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Building low-power trustworthy systems: cyber-security considerations for real-time physiological status monitoring

Summary

Real-time monitoring of physiological data can reduce the likelihood of injury in noncombat military personnel and first-responders. MIT Lincoln Laboratory is developing a tactical Real-Time Physiological Status Monitoring (RT-PSM) system architecture and reference implementation named OBAN (Open Body Area Network), the purpose of which is to provide an open, government-owned framework for integrating multiple wearable sensors and applications. The OBAN implementation accepts data from various sensors enabling calculation of physiological strain information which may be used by squad leaders or medics to assess the team's health and enhance safety and effectiveness of mission execution. Security in terms of measurement integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity is an area of interest because OBAN system components exchange sensitive data in contested environments. In this paper, we analyze potential cyber-security threats and their associated risks to a generalized version of the OBAN architecture and identify directions for future research. The threat analysis is intended to inform the development of secure RT-PSM architectures and implementations.
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Summary

Real-time monitoring of physiological data can reduce the likelihood of injury in noncombat military personnel and first-responders. MIT Lincoln Laboratory is developing a tactical Real-Time Physiological Status Monitoring (RT-PSM) system architecture and reference implementation named OBAN (Open Body Area Network), the purpose of which is to provide an open, government-owned...

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Side channel authenticity discriminant analysis for device class identification

Summary

Counterfeit microelectronics present a significant challenge to commercial and defense supply chains. Many modern anti-counterfeit strategies rely on manufacturer cooperation to include additional identification components. We instead propose Side Channel Authenticity Discriminant Analysis (SICADA) to leverage physical phenomena manifesting from device operation to match suspect parts to a class of authentic parts. This paper examines the extent that power dissipation information can be used to separate unique classes of devices. A methodology for distinguishing device types is presented and tested on both simulation data of a custom circuit and empirical measurements of Microchip dsPIC33F microcontrollers. Experimental results show that power side channels contain significant distinguishing information to identify parts as authentic or suspect counterfeit.
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Summary

Counterfeit microelectronics present a significant challenge to commercial and defense supply chains. Many modern anti-counterfeit strategies rely on manufacturer cooperation to include additional identification components. We instead propose Side Channel Authenticity Discriminant Analysis (SICADA) to leverage physical phenomena manifesting from device operation to match suspect parts to a class of...

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DSKE: dynamic set key encryption

Published in:
7th LCN Workshop on Security in Communications, 22 October 2012, pp. 1006-13.

Summary

In this paper, we present a novel paradigm for studying the problem of group key distribution, use it to analyze existing key distribution schemes, and then present a novel scheme for group key distribution which we call "Dynamic Set Key Encryption," or DSKE. DSKE meets the demands of a tactical environment while relying only on standard cryptographic primitives. Our "set key" paradigm allows us to focus on the underlying problem of establishing a confidential communication channel shared by a group of users, without concern for related security factors like authenticity and integrity, and without the need to consider any properties of the group beyond a list of its members. This separation of concerns is vital to our development and analysis of DSKE, and can be applied elsewhere to simplify the analyses of other group key distribution schemes.
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Summary

In this paper, we present a novel paradigm for studying the problem of group key distribution, use it to analyze existing key distribution schemes, and then present a novel scheme for group key distribution which we call "Dynamic Set Key Encryption," or DSKE. DSKE meets the demands of a tactical...

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A usable interface for location-based access control and over-the-air keying in tactical environments

Published in:
MILCOM 2011, IEEE Military Communications Conf., 7-10 November 2011, pp. 1480-1486.

Summary

This paper presents a usable graphical interface for specifying and automatically enacting access control rules for applications that involve dissemination of data among mobile tactical devices. A specific motivating example is unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), where the mission planner or operator needs to control the conditions under which specific receivers can access the UAV?s video feed. We implemented a prototype of this user interface as a plug-in for FalconView, a popular mission planning application.
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Summary

This paper presents a usable graphical interface for specifying and automatically enacting access control rules for applications that involve dissemination of data among mobile tactical devices. A specific motivating example is unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), where the mission planner or operator needs to control the conditions under which specific receivers...

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Efficient transmission of DoD PKI certificates in tactical networks

Published in:
MILCOM 2011, IEEE Military Communications Conf., 7-10 November 2011, pp. 1739-1747.

Summary

The DoD vision of real-time information sharing and net-centric services available to warfighters at the tactical edge is challenged by low-bandwidth and high-latency tactical network links. Secured tactical applications require transmission of digital certificates that contribute a major portion of data in most secure sessions, which further increases response time for users and drains device power. In this paper we present a simple and practical approach to alleviating this problem. We develop a dictionary of data common across DoD PKI certificates to prime general-purpose data compression of certificates, resulting in a significant reduction (about 50%) of certificate sizes. This reduction in message size translates in to faster response times for the users. For example, a mutual authentication of a client and a server over the Iridium satellite link is expected to be sped up by as much as 3 sec. This approach can be added directly to tactical applications with minimal effort, or it can be deployed as part of an intercepting network proxy, completely transparent to applications.
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Summary

The DoD vision of real-time information sharing and net-centric services available to warfighters at the tactical edge is challenged by low-bandwidth and high-latency tactical network links. Secured tactical applications require transmission of digital certificates that contribute a major portion of data in most secure sessions, which further increases response time...

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Secure channel establishment in disadvantaged networks: optimizing TLS using intercepting proxies

Published in:
MILCOM 2010, IEEE Military Communications Conference , 31 October-3 November 2010.

Summary

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a secure communication protocol that is used in many secure electronic applications. In order to establish a TLS connection, a client and server engage in a handshake, which usually involves the transmission of digital certificates. In this paper we present a practical speedup of TLS handshakes over bandwidth-constrained, high-latency (i .e. disadvantaged) links by reducing the communication overhead associated with the transmission of digital certificates. This speedup is achieved by deploying two specialized TLS proxies across such links. Working in tandem, one proxy replaces certificate data in packets being sent across the disadvantaged link with a short reference, while the proxy on the other side of the link restores the certificate data in the packet. Local or remote caches supply the certificate data. Our solution preserves the end-to-end security of TLS and is designed to be transparent to third-party applications, and will thus facilitate rapid deployment by removing the need to modify existing installations of TLS clients and TLS servers. Testing shows that this technique can reduce the overall bandwidth used during a handshake by 50% in test emulation and by over 20% of TLS session volume in practice. In addition, it can reduce the time required to establish a secure channel by over 40% across Iridium, a widely used satellite link in practice.
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Summary

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a secure communication protocol that is used in many secure electronic applications. In order to establish a TLS connection, a client and server engage in a handshake, which usually involves the transmission of digital certificates. In this paper we present a practical speedup of TLS...

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GROK: a practical system for securing group communications

Published in:
NCA 2010, 9th IEEE Int. Symp. on Network Computing and Applications, 15 July 2010, pp. 100-107.

Summary

We have designed and implemented a general-purpose cryptographic building block, called GROK, for securing communication among groups of entities in networks composed of high-latency, low-bandwidth, intermittently connected links. During the process, we solved a number of non-trivial system problems. This paper describes these problems and our solutions, and motivates and justifies these solutions from three viewpoints: usability, efficiency, and security. The solutions described in this paper have been tempered by securing a widely-used group-oriented application, group text chat. We implemented a prototype extension to a popular text chat client called Pidgin and evaluated it in a real-world scenario. Based on our experiences, these solutions are useful to designers of group-oriented systems specifically, and secure systems in general.
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Summary

We have designed and implemented a general-purpose cryptographic building block, called GROK, for securing communication among groups of entities in networks composed of high-latency, low-bandwidth, intermittently connected links. During the process, we solved a number of non-trivial system problems. This paper describes these problems and our solutions, and motivates and...

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ASE: authenticated statement exchange

Published in:
2010 9th IEEE Int. Symp. on Network Computing and Applications, 7 December 2009, pp. 155-161.

Summary

Applications often re-transmit the same data, such as digital certificates, during repeated communication instances. Avoiding such superfluous transmissions with caching, while complicated, may be necessary in order to operate in low-bandwidth, high-latency wireless networks or in order to reduce communication load in shared, mobile networks. This paper presents a general framework and an accompanying software library, called "Authenticated Statement Exchange" (ASE), for helping applications implement persistent caching of application specific data. ASE supports secure caching of a number of predefined data types common to secure communication protocols and allows applications to define new data types to be handled by ASE. ASE is applicable to many applications. The paper describes the use of ASE in one such application, secure group chat. In a recent real-use deployment, ASE was instrumental in allowing secure group chat to operate over low-bandwidth satellite links.
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Summary

Applications often re-transmit the same data, such as digital certificates, during repeated communication instances. Avoiding such superfluous transmissions with caching, while complicated, may be necessary in order to operate in low-bandwidth, high-latency wireless networks or in order to reduce communication load in shared, mobile networks. This paper presents a general...

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GROK secure multi-user chat at Red Flag 2007-03

Summary

This paper describes the GROK Secure Chat experimental activity performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory at USAF Red Flag 2007-03 exercises and its results.
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Summary

This paper describes the GROK Secure Chat experimental activity performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory at USAF Red Flag 2007-03 exercises and its results.

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Securing communication of dynamic groups in dynamic network-centric environments

Summary

We developed a new approach and designed a practical solution for securing communication of dynamic groups in dynamic network-centric environments, such as airborne and terrestrial on-the-move networks. The solution is called Public Key Group Encryption (PKGE). In this paper, we define the problem of group encryption, motivate the need for decentralized group encryption services, and explain our vision for designing such services. We then describe our solution, PKGE, at a high-level, and report on the prototype implementation, performance experiments, and a demonstration with GAIM/Jabber chat.
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Summary

We developed a new approach and designed a practical solution for securing communication of dynamic groups in dynamic network-centric environments, such as airborne and terrestrial on-the-move networks. The solution is called Public Key Group Encryption (PKGE). In this paper, we define the problem of group encryption, motivate the need for...

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