Cybersecurity

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EISSN : 2523-3246
Total articles ≅ 85
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Jonah Burgess, Philip O’Kane, Sakir Sezer, Domhnall Carlin
Published: 12 July 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-15; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00093-7

Abstract:
While consumers use the web to perform routine activities, they are under the constant threat of attack from malicious websites. Even when visiting ‘trusted’ sites, there is always a risk that site is compromised, and, hosting a malicious script. In this scenario, the injected script would typically force the victim’s browser to undergo a series of redirects before reaching an attacker-controlled domain, which, delivers the actual malware. Although these malicious redirection chains aim to frustrate detection and analysis efforts, they could be used to help identify web-based attacks. Building upon previous work, this paper presents the first known application of a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network to detect Exploit Kit (EK) traffic, utilising the structure of HTTP redirects. Samples are processed as sequences, where each timestep represents a redirect and contains a unique combination of 48 features. The experiment is conducted using a ground-truth dataset of 1279 EK and 5910 benign redirection chains. Hyper-parameters are tuned via K-fold cross-validation (5f-CV), with the optimal configuration achieving an F1 score of 0.9878 against the unseen test set. Furthermore, we compare the results of isolated feature categories to assess their importance.
Xiang Yin, Yanni Han, Zhen Xu, Jie Liu
Published: 1 July 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-12; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00090-w

Abstract:
Long-term prediction is still a difficult problem in data mining. People usually use various kinds of methods of Recurrent Neural Network to predict. However, with the increase of the prediction step, the accuracy of prediction decreases rapidly. In order to improve the accuracy of long-term prediction,we propose a framework Variational Auto-Encoder Conditional Generative Adversarial Network(VAECGAN). Our model is divided into three parts. The first part is the encoder net, which can encode the exogenous sequence into latent space vectors and fully save the information carried by the exogenous sequence. The second part is the generator net which is responsible for generating prediction data. In the third part, the discriminator net is used to classify and feedback, adjust data generation and improve prediction accuracy. Finally, extensive empirical studies tested with five real-world datasets (NASDAQ, SML, Energy, EEG,KDDCUP)demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our proposed approach.
Shushan Arakelyan, Sima Arasteh, Christophe Hauser, Erik Kline, Aram Galstyan
Published: 1 July 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-14; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00088-4

Abstract:
Tackling binary program analysis problems has traditionally implied manually defining rules and heuristics, a tedious and time consuming task for human analysts. In order to improve automation and scalability, we propose an alternative direction based on distributed representations of binary programs with applicability to a number of downstream tasks. We introduce Bin2vec, a new approach leveraging Graph Convolutional Networks (GCN) along with computational program graphs in order to learn a high dimensional representation of binary executable programs. We demonstrate the versatility of this approach by using our representations to solve two semantically different binary analysis tasks – functional algorithm classification and vulnerability discovery. We compare the proposed approach to our own strong baseline as well as published results, and demonstrate improvement over state-of-the-art methods for both tasks. We evaluated Bin2vec on 49191 binaries for the functional algorithm classification task, and on 30 different CWE-IDs including at least 100 CVE entries each for the vulnerability discovery task. We set a new state-of-the-art result by reducing the classification error by 40% compared to the source-code based inst2vec approach, while working on binary code. For almost every vulnerability class in our dataset, our prediction accuracy is over 80% (and over 90% in multiple classes).
Jingdian Ming, Yongbin Zhou, Huizhong Li,
Published: 2 June 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-15; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00082-w

Abstract:
Due to its provable security and remarkable device-independence, masking has been widely accepted as a noteworthy algorithmic-level countermeasure against side-channel attacks. However, relatively high cost of masking severely limits its applicability. Considering the high tackling complexity of non-linear operations, most masked AES implementations focus on the security and cost reduction of masked S-boxes. In this paper, we focus on linear operations, which seems to be underestimated, on the contrary. Specifically, we discover some security flaws and redundant processes in popular first-order masked AES linear operations, and pinpoint the underlying root causes. Then we propose a provably secure and highly efficient masking scheme for AES linear operations. In order to show its practical implications, we replace the linear operations of state-of-the-art first-order AES masking schemes with our proposal, while keeping their original non-linear operations unchanged. We implement four newly combined masking schemes on an Intel Core i7-4790 CPU, and the results show they are roughly 20% faster than those original ones. Then we select one masked implementation named RSMv2 due to its popularity, and investigate its security and efficiency on an AVR ATMega163 processor and four different FPGA devices. The results show that no exploitable first-order side-channel leakages are detected. Moreover, compared with original masked AES implementations, our combined approach is nearly 25% faster on the AVR processor, and at least 70% more efficient on four FPGA devices.
Yuhang Zhao, Ruigang Liang, Xiang Chen, Jing Zou
Published: 2 June 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-24; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00084-8

Abstract:
In recent years, the widespread applications of open-source software (OSS) have brought great convenience for software developers. However, it is always facing unavoidable security risks, such as open-source code defects and security vulnerabilities. To find out the OSS risks in time, we carry out an empirical study to identify the indicators for evaluating the OSS. To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the OSS assessment, we collect 56 papers from prestigious academic venues (such as IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, DBLP, and Google Scholar) in the past 21 years. During the process of the investigation, we first identify the main concerns for selecting OSS and distill five types of commonly used indicators to assess OSS. We then conduct a comparative analysis to discuss how these indicators are used in each surveyed study and their differences. Moreover, we further undertake a correlation analysis between these indicators and uncover 13 confirmed conclusions and four cases with controversy occurring in these studies. Finally, we discuss several possible applications of these conclusions, which are insightful for the research on OSS and software supply chain.
Xuzi Wang, , Lin Hou, Dongdai Lin
Published: 2 June 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-14; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00081-x

Abstract:
In this paper, we greatly increase the number of impossible differentials for SIMON and SIMECK by eliminating the 1-bit constraint in input/output difference, which is the precondition to ameliorate the complexity of attacks. We propose an algorithm which can greatly reduce the searching complexity to find such trails efficiently since the search space exponentially expands to find impossible differentials with multiple active bits. There is another situation leading to the contradiction in impossible differentials except for miss-in-the-middle. We show how the contradiction happens and conclude the precondition of it defined as miss-from-the-middle. It makes our results more comprehensive by applying these two approach simultaneously. This paper gives for the first time impossible differential characteristics with multiple active bits for SIMON and SIMECK, leading to a great increase in the number. The results can be verified not only by covering the state-of-art, but also by the MILP model.
Roee S. Leon, Michael Kiperberg, Anat Anatey Leon Zabag,
Published: 2 June 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-14; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00083-9

Abstract:
Malware analysis is a task of utmost importance in cyber-security. Two approaches exist for malware analysis: static and dynamic. Modern malware uses an abundance of techniques to evade both dynamic and static analysis tools. Current dynamic analysis solutions either make modifications to the running malware or use a higher privilege component that does the actual analysis. The former can be easily detected by sophisticated malware while the latter often induces a significant performance overhead. We propose a method that performs malware analysis within the context of the OS itself. Furthermore, the analysis component is camouflaged by a hypervisor, which makes it completely transparent to the running OS and its applications. The evaluation of the system’s efficiency suggests that the induced performance overhead is negligible.
Chun Yang, Jinghui Xu, Shuangshuang Liang, Yanna Wu, Yu Wen, Boyang Zhang, Dan Meng
Published: 14 May 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-14; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00079-5

Abstract:
Outside the explosive successful applications of deep learning (DL) in natural language processing, computer vision, and information retrieval, there have been numerous Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) based alternatives for common security-related scenarios with malware detection among more popular. Recently, adversarial learning has gained much focus. However, unlike computer vision applications, malware adversarial attack is expected to guarantee malwares’ original maliciousness semantics. This paper proposes a novel adversarial instruction learning technique, DeepMal, based on an adversarial instruction learning approach for static malware detection. So far as we know, DeepMal is the first practical and systematical adversarial learning method, which could directly produce adversarial samples and effectively bypass static malware detectors powered by DL and machine learning (ML) models while preserving attack functionality in the real world. Moreover, our method conducts small-scale attacks, which could evade typical malware variants analysis (e.g., duplication check). We evaluate DeepMal on two real-world datasets, six typical DL models, and three typical ML models. Experimental results demonstrate that, on both datasets, DeepMal can attack typical malware detectors with the mean F1-score and F1-score decreasing maximal 93.94% and 82.86% respectively. Besides, three typical types of malware samples (Trojan horses, Backdoors, Ransomware) prove to preserve original attack functionality, and the mean duplication check ratio of malware adversarial samples is below 2.0%. Besides, DeepMal can evade dynamic detectors and be easily enhanced by learning more dynamic features with specific constraints.
Chen Gao, , Hui Liu
Published: 3 May 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-13; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00072-y

Abstract:
Named Entity Recognition (NER) for cyber security aims to identify and classify cyber security terms from a large number of heterogeneous multisource cyber security texts. In the field of machine learning, deep neural networks automatically learn text features from a large number of datasets, but this data-driven method usually lacks the ability to deal with rare entities. Gasmi et al. proposed a deep learning method for named entity recognition in the field of cyber security, and achieved good results, reaching an F1 value of 82.8%. But it is difficult to accurately identify rare entities and complex words in the text.To cope with this challenge, this paper proposes a new model that combines data-driven deep learning methods with knowledge-driven dictionary methods to build dictionary features to assist in rare entity recognition. In addition, based on the data-driven deep learning model, an attention mechanism is adopted to enrich the local features of the text, better models the context, and improves the recognition effect of complex entities. Experimental results show that our method is better than the baseline model. Our model is more effective in identifying cyber security entities. The Precision, Recall and F1 value reached 90.19%, 86.60% and 88.36% respectively.
Yiru Sun, Yanyan Liu
Published: 3 May 2021
Cybersecurity, Volume 4, pp 1-15; doi:10.1186/s42400-021-00076-8

Abstract:
Message-dependent opening is one of the solutions to solve the problem of the tracing manager owns excessive power. In this paper, we present a new lattice-based fully dynamic group signature scheme with message-dependent opening by combining an improved version of the fully dynamic group signature scheme proposed by Ling et al and the double encryption paradigm. In addition, we propose an improved underlying zero knowledge protocol, it has a soundness error $\frac {1}{\max (n,p)+1}$ 1 max ( n , p ) + 1 that is better than the Stern-like protocol, which helps to bring down the communication complexity of the protocol and hence the signature scheme. Our scheme constrains the power of group managers by adding an admitter, and the signature size has a logarithmic relationship with the group size.
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