[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mobile networks are vulnerable to signalling attacks and storms that are
caused by traffic patterns that overload the control plane, and differ from
distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in the Internet since they
directly attack the control plane, and also reserve wireless bandwidth without
actually using it. Such attacks can result from malware and mobile botnets, as
well as from poorly designed applications, and can cause service outages in 3G
and 4G networks which have been experienced by mobile operators. Since the
radio resource control (RRC) protocol in 3G and 4G networks is particularly
susceptible to such attacks, we analyze their effect with a mathematical model
that helps to predict the congestion that is caused by an attack. A detailed
simulation model of a mobile network is used to better understand the temporal
dynamics of user behavior and signalling in the network and to show how RRC
based signalling attacks and storms cause significant problems in the control
plane and the user plane of the network. Our analysis also serves to identify
how storms can be detected, and to propose how system parameters can be chosen
to mitigate their effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The growing popularity of smart mobile devices such as smartphones and
tablets has made them an attractive target for cyber-criminals, resulting in a
rapidly growing and evolving mobile threat as attackers experiment with new
business models by targeting mobile users. With the emergence of the first
large-scale mobile botnets, the core network has also become vulnerable to
distributed denial-of-service attacks such as the signaling attack.
Furthermore, complementary access methods such as Wi-Fi and femtocells
introduce additional vulnerabilities for the mobile users as well as the core
network. In this paper, we present the NEMESYS approach to smart mobile network
security. The goal of the NEMESYS project is to develop novel security
technologies for seamless service provisioning in the smart mobile ecosystem,
and to improve mobile network security through a better understanding of the
threat landscape. To this purpose, NEMESYS will collect and analyze information
about the nature of cyber-attacks targeting smart mobile devices and the core
network so that appropriate counter-measures can be taken. We are developing a
data collection infrastructure that incorporates virtualized mobile honeypots
and honeyclients in order to gather, detect and provide early warning of mobile
attacks and understand the modus operandi of cyber-criminals that target mobile
devices. By correlating the extracted information with known attack patterns
from wireline networks, we plan to reveal and identify the possible shift in
the way that cyber-criminals launch attacks against smart mobile devices.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a consequence of the growing popularity of smart mobile devices, mobile
malware is clearly on the rise, with attackers targeting valuable user
information and exploiting vulnerabilities of the mobile ecosystems. With the
emergence of large-scale mobile botnets, smartphones can also be used to launch
attacks on mobile networks. The NEMESYS project will develop novel security
technologies for seamless service provisioning in the smart mobile ecosystem,
and improve mobile network security through better understanding of the threat
landscape. NEMESYS will gather and analyze information about the nature of
cyber-attacks targeting mobile users and the mobile network so that appropriate
counter-measures can be taken. We will develop a data collection infrastructure
that incorporates virtualized mobile honeypots and a honeyclient, to gather,
detect and provide early warning of mobile attacks and better understand the
modus operandi of cyber-criminals that target mobile devices. By correlating
the extracted information with the known patterns of attacks from wireline
networks, we will reveal and identify trends in the way that cyber-criminals
launch attacks against mobile devices.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In urban emergencies and disasters, emergency support systems enabled by ubiquitous computing and mobile communications can prove very beneficial by providing alerts, guidance and other crucial information to civilians and emergency responders. However, the communication infrastructure that such systems depend upon is usually adversely affected in emergencies due to failures or congestion. Thus we consider the problem of providing emergency support when existing communication infrastructure is unavailable. We propose the use of opportunistic communications (Oppcomms) among mobile devices for the dissemination of emergency information. With Oppcomms, devices exchange messages at a close range of a few to tens of meters with limited or no infrastructure and messages are carried over multiple hops in a “store-carry-forward” manner by exploiting human mobility. We present an emergency support system (ESS) based on Oppcomms to provide evacuation guidance to civilians in large-scale urban emergencies in the absence of other means of communication. We evaluate the performance of ESS with simulation experiments of large-scale evacuation of a district of London, UK. Our evaluations show the improvement Oppcomms can offer.
Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), 2013 IEEE International Conference on; 01/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe an autonomous emergency support system (ESS) based on opportunistic communications (oppcomms) to support navigation and evacuation of civilians in built environments. In our proposed system, civilians are equipped with low-cost human wearable devices that employ oppcomms to exchange packets at close range of a few meters with limited or no infrastructure. This paper investigates the resilience and performance of oppcomms in the presence of network attacks. We assume that a portion of nodes in the network have been compromised and misbehave, which adversely affects communications and evacuation. We evaluate the effect of three types of node misbehaviour and propose a defense mechanism against the most serious among these. The defense mechanism combines identity-based cryptography with collaborative malicious packet detection and blacklisting of detected attackers. Results from simulation experiments conducted on a specialized emergency simulator show the impact of misbehaviour on evacuation and communication performance and the improvement offered by the defense mechanism.
Proceedings of the 7th ACM workshop on Performance monitoring and measurement of heterogeneous wireless and wired networks; 10/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emergencies of different types, ranging from accidents to natural disasters, are unfortunately becoming increasingly common due to the greater concentration of human populations and the existence of highly interconnected physical infrastructures that human beings increasingly rely on. Thus Emergency Management Systems are gaining in importance and they are a major and useful example of Cyber-Physical Systems where ICT, sensing and decision making come together to improve the outcomes for human beings and for nature itself. Our presentation focuses on the impact of wireless sensing, distributed decision making, and opportunistic wireless communications as tools for optimising human evacuation and improving the health outcomes for human populations during small or large scale emergencies.
Proceedings of the first ACM international workshop on Practical issues and applications in next generation wireless networks; 08/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An emergency situation taking place inside a confined space, such as a building, is a challenging task due to the presence of dynamic conditions. Pervasive systems can prove beneficial for the evacuation procedure, as they can provide directions to the evacuees regarding the best available exit. In this paper we describe two pervasive systems geared towards emergency support, which are deployed inside a building. Both systems use simple communications in order to collect and disseminate information regarding the best evacuation paths. We use a multi-agent simulation platform to demonstrate how the use of the systems improves the outcome of the evacuation procedure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emergency management systems (EMS) are important and complex examples of Cyber-Physical-Human systems that are deployed so as to optimise the outcome of an emergency from a human perspective. They use sensor networks, networked decision nodes and communications with evacuees and first responders to optimise the overall Quality of Service to benefit primarily human beings in terms of survival, health and safety, and the the protection of nature, property and valuable infrastructures. The use of technology for emergency management also has side effects in terms of failures and malicious attacks of the ICT system, so that the outcome will be affected by how well the ICT system operates under stress. Thus this paper surveys research on wireless sensor- assisted EMS, including networking, distributed control, and knowledge discovery. An evaluation of increased effectiveness and liabilities that wireless communications introduce is conducted when adversaries exacerbate the emergency by malicious attacks through the wireless system.
Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN), 2012 21st International Conference on; 01/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The evacuation of urban areas during an emergency is complex and challenging due to the dynamic conditions and ambiguity of information available to people in the affected area. Autonomous navigation systems can improve the outcome of such evacuations by providing up-to-date guidance and directions to people during the emergency. In this paper we present two distributed navigation systems deployed inside a confined space, such as a building, that use simple but effective communications to gather and disseminate information for the computation of evacuation paths. The first system is composed of a network of static decision nodes (DNs) positioned in the building, where DNs distributedly compute the best paths using local communication and computation, and each DN provides directions to people in its vicinity. The second system is composed of mobile communication nodes (CNs) carried by the people in the area. CNs form an opportunistic network in order to exchange information regarding the hazard and each CNs directs its user towards the safest/closest exit. Sensor nodes pre-deployed in the building monitor the environment and provide their measurements to both systems. We investigate the effect of failures of DNs on the evacuation outcome and study how the two systems can be used in conjunction to overcome such problems. A multi-agent simulation platform is used for the performance evaluation of our proposed systems in evacuation scenarios inside a three-floor building.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The evacuation of a building during an emergency situation, such as a fire, is a complex and challenging task. As the conditions inside the building change due to the spreading of the hazard, it becomes difficult for an evacuee to find the best evacuation path. Information systems can prove beneficial for the evacuees, as they provide them with directions regarding the best path to follow at any given time. In this paper we present two spatially distributed computing systems that operate inside a building. They adapt to the dynamic conditions during an evacuation while relying on local communication and computation for determining the best evacuation paths. The first system is composed of a network of decision nodes (DNs) positioned at specific locations inside the building. Their goal is to provide the evacuees with directions regarding the best available exit. The second system is composed of mobile communication nodes (CNs) carried by the evacuees. They form an opportunistic network in order to exchange information regarding the hazard and to direct the evacuees towards the safest exit. Sensor nodes that monitor the hazard intensity in the building are used by both systems. We use a multi-agent simulation platform that we developed to evaluate the performance of our proposed systems in evacuation scenarios inside multi-storey buildings. We show how parameters such as the frequency of information exchange between the nodes and communication ranges affect the performance of the systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents an emergency communication system that is able to quickly deliver emergency messages over an unreliable and best-effort network such as the Internet. The proposed architecture employs application-layer multicast to rapidly deliver emergency traffic without the support of a dedicated network infrastructure. We introduce a distributed overlay tree construction and maintenance mechanism that produces consistent, loop-free and self-adaptive trees that dynamically change over time to effectively deal with varying network conditions and offer low message delays to end nodes. We evaluate the performance of the proposed approach through an experimental study conducted on a real-life networking testbed.
Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops), 2010 8th IEEE International Conference on; 05/2010
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper presents a command and control (C2) agents approach to supporting tactical decision making by operational commanders. The work addresses two C2 issues: the use of networked information sharing and high-level information fusion to allow for the visualisation of highly anisotropic threat spaces, and associated route planning for a variety of effects based tasks taking into account a commanderpsilas immediate task needs, personal experience, and command preferences. We adopt wave propagation techniques used in seismology and present illustrations from a software suite we have developed that reflects commander preferences in effects routing, facilitates cooperative command planning, and analysis of opponent options.
Information Fusion, 2008 11th International Conference on; 01/2008