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Last Seminars (5)

The Rise of Potentially Unwanted Programs: Measuring its Prevalence, Distribution through Pay-Per-Install Services, and Economics

Juan Caballero

IMDEA Software Institute in Madrid

Abstract : Potentially unwanted programs (PUP) such as adware and rogueware, while not outright malicious, exhibit intrusive behavior that generates user complaints and makes security vendors flag them as undesirable. PUP has been little studied in the research literature despite recent indications that its prevalence may have surpassed that of malware. We have performed a systematic study of Windows PUP over a period of 4 years using a variety of datasets including malware repositories, AV telemetry from 3.9 million real Windows hosts, dynamic executions, and financial statements. This presentation summarizes what we have learned from our measurements on PUP prevalence, its distribution through pay-perinstall (PPI) services, which link advertisers that want to promote their programs with affiliate publishers willing to bundle their programs with offers for other software, and the economics of PPI services that distribute PUP.

Bio: Juan Caballero is an Associate Research Professor at the IMDEA Software Institute in Madrid, Spain. His research focuses on security issues in systems, software, and networks. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, USA. His research regularly appears at top security venues and has won two best paper awards at the USENIX Security Symposium. He is an Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS). He has been in the technical committee of venues such as IEEE S&P, ACM CCS, USENIX Security, NDSS, WWW, RAID, and DIMVA. He is program co-chair for the 2017 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC). Previously, he has been program chair or co-chair for Conference on Detection of Intrusions and Malware & Vulnerability Assessment (DIMVA, 2016), the Digital Forensics Research Symposium (DFRWS, 2014 & 2013), the European Workshop on Systems Security (EuroSec, 2015 & 2014), and the International Symposium on Engineering Secure Software and Systems (ESSoS, 2015 & 2016).

Date: 2017-Jun-12     Time: 11:00:00     Room: 336

Challenges in Natural Language Processing: Question Answering and Dialog System

Yoshinobu Kano

Shizuoka University

Abstract : I will introduce a couple of ongoing projects we organize. The projects include automatic examination solver, the Todai Robot project which aims to solve Japanese university entrance examinations (multiple choice selection and descriptive), the challenge of Legal Bar Exam for lawyers. Other projects include medical document processing for automatic diagnosis, AI werewolf that creates an AI player for a conversation game, text mining for scientific literatures.

Bio: BS in physics (2001), MSc (2003) and PhD (2011) in information science and technology from the University of Tokyo, respectively. A research associate in University of Tokyo (2009), JST PRESTO researcher (2011), an associate professor (PI) in Shizuoka Univerity (2014-). Current research theme includes more human-like dialog system (AI werewolf, sentence generation), examination question answering (social, medical, and legal), medical NLP (EHRs, automatic diagnosis), text mining for neuroscience papers, serving as organizers for these different projects individually.

Date: 2017-Jun-05     Time: 11:00:00     Room: 336

Deploying Incompatible Unmodified Dynamic Analyses in Production via Multi-version Execution

Luís Pina

Imperial College London

Abstract : Popular dynamic analysis tools such as Valgrind and compiler sanitizers are effective at finding and diagnosing challenging bugs and security vulnerabilities. However, they cannot be combined on the same program execution, and incur a high overhead, which typically prevents them from being used in production.

In this talk I will present the FreeDA system which enables to deploy existing multiple incompatible dynamic analysis tools without requiring any modification and while masking their overhead. FreeDA levarages on multi-version execution, in which the dynamic analyses are run alongside the production system. FreeDA is applicable in several common scenarios, involving network servers and interactive applications. In particular, FreeDA is able to deploy Valgrind and Clang's sanitizers to high-performance servers, such as Ngninx and Redis, and interactive applications, such as Git and HTop.

Bio: Luís Pina is currently a post-doc at the Software Reliability Group (SRG) at Imperial College London. He was part of the Programming Languages Group (PLUM) at University of Maryland from 2012 to 2015, and part of the Software Engineering Group (ESW) at INESC-ID in Lisbon from 2009 to 2012.

He holds a PhD on Computer Science from Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal. He developed his dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Luís Veiga and Prof. Michael Hicks, focusing on making Dynamic Software Updates (DSU) practical.

Luís is now working on Multi-Version Execution, with Prof. Cristian Cadar, exploring how to use this technique to deploy costly dynamic analysis techniques in production environments.


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Date: 2017-May-26     Time: 10:00:00     Room: 336

Language Learning for Verification of Configuration Files

Mark Santolucito

Yale University

Abstract : Software failures resulting from configuration errors have become commonplace as modern software systems grow increasingly large and more complex. The lack of language constructs in configuration files, such as types and specifications, has directed the focus of a configuration file verification towards building post-failure error diagnosis tools. In addition, the existing tools are generally language specific, requiring the user to define the language model and explicit rules to check. In this talk, we propose a framework which analyzes datasets of configuration files and derives rules for building a language model from the given dataset. The resulting language model can be used to verify new configuration files and detect errors in them. We will discuss the implementation, ConfigC, of this framework - as well as the underlying model and how it might be extended in the future.

Bio: Mark Santolucito is a Computer Science PhD student at Yale University, where he is studying programming languages with Ruzica Piskac. Mark originally started under the supervision of Paul Hudak, working on interactive computer music in and Functional Reactive Programming (FRP). Mark is now working with Ruzica Piskac on various forms of program synthesis. Recently, their work has focused on synthesis of FRP programs from logical specifications. Mark also graduated Cum Laude from Amherst College with a BA in both Computer Science and Music, where he was awarded the Best Computer Science Thesis Award in addition to the Lerner Piano Prize upon graduation.


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Date: 2017-May-24     Time: 11:00:00     Room: 336

Biomedical Image Informatics

David Breen

Drexel University

Abstract : The goal of biomedical image informatics is to develop techniques and systems that extract quantitative information from biomedical images and construct robust models of the structures and processes captured in the images. The word "images" is used in its broadest sense, meaning data that can be 2D, 3D or 4D in nature and changing over time. This talk will describe a number of image informatics projects conducted by the Drexel University Geometric Biomedical Computing Group. In the first project histology images of breast carcinomas are analyzed to determine if the tumor has metastasized. The second project developed techniques for automatically categorizing the memory and learning capabilities of a fruit fly model of Alzheimers Disease. This is accomplished via analysis of videos of the flies' courtship behavior. The final project generates geometric models of the individual cells of the imaginal wing disc of larval fruit flies, based on 3D reconstructions produced from confocal microscopy image stacks. Detailed geometric quantities about the cells are then computed in order to provide insight into the developmental processes that formed the wing disc.

Bio: David E. Breen is currently an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of Drexel University. He has held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, the California Institute of Technology, the European Computer-Industry Research Centre, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics, and the Rensselaer Design Research Center. His research interests include biomedical image informatics, computer-aided design, geometric modeling, self-organization and biological simulation. He has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers, articles and book chapters on these and other subjects. He is the co-editor of the book "Cloth Modeling and Animation". Breen received a BA in Physics from Colgate University in 1982. He received MS and PhD degrees in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985 and 1993.

Date: 2017-May-12     Time: 11:30:00     Room: 020