Bowdoin College’s new Cyber Security Lab was created and funded by NSF CAREER Award (1149730) with support of Bowdoin Academic Affairs Office, Science faculty at Searles building, Bowdoin IT and Facilities.

The lab has a number of undergraduate students supported year-round directly involved in cutting edge-research.


A key component of the lab is helping to form and motivate the new generation of cyber security researchers and professionals. With the new generation of attacks and attackers motivations and Cyber security a top national priority, it is very important to educate and motivate this current generation of undergraduates, that will be fresh in the job market and in graduate schools in the next few years, about the importance of the cyber security issues we face today and will face in the near feature.


These students will write papers and disseminate the results of this research at computer security/OS/networks conferences and workshops.


Our lab is located in the Searles Science Building Room 116.

Project


Bridging the Semantic Gap in Virtualization-based Security Solutions via Collaboration between Guest OS and Virtual Machine


In the last ten years virtual machines (VMs) have been extensively used for security-related applications, such as intrusion detection systems, malicious software (malware) analyzers and secure logging and replay of system execution. A VM is high-level software designed to emulate a computer's hardware. In the traditional usage model, security solutions are placed in a VM layer, which has complete control of the system resources. The guest operating system (OS) is considered to be easily compromised by malware and runs unaware of virtualization. The cost of this approach is the semantic gap problem, which hinders the development and widespread deployment of virtualization-based security solutions: there is significant difference between the state observed by the guest OS (high level semantic information) and by the VM (low level semantic information). The guest OS works on abstractions such as processes and files, while the VM can only see lower-level abstractions, such as CPU and main memory. To obtain information about the guest OS state these virtualization solutions use a technique called introspection, by which the guest OS state is inspected from the outside (VM layer), usually by trying build a map of the OS layout to an area of memory where these solutions can analyze it. We propose a new way to perform introspection, by having the guest OS, traditionally unaware of virtualization, actively collaborate with a VM layer underneath it by requesting services and communicating data and information as equal peers in different levels of abstraction. Our approach allows for stronger and more fine-grained and flexible security approaches to be developed and it is no less secure than the traditional model, as introspection tools also depend on the OS data and code to be untampered to report correct results.




Current Students


Harry Kalodner - Class of 2014



Nicole Morin (Class of 2016)


Marissa Rosenthal - Class of 2014
































Nick Wetzel  - Class of 2014


Max Bucci- Class of 2015


Past  Students



Jesus Navarro (Class of 2013) - Now at NVIDIA - Santa Clara


Megan Maher’15 (Class of 2016), former BSE student)




Felix Emiliano (Class of 2015)





Philip Koch (Class of 2015)




Ivy Xing (Class of 2015)




Ruben Martinez (Class of 2015)


















 


Publications


Chia-Che Tsai, Kumar Saurabh Arora, Nehal Bandi, Bhushan Jain, William Jannen, Jitin John, Harry A. Kalodner*, Vrushali Kulkarni,  Daniela Oliveira, Donald Porter. Balancing Security Isolation and Coordination in a Multi-Process Library OS. Eurosys (The European Conference on Computer Systems) 2014. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 2014. pdf (18%)


* Bowdoin student class of 2014


Yier Ji and Daniela Oliveira. Trustworthy SoC Architecture with On-Demand Security Policies and HW-SW Cooperation (Extended Abstract). 5th Workshop on SoCs, Heterogeneous Architectures and Workloads (SHAW-5, with HPCA-20). Orlando, FL, February 2014. pdf


Daniela Oliveira,  Jesus Navarro*, Nicholas Wetzel*, and Max Bucci*. Ianus: Secure and Holistic Coexistence with Kernel Extensions - A Immune System-inspired Approach. ACM SAC (Symposium on Applied Computing) - Security Track. Gyeongju, Korea, March 2014. pdf (24%)


* Bowdoin students classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015.


Jedidiah Crandall and Daniela Oliveira. Holographic Vulnerability Studies: Vulnerabilities as Fractures in Interpretation as Information Flows Across Abstraction Boundaries. Accepted to the New Security Paradigms Workshop. Bertinoro, Italy, September 2012.


* One of the two papers selected to be re-presented at ACSAC 2012 - NSPW Experience Panel.


Jesus Navarro*, Enrique Naudon* and Daniela Oliveira. Bridging the Semantic Gap to Mitigate Kernel-level Keyloggers. IEEE Workshop on Semantic Computing and Privacy (co-located with the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy). San Francisco, CA, May 2012. pdf


*Bowdoin students classes of 2013 and 2011


Computer Security Course


Fall 2012: http://www.bowdoin.edu/~doliveir/classes/security12


Spring 2011: http://www.bowdoin.edu/~doliveir/classes/security11


Links and News


(April 2014) SecLab students Marissa Rosenthal’14 and Nick Wetzel’14 attend the Eurosys 2014.


(April 2014) Harry Kalodner’14 has a poster accepted at Eurosys 2014. Chia-Che Tsai, Kumar Saurabh Arora, Nehal Bandi, Bhushan Jain, William Jannen, Jitin John, Harry Kalodner, Vrushali Kulkarni, Daniela Oliveira, and Donald Porter. Cooperation and Security Isolation of Library OSes for Multi-Process Applications (Graphene Library OS). Eurosys 2014


(January 2014) Harry Kaloder’14 has a paper accepted at Eurosys 2014. Balancing Security Isolation and Coordination in a Multi-Process Library OS. With Chia-Che Tsai, Kumar Saurabh Arora, Nehal Bandi, Bhushan Jain, William Jannen, Jitin John, Vrushali Kulkarni,  Daniela Oliveira, Donald Porter. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 2014.


(November 2013) Paper accepted at the ACM SAC 2014 (http://www.acm.org/conferences/sac/sac2014/). Ianus: Secure and Holistic Coexistence with Kernel Extensions - A Immune System-inspired Approach. With students Jesus Navarro ’13, Nick Wetzel ’14, and Max Bucci ’15.


(October 2013) Harry Kalodner’14 has a poster accepted at ACM SOSP. Graphene: Secure Multi-Processing in a Library OS. Chia-Che Tsai, Kumar Saurabh Arora, Nehal Bandi, Imran Brown, Bhushan Jain, William Jannen, Jitin John, Vrushali Kulkarni, Manikantan Subramanian, Donald Porter, Harry A. Kalodner, Daniela Oliveira. ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP) 2013.


(October 2013) Marissa Rosenthal’14 joins the Sec Lab


(September 2013) Nick Wetzel’14 and Max Bucci’15  summer research work was selected to be presented at the Bowdoin President’s Science Symposium: Hades: Monitoring Operating System Extensions


(May 2013) SecLab students Harry Kalodner’14, Megan Maher’16, Nicole Morin’16 and Max Bucci’15 attend the IEEE Security and Privacy conference in San Francisco


(May  2013) Jesus Navarro in awarded the Allen B. Tucker Computer Science Research Prize during Bowdoin Honors Day.


(April  2013) Jesus Navarro gets a job offer from NVIDIA in Santa Clara, CA.


(January   2013) Felix Emiliano (Class of 2015) joins the lab to work on analysis of software vulnerabilities.


(October  2012) Ivy Xing, Jesus Navarro and Ruben Martinez present their summer work at the Bowdoin President's Science Symposium.


(October 2012) Jesus Navarro is one of the four Bowdoin students whose summer work was selected to be at the Bowdoin President Science Symposium.


(September 2012) Ivy Xing in the academic spotlight: http://www.bowdoindailysun.com/2012/09/c-s-student-analyzes-trust-in-online-relationships/


(May 2012)  Jesus Navarro awarded the CS Dept. Freedman prize.


(May 2012) Jesus Navarro and Philip Koch attend the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium in San Francisco CA.


(May 2012) Jesus Navarro in the academic spotlight: http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/archives/1bowdoincampus/009445.shtml


(April 2012) Jesus Navarro is selected to receive the IEEE Security & Privacy Travel Grant to attend the conference.


(April 2012) Academic spotlight: http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/archives/1academicnews/009409.shtml


(April 2012) Jed Crandall from CS/UNM gives a talk at the CS Department (Don’t trust a Network that Do not Trust You).


(April 2012) Jesus Navarro (class of 2013) was selected to receive the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2012 travel grant to attend the conference.


(April 2012) Paper accepted at the 2nd Workshop on Semantic Computing for Security and Privacy (WSCS 2012) - Co-located with IEEE Security & Privacy 2012. With students Jesus Navarro (class of 2013) and Enrique Naudon (class of 2011).


(January 2012) NSF CAREER Award: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1149730