypto Money Laundering in Web3 Through the Lenses of Ethereum Heists

Authors:Dan Lin, Jiajing Wu, Qishuang Fu, Yunmei Yu, Kaixin Lin, Zibin Zheng, Shuo Yang

Abstract: With the overall momentum of the blockchain industry, crypto-based crimes are becoming more and more prevalent. After committing a crime, the main goal of cybercriminals is to obfuscate the source of the illicit funds in order to convert them into cash and get away with it. Many studies have analyzed money laundering in the field of the traditional financial sector and blockchain-based Bitcoin. But so far, little is known about the characteristics of crypto money laundering in the blockchain-based Web3 ecosystem. To fill this gap, and considering that Ethereum is the largest platform on Web3, in this paper, we systematically study the behavioral characteristics and economic impact of money laundering accounts through the lenses of Ethereum heists. Based on a very small number of tagged accounts of exchange hackers, DeFi exploiters, and scammers, we mine untagged money laundering groups through heuristic transaction tracking methods, to carve out a full picture of security incidents. By analyzing account characteristics and transaction networks, we obtain many interesting findings about crypto money laundering in Web3, observing the escalating money laundering methods such as creating counterfeit tokens and masquerading as speculators. Finally, based on these findings we provide inspiration for anti-money laundering to promote the healthy development of the Web3 ecosystem.

3.Sharpness-Aware Data Poisoning Attack

Authors:Pengfei He, Han Xu, Jie Ren, Yingqian Cui, Hui Liu, Charu C. Aggarwal, Jiliang Tang

Abstract: Recent research has highlighted the