Web & Network Security

06 April 2017, 15:55, Track 1

Session chair: Christina Pöpper, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

SECRET: On the Feasibility of a Secure, Efficient, and Collaborative Real-Time Web Editor

Dennis Felsch, Christian Mainka, Vladislav Mladenov, Jörg Schwenk

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Real-time editing tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Office Online, or Etherpad have changed the way of collaboration. Many of these tools are based on Operational Transforms (OT), which guarantee that the views of different clients onto a document remain consistent over time. Usually, documents and operations are exposed to the server in plaintext – and thus to administrators, governments, and potentially cyber criminals. Therefore, it is highly desirable to work collaboratively on encrypted documents. Previous implementations do not unleash the full potential of this idea: They either require large storage, network, and computation overhead, are not real-time collaborative, or do not take the structure of the document into account. The latter simplifies the approach since only OT algorithms for byte sequences are required, but the resulting ciphertexts are almost four times the size of the corresponding plaintexts. We present SECRET, the first secure, efficient, and collaborative real-time editor. In contrast to all previous works, SECRET is the first tool that (1.) allows the encryption of whole documents or arbitrary sub-parts thereof, (2.) uses a novel combination of tree-based OT with a structure preserving encryption, and (3.) requires only a modern browser without any extra software installation or browser extension. We evaluate our implementation and show that its encryption overhead is three times smaller in comparison to all previous approaches. SECRET can even be used by multiple users in a low-bandwidth scenario. The source code of SECRET is published on GitHub as an open-source project:https://github.com/RUB-NDS/SECRET/

WedgeTail: An Intrusion Prevention System for the Data Plane of Software Defined Networks

Arash Shaghaghi, Mohamed Ali (Dali) Kaafar, Sanjay Jha

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Networks are vulnerable to disruptions caused by malicious forwarding devices. The situation is likely to worsen in Software Defined Networks (SDNs) with the incompatibility of existing solutions, use of programmable soft switches and the potential of bringing down an entire network through compromised forwarding devices. In this paper, we present WedgeTail, an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) designed to secure the SDN data plane. WedgeTail regards forwarding devices as points within a geometric space and stores the path packets take when traversing the network as trajectories. To be efficient, it prioritizes forwarding devices before inspection using an unsupervised trajectory-based sampling mechanism. For each of the forwarding device, WedgeTail computes the expected and actual trajectories of packets and `hunts’ for any forwarding device not processing packets as expected. Compared to related work, WedgeTail is also capable of distinguishing between malicious actions such as packet drop and generation. Moreover, WedgeTail employs a radically different methodology that enables detecting threats autonomously. In fact, it has no reliance on pre-defined rules by an administrator and may be easily imported to protect SDN networks with different setups, forwarding devices, and controllers. We have evaluated WedgeTail in simulated environments, and it has been capable of detecting and responding to all implanted malicious forwarding devices within a reasonable time-frame. We report on the design, implementation, and evaluation of WedgeTail in this manuscript.

The Case for In-Network Replay Suppression

Taeho Lee, Christos Pappas, Adrian Perrig, Virgil Gligor, Yih-Chun Hu

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We make a case for packet-replay suppression at the network layer, a concept that has been generally neglected. Our contribution is twofold. First, we demonstrate a new attack, the router-reflection attack, that can be launched using compromised routers. In this attack, a compromised router degrades the connectivity of a remote Internet region just by replaying packets. The attack is feasible even if all packets are attributed to their sources, i.e., source authentication is in place, and our evaluation shows that the threat is pervasive—candidate routers for compromise are in the order of hundreds or thousands. Second, we design an in-network mechanism for replay suppression. We start by showing that designing such a mechanism poses unsolved challenges and simple adaptations of end-to-end solutions are not sufficient. Then, we devise, analyze, and implement a highly efficient protocol that suppresses replayed traffic at the network layer without global time synchronization. Our software-router prototype can saturate a 10 Gbps link using only two CPU cores for packet processing.

Taming Asymmetric Network Delays for Clock Synchronization Using Power Grid Voltage

Dima Rabadi, Rui Tan, David K.Y. Yau, Sreejaya Viswanathan

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Many clock synchronization protocols based on message passing, e.g., the Network Time Protocol (NTP), assume symmetric network delays to estimate the one-way packet transmission time as half of the round-trip time. As a result, asymmetric network delays caused by either %natural one-way network congestion or malicious packet delays can cause significant synchronization errors. This paper exploits sinusoidal voltage signals of an alternating current (ac) power grid to tame the asymmetric network delays for robust and resilient clock synchronization. Our extensive measurements show that the voltage signals at geographically distributed locations in a city are highly synchronized. Leveraging calibrated voltage phases, we develop a new clock synchronization protocol, which we call Grid Time Protocol (GTP), that allows direct measurement of one-way packet transmission times between its slave and master nodes, under an analytic condition that can be easily verified in practice. The direct measurements render GTP resilient against asymmetric network delays under this condition. A prototype implementation of GTP, based on readily available ac/ac transformers and PC-grade sound cards as voltage signal sampling devices, maintains sub-ms synchronization accuracy for two nodes 30 km apart, in the presence of malicious packet delays. We believe that GTP is suitable for grid-connected distributed systems that are currently served by NTP but desire higher resilience against network dynamics and packet delay attacks.

Accurate Manipulation of Delay-based Internet Geolocation

AbdelRahman Abdou, Ashraf Matrawy, Paul van Oorschot

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Delay-based Internet geolocation techniques are repeatedly positioned as well suited for security-sensitive applications, e.g., location-based access control, and credit-card verification. We present new strategies enabling adversaries to accurately control the forged location. Evaluation showed that using the new strategies, adversaries could misrepresent their true locations by over 15000km, and in some cases within 100km of an intended geographic location. This work significantly improves the adversary’s control in misrepresenting its location, directly refuting the appropriateness of current techniques for security-sensitive applications. We finally discuss countermeasures to mitigate such strategies.