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Cloud computing in tactical environments

Summary

Ground personnel at the tactical edge often lack data and analytics that would increase their effectiveness. To address this problem, this work investigates methods to deploy cloud computing capabilities in tactical environments. Our approach is to identify representative applications and to design a system that spans the software/hardware stack to support such applications while optimizing the use of scarce resources. This paper presents our high-level design and the results of initial experiments that indicate the validity of our approach.
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Summary

Ground personnel at the tactical edge often lack data and analytics that would increase their effectiveness. To address this problem, this work investigates methods to deploy cloud computing capabilities in tactical environments. Our approach is to identify representative applications and to design a system that spans the software/hardware stack to...

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Bootstrapping and maintaining trust in the cloud

Published in:
32nd Annual Computer Security Applications Conf., ACSAC 2016, 5-9 December 2016.

Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware like the TPM have long promised a solution to this problem. However, these technologies have not seen broad adoption because of their complexity of implementation, low performance, and lack of compatibility with virtualized environments. In this paper we introduce keylime, a scalable trusted cloud key management system. keylime provides an end-to-end solution for both bootstrapping hardware rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS nodes and for system integrity monitoring of those nodes via periodic attestation. We support these functions in both bare-metal and virtualized IaaS environments using a virtual TPM. keylime provides a clean interface that allows higher level security services like disk encryption or configuration management to leverage trusted computing without being trusted computing aware. We show that our bootstrapping protocol can derive a key in less than two seconds, we can detect system integrity violations in as little as 110ms, and that keylime can scale to thousands of IaaS cloud nodes.
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Summary

Today's infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud environments rely upon full trust in the provider to secure applications and data. Cloud providers do not offer the ability to create hardware-rooted cryptographic identities for IaaS cloud resources or sufficient information to verify the integrity of systems. Trusted computing protocols and hardware...

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Leveraging data provenance to enhance cyber resilience

Summary

Building secure systems used to mean ensuring a secure perimeter, but that is no longer the case. Today's systems are ill-equipped to deal with attackers that are able to pierce perimeter defenses. Data provenance is a critical technology in building resilient systems that will allow systems to recover from attackers that manage to overcome the "hard-shell" defenses. In this paper, we provide background information on data provenance, details on provenance collection, analysis, and storage techniques and challenges. Data provenance is situated to address the challenging problem of allowing a system to "fight-through" an attack, and we help to identify necessary work to ensure that future systems are resilient.
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Summary

Building secure systems used to mean ensuring a secure perimeter, but that is no longer the case. Today's systems are ill-equipped to deal with attackers that are able to pierce perimeter defenses. Data provenance is a critical technology in building resilient systems that will allow systems to recover from attackers...

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Cryptography for Big Data security

Published in:
Chapter 10 in Big Data: Storage, Sharing, and Security, 2016, pp. 214-87.

Summary

This chapter focuses on state-of-the-art provably secure cryptographic techniques for protecting big data applications. We do not focus on more established, and commonly available cryptographic solutions. The goal is to inform practitioners of new techniques to consider as they develop new big data solutions rather than to summarize the current best practice for securing data.
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Summary

This chapter focuses on state-of-the-art provably secure cryptographic techniques for protecting big data applications. We do not focus on more established, and commonly available cryptographic solutions. The goal is to inform practitioners of new techniques to consider as they develop new big data solutions rather than to summarize the current...

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Spyglass: demand-provisioned Linux containers for private network access

Published in:
Proc. 29th Large Installation System Administration Conf., LISA, 8-13 November 2015.

Summary

System administrators are required to access the privileged, or "super-user," interfaces of computing, networking, and storage resources they support. This low-level infrastructure underpins most of the security tools and features common today and is assumed to be secure. A malicious system administrator or malware on the system administrator's client system can silently subvert this computing infrastructure. In the case of cloud system administrators, unauthorized privileged access has the potential to cause grave damage to the cloud provider and their customers. In this paper, we describe Spyglass, a tool for managing, securing, and auditing administrator access to private or sensitive infrastructure networks by creating on-demand bastion hosts inside of Linux containers. These on-demand bastion containers differ from regular bastion hosts in that they are nonpersistent and last only for the duration of the administrator's access. Spyglass also captures command input and screen output of all administrator activities from outside the container, allowing monitoring of sensitive infrastructure and understanding of the actions of an adversary in the event of a compromise. Through our evaluation of Spyglass for remote network access, we show that it is more difficult to penetrate than existing solutions, does not introduce delays or major workflow changes, and increases the amount of tamper-resistant auditing information that is captured about a system administrator's access.
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Summary

System administrators are required to access the privileged, or "super-user," interfaces of computing, networking, and storage resources they support. This low-level infrastructure underpins most of the security tools and features common today and is assumed to be secure. A malicious system administrator or malware on the system administrator's client system...

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Runtime integrity measurement and enforcement with automated whitelist generation

Published in:
2014 Annual Computer Security Applications Conf., ACSAC, 8-12 December 2014.

Summary

This poster discusses a strategy for automatic whitelist generation and enforcement using techniques from information flow control and trusted computing. During a measurement phase, a cloud provider uses dynamic taint tracking to generate a whitelist of executed code and associated file hashes generated by an integrity measurement system. Then, at runtime, it can again use dynamic taint tracking to enforce execution only of code from files whose names and integrity measurement hashes exactly match the whitelist, preventing adversaries from exploiting buffer overflows or running their own code on the system. This provides the capability for runtime integrity enforcement or attestation. Our prototype system, built on top of Intel's PIN emulation environment and the libdft taint tracking system, demonstrates high accuracy in tracking the sources of instructions.
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Summary

This poster discusses a strategy for automatic whitelist generation and enforcement using techniques from information flow control and trusted computing. During a measurement phase, a cloud provider uses dynamic taint tracking to generate a whitelist of executed code and associated file hashes generated by an integrity measurement system. Then, at...

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A survey of cryptographic approaches to securing big-data analytics in the cloud

Published in:
HPEC 2014: IEEE Conf. on High Performance Extreme Computing, 9-11 September 2014.

Summary

The growing demand for cloud computing motivates the need to study the security of data received, stored, processed, and transmitted by a cloud. In this paper, we present a framework for such a study. We introduce a cloud computing model that captures a rich class of big-data use-cases and allows reasoning about relevant threats and security goals. We then survey three cryptographic techniques - homomorphic encryption, verifiable computation, and multi-party computation - that can be used to achieve these goals. We describe the cryptographic techniques in the context of our cloud model and highlight the differences in performance cost associated with each.
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Summary

The growing demand for cloud computing motivates the need to study the security of data received, stored, processed, and transmitted by a cloud. In this paper, we present a framework for such a study. We introduce a cloud computing model that captures a rich class of big-data use-cases and allows...

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Computing on masked data: a high performance method for improving big data veracity

Published in:
HPEC 2014: IEEE Conf. on High Performance Extreme Computing, 9-11 September 2014.

Summary

The growing gap between data and users calls for innovative tools that address the challenges faced by big data volume, velocity and variety. Along with these standard three V's of big data, an emerging fourth "V" is veracity, which addresses the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data. Traditional cryptographic techniques that ensure the veracity of data can have overheads that are too large to apply to big data. This work introduces a new technique called Computing on Masked Data (CMD), which improves data veracity by allowing computations to be performed directly on masked data and ensuring that only authorized recipients can unmask the data. Using the sparse linear algebra of associative arrays, CMD can be performed with significantly less overhead than other approaches while still supporting a wide range of linear algebraic operations on the masked data. Databases with strong support of sparse operations, such as SciDB or Apache Accumulo, are ideally suited to this technique. Examples are shown for the application of CMD to a complex DNA matching algorithm and to database operations over social media data.
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Summary

The growing gap between data and users calls for innovative tools that address the challenges faced by big data volume, velocity and variety. Along with these standard three V's of big data, an emerging fourth "V" is veracity, which addresses the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data. Traditional cryptographic...

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Computing on masked data: a high performance method for improving big data veracity

Published in:
HPEC 2014: IEEE Conf. on High Performance Extreme Computing, 9-11 September 2014.

Summary

The growing gap between data and users calls for innovative tools that address the challenges faced by big data volume, velocity and variety. Along with these standard three V's of big data, an emerging fourth "V" is veracity, which addresses the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data. Traditional cryptographic techniques that ensure the veracity of data can have overheads that are too large to apply to big data. This work introduces a new technique called Computing on Masked Data (CMD), which improves data veracity by allowing computations to be performed directly on masked data and ensuring that only authorized recipients can unmask the data. Using the sparse linear algebra of associative arrays, CMD can be performed with significantly less overhead than other approaches while still supporting a wide range of linear algebraic operations on the masked data. Databases with strong support of sparse operations, such as SciDB or Apache Accumulo, are ideally suited to this technique. Examples are shown for the application of CMD to a complex DNA matching algorithm and to database operations over social media data.
READ LESS

Summary

The growing gap between data and users calls for innovative tools that address the challenges faced by big data volume, velocity and variety. Along with these standard three V's of big data, an emerging fourth "V" is veracity, which addresses the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data. Traditional cryptographic...

READ MORE

A survey of cryptographic approaches to securing big-data analytics in the cloud

Published in:
HPEC 2014: IEEE Conf. on High Performance Extreme Computing, 9-11 September 2014.

Summary

The growing demand for cloud computing motivates the need to study the security of data received, stored, processed, and transmitted by a cloud. In this paper, we present a framework for such a study. We introduce a cloud computing model that captures a rich class of big-data use-cases and allows reasoning about relevant threats and security goals. We then survey three cryptographic techniques - homomorphic encryption, verifiable computation, and multi-party computation - that can be used to achieve these goals. We describe the cryptographic techniques in the context of our cloud model and highlight the differences in performance cost associated with each.
READ LESS

Summary

The growing demand for cloud computing motivates the need to study the security of data received, stored, processed, and transmitted by a cloud. In this paper, we present a framework for such a study. We introduce a cloud computing model that captures a rich class of big-data use-cases and allows...

READ MORE

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