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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

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ErsatzPasswords: Ending Password Cracking and Detecting Password Leakage

Mohammed H. Almeshekah, Christopher N. Gutierrez, Mikhail J. Atallah and Eugene H. Spafford

In this work we present a simple, yet effective and practical, scheme to improve the security of stored password hashes, rendering their cracking detectable and insuperable at the same time. We utilize a machine-dependent function, such as a physically unclonable function (PUF) or a hardware security module (HSM) at the authentication server to prevent off-site password discovery, and a deception mechanism to alert us if such an action is attempted. Our scheme can be easily integrated with legacy systems without the need of any additional servers, changing the structure of the hashed password file or any client modifications. When using the scheme the structure of the hashed passwords file, etc/shadow or etc/master.passwd, will appear no different than in the traditional scheme. However, when an attacker exfiltrates the hashed passwords file and tries to crack it, the only passwords he will get are the ersatzpasswords — the “fake passwords”. When an attempt to login using these ersatzpasswords is detected an alarm will be triggered in the system. Even with an adversary who knows about the scheme, cracking cannot be launched without physical ac- cess to the authentication server. The scheme also includes a secure backup mechanism in the event of a failure of the hardware dependent function. We discuss our implementation and provide some discussion in comparison to the traditional authentication scheme.

Added 2015-09-29

NFS Version 3 Design and Implementation

Brian Pawlowski, Chet Jusczak, Peter staubach, Carl Smith, Diane Lebel, David Hitz

This paper describes a new version of the Network File System (NFS) that supports access to files larger than 4GB and increases sequential write throughput seven fold when compared to unaccelerated NFS Version 2. NFS Version 3 maintains the stateless server design and simple crash recovery of NFS Version 2, and the philosophy of building a distributed file service from cooperating protocols. We describe the protocol and its implementation, and provide initial performance measurements. We then describe the implementation effort. Finally, we contrast this work with other distributed file systems and discuss future revisions of NFS.

Added 2015-09-11

The RC5 Encryption Algorithm

Ronald L. Rivest
Added 2015-09-11

Origin Tracking

Vandeursen, A; Klint, P; Tip, F

The notion of an ‘origin’ is introduced in the framework of conditional, not necessarily orthogonal, term rewriting systems. Origins are relations between subterms of intermediate terms which occur during rewriting, and subterms of the initial term. Original tracking is a method for incrementally computing origins during rewriting. Origins are a generalization of the well known concept of residuals (also called descendants). A formal definition of origins is given and a method for implementing them is presented. Origin tracking is a highly versatile technique when applied to the prototyping of algebraic specifications of programing languages. For example, origin tracking allows program execution to be visualized in a semi-automatic way, given an algebraic specification of the dynamic semantics of the programming language. Furthermore, various notions of breakpoints for generic debuggers can be defined without difficulty. Given a specification of the static semantics of a programming language, origin tracking enables, once an error (such as type-incompatability) has been detected, the position of the error in the source program to be inferred automatically.

Added 2015-09-11

DisARM: Mitigating Buffer Overflow Attacks on Embedded Devices

CERIAS TR 2015-15
Javid Habibi, Ajay Panicker, Aditi Gupta, and Elisa Bertino
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Security of embedded devices today is a critical requirement for the Internet of Things (IoT) as these devices will access sensitive information such as social security numbers and health records. This makes these devices a lucrative target for attacks exploiting vulnerabilities to inject malicious code or reuse existing code to alter the execution of their software. Existing defense techniques have major drawbacks such as requiring source code or symbolic debugging information, and high overhead, limiting their applicability. In this paper we propose a novel defense technique, DisARM, that protects against both code-injection and code-reuse based buffer overflow attacks by breaking the ability for attackers to manipulate the return address of a function. Our approach operates on arbitrary executable binaries and thus does not require compiler support. In addition it does not require user interactions and can thus be automatically applied. Our experimental results show that our approach incurs low overhead and significantly increases the level of security against both code-injection and code-reuse based attacks.

Added 2015-09-09

A Secure Communication Protocol for Drones and Smart Objects

CERIAS TR 2015-14
Jongho Won, Seung-Hyun Seo, Elisa Bertino
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In many envisioned drone-based applications, drones will communicate with many different smart objects, such as sensors and embedded devices. Securing such communications requires an effective and efficient encryption key establishment protocol. However, the design of such a protocol must take into account constrained resources of smart objects and the mobility of drones. In this paper, a secure communication protocol between drones and smart objects is presented. To support the required security functions, such as authenticated key agreement, non-repudiation, and user revocation, we propose an efficient Certificateless Signcryption Tag Key Encapsulation Mechanism (eCLSC-TKEM). eCLSC-TKEM reduces the time required to establish a shared key between a drone and a smart object by minimizing the computational overhead at the smart object. Also, our protocol improves drone’s efficiency by utilizing dual channels which allows many smart objects to concurrently execute eCLSC-TKEM. We evaluate our protocol on commercially available devices, namely AR.Drone2.0 and TelosB, by using a parking management testbed. Our experimental results show that our protocol is much more efficient than other protocols.

Added 2015-09-09

Distance-based Trustworthiness Assessment for Sensors in Wireless Sensor Networks

CERIAS TR 2015-13
Jongho Won, Elisa Bertino
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been substituting for human senses to make human lives better by monitoring the environment and providing intelligence. Collected sensor data are used to make decisions as a human does. Therefore, providing trustworthy sensor data is crucial to make correct decisions. However, faulty sensors can give in- correct information. In addition, since sensors are usually deployed in unattended areas and can be compromised, cryptographic approaches are insucient. To address this problem, we propose a distance-based trustworthiness assessment scheme. In our scheme, a centralized trust assessment module outputs an absolute trust score of each sensed value and the trust score of each sensor. The trust scores of sensed values are calculated based on the differences of sensed values provided by a sensor and its neighbors and the physical distances from the neighbors. Our simulation results show that our scheme outputs practical and accurate trust scores in a realistic environment where the sensed values of interest gradually change over the monitored areas.

Added 2015-09-09

Specifying and checking UNIX security constraints

Allan Heydon & J.D. Tygar

We describe a system called Miro for specifying and checking security constraints. Our system is general because it is not tied to any particular operating system. It is flexible because users express security policies in a formal specification language, so it is easy to extend or modify a policy simply by augmenting or changing the specification for the current policy. Finally, our system is expressive enough to describe many relations on file system configurations; however, it is not expressive enough to describe more subtle security holes like Trojan Horses or weaknesses in the passwords chosen by the system’s users. This article is a case study of the Miro languages and tools. We show how to represent various UNIX security constraints-including those described in a well-known paper on UNIX security using our graphical specification language. We then describe the results we obtained from running our tools to check an actual UNIX file system against these constraints.

Added 2015-09-09

Dynamic detection and classification of computer viruses using general behavior patterns

Baudouin Le Charlier Abdelaziz Mounji, Morton Swimmer

The number of files that need processing by the virus labs is growing nearly exponentially. Even though only a small proportion of these files contain new viruses, each file requires examination. The normal method for dealing with these files in the virus labs is still brute force manual analysis. A virus expert runs several tests on a given file and delivers a verdict on whether it is virulent or not. If it is a new virus, it will be necessary to detect it. Some tools have been developed speed up this process. These range from programs that identify previously classified files to programs that generate detection data. Some antiviruses have built in mechanisms based on heuristics that enable the antivirus to detect unknown viruses. unfortunately all these tools have limitations.  In this paper, we will demonstrate how an emulator is used to monitor system activity of a virtual PC, and how the expert system ASAX is used to allays the stream of data the emulator produced. We use general rules to generically detect real viruses reliably, and specific rules to extract details of their behavior. The resulting system is called VIDES and s a prototype for an automatic analysis system for computer viruses and possibly a prototype anti virus for the emerging 32 bit PC operating systems.

Added 2015-09-09

Parametric Program Slicing

John Field & G. Ramalingam

Program slicing is a technique for isolating computational threads in programs. In this paper, we show how to mechanically extract a family of practical algorithms for computing slices directly from semantic specifications. These algorithms are based on combining the notion of dynamic dependence tracking in term rewriting systems [13] with a program representation whose behavior is defined via an equational logic [12]. Our approach is distinguished by the fact that changes to the behavior of the slicing algorithm can be accomplished through simple changes in rewriting rules that define the semantics of the program representation. Thus, e.g., different notions of dependence may be specified, properties of language-specific datatypes can be exploited, and various time, space, and precision tradeoffs may be made. This flexibility enables us to generalize the traditional notions of static and dynamic slices to that of a constrained slice, where any subset of the inputs of a program may be supplied.

Added 2015-09-04

Distributed Audit Trail Analysis

Abdelaziz Mounji, Baudouin Le Charlier Naji Habra, Denis Zampuniéris

An implemented system for on-line analysis of multiple distributed data streams is presented. The system is conceptually universal since it does not rely on any particular platform feature and uses format adaptors to translate data streams into its own standard format. The system is as powerful as possible (from a theoretical standpoint) but still efficient enough for on-line analysis thanks to its novel rule-based language(RUSSEL) which is specifically designed for efficient processing of sequential unstructured data streams. In this paper, the generic concepts are applied to security audit trail analysis. The resulting system provides powerful network security monitoring and sophisticated tools for intrusion/anomaly detection. The rule-based and command languages are described as well as the distributed architecture and the implementation. performance measurements are reported, showing the effectiveness of the approach.

Added 2015-09-04

The GOST Encryption Algorithm

Bruce Schneier
Added 2015-09-04

A Gentle Introduction to Network Security

Raptor Systems Inc
Added 2015-09-04

Software and Hardware Approaches for Record and Replay of Wireless Sensor Networks

CERIAS TR 2015-12
Matthew Tan Creti
Download: PDF

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are used in a wide variety of applications including environmental monitoring, electrical grids, and manufacturing plants. WSNs are plagued by the possibility of bugs manifesting only at deployment. However, debugging deployed WSNs is challenging for several reasons—the remote location of deployed nodes, the non-determinism of execution, and the limited hardware resources available. A primary debugging mechanism, record and replay, logs a trace of events while a node is deployed, such that the events can be replayed later for debugging. Existing recording methods for WSNs cannot capture the complete code execution, thus negating the possibility of a faithful replay and causing some bugs to go unnoticed. Existing approaches are not resource efficient enough to capture all sources of non-determinism. We have designed, developed, and verified two novel approaches to solve the problem of practical record and replay for WSNs. Our first approach, Aveksha, uses additional hardware to trace tasks and other generic events at the function and task level. Aveksha does not need to stop the target processor, making it non-intrusive. Using Aveksha we have discovered a previously unknown bug in a common operating system. Our second approach, Tardis, uses only software to deterministically record and replay WSN nodes. Tardis is able to record all sources of non-determinism, based on the observation that such information is compressible using a combination of techniques specialized for respective sources. We demonstrate Tardis by diagnosing a newly discovered routing protocol bug.

Added 2015-08-28