[Busec] busec this week: William Whyte (Wed 10am)

Sharon Goldberg goldbe at cs.bu.edu
Tue Feb 24 20:14:57 EST 2015

Tomorrow's seminar starts a bit later (10am). William Whyte will talk about
security and privacy for forthcoming vehicle-to-vehicle communications
systems.   Lunch will be provided.

The following week we have a CS colloquium by Vasileios Kemerlis from
Columbia (Monday 11am), and a busec seminar by own Oxana Poburinnaya (Wed
9.30am). Abstracts below.


BUsec Calendar:  http://www.bu.edu/cs/busec/
BUsec Mailing list: http://cs-mailman.bu.edu/mailman/listinfo/busec

The busec seminar gratefully acknowledges the support of BU's Center for
Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security (RISCS).


Security and privacy for the forthcoming vehicle-to-vehicle communications
Speaker: William Whyte, Security Innovation
Wednesday Feb 25, 9:30-11am
Hariri Seminar Room

The US Department of Transportation announced on February 3rd, 2014, that
it intends to mandate a system for inclusion in all light vehicles that
would allow them to broadcast their position and velocity on a more-or-less
continuous basis. The system is claimed to have the capability to prevent
up to 80% of all unimpaired collisions. The presentation, by a key member
of the team designing the communications security for the system, will
discuss the security needs, the constraints due to cost and other issues,
and the efforts that are being made to ensure that the system will not
compromise end-user privacy. This will include an overview of some novel
cryptographic constructs that improve the scalability, robustness, and
privacy of the system. There may even be proofs.


CS Colloquim: Building Secure Operating Systems
Vasileios Kemerlis. Columbia University
Monday March 2, 2015  11:00-12:00
Hariri Seminar Room

Abstract: Today's operating systems are large, complex, and plagued with
vulnerabilities that allow perpetrators to exploit them for profit. The
constant rise in the number of software weaknesses, coupled with the
sophistication of modern adversaries, make the need for effective and
adaptive defenses more critical than ever. In this talk, I will present my
work on developing novel protection mechanisms and exploit prevention
techniques that improve the security posture of commodity operating
systems. In particular, I will discuss kGuard and XPFO, two projects whose
goal is to harden contemporary OSes against attacks that exploit
vulnerabilities in kernel code, without entailing extra software (e.g.,
hypervisor or VMM) or special hardware. In addition, I will talk about
ret2dir, a new kernel exploitation technique that I developed, which
uncovered how fundamental OS design practices and implementation decisions
can significantly weaken the effectiveness of state of-the-art kernel
protection mechanisms.

Bio: Vasileios (Vasilis) Kemerlis is a PhD candidate in the Department of
Computer Science at Columbia University. His research interests are in the
areas of systems and software security, with a focus on OS kernel
protection, automated software hardening, and information-flow tracking.
His work on kernel exploitation has been profiled by press and social media
outlets, including Dark Reading, Hacker News, and Reddit, won the first
prize in the Applied Security Research Paper competition, at the Cyber
Security Awareness Week (CSAW) 2014, and led to the adoption of kernel
hardening techniques from OpenBSD and Qualcomm's MSM Android. Vasilis holds
a MPhil (2013) and MS (2010) in Computer Science from Columbia University,
and a BS (2006) in Computer Science from Athens University of Economics and


Adaptively Secure Two-party Computation From Indistinguishability
Speaker: Oxana Poburinnaya. BU.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015. 9:30-11am
Hariri Seminar Room

A basic challenge in the area of secure distributed computation is to
achieve adaptive security, namely security against an adversary that can
adaptively decide whom to corrupt during the execution of the protocol.
Beyond providing better protection from realistic attacks than security
against an adversary that controls a fixed-in-advance set of parties,
adaptive security also provides strong resilience against leakage due to
side channel attacks. However, all known general function evaluation
protocols which provide full adaptive security have round complexity
proportional to the circuit depth of the function. This is the case even
with two-party protocols and even for honest-but-curious corruptions.

We present the first two-round, two-party general function evaluation
protocol that is secure against honest-but-curious adaptive corruption of
both parties. In addition, the protocol is incoercible for one of the
parties, and fully leakage tolerant. It requires a global
(non-programmable) reference string and is based on one way functions and
general-purpose indistinguishability obfuscation with sub-exponential
security, as well as augmented non-committing encryption. A Byzantine
version of the protocol, obtained by applying the CLOS compiler, achieves
UC security with comparable efficiency parameters, but is no longer
incoercible. The protocol uses Yao's garbled circuits and the Sahai-Waters
puncturable deterministic encryption which allows embedding hidden triggers
in a random-looking string.

This is joint work with Ran Canetti and Shafi Goldwasser.
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