[Busec] Cristina Nita-Rotaru, NEU (Wed 9:45am) On the trade-offs between performance and security in network protocols design

Foteini Baldimtsi foteini at baldimtsi.com
Fri Mar 18 13:36:00 EDT 2016

Hi everyone,

Join us for the first BUsec seminar after spring break. Next Wednesday at
9:45am Cristina Nita-Rotaru from NEU will give a talk on the trade-offs
between performance and security in network protocols design.

The week after we will have a talk by Zakir Durumeric from University of
Michigan on Uncovering Cryptographic Failures with Internet-Wide


BUsec Calendar:  http://www.bu.edu/cs/busec/

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


Title: On the trade-offs between performance and security in network
protocols design
Speaker: Cristina Nita-Rotaru, NEU
Date: Wednesday 03/23 2016,  9:45pm-10:45pm
Room: MCS148

Abstract: The proliferation of mobile and web applications and their
performance requirements have exposed the limitations of current secure
transport protocols, particularly during connection establishment. As a
result, protocols like QUIC and TLS v1.3 were proposed to address such

In this work we analyze the trade-offs between provable security and
performance guarantees in the presence of attackers by focusing on QUIC. We
first introduce a security model for analyzing performance-driven protocols
like QUIC and prove that QUIC satisfies our definition under reasonable
assumptions on the protocol’s building blocks. However, we find that QUIC does
not satisfy the traditional notion of forward secrecy that is provided by
some modes of TLS, e.g., TLS-DHE. Our analyses also reveal that with simple
bit-flipping and replay attacks on some public parameters exchanged during
the handshake, an adversary could easily
prevent QUIC from achieving minimal latency advantages either by having it
fall back to TCP or by causing the client and server to have an
inconsistent view of their handshake leading to a failure to complete the
connection. We have implemented these attacks and demonstrated that they
are practical. Our results suggest that QUIC’s security weaknesses are
introduced by the very mechanisms used to reduce latency, which highlights
the trade- off between minimizing latency and providing security guarantees.

This is joint work with Robert Lychev, MIT Lincoln Labs,  Samuel Jero,
Purdue University and  Alexandra Boldyreva, Georgia Tech
More details available in  https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/582.pdf


Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a Professor of Computer Science in the College of
Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University and an Adjunct
Professor in the  Department of Computer Science  at Purdue University. Her
research lies at the intersection  of information security, distributed
systems, and computer networks. The overarching  goal of her work is
designing and building practical distributed systems and network protocols
that are robust to failures and attacks while coping with the resource
constraints existent in computing systems and networks.

Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a recipient of the NSF Career Award in 2006.  She
is also a recipient of the Purdue Teaching for Tomorrow Award in 2007,
Purdue Excellence in Research Award, Seeds for Success in 2012, Purdue
College of Science Research Award in 2013. She has served on the Technical
Program Committee of numerous conferences in security, networking, and
distributed systems.  She served as an Assistant Director for CERIAS (2011
- 2013). She was an Associate Editor for Elsevier Computer Communications (2008
- 2011), Elsevier Computer Networks (2012 - 2014), IEEE Transactions on
Computers  (2011 - 2014), and ACM Transactions on Information Systems
Security (2009 - 2013). She is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE
Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Transactions on Dependable and
Secure Systems.

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