Resilient Information Systems Security

Fulvio Valenza

Fulvio joined the group as a Visiting Researcher. His activities focused on analysing and modelling hybrid threats.

Research Assistant/Research Associate in Federated and Adversarial Machine Learning

Research Assistant/Research Associate in Federated and Adversarial Machine Learning (Imperial College London)

Full Time, Fixed Term appointment for to start October 2019 until the 31/11/2021

The Resilient Information Systems Security Group (RISS) in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London is seeking a Research Assistant/Associate to work on EU funded Musketeer project. Musketeer aims to create a federated and privacy preserving machine learning data platform, that is interoperable, efficient and robust against internal and external threats. Led by IBM the project involves 11 academic and industrial partners from 7 countries and will validate its findings in two industrial scenarios in smart manufacturing and health care. Further details about the project can be found at: www.musketeer.eu.

The main contribution of the RISS group to Musketeer project focuses on the investigation and development of federated machine learning algorithms robust against attacks at training and test time, including the investigation of new poisoning attack and defence strategies, as well as novel mechanisms to generate adversarial examples and mitigate their effects. The work also includes the analysis of scenarios where multiple malicious users collude to manipulate or degrade the performance of federated machine learning systems.

There will be opportunities to collaborate with other researchers and PhD students in the RISS group working on adversarial machine learning and other machine learning applications in the security domain.

To apply for this position, you will need to have a strong machine learning background with proven knowledge and track record in one or more of the following research areas and techniques:

  • Adversarial machine learning.
  • Robust machine learning.
  • Federated or distributed machine learning.
  • Deep learning.
  • Bayesian inference.

Research Assistant applicants will have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in an area pertinent to the subject area, i.e., Computing or Engineering. Research Associate applicants will have a PhD degree (or equivalent) in an area pertinent to the subject area, i.e., Computing or Engineering.

You must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, enjoy working in collaboratively and be able to organise your own work with minimal supervision and prioritise work to meet deadlines. Preference will be given to applicants with a proven research record and publications in the relevant areas, including in prestigious machine learning and security journals and conferences.

The post is based in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London on the South Kensington Campus. The post holder will be required to travel occasionally to attend project meetings and to work collaboratively with the project partners.

How to apply:

Please complete our online application by visiting http://www.imperial.ac.uk/jobs/description/ENG00916/research-assistant-research-associates-federated-and-adversarial-machine-learning

Applications must include the following:

  • A full CV and list of publications
  • A 1 page statement outlining why you think you would be ideal for this post.

Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Jamie Perrins via j.perrins@imperial.ac.uk

Informal Enquiries can be addressed to Professor Emil Lupu (e.c.lupu@imperial.ac.uk)

Full Details, visit : https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BTY970/research-assistant-research-associates-in-federated-and-adversarial-machine-learning

MUSKETEER: Machine learning to augment shared knowledge in federated privacy-preserving scenarios

The massive increase in data collected and stored worldwide calls for new ways to preserve privacy while still allowing data sharing among multiple data owners. Today, the lack of trusted and secure environments for data sharing inhibits data economy while legality, privacy, trustworthiness, data value and confidentiality hamper the free flow of data. By the end of the project, MUSKETEER aims to create a validated, federated, privacy-preserving machine learning platform tested on industrial data that is inter-operable, scalable and efficient enough to be deployed in real use cases. MUSKETEER aims to alleviate data sharing barriers by providing secure, scalable and privacy-preserving analytics over decentralized datasets using machine learning. Data can continue to be stored in different locations with different privacy constraints, but shared securely. The MUSKETEER cross-domain platform will validate progress in the industrial scenarios of smart manufacturing and health. MUSKETEER strives to (1) create machine learning models over a variety of privacy-preserving scenarios, (2) ensure security and robustness against external and internal threats, (3) provide a standardized and extendable architecture, (4) demonstrate and validate in two different industrial scenarios and (5) enhance data economy by boosting sharing across domains. The MUSKETEER impact crosses industrial, scientific, economic and strategic domains. Real-world industry requirements and outcomes are validated in an operational setting. Federated machine learning approaches for data sharing are innovated. Data economy is fostered by creating a rewarding model capable of fairly monetizing datasets according to the real data value. Finally, Europe is positioned as a leader in innovative data sharing technologies.

Towards More Practical Software-based Attestation

Our paper Towards More Practical Software-based Attestation has been accepted for publication by Elsevier’s Computer Networks Journal.

Authors: Rodrigo Vieira Steiner, Emil Lupu

Abstract: Software-based attestation promises to enable the integrity verification of untrusted devices without requiring any particular hardware. However, existing proposals rely on strong assumptions that hinder their deployment and might even weaken their security. One of such assumptions is that using the maximum known network round-trip time to define the attestation timeout allows all honest devices to reply in time. While this is normally true in controlled environments, it is generally false in real deployments and especially so in a scenario like the Internet of Things where numerous devices communicate over an intrinsically unreliable wireless medium. Moreover, a larger timeout demands more computations, consuming extra time and energy and restraining the untrusted device from performing its main tasks. In this paper, we review this fundamental and yet overlooked assumption and propose a novel stochastic approach that significantly improves the overall attestation performance. Our experimental evaluation with IoT devices communicating over real-world uncontrolled Wi-Fi networks demonstrates the practicality and superior performance of our approach that in comparison with the current state of the art solution reduces the total attestation time and energy consumption around seven times for honest devices and two times for malicious ones, while improving the detection rate of honest devices (8% higher TPR) without compromising security (0% FPR).

Luca Maria Castiglione

Luca joined the group as PhD student on HiPEDS in October 2018. He received his MSc in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Napoli Federico II, defending his thesis entitled “Negotiation of traffic junctions over 5G networks”. The thesis work has been carried out at Ericsson, Gothenburg (Sweden), within a joint project between University of Napoli Federico II, Chalmers University of Technology and Ericsson.

He strongly believes in open source development and he currently is a mentor within the Open Leadership Programme offered by Mozilla.

His research interests are on the edge between cybersecurity and control engineering. In particular, his studies aim to investigate resilience of networked systems and industrial plants against cyberattacks.

You can also find him on Linkedin.

A Formal Approach to Analyzing Cyber-Forensics Evidence

Erisa Karafili’s paper “A Formal Approach to Analyzing Cyber-Forensics Evidence” was accepted at the European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS) 2018. This work is part of the AF-Cyber Project, and was a joint collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Verona.

Title: A Formal Approach to Analyzing Cyber-Forensics Evidence

Authors: Erisa Karafili, Matteo Cristani, Luca Viganò

Abstract: The frequency and harmfulness of cyber-attacks are increasing every day, and with them also the amount of data that the cyber-forensics analysts need to collect and analyze. In this paper, we propose a formal analysis process that allows an analyst to filter the enormous amount of evidence collected and either identify crucial information about the attack (e.g., when it occurred, its culprit, its target) or, at the very least, perform a pre-analysis to reduce the complexity of the problem in order to then draw conclusions more swiftly and efficiently. We introduce the Evidence Logic EL for representing simple and derived pieces of evidence from different sources. We propose a procedure, based on monotonic reasoning, that rewrites the pieces of evidence with the use of tableau rules, based on relations of trust between sources and the reasoning behind the derived evidence, and yields a consistent set of pieces of evidence. As proof of concept, we apply our analysis process to a concrete cyber-forensics case study.


You can find the paper here.

This work was funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 746667.

WSNs Under Attack! How Bad Is It? Evaluating Connectivity Impact Using Centrality Measures

Our paper WSNs Under Attack! How Bad Is It? Evaluating Connectivity Impact Using Centrality Measures has been presented at the Living in the Internet of Things: A PETRAS, IoTUK & IET Conference, Forum & Exhibition.

AuthorsRodrigo Vieira SteinerMartín BarrèreEmil C. Lupu

Abstract: We propose a model to represent the health of WSNs that allows us to evaluate a network’s ability to execute its functions. Central to this model is how we quantify the importance of each network node. As we focus on the availability of the network data, we investigate how well different centrality measures identify the significance of each node for the network connectivity. In this process, we propose a new metric named current-flow sink betweenness. Through a number of experiments , we demonstrate that while no metric is invariably better in identifying sensors’ connectivity relevance, the proposed current-flow sink betweenness outperforms existing metrics in the vast majority of cases.

Download a copy here.