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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Date Range
2010 2019


This dissertation studies three classes of combinatorial arrays with practical applications in testing, measurement, and security. Covering arrays are widely studied in software and hardware testing to indicate the presence of faulty interactions. Locating arrays extend covering arrays to achieve identification of the interactions causing a fault by requiring additional conditions on how interactions are covered in rows. This dissertation introduces a new class, the anonymizing arrays, to guarantee a degree of anonymity by bounding the probability a particular row is identified by the interaction presented. Similarities among these arrays lead to common algorithmic techniques for their construction which this …

Contributors
Lanus, Erin, Colbourn, Charles J, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2019

An examination of 12 darkweb sites involved in selling hacking services - often referred to as ”Hacking-as-a-Service” (HaaS) sites is performed. Data is gathered and analyzed for 7 months via weekly site crawling and parsing. In this empirical study, after examining over 200 forum threads, common categories of services available on HaaS sites are identified as well as their associated topics of conversation. Some of the most common hacking service categories in the HaaS market include Social Media, Database, and Phone hacking. These types of services are the most commonly advertised; found on over 50\% of all HaaS sites, while …

Contributors
Vincent, Brian W, Shakarian, Paulo, Candan, Selcuk, et al.
Created Date
2018

Cyber-systems and networks are the target of different types of cyber-threats and attacks, which are becoming more common, sophisticated, and damaging. Those attacks can vary in the way they are performed. However, there are similar strategies and tactics often used because they are time-proven to be effective. The motivations behind cyber-attacks play an important role in designating how attackers plan and proceed to achieve their goals. Generally, there are three categories of motivation are: political, economical, and socio-cultural motivations. These indicate that to defend against possible attacks in an enterprise environment, it is necessary to consider what makes such an …

Contributors
Alshamrani, Adel, Huang, Dijiang, Doupe, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2018

Compartmentalizing access to content, be it websites accessed in a browser or documents and applications accessed outside the browser, is an established method for protecting information integrity [12, 19, 21, 60]. Compartmentalization solutions change the user experience, introduce performance overhead and provide varying degrees of security. Striking a balance between usability and security is not an easy task. If the usability aspects are neglected or sacrificed in favor of more security, the resulting solution would have a hard time being adopted by end-users. The usability is affected by factors including (1) the generality of the solution in supporting various applications, …

Contributors
Zohrevandi, Mohsen, Bazzi, Rida A, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2018

Network Management is a critical process for an enterprise to configure and monitor the network devices using cost effective methods. It is imperative for it to be robust and free from adversarial or accidental security flaws. With the advent of cloud computing and increasing demands for centralized network control, conventional management protocols like Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) appear inadequate and newer techniques like Network Management Datastore Architecture (NMDA) design and Network Configuration (NETCONF) have been invented. However, unlike SNMP which underwent improvements concentrating on security, the new data management and storage techniques have not been scrutinized for the inherent …

Contributors
Dixit, Vaibhav Hemant, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2018

Reasoning about the activities of cyber threat actors is critical to defend against cyber attacks. However, this task is difficult for a variety of reasons. In simple terms, it is difficult to determine who the attacker is, what the desired goals are of the attacker, and how they will carry out their attacks. These three questions essentially entail understanding the attacker’s use of deception, the capabilities available, and the intent of launching the attack. These three issues are highly inter-related. If an adversary can hide their intent, they can better deceive a defender. If an adversary’s capabilities are not well …

Contributors
Nunes, Eric, Shakarian, Paulo, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2018

Web applications continue to remain as the most popular method of interaction for businesses over the Internet. With it's simplicity of use and management, they often function as the "front door" for many companies. As such, they are a critical component of the security ecosystem as vulnerabilities present in these systems could potentially allow malicious users access to sensitive business and personal data. The inherent nature of web applications enables anyone to access them anytime and anywhere, this includes any malicious actors looking to exploit vulnerabilities present in the web application. In addition, the static configurations of these web applications …

Contributors
Taguinod, Marthony, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2018

Hardware-Assisted Security (HAS) is an emerging technology that addresses the shortcomings of software-based virtualized environment. There are two major weaknesses of software-based virtualization that HAS attempts to address - performance overhead and security issues. Performance overhead caused by software-based virtualization is due to the use of additional software layer (i.e., hypervisor). Since the performance is highly related to efficiency of processing data and providing services, reducing performance overhead is one of the major concerns in data centers and enterprise networks. Software-based virtualization also imposes additional security issues in the virtualized environments. To resolve those issues, HAS is developed to offload …

Contributors
Kyung, Sukwha, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2017

The Web is one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of development in today’s technology. However, with such activity, innovation, and ubiquity have come a set of new challenges for digital forensic examiners, making their jobs even more difficult. For examiners to become as effective with evidence from the Web as they currently are with more traditional evidence, they need (1) methods that guide them to know how to approach this new type of evidence and (2) tools that accommodate web environments’ unique characteristics. In this dissertation, I present my research to alleviate the difficulties forensic examiners currently face …

Contributors
Mabey, Michael Kent, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2017

The telephone network is used by almost every person in the modern world. With the rise of Internet access to the PSTN, the telephone network today is rife with telephone spam and scams. Spam calls are significant annoyances for telephone users, unlike email spam, spam calls demand immediate attention. They are not only significant annoyances but also result in significant financial losses in the economy. According to complaint data from the FTC, complaints on illegal calls have made record numbers in recent years. Americans lose billions to fraud due to malicious telephone communication, despite various efforts to subdue telephone spam, …

Contributors
Tu, Huahong, Doupé, Adam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the traditional approach for an end-to-end secure connection between two endpoints. Most existing VPN solutions are intended for wired networks with reliable connections. In a mobile environment, network connections are less reliable and devices experience intermittent network disconnections due to either switching from one network to another or experiencing a gap in coverage during roaming. These disruptive events affects traditional VPN performance, resulting in possible termination of applications, data loss, and reduced productivity. Mobile VPNs bridge the gap between what users and applications expect from a wired network and the realities of mobile computing. …

Contributors
Alshalan, Abdullah O., Huang, Dijiang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

With the recent expansion in the use of wearable technology, a large number of users access personal data with these smart devices. The consumer market of wearables includes smartwatches, health and fitness bands, and gesture control armbands. These smart devices enable users to communicate with each other, control other devices, relax and work out more effectively. As part of their functionality, these devices store, transmit, and/or process sensitive user personal data, perhaps biological and location data, making them an abundant source of confidential user information. Thus, prevention of unauthorized access to wearables is necessary. In fact, it is important to …

Contributors
Mukherjee, Tamalika, Yau, Sik-Sang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

Wireless sensor networks (WSN) and the communication and the security therein have been gaining further prominence in the tech-industry recently, with the emergence of the so called Internet of Things (IoT). The steps from acquiring data and making a reactive decision base on the acquired sensor measurements are complex and requires careful execution of several steps. In many of these steps there are still technological gaps to fill that are due to the fact that several primitives that are desirable in a sensor network environment are bolt on the networks as application layer functionalities, rather than built in them. For …

Contributors
Gentz, Reinhard Werner, Scaglione, Anna, Zhang, Yanchao, et al.
Created Date
2017

The Internet traffic, today, comprises majorly of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The first version of HTTP protocol was standardized in 1991, followed by a major upgrade in May 2015. HTTP/2 is the next generation of HTTP protocol that promises to resolve short-comings of HTTP 1.1 and provide features to greatly improve upon its performance. There has been a 1000\% increase in the cyber crimes rate over the past two years. Since HTTP/2 is a relatively new protocol with a very high acceptance rate (around 68\% of all HTTPS traffic), it gives rise to an urgent need of analyzing this …

Contributors
Tiwari, Naveen, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2017

The volume and frequency of cyber attacks have exploded in recent years. Organizations subscribe to multiple threat intelligence feeds to increase their knowledge base and better equip their security teams with the latest information in threat intelligence domain. Though such subscriptions add intelligence and can help in taking more informed decisions, organizations have to put considerable efforts in facilitating and analyzing a large number of threat indicators. This problem worsens further, due to a large number of false positives and irrelevant events detected as threat indicators by existing threat feed sources. It is often neither practical nor cost-effective to analyze …

Contributors
Modi, Ajay, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Zhao, Ziming, et al.
Created Date
2017

The ease of programmability in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) makes it a great platform for implementation of various initiatives that involve application deployment, dynamic topology changes, and decentralized network management in a multi-tenant data center environment. However, implementing security solutions in such an environment is fraught with policy conflicts and consistency issues with the hardness of this problem being affected by the distribution scheme for the SDN controllers. In this dissertation, a formalism for flow rule conflicts in SDN environments is introduced. This formalism is realized in Brew, a security policy analysis framework implemented on an OpenDaylight SDN controller. Brew has …

Contributors
Pisharody, Sandeep, Huang, Dijiang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

Data from a total of 282 online web applications was collected, and accounts for 230 of those web applications were created in order to gather data about authentication practices, multistep authentication practices, security question practices, fallback authentication practices, and other security practices for online accounts. The account creation and data collection was done between June 2016 and April 2017. The password strengths for online accounts were analyzed and password strength data was compared to existing data. Security questions used by online accounts were evaluated for security and usability, and fallback authentication practices were assessed based on their adherence to best …

Contributors
Gutierrez, Garrett, Bazzi, Rida, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

Web applications are an incredibly important aspect of our modern lives. Organizations and developers use automated vulnerability analysis tools, also known as scanners, to automatically find vulnerabilities in their web applications during development. Scanners have traditionally fallen into two types of approaches: black-box and white-box. In the black-box approaches, the scanner does not have access to the source code of the web application whereas a white-box approach has access to the source code. Today’s state-of-the-art black-box vulnerability scanners employ various methods to fuzz and detect vulnerabilities in a web application. However, these scanners attempt to fuzz the web application with …

Contributors
Khairnar, Tejas, Doupé, Adam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

Mobile telephony is a critical aspect of our modern society: through telephone calls, it is possible to reach almost anyone around the globe. However, every mobile telephone call placed implicitly leaks the user's location to the telephony service provider (TSP). This privacy leakage is due to the fundamental nature of mobile telephony calls that must connect to a local base station to receive service and place calls. Thus, the TSP can track the physical location of the user for every call that they place. While the The Internet is similar in this regard, privacy-preserving technologies such as Tor allow users …

Contributors
Pinto, Gerard Lawrence, Doupé, Adam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2017

Field of cyber threats is evolving rapidly and every day multitude of new information about malware and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) is generated in the form of malware reports, blog articles, forum posts, etc. However, current Threat Intelligence (TI) systems have several limitations. First, most of the TI systems examine and interpret data manually with the help of analysts. Second, some of them generate Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) directly using regular expressions without understanding the contextual meaning of those IOCs from the data sources which allows the tools to include lot of false positives. Third, lot of TI systems consider …

Contributors
Panwar, Anupam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2017

Mobile devices are penetrating everyday life. According to a recent Cisco report [10], the number of mobile connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, eReaders, and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) modules will hit 11.6 billion by 2021, exceeding the world's projected population at that time (7.8 billion). The rapid development of mobile devices has brought a number of emerging security and privacy issues in mobile computing. This dissertation aims to address a number of challenging security and privacy issues in mobile computing. This dissertation makes fivefold contributions. The first and second parts study the security and privacy issues in Device-to-Device communications. Specifically, …

Contributors
Sun, Jingchao, Zhang, Yanchao, Zhang, Junshan, et al.
Created Date
2017

Cyber systems, including IoT (Internet of Things), are increasingly being used ubiquitously to vastly improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of critical application areas, such as finance, transportation, defense, and healthcare. Over the past two decades, computing efficiency and hardware cost have dramatically been improved. These improvements have made cyber systems omnipotent, and control many aspects of human lives. Emerging trends in successful cyber system breaches have shown increasing sophistication in attacks and that attackers are no longer limited by resources, including human and computing power. Most existing cyber defense systems for IoT systems have two major issues: (1) …

Contributors
Buduru, Arun Balaji, Yau, Sik-Sang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

Passwords are ubiquitous and are poised to stay that way due to their relative usability, security and deployability when compared with alternative authentication schemes. Unfortunately, humans struggle with some of the assumptions or requirements that are necessary for truly strong passwords. As administrators try to push users towards password complexity and diversity, users still end up using predictable mangling patterns on old passwords and reusing the same passwords across services; users even inadvertently converge on the same patterns to a surprising degree, making an attacker’s job easier. This work explores using machine learning techniques to pick out strong passwords from …

Contributors
Todd, Margaret Nicole, Xue, Guoliang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging network paradigm that decouples the control plane from the data plane, which allows network administrators to consolidate common network services into a centralized module named SDN controller. Applications’ policies are transformed into standardized network rules in the data plane via SDN controller. Even though this centralization brings a great flexibility and programmability to the network, network rules generated by SDN applications cannot be trusted because there may exist malicious SDN applications, and insecure network flows can be made due to complex relations across network rules. In this dissertation, I investigate how to identify and …

Contributors
Han, Wonkyu, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Zhao, Ziming, et al.
Created Date
2016

Access control has been historically recognized as an effective technique for ensuring that computer systems preserve important security properties. Recently, attribute-based access control (ABAC) has emerged as a new paradigm to provide access mediation by leveraging the concept of attributes: observable properties that become relevant under a certain security context and are exhibited by the entities normally involved in the mediation process, namely, end-users and protected resources. Also recently, independently-run organizations from the private and public sectors have recognized the benefits of engaging in multi-disciplinary research collaborations that involve sharing sensitive proprietary resources such as scientific data, networking capabilities and …

Contributors
Rubio-Medrano, Carlos Ernesto, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupe, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2016

Wireless communication technologies have been playing an important role in modern society. Due to its inherent mobility property, wireless networks are more vulnerable to passive attacks than traditional wired networks. Anonymity, as an important issue in mobile network environment, serves as the first topic that leads to all the research work presented in this manuscript. Specifically, anonymity issue in Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) is discussed with details as the first section of research. To thoroughly study on this topic, the presented work approaches it from an attacker's perspective. Under a perfect scenario, all the traffic in a targeted MANET …

Contributors
Li, Bing, Huang, Dijiang, Xue, Guoliang, et al.
Created Date
2016

Detecting cyber-attacks in cyber systems is essential for protecting cyber infrastructures from cyber-attacks. It is very difficult to detect cyber-attacks in cyber systems due to their high complexity. The accuracy of the attack detection in the cyber systems depends heavily on the completeness of the collected sensor information. In this thesis, two approaches are presented: one to detecting attacks in completely observable cyber systems, and the other to estimating types of states in partially observable cyber systems for attack detection in cyber systems. These two approaches are illustrated using three large data sets of network traffic because the packet-level information …

Contributors
Guha, Sayantan, Yau, Stephen S., Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

The success of Bitcoin has generated significant interest in the financial community to understand whether the technological underpinnings of the cryptocurrency paradigm can be leveraged to improve the efficiency of financial processes in the existing infrastructure. Various alternative proposals, most notably, Ripple and Ethereum, aim to provide solutions to the financial community in different ways. These proposals derive their security guarantees from either the computational hardness of proof-of-work or voting based distributed consensus mechanism, both of which can be computationally expensive. Furthermore, the financial audit requirements for a participating financial institutions have not been suitably addressed. This thesis presents a …

Contributors
Gupta, Saurabh, Bazzi, Rida, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

Microblogging services such as Twitter, Sina Weibo, and Tumblr have been emerging and deeply embedded into people's daily lives. Used by hundreds of millions of users to connect the people worldwide and share and access information in real-time, the microblogging service has also became the target of malicious attackers due to its massive user engagement and structural openness. Although existed, little is still known in the community about new types of vulnerabilities in current microblogging services which could be leveraged by the intelligence-evolving attackers, and more importantly, the corresponding defenses that could prevent both the users and the microblogging service …

Contributors
Zhang, Jinxue, Zhang, Yanchao, Zhang, Junshan, et al.
Created Date
2016

E-Mail header injection vulnerability is a class of vulnerability that can occur in web applications that use user input to construct e-mail messages. E-Mail injection is possible when the mailing script fails to check for the presence of e-mail headers in user input (either form fields or URL parameters). The vulnerability exists in the reference implementation of the built-in “mail” functionality in popular languages like PHP, Java, Python, and Ruby. With the proper injection string, this vulnerability can be exploited to inject additional headers and/or modify existing headers in an e-mail message, allowing an attacker to completely alter the content …

Contributors
Chandramouli, Sai Prashanth, Doupé, Adam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

In traditional networks the control and data plane are highly coupled, hindering development. With Software Defined Networking (SDN), the two planes are separated, allowing innovations on either one independently of the other. Here, the control plane is formed by the applications that specify an organization's policy and the data plane contains the forwarding logic. The application sends all commands to an SDN controller which then performs the requested action on behalf of the application. Generally, the requested action is a modification to the flow tables, present in the switches, to reflect a change in the organization's policy. There are a …

Contributors
Natarajan, Janakarajan, Huang, Dijiang, Syrotiuk, Violet R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Data protection has long been a point of contention and a vastly researched field. With the advent of technology and advances in Internet technologies, securing data has become much more challenging these days. Cloud services have become very popular. Given the ease of access and availability of the systems, it is not easy to not use cloud to store data. This however, pose a significant risk to data security as more of your data is available to a third party. Given the easy transmission and almost infinite storage of data, securing one's sensitive information has become a major challenge. Cloud …

Contributors
Srivastava, Abhijeet, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Zhao, Ziming, et al.
Created Date
2016

With the software-defined networking trend growing, several network virtualization controllers have been developed in recent years. These controllers, also called network hypervisors, attempt to manage physical SDN based networks so that multiple tenants can safely share the same forwarding plane hardware without risk of being affected by or affecting other tenants. However, many areas remain unexplored by current network hypervisor implementations. This thesis presents and evaluates some of the features offered by network hypervisors, such as full header space availability, isolation, and transparent traffic forwarding capabilities for tenants. Flow setup time and throughput are also measured and compared among different …

Contributors
Stall Rechia, Felipe, Syrotiuk, Violet R, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2016

Due to the shortcomings of modern Mobile Device Management solutions, businesses have begun to incorporate forensics to analyze their mobile devices and respond to any incidents of malicious activity in order to protect their sensitive data. Current forensic tools, however, can only look a static image of the device being examined, making it difficult for a forensic analyst to produce conclusive results regarding the integrity of any sensitive data on the device. This research thesis expands on the use of forensics to secure data by implementing an agent on a mobile device that can continually collect information regarding the state …

Contributors
Whitaker, Jeremy Andrew, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2015

Smartphones are pervasive nowadays. They are supported by mobile platforms that allow users to download and run feature-rich mobile applications (apps). While mobile apps help users conveniently process personal data on mobile devices, they also pose security and privacy threats and put user's data at risk. Even though modern mobile platforms such as Android have integrated security mechanisms to protect users, most mechanisms do not easily adapt to user's security requirements and rapidly evolving threats. They either fail to provide sufficient intelligence for a user to make informed security decisions, or require great sophistication to configure the mechanisms for enforcing …

Contributors
Jing, Yiming, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupé, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2015

The recent years have witnessed a rapid development of mobile devices and smart devices. As more and more people are getting involved in the online environment, privacy issues are becoming increasingly important. People’s privacy in the digital world is much easier to leak than in the real world, because every action people take online would leave a trail of information which could be recorded, collected and used by malicious attackers. Besides, service providers might collect users’ information and analyze them, which also leads to a privacy breach. Therefore, preserving people’s privacy is very important in the online environment. In this …

Contributors
Zhao, Xinxin, Xue, Guoliang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2015

Emerging trends in cyber system security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures show that attackers have abundant resources (human and computing power), expertise and support of large organizations and possible foreign governments. In order to greatly improve the protection of critical cloud infrastructures, incorporation of human behavior is needed to predict potential security breaches in critical cloud infrastructures. To achieve such prediction, it is envisioned to develop a probabilistic modeling approach with the capability of accurately capturing system-wide causal relationship among the observed operational behaviors in the critical cloud infrastructure and accurately capturing probabilistic human (users’) behaviors on subsystems as the …

Contributors
Nagaraja, Vinjith, Yau, Stephen S, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2015

Cloud computing is known as a new and powerful computing paradigm. This new generation of network computing model delivers both software and hardware as on-demand resources and various services over the Internet. However, the security concerns prevent users from adopting the cloud-based solutions to fulfill the IT requirement for many business critical computing. Due to the resource-sharing and multi-tenant nature of cloud-based solutions, cloud security is especially the most concern in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It has been attracting a lot of research and development effort in the past few years. Virtualization is the main technology of cloud …

Contributors
Chung, Chun-Jen, Huang, Dijiang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2015

On Android, existing security procedures require apps to request permissions for access to sensitive resources. Only when the user approves the requested permissions will the app be installed. However, permissions are an incomplete security mechanism. In addition to a user's limited understanding of permissions, the mechanism does not account for the possibility that different permissions used together have the ability to be more dangerous than any single permission alone. Even if users did understand the nature of an app's requested permissions, this mechanism is still not enough to guarantee that a user's information is protected. Applications can potentially send or …

Contributors
Gibson, Aaron Scott, Bazzi, Rida, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2015

Users often join an online social networking (OSN) site, like Facebook, to remain social, by either staying connected with friends or expanding social networks. On an OSN site, users generally share variety of personal information which is often expected to be visible to their friends, but sometimes vulnerable to unwarranted access from others. The recent study suggests that many personal attributes, including religious and political affiliations, sexual orientation, relationship status, age, and gender, are predictable using users' personal data from an OSN site. The majority of users want to remain socially active, and protect their personal data at the same …

Contributors
Gundecha, Pritam Sureshlal, Liu, Huan, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2015

With the increasing user demand for low latency, elastic provisioning of computing resources coupled with ubiquitous and on-demand access to real-time data, cloud computing has emerged as a popular computing paradigm to meet growing user demands. However, with the introduction and rising use of wear- able technology and evolving uses of smart-phones, the concept of Internet of Things (IoT) has become a prevailing notion in the currently growing technology industry. Cisco Inc. has projected a data creation of approximately 403 Zetabytes (ZB) by 2018. The combination of bringing benign devices and connecting them to the web has resulted in exploding …

Contributors
Dsouza, Clinton Vernon, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupe, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2015

Cyber threats are growing in number and sophistication making it important to continually study and improve all dimensions of cyber defense. Human teamwork in cyber defense analysis has been overlooked even though it has been identified as an important predictor of cyber defense performance. Also, to detect advanced forms of threats effective information sharing and collaboration between the cyber defense analysts becomes imperative. Therefore, through this dissertation work, I took a cognitive engineering approach to investigate and improve cyber defense teamwork. The approach involved investigating a plausible team-level bias called the information pooling bias in cyber defense analyst teams conducting …

Contributors
Rajivan, Prashanth, Cooke, Nancy J, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2014

The rate at which new malicious software (Malware) is created is consistently increasing each year. These new malwares are designed to bypass the current anti-virus countermeasures employed to protect computer systems. Security Analysts must understand the nature and intent of the malware sample in order to protect computer systems from these attacks. The large number of new malware samples received daily by computer security companies require Security Analysts to quickly determine the type, threat, and countermeasure for newly identied samples. Our approach provides for a visualization tool to assist the Security Analyst in these tasks that allows the Analyst to …

Contributors
Holmes, James Edward, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Dasgupta, Partha, et al.
Created Date
2014

The increasing number of continually connected mobile persons has created an environment conducive to real time user data gathering for many uses both public and private in nature. Publicly, one can envision no longer requiring a census to determine the demographic composition of the country and its sub regions. The information provided is vastly more up to date than that of a census and allows civil authorities to be more agile and preemptive with planning. Privately, advertisers take advantage of a persons stated opinions, demographics, and contextual (where and when) information in order to formulate and present pertinent offers. Regardless …

Contributors
Sanchez, Michael, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Doupe, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2014

With the rise of mobile technology, the personal lives and sensitive information of everyday citizens are carried about without a thought to the risks involved. Despite this high possibility of harm, many fail to use simple security to protect themselves because they feel the benefits of securing their devices do not outweigh the cost to usability. The main issue is that beyond initial authentication, sessions are maintained using optional timeout mechanisms where a session will end if a user is inactive for a period of time. This interruption-based form of continuous authentication requires constant user intervention leading to frustration, which …

Contributors
Romo, James Tyler, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Dasgupta, Partha, et al.
Created Date
2014

A firewall is a necessary component for network security and just like any regular equipment it requires maintenance. To keep up with changing cyber security trends and threats, firewall rules are modified frequently. Over time such modifications increase the complexity, size and verbosity of firewall rules. As the rule set grows in size, adding and modifying rule becomes a tedious task. This discourages network administrators to review the work done by previous administrators before and after applying any changes. As a result the quality and efficiency of the firewall goes down. Modification and addition of rules without knowledge of previous …

Contributors
Khatkar, Pankaj Kumar, Huang, Dijiang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2014

Most existing security decisions for both defending and attacking are made based on some deterministic approaches that only give binary answers. Even though these approaches can achieve low false positive rate for decision making, they have high false negative rates due to the lack of accommodations to new attack methods and defense techniques. In this dissertation, I study how to discover and use patterns with uncertainty and randomness to counter security challenges. By extracting and modeling patterns in security events, I am able to handle previously unknown security events with quantified confidence, rather than simply making binary decisions. In particular, …

Contributors
Zhao, Ziming, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S., et al.
Created Date
2014

The widespread adoption of mobile devices gives rise to new opportunities and challenges for authentication mechanisms. Many traditional authentication mechanisms become unsuitable for smart devices. For example, while password is widely used on computers as user identity authentication, inputting password on small smartphone screen is error-prone and not convenient. In the meantime, there are emerging demands for new types of authentication. Proximity authentication is an example, which is not needed for computers but quite necessary for smart devices. These challenges motivate me to study and develop novel authentication mechanisms specific for smart devices. In this dissertation, I am interested in …

Contributors
Li, Lingjun, Xue, Guoliang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2014

Access control is necessary for information assurance in many of today's applications such as banking and electronic health record. Access control breaches are critical security problems that can result from unintended and improper implementation of security policies. Security testing can help identify security vulnerabilities early and avoid unexpected expensive cost in handling breaches for security architects and security engineers. The process of security testing which involves creating tests that effectively examine vulnerabilities is a challenging task. Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) has been widely adopted to support fine-grained access control. However, in practice, due to its complexity including role management, role …

Contributors
Gupta, Poonam, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Collofello, James, et al.
Created Date
2014

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) mechanisms have been attracting a lot of interest from the research community in recent times. This is especially because of the flexibility and extensibility it provides by using attributes assigned to subjects as the basis for access control. ABAC enables an administrator of a server to enforce access policies on the data, services and other such resources fairly easily. It also accommodates new policies and changes to existing policies gracefully, thereby making it a potentially good mechanism for implementing access control in large systems, particularly in today's age of Cloud Computing. However management of the …

Contributors
Prabhu Verleker, Ashwin Narayan, Huang, Dijiang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2014

With the growth of IT products and sophisticated software in various operating systems, I observe that security risks in systems are skyrocketing constantly. Consequently, Security Assessment is now considered as one of primary security mechanisms to measure assurance of systems since systems that are not compliant with security requirements may lead adversaries to access critical information by circumventing security practices. In order to ensure security, considerable efforts have been spent to develop security regulations by facilitating security best-practices. Applying shared security standards to the system is critical to understand vulnerabilities and prevent well-known threats from exploiting vulnerabilities. However, many end …

Contributors
Seo, Jeongjin, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S, et al.
Created Date
2014

This thesis addresses the ever increasing threat of botnets in the smartphone domain and focuses on the Android platform and the botnets using Online Social Networks (OSNs) as Command and Control (C&C;) medium. With any botnet, C&C; is one of the components on which the survival of botnet depends. Individual bots use the C&C; channel to receive commands and send the data. This thesis develops active host based approach for identifying the presence of bot based on the anomalies in the usage patterns of the user before and after the bot is installed on the user smartphone and alerting the …

Contributors
Kilari, Vishnu Teja, Xue, Guoliang, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2013

The digital forensics community has neglected email forensics as a process, despite the fact that email remains an important tool in the commission of crime. Current forensic practices focus mostly on that of disk forensics, while email forensics is left as an analysis task stemming from that practice. As there is no well-defined process to be used for email forensics the comprehensiveness, extensibility of tools, uniformity of evidence, usefulness in collaborative/distributed environments, and consistency of investigations are hindered. At present, there exists little support for discovering, acquiring, and representing web-based email, despite its widespread use. To remedy this, a systematic …

Contributors
Paglierani, Justin, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S, et al.
Created Date
2013

Answer Set Programming (ASP) is one of the most prominent and successful knowledge representation paradigms. The success of ASP is due to its expressive non-monotonic modeling language and its efficient computational methods originating from building propositional satisfiability solvers. The wide adoption of ASP has motivated several extensions to its modeling language in order to enhance expressivity, such as incorporating aggregates and interfaces with ontologies. Also, in order to overcome the grounding bottleneck of computation in ASP, there are increasing interests in integrating ASP with other computing paradigms, such as Constraint Programming (CP) and Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT). Due to the …

Contributors
Meng, Yunsong, Lee, Joohyung, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2013

Access control is one of the most fundamental security mechanisms used in the design and management of modern information systems. However, there still exists an open question on how formal access control models can be automatically analyzed and fully realized in secure system development. Furthermore, specifying and managing access control policies are often error-prone due to the lack of effective analysis mechanisms and tools. In this dissertation, I present an Assurance Management Framework (AMF) that is designed to cope with various assurance management requirements from both access control system development and policy-based computing. On one hand, the AMF framework facilitates …

Contributors
Hu, Hongxin, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S., et al.
Created Date
2012

In this dissertation, two interrelated problems of service-based systems (SBS) are addressed: protecting users' data confidentiality from service providers, and managing performance of multiple workflows in SBS. Current SBSs pose serious limitations to protecting users' data confidentiality. Since users' sensitive data is sent in unencrypted forms to remote machines owned and operated by third-party service providers, there are risks of unauthorized use of the users' sensitive data by service providers. Although there are many techniques for protecting users' data from outside attackers, currently there is no effective way to protect users' sensitive data from service providers. In this dissertation, an …

Contributors
An, Hogeun, Yau, Sik-Sang, Huang, Dijiang, et al.
Created Date
2012

Cognitive Radios (CR) are designed to dynamically reconfigure their transmission and/or reception parameters to utilize the bandwidth efficiently. With a rapidly fluctuating radio environment, spectrum management becomes crucial for cognitive radios. In a Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Network (CRAHN) setting, the sensing and transmission times of the cognitive radio play a more important role because of the decentralized nature of the network. They have a direct impact on the throughput. Due to the tradeoff between throughput and the sensing time, finding optimal values for sensing time and transmission time is difficult. In this thesis, a method is proposed to improve …

Contributors
Bapat, Namrata, Syrotiuk, Violet R, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2012

In modern healthcare environments, there is a strong need to create an infrastructure that reduces time-consuming efforts and costly operations to obtain a patient's complete medical record and uniformly integrates this heterogeneous collection of medical data to deliver it to the healthcare professionals. As a result, healthcare providers are more willing to shift their electronic medical record (EMR) systems to clouds that can remove the geographical distance barriers among providers and patient. Even though cloud-based EMRs have received considerable attention since it would help achieve lower operational cost and better interoperability with other healthcare providers, the adoption of security-aware cloud …

Contributors
Wu, Ruoyu, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S., et al.
Created Date
2012

In order to catch the smartest criminals in the world, digital forensics examiners need a means of collaborating and sharing information with each other and outside experts that is not prohibitively difficult. However, standard operating procedures and the rules of evidence generally disallow the use of the collaboration software and techniques that are currently available because they do not fully adhere to the dictated procedures for the handling, analysis, and disclosure of items relating to cases. The aim of this work is to conceive and design a framework that provides a completely new architecture that 1) can perform fundamental functions …

Contributors
Mabey, Michael Kent, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S, et al.
Created Date
2011

Action language C+ is a formalism for describing properties of actions, which is based on nonmonotonic causal logic. The definite fragment of C+ is implemented in the Causal Calculator (CCalc), which is based on the reduction of nonmonotonic causal logic to propositional logic. This thesis describes the language of CCalc in terms of answer set programming (ASP), based on the translation of nonmonotonic causal logic to formulas under the stable model semantics. I designed a standard library which describes the constructs of the input language of CCalc in terms of ASP, allowing a simple modular method to represent CCalc input …

Contributors
Casolary, Michael, Lee, Joohyung, Ahn, Gail-Joon, et al.
Created Date
2011

This dissertation is focused on building scalable Attribute Based Security Systems (ABSS), including efficient and privacy-preserving attribute based encryption schemes and applications to group communications and cloud computing. First of all, a Constant Ciphertext Policy Attribute Based Encryption (CCP-ABE) is proposed. Existing Attribute Based Encryption (ABE) schemes usually incur large, linearly increasing ciphertext. The proposed CCP-ABE dramatically reduces the ciphertext to small, constant size. This is the first existing ABE scheme that achieves constant ciphertext size. Also, the proposed CCP-ABE scheme is fully collusion-resistant such that users can not combine their attributes to elevate their decryption capacity. Next step, efficient …

Contributors
Zhou, Zhibin, Huang, Dijiang, Yau, Sik-Sang, et al.
Created Date
2011

With the advent of technologies such as web services, service oriented architecture and cloud computing, modern organizations have to deal with policies such as Firewall policies to secure the networks, XACML (eXtensible Access Control Markup Language) policies for controlling the access to critical information as well as resources. Management of these policies is an extremely important task in order to avoid unintended security leakages via illegal accesses, while maintaining proper access to services for legitimate users. Managing and maintaining access control policies manually over long period of time is an error prone task due to their inherent complex nature. Existing …

Contributors
Kulkarni, Ketan Ashok, Ahn, Gail-Joon, Yau, Stephen S, et al.
Created Date
2011

Cloud computing systems fundamentally provide access to large pools of data and computational resources through a variety of interfaces similar in spirit to existing grid and HPC resource management and programming systems. These types of systems offer a new programming target for scalable application developers and have gained popularity over the past few years. However, most cloud computing systems in operation today are proprietary and rely upon infrastructure that is invisible to the research community, or are not explicitly designed to be instrumented and modified by systems researchers. In this research, Xen Server Management API is employed to build a …

Contributors
Kadne, Aniruddha Kishor, Huang, Dijiang, Tsai, Wei-Tek, et al.
Created Date
2010