Tag Archives: Security

27/07/2016 – Talk by Marco Squarcina

Title:  Relation on ongoing PhD program
Time: 14:00
Location: Acadia Lab
Type: Research Result
Speaker: Marco Squarcina
Abstract:

The aim of this talk is to briefly report on my ongoing research activities. After presenting the accepted and in-progress papers, I will focus on the results achieved during the internship at Cryptosense in Paris where I carried out the analysis of several Java keystores (storage facilities for cryptographic keys and certificates) exposing
design and implementation weaknesses. I am currently investigating on the cracking-resistance of the keystores against brute force attacks and I plan to support my findings by implementing password cracking plugins for popular tools such as jtr or hashcat.

09/03/2016 – Talk by Stefano Calzavara

Title:  HornDroid: Practical and Sound Static Analysis of Android Applications by SMT Solving
Time: 13:30
Location: Meeting room, building Zeta
Type: Research Result
Speaker: Stefano Calzavara
Abstract:
We present HornDroid, a new tool for the static analysis of information flow properties in Android applications. The core idea underlying HornDroid is to use Horn clauses for soundly abstracting the semantics of Android applications and to express security properties as a set of proof obligations that are automatically discharged by an off-the-shelf SMT solver. This approach makes it possible to fine-tune the analysis in order to achieve a high degree of precision while still using off-the-shelf verification tools, thereby leveraging the recent advances in this field. As a matter of fact, HornDroid outperforms state-of-the-art Android static analysis tools on benchmarks proposed by the community. Moreover, HornDroid is the first static analysis tool for Android to come with a formal proof of soundness, which covers the core of the analysis technique: besides yielding correctness assurances, this proof allowed us to identify some critical corner-cases that affect the soundness
guarantees provided by some of the previous static analysis tools for Android.

25/01/2016 – Talk by Pierpaolo Degano

Title:  Context-aware Security: Linguistic Mechanisms and Static Analysis
Time: 14:00
Location: Meeting room, building Zeta
Type: Research Result
Speaker: Pierpaolo Degano
Abstract:
Adaptive systems improve their efficiency by modifying their behaviour to respond to changes in their operational environment. Also, security must adapt to these changes and policy enforcement becomes dependent on the dynamic contexts. We study these issues within (the core of) an adaptive declarative language proposed recently. A main characteristic of this language is to have two components: a logical one for handling the context and a functional one for computing. We extend it with security policies that are expressed in logical terms. They are of two different kinds: context and application policies. The first, unknown a priori to an application, protect the context from unwanted changes. The others protect the applications from malicious actions of the context, can be nested and can be activated and deactivated according to their scope. An execution step can occur only if all the policies in force hold, under the control of an execution monitor. Beneficial to this is a type and effect system, which safely approximates the behaviour of an application, and a further static analysis, based on the computed effect. The last analysis can only be carried on at load time, when the execution context is known, and it enables us to efficiently enforce the security policies on the code execution, by instrumenting applications. The monitor is thus implemented within the language itself, and it is only activated on those policies that may be infringed and switched off otherwise.

Short bio
Pierpaolo Degano has been

  • since 1/11/1990 full Professore in computer science, since 1993 at Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Pisa
  • 1993-96 head of the Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Pisa
  • 2000-2003 Chairman of GRIN, the Italian Association of the Professors of Computer Science
  • since 2001 member of the scientific committee of the Scuola di Dottorato di Eccellenza “Galileo Galilei”, since 2009 vice-chairman
  • since 2006 head of the PhD programme in Computer Science
  • since 2007 chairman of the Italian Committee of PhD programmes in Computer Science
  • since 2005 member of the scientific committee of CoSBi, the Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology

22/01/2016 – Talk by Stefano Zanero

Title:  Making sense of a million samples per day: Behavior-based Methods for Automated, Scalable Malware Analysis
Time: 12:00
Location: Meeting room, building Zeta
Type: Research Result
Speaker: Stefano Zanero
Abstract:
With the astonishing rate of new and modified malware samples being released daily, automation of analysis is needed to classify and cluster together similar samples, exclude basic and uninteresting variations, and focus costly manual analysis work on novel and interesting features (e.g., added or remove pieces of code with a given semantic). We will discuss the challenges in analyzing large malware datasets in a (semi)automatic fashion, and some recent research results that may help with the task, by leveraging the concept of “behavior” applied to malicious code.
Short bio: Stefano Zanero is an associate professor at DEIB, the computer engineering department of the Politecnico di Milano University. His research interests focus on systems security, in particular automated malware analysis, cyber-phisical systems security, critical infrastructure security, as well as computer forensics.

16/12/2015 – Talk by Heider Wahsheh

Title:  Security Issues in Two Dimensional Barcodes
Time: 12:30
Location: Meeting room, building Zeta
Type: Survey
Speaker: Heider Wahsheh
Abstract:
A barcode is a graphical image that stores data in special patterns of black and white modules. The encoded data can be retrieved using imaging devices such as: barcode scanner machines and smart phones with specific reader applications. In general data can be stored in one dimension (horizontally), or two dimensions (both horizontally and vertically) with more data capacity. Barcodes are easy to use, free and very popular. Barcodes have various applications such as product tracking, advertising and items identification. However, attackers may use barcodes in a malicious way to launch attacks aiming at violating security and users’ privacy. This seminar presents various malicious scenarios with 2-D barcodes and possible protection mechanisms.

03/12/2015 – Talk by Marco Squarcina

Title:  Run-time analysis of PKCS#11 attacks
Time: 13:30
Location: Acadia Lab, building Zeta
Type: Research Results
Speaker: Marco Squarcina
Abstract:
The goal of this talk is to report on the development of a tool aimed at the automatic detection of attacks against PKCS#11 devices. Instead of modifying or configuring the API, we propose a stateful run-time monitor which is able to track key usage over time, for the identification of operations that might result in the leakage of sensitive keys. We briefly report on the components developed for implementing the monitor and discuss new challenges and open issues.

RuCTFE 2015 report

Yesterday the security gang of the University of Venice challenged the best hackers in the world in RuCTFE 2015, one of the most important information security competition. Despite some connectivity problems, at the end of a fierce battle we placed 12th out of 300, resulting once again the 1st Italian team.

Congratulations to out students and professors!

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18/11/2015 – Talk by Gian-Luca dei Rossi

Title:  Evaluating the impact of eDoS attacks to cloud facilities
Time: 12:00
Location: Meeting Room, building Zeta
Type: Research Results
Speaker: Gian-Luca Dei Rossi
Abstract:
The complexity of modern cloud facilities requires attentive management policies that should encompass all aspects of the system. Security is a critical issue, as intrusions, misuse or denial of service attacks may damage both the users and the cloud provider including its reputation on the market.
Disruptive attacks happen fast, cause evident and short term damages and are usually the result of operations that are hard to disguise. On the other hand, Energy oriented Denial of Service (eDoS) attacks aim at producing continuous minor damages, eventually with long term consequences. These long lasting attacks are difficult to detect. In this tale we present a model of the behavior of a system under eDoS attack.
We study the impact in terms of cloud energy consumption of an attack strategy previously proposed in the literature and compare it with other strategies that we propose. Our findings show that the strategy previously proposed in the literature, based on keeping the cloud close to saturation, is not optimal (from the point of view of the attacker) in presence of non-constant workload and that there is a trade-off between the aggressiveness of the attacker and the duration of the attack in order to maximize the damage.

04/11/2015 – Talk by Enrico Steffinlongo

Title:  Static Detection of Collusion Attacks in ARBAC-based Workflow Systems
Time: 13:00
Location: Meeting Room, building Zeta
Type: Research result
Speaker: Enrico Steffinlongo
Abstract: Authorization in workflow systems is usually built on top of role-based access control (RBAC); security policies on workflows are then expressed as constraints on the users performing a set of tasks and the roles assigned to them. When the user-to-role assignment can be changed by potentially untrusted users, like in the case of Administrative RBAC (ARBAC), collusions may take place to circumvent the intended security policies. In this paper, we study this problem in a formal model of workflows based on event structures and we define a precise notion of security against collusion. We then propose a static analysis technique based on a reduction to a role reachability problem for ARBAC, which can be used to prove or disprove security for restricted – yet useful – classes of workflow systems. Finally, we implement our analysis in a tool, WARBAC, and we experimentally show its effectiveness on a set of publicly available examples.

01/04/2014 – Talk by M. Squarcina and M. Tempesta

Title: Surviving the Web: A Journey into Web Session Security
Time: 14:00
Location: Meeting Room, building Zeta
Type: Survey of literature
Speaker: Marco Squarcina and Mauro Tempesta
Abstract: In this talk we describe and classify web security properties, attacks and security solutions. We focus on client-side attacks against web sessions, i.e., attacks that target honest user clients establishing a session with a remote web server. We identify general security properties representative of web session security and we highlight the properties violated by the different attacks. We then survey existing security solutions and mechanisms that prevent or mitigate the attacks: for each security solution, we also evaluate the impact on usability, the compatibility with existing web sites and the ease of deployment. Finally, we identify a list of sound principles that, to some extents, have been taken into account by the designers of the surveyed solutions. We believe that these principles could be helpful for the development of innovative solutions approaching web security in a more systematic and comprehensive way.