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NSF SaTC: Towards Energy-Efficient Privacy-Preserving Active Authentication of Smartphone Users

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Project Description

 

Common smartphone authentication mechanisms, such as, PINs, graphical passwords, and fingerprint scans, are not designed to offer security post-login. Continuous authentication addresses this issue by frequently and unobtrusively authenticating the user via behavioral biometric signals, such as touchscreen interaction, hand and body movements, and phone location. However, these techniques raise significant privacy and security concerns. Because smartphones can easily fall into the hands of the adversary, it is paramount to protect sensitive behavioral information collected and processed on these devices.

 

One approach for securing behavioral data is to perform off-device authentication via privacy-preserving protocols. To provide meaningful security and privacy guarantees in the presence of realistic adversaries, protocols used for privacy-preserving authentication must be provably secure against malicious parties. This guarantees that no information beyond the authentication result is revealed to the parties, regardless of their behavior. However, our experiments show that the energy required to execute these protocols, implemented using state-of-the-art building blocks, is unsustainably high.

 

For this reason, the primary goal of our research is to investigate new techniques to significantly reduce the energy cost of privacy-preserving protocols for active authentication of smartphone users. Our research focus is in sharp contrast with existing techniques and protocols, which have been largely agnostic to energy consumption patterns and to the user’s possession of the smartphone post-authentication. The outcome of this project is a suite of new cryptographic techniques and possession-aware protocols that enable secure energy-efficient continuous authentication of smartphone users.

 

This research was made possible by NSF Grant CNS- 1618300. It was in collaboration with NYIT.

 

Personnel

 

*     Gang Zhou (faculty)

*     Ge Peng (Ph.D. student, graduated in May 2016, Ph.D. Thesis Title: Enhancing Energy Efficiency and Privacy Protection of Smart Devices, initial placement at Google)

*     Kyle Wallace (Ph.D. student)

*     Qing Yang (Ph.D. student)

*     Kelvin Kelvin Abrokwa-Johnson (undergraduate student)

*     Benjamin Powell (undergraduate student)

   

Publications

 

*     On Inferring Browsing Activity on Smartphones via USB Power Analysis Side-channel

Qing Yang, Paolo Gasti, Gang Zhou, Aydin Farajidavar, Kiran Balagani

[IEEE TIFC’17] IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 2017

 

*     Secure, Fast, and Energy-Efficient Outsourced Authentication for Smartphones

Paolo Gasti, Jaroslav Sedenka, Qing Yang, Gang Zhou, Kiran Balagani

[IEEE TIFC’16] IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 2016

 

 

 

 

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