Month: February 2019

DOCSDN: Dynamic and Optimal Configuration of Software-Defined Networks

New work on finding good network configurations with Tim, Devon, and Laurent.  This will appear this year at ACISP.

Abstract—Networks are designed with functionality, security, performance, and cost in mind. Tools exist to check or optimize individual properties of a network. These properties may conflict, so it is not always possible to run these tools in series to find a configuration that meets all requirements. This leads to network administrators manually searching for a configuration.

This need not be the case. In this paper, we introduce a layered framework for optimizing network configuration for functional and security requirements. Our framework is able to output configurations that meet reachability, bandwidth, and risk requirements. Each layer of our framework optimizes over a single property. A lower layer can constrain the search problem of a higher layer allowing the framework to converge on a joint solution.

Our approach has the most promise for software-defined networks which can easily reconfigure their logical configuration. Our approach is validated with experiments over the fat tree topology, which is commonly used in data center networks. Search terminates in between 1-5 minutes in experiments. Thus, our solution can propose new configurations for short term events such as defending against a focused network attack.

Iris Segmentation using CNNs

Sohaib (who’s awesome!) just gave his first presentation on performing iris segmentation using fully convolutional neural nets. The paper was published at AMV 2018 which is a workshop at ACCV.

AbstractThe extraction of consistent and identifiable features from an image of the human iris is known as iris recognition. Identifying which pixels belong to the iris, known as segmentation, is the first stage of iris recognition. Errors in segmentation propagate to later stages. Current segmentation approaches are tuned to specific environments. We propose using a convolution neural network for iris segmentation. Our algorithm is accurate when trained in a single environment and tested in multiple environments. Our network builds on the Mask R-CNN framework (He et al., ICCV 2017). Our approach segments faster than previous approaches including the Mask R-CNN network. Our network is accurate when trained on a single environment and tested with a different sensors (either visible light or near-infrared). Its accuracy degrades when trained with a visible light sensor and tested with a near-infrared sensor (and vice versa). A small amount of retraining of the visible light model (using a few samples from a near-infrared dataset) yields a tuned network accurate in both settings. For training and testing, this work uses the Casia v4 Interval, Notre Dame 0405, Ubiris v2, and IITD datasets.

Same Point Composable and Nonmalleable Obfuscated Point Functions

This is a paper I’m very excited about with Peter Fenteany, a great undergrad at UConn.

Abstract: A point obfuscator is an obfuscated program that indicates if a user enters a previously stored password. A digital locker is stronger: outputting a key if a user enters a previously stored password. The real-or-random transform allows one to build a digital locker from a composable point obfuscator (Canetti and Dakdouk, Eurocrypt 2008). Ideally, both objects would be nonmalleable, detecting adversarial tampering. Appending a non-interactive zero knowledge proof of knowledge adds nonmalleability in the common random string (CRS) model. Komargodski and Yogev (Eurocrypt, 2018) built a nonmalleable point obfuscator without a CRS. We show a lemma in their proof is false, leaving security of their construction unclear. Bartusek, Ma, and Zhandry (Crypto, 2019) used similar techniques and introduced another nonmalleable point function; their obfuscator is not secure if the same point is obfuscated twice. Thus, there was no composable and nonmalleable point function to instantiate the real-or-random construction. Our primary contribution is a nonmalleable point obfuscator that can be composed any polynomial number of times with the same point (which must be known ahead of time). Security relies on the assumption used in Bartusek, Ma, and Zhandry. This construction enables a digital locker that is nonmalleable with respect to the input password. As a secondary contribution, we introduce a key encoding step to detect tampering on the key. This step combines nonmalleable codes and seed-dependent condensers. The seed for the condenser must be public and not tampered, so this can be achieved in the CRS model. The password distribution may depend on the condenser’s seed as long as it is efficiently sampleable. This construction is black box in the underlying point obfuscation. Nonmalleability for the password is ensured for functions that can be represented as low degree polynomials. Key nonmalleability is inherited from the class of functions prevented by the nonmalleable code.