Challenges and Solutions to Secure Internet Geolocation

Wednesday May 3rd , 12-1PM @ BA5205

Speaker: AbdlRahman Abdou

Title:
Challenges and Solutions to Secure Internet Geolocation

Abstract:
The number of security-sensitive location-aware services over the Internet continues to grow, such as location-aware authentication, location-aware access policies, fraud prevention, complying with media licensing, and regulating online gambling/voting. 
An adversary can evade existing geolocation techniques, e.g., by faking GPS coordinates or employing a non-local IP address through proxy and virtual private networks. In this talk, I will present parts of my PhD work, including Client Presence Verification (CPV), which is a measurement-based technique designed to verify an assertion about a device’s presence inside a prescribed geographic region. CPV does not identify devices by their IP addresses. Rather, the device’s location is corroborated in a novel way by leveraging geometric properties of triangles, which prevents an adversary from manipulating network delays to its favor. To achieve high accuracy, CPV mitigates Internet path asymmetry using a novel method to deduce one-way application-layer delays to/from the client’s participating device, and mines these delays for evidence supporting/refuting the asserted location. I will present CPV’s evaluation results, including the granularity of the verified location and the verification time, and summarize some lessons we learned throughout the process.

Bio:
AbdelRahman Abdou is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Computer Science at Carleton University. He received his PhD (2015) in Systems and Computer Engineering from Carleton University. His research interests include location-aware security, SDN security, authentication, SSL/TLS and using Internet measurements to solve problems related to Internet security.

Consistency Oracle

Friday April 28th, 1-2PM @ BA5205

Speaker: Beom Heyn Kim

Title:
Consistency Oracle

Abstract:
Many modern distributed storage systems emphasize availability and partition tolerance over consistency, leading to many systems that provide weak data consistency. However, weak data consistency is difficult for both system designers and users to reason about formal specifications that may offer precise descriptions of consistency behavior, but they are difficult to use and usually require expertise beyond that of the average software developer. In this paper, we propose and describe consistency oracle, a novel instantiation of formal specification. A consistency oracle takes the same interface call as a distributed storage system, but returns all possible values that may be returned under a given consistency model. Consistency oracles are easy to use and can be applied to test and verify both distributed storage systems and client software that uses those systems.

Bio:
Ben is a PhD student under Prof. David Lie. His research primarily focuses on Consistency Verification for Distributed Systems.