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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.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
Subject
Date Range
2012 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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