Inside the Octagon Analyzing System Guard Runtime Attestation

Microsoft’s version of verified access.

Source: http://alex-ionescu.com/Publications/OPCDE/octagon.pdf

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BeyondCorp 6 – Building a Healthy Fleet

Any security capability is inherently only as secure as the other systems
it trusts. The BeyondCorp project helped Google clearly define
and make access decisions around the platforms we trust, shifting
our security strategy from protecting services to protecting trusted platforms.
Previous BeyondCorp articles discussed the tooling Google uses to
confidently ascertain the provenance of a device, but we have not yet covered
the mechanics behind how we trust these devices.

Source: https://storage.googleapis.com/pub-tools-public-publication-data/pdf/b9b4a09a913e410b7c45f3fbacec4d350e38146f.pdf

Scaling Backend Authentication at Facebook

Secure authentication and authorization within Facebook’s infrastructure play important
roles in protecting people using Facebook’s services. Enforcing security while maintaining a
flexible and performant infrastructure can be challenging at Facebook’s scale, especially in the
presence of varying layers of trust among our servers. Providing authentication and encryption
on a per-connection basis is certainly necessary, but also insufficient for securing more complex
flows involving multiple services or intermediaries at lower levels of trust.
To handle these more complicated scenarios, we have developed two token-based mechanisms
for authentication. The first type is based on certificates and allows for flexible verification due
to its public-key nature. The second type, known as “crypto auth tokens”, is symmetric-key
based, and hence more restrictive, but also much more scalable to a high volume of requests.
Crypto auth tokens rely on pseudorandom functions to generate independently-distributed keys
for distinct identities.
Finally, we provide (mock) examples which illustrate how both of our token primitives can be
used to authenticate real-world flows within our infrastructure, and how a token-based approach
to authentication can be used to handle security more broadly in other infrastructures which
have strict performance requirements and where relying on TLS alone is not enough.

Source: https://eprint.iacr.org/2018/413.pdf

Survivable Key Compromise in Software Update Systems

Today’s software update systems have little or no defense
against key compromise. As a result, key compromises have
put millions of software update clients at risk. Here we identify
three classes of information whose authenticity and integrity
are critical for secure software updates. Analyzing
existing software update systems with our framework, we
find their ability to communicate this information securely
in the event of a key compromise to be weak or nonexistent.
We also find that the security problems in current software
update systems are compounded by inadequate trust revocation
mechanisms. We identify core security principles that
allow software update systems to survive key compromise.
Using these ideas, we design and implement TUF, a software
update framework that increases resilience to key compromise

Source: https://www.freehaven.net/~arma/tuf-ccs2010.pdf

DeepLog: Anomaly Detection and Diagnosis from System Logs through Deep Learning

Anomaly detection is a critical step towards building a secure and
trustworthy system. Œe primary purpose of a system log is to
record system states and signi€cant events at various critical points
to help debug system failures and perform root cause analysis. Such
log data is universally available in nearly all computer systems.
Log data is an important and valuable resource for understanding
system status and performance issues; therefore, the various system
logs are naturally excellent source of information for online
monitoring and anomaly detection. We propose DeepLog, a deep
neural network model utilizing Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM),
to model a system log as a natural language sequence. Œis allows
DeepLog to automatically learn log paŠerns from normal execution,
and detect anomalies when log paŠerns deviate from the model
trained from log data under normal execution. In addition, we
demonstrate how to incrementally update the DeepLog model in
an online fashion so that it can adapt to new log paŠerns over time.
Furthermore, DeepLog constructs workƒows from the underlying
system log so that once an anomaly is detected, users can diagnose
the detected anomaly and perform root cause analysis e‚ectively.
Extensive experimental evaluations over large log data have shown
that DeepLog has outperformed other existing log-based anomaly
detection methods based on traditional data mining methodologies

Source: https://acmccs.github.io/papers/p1285-duA.pdf

A Calculus for Access Control in Distributed Systems

We study some of the concepts, protocols, and algorithms for access control
in distributed systems, from a logical perspective. We account for how a
principal may come to believe that another principal is making a request,
either on his own or on someone else’s behalf. We also provide a logical
language for access control lists, and theories for deciding whether requests
should be granted.

Source: http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/Compaq-DEC/SRC-RR-70.pdf

Authentication in Distributed Systems: Theory and Practice

We describe a theory of authentication and a system that implements it. Our theory is based on
the notion of principal and a ‘speaks for’ relation between principals. A simple principal either
has a name or is a communication channel; a compound principal can express an adopted role or
delegated authority. The theory shows how to reason about a principal’s authority by deducing
the other principals that it can speak for; authenticating a channel is one important application.
We use the theory to explain many existing and proposed security mechanisms. In particular, we
describe the system we have built. It passes principals efficiently as arguments or results of remote
procedure calls, and it handles public and shared key encryption, name lookup in a large
name space, groups of principals, program loading, delegation, access control, and revocation.

Source: http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/Compaq-DEC/SRC-RR-83.pdf