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In Press
R. Rios, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "Modelling Privacy-Aware Trust Negotiations", In Computers & Security, Elsevier, In Press. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 2.849 DOI More..

Abstract

Trust negotiations are mechanisms that enable interaction between previously unknown users. After exchanging various pieces of potentially sensitive information, the participants of a negotiation can decide whether or not to trust one another. Therefore, trust negotiations bring about threats to personal privacy if not carefully considered. This paper presents a framework for representing trust negotiations in the early phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The framework can help software engineers to determine the most suitable policies for the system by detecting conflicts between privacy and trust requirements. More precisely, we extend the SI* modelling language and provide a set of predicates for defining trust and privacy policies and a set of rules for describing the dynamics of the system based on the established policies. The formal representation of the model facilitates its automatic verification. The framework has been validated in a distributed social network scenario for connecting drivers with potential passengers willing to share a journey.

Impact Factor: 2.849
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon Ruben2017trust.pdf (425.82 KB)
C. Alcaraz, "Resilient Industrial Control Systems based on Multiple Redundancy", In International Journal of Critical Infrastructures (IJCIS), Inderscience Publisher, In Press. More..

Abstract

The incessant search for cost-effective recovery solutions for structural controllability has led to one of the most challenging research areas within the field of critical infrastructure protection. The resilience of large heterogeneous distributions, like industrial control scenarios, is proving to be a complicated mission due to the inherent non-locality problems of structural controllability and its susceptibility to advanced threats. To address these issues, this paper proposes a new repair approach based on multiple redundant pathways and the lessons learnt from the work presented in [1]. From [1], we have adapted the local measures, to combine them with each of the five strategies of remote reconnection described in this paper. To validate the sustainability of the combined approaches, two practical case studies are presented here, showing that a local dependence on a brother driver node together with remote dependence is enough to reach optimal states in linear times.

C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, and K-K. Raymond Choo, "Resilient Interconnection in Cyber-Physical Control Systems", In Computers & Security, Elsevier, In Press. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 2.849 DOI More..

Abstract

Secure interconnection between multiple cyber-physical systems has become a fundamental requirement in many critical infrastructures, where security may be centralized in a few nodes of the system. These nodes could, for example, have the mission of addressing the authorization services required for access in highlyrestricted remote substations. For this reason, the main aim of this paper is to unify all these features, together with the resilience measures so as to provide control at all times under a limited access in the field and avoid congestion. Concretely, we present here an optimal reachability-based restoration approach, capable of restoring the structural control in linear times taking into account: structural controllability, the supernode theory, the good practices of the IEC-62351 standard and the contextual conditions. For context management, a new attribute is specified to provide a more complete authorization service based on a practical policy, role and attribute-based access control (PBAC + RBAC + ABAC). To validate the approach, two case studies are also discussed under two strategic adversarial models.

Impact Factor: 2.849
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

2018
R. Roman, J. Lopez, and M. Mambo, "Mobile edge computing, Fog et al.: A survey and analysis of security threats and challenges", In Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 78, issue 1, Elsevier, pp. 680-698, 01/2018. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.997 DOI More..

Abstract

For various reasons, the cloud computing paradigm is unable to meet certain requirements (e.g. low latency and jitter, context awareness, mobility support) that are crucial for several applications (e.g. vehicular networks, augmented reality). To fulfil these requirements, various paradigms, such as fog computing, mobile edge computing, and mobile cloud computing, have emerged in recent years. While these edge paradigms share several features, most of the existing research is compartmentalised; no synergies have been explored. This is especially true in the field of security, where most analyses focus only on one edge paradigm, while ignoring the others. The main goal of this study is to holistically analyse the security threats, challenges, and mechanisms inherent in all edge paradigms, while highlighting potential synergies and venues of collaboration. In our results, we will show that all edge paradigms should consider the advances in other paradigms.

Impact Factor: 3.997
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon RomanFog16.pdf (775.54 KB)
2017
A. Nieto, N. Nomikos, J. Lopez, and C. Skianis, "Dynamic Knowledge-based Analysis in non-Secure 5G Green Environments using Contextual Data", In IEEE Systems Journal, vol. 11, issue 4, no. 99, IEEE, pp. 2479-2489, 12/2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.882 DOI More..

Abstract

The growing number of parameters in heteroge- neous networks, as is the case of the fifth generation (5G) Green networks, greatly complicates the analysis of the Security and Quality of Service Tradeoff (SQT). However, studying these types of relationships is crucial in Future Internet scenarios to prevent potential points of failure and to enhance the use of limited resources, increasing the user’s experience. Therefore, it is fundamental to provide tools and models for training, so that the users understand these dependencies and solve them prior to deploying new solutions. In this paper, a Recommendation System for SQT (SQT-RS) is deployed in 5G Green systems, considering the particular case of relay networks and the impact of eavesdropping and jamming contexts on the models generated by the user, aided by SQT-RS. With this goal in mind, we provide a component for the user to automatically select specific contexts based on 5G Green capabilities. 

Impact Factor: 3.882
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon NietNLS15.pdf (1.13 MB)
J. Lopez, R. Rios, F. Bao, and G. Wang, "Evolving privacy: From sensors to the Internet of Things", In Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 75, Elsevier, pp. 46–57, 10/2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.997 DOI More..

Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) envisions a world covered with billions of smart, interacting things capable of offering all sorts of services to near and remote entities. The benefits and comfort that the IoT will bring about are undeniable, however, these may come at the cost of an unprecedented loss of privacy. In this paper we look at the privacy problems of one of the key enablers of the IoT, namely wireless sensor networks, and analyse how these problems may evolve with the development of this complex paradigm. We also identify further challenges which are not directly associated with already existing privacy risks but will certainly have a major impact in our lives if not taken into serious consideration. 

Impact Factor: 3.997
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon Lopez2017iotpriv.pdf (440.5 KB)
C. Fernandez-Gago, F. Moyano, and J. Lopez, "Modelling Trust Dynamics in the Internet of Things", In Information Sciences, vol. 396, Elsevier, pp. 72-82, 2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 4.832 DOI More..

Abstract

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm based on the interconnection of everyday objects. It is expected that the ‘things’ involved in the IoT paradigm will have to interact with each other, often in uncertain conditions. It is therefore of paramount importance for the success of IoT that there are mechanisms in place that help overcome the lack of certainty. Trust can help achieve this goal. In this paper, we introduce a framework that assists developers in including trust in IoT scenarios. This framework takes into account trust, privacy and identity requirements as well as other functional requirements derived from IoT scenarios to provide the different services that allow the inclusion of trust in the IoT.

Impact Factor: 4.832
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon Fer_IS17.pdf (1002.43 KB)
C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, and S. Wolthunsen, "OCPP Protocol: Security Threats and Challenges", In IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 8, issue 5, IEEE, pp. 2452 - 2459, 02/2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 6.645 More..

Abstract

One benefit postulated for the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is their ability to act as stabilizing entities in smart grids through bi-directional charging, allowing local or global smoothing of peaks and imbalances. This benefit, however, hinges indirectly on the reliability and security of the power flows thus achieved. Therefore this paper studies key security properties of the alreadydeployed Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) specifying communication between charging points and energy management systems. It is argued that possible subversion or malicious endpoints in the protocol can also lead to destabilization of power networks. Whilst reviewing these aspects, we focus, from a theoretical and practical standpoint, on attacks that interfere with resource reservation originating with the EV, which may also be initiated by a man in the middle, energy theft or fraud. Such attacks may even be replicated widely, resulting in over- or undershooting of power network provisioning, or the (total/partial) disintegration of the integrity and stability of power networks.

Impact Factor: 6.645
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon AlcarazLopezWolthusen2017.pdf (389.27 KB)
J. Lopez, et al., "Protecting Industry 4.0 against Advanced Persistent Threats", In European CIIP Newsletter, vol. 11, issue 26, no. 1, European CIIP Newsletter, pp. 27-29, 03/2017. More..
PDF icon lopez2017ecn.pdf (226.62 KB)
D. Nuñez, I. Agudo, and J. Lopez, "Proxy Re-Encryption: Analysis of Constructions and its Application to Secure Access Delegation", In Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 87, Elsevier, pp. 193-209, 06/2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.500 DOI More..

Abstract

This paper analyzes the secure access delegation problem, which occurs naturally in the cloud, and postulate that Proxy Re-Encryption is a feasible cryptographic solution, both from the functional and efficiency perspectives. Proxy re-encryption is a special type of public-key encryption that permits a proxy to transform ciphertexts from one public key to another, without the proxy being able to learn any information about the original message. Thus, it serves as a means for delegating decryption rights, opening up many possible applications that require of delegated access to encrypted data. In particular, sharing information in the cloud is a prime example. In this paper, we review the main proxy re-encryption schemes so far, and provide a detailed analysis of their characteristics. Additionally, we also study the efficiency of selected schemes, both theoretically and empirically, based on our own implementation. Finally, we discuss some applications of proxy re-encryption, with a focus on secure access delegation in the cloud. 

Impact Factor: 3.500
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon nunez2017proxy.pdf (687.13 KB)
J. E. Rubio, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Recommender System for Privacy-Preserving Solutions in Smart Metering", In Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 2017. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 2.349 More..

Abstract

Nowadays, Smart Grid is envisaged to provide several benefits to both customers and grid operators. However, Smart Meters introduce many privacy issues if consumption data is analysed. In this paper we analyse the main techniques that address privacy when collecting electricity readings. In addition to privacy, it is equally important to preserve efficiency to carry on with monitoring operations, so further control requirements and communication protocols are also studied. Our aim is to provide guidance to installers who intend to integrate such mechanisms on the grid, presenting an expert system to recommend an appropriate deployment strategy.

Impact Factor: 2.349
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon rubiorecommender17.pdf (461.99 KB)
2016
D. Nuñez, I. Agudo, and J. Lopez, "On the Application of Generic CCA-Secure Transformations to Proxy Re-Encryption", In Security and Communication Networks, vol. 9, issue 12, Wiley, pp. 1769-1785, 08/2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 1.067 DOI More..

Abstract

Several generic methods exist for achieving chosen-ciphertext attack (CCA)-secure public-key encryption schemes from weakly secure cryptosystems, such as the Fujisaki–Okamoto and REACT transformations. In the context of proxy re-encryption (PRE), it would be desirable to count on analogous constructions that allow PRE schemes to achieve better security notions. In this paper, we study the adaptation of these transformations to proxy re-encryption and find both negative and positive results. On the one hand, we show why it is not possible to directly integrate these transformations with weakly secure PRE schemes because of general obstacles coming from both the constructions themselves and the security models, and we identify 12 PRE schemes that exhibit these problems. On the other hand, we propose an extension of the Fujisaki–Okamoto transformation for PRE, which achieves a weak form of CCA security in the random oracle model, and we describe the sufficient conditions for applying it

Impact Factor: 1.067
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon nunez2016application.pdf (437.22 KB)
L. Cazorla, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Cyber Stealth Attacks in Critical Information Infrastructures", In IEEE Systems Journal, issue 99, IEEE, pp. 1-15, 03/2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.882 DOI More..

Abstract

Current Critical Infrastructures (CIs) are complex interconnected industrial systems that, in recent years, have incorporated information and communications technologies such as connection to the Internet and commercial off-the-shelf components. This makes them easier to operate and maintain, but exposes them to the threats and attacks that inundate conventional networks and systems. This paper contains a comprehensive study on the main stealth attacks that threaten CIs, with a special focus on Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs). This type of attack is characterized by an adversary who is able to finely tune his actions to avoid detection while pursuing his objectives. To provide a complete analysis of the scope and potential dangers of stealth attacks we determine and analyze their stages and range, and we design a taxonomy to illustrate the threats to CIs, offering an overview of the applicable countermeasures against these attacks. From our analysis we understand that these types of attacks, due to the interdependent nature of CIs, pose a grave danger to critical systems where the threats can easily cascade down to the interconnected systems. 

Impact Factor: 3.882
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon cazorla2016cyber.pdf (689.18 KB)
A. Nieto, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "Digital Witness: Digital Evidence Management Framework for the Internet of Things", In ERCIM News, no. 106, ERCIM EEIG, pp. 9-9, 07/2016.
A. Nieto, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "Digital Witness: Safeguarding Digital Evidence by using Secure Architectures in Personal Devices", In IEEE Network, IEEE Communications Society, pp. 12-19, 2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 7.230 DOI More..

Abstract

Personal devices contain electronic evidence associated with the behaviour of their owners and other devices in their environment, which can help clarify the facts of a cyber-crime scene. These devices are usually analysed as containers of proof. However, it is possible to harness the boom of personal devices to define the concept of digital witnesses, where personal devices are able to actively acquire, store, and transmit digital evidence to an authorised entity, reliably and securely. This article introduces this novel concept, providing a preliminary analysis on the management of digital evidence and the technologies that can be used to implement it with security guarantees in IoT environments. Moreover, the basic building blocks of a digital witness are defined.

Impact Factor: 7.230
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon ieeenet16-nrl.pdf (1002.02 KB)
D. Nuñez, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Luna, "Eliciting Metrics for Accountability of Cloud Systems", In Computers & Security, vol. 62, Elsevier, pp. 149-164, 08/2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 2.849 DOI More..

Abstract

Cloud computing provides enormous business opportunities, but at the same time is a complex and challenging paradigm. The major concerns for users adopting the cloud are the loss of control over their data and the lack of transparency. Providing accountability to cloud systems could foster trust in the cloud and contribute toward its adoption. Assessing how accountable a cloud provider is becomes then a key issue, not only for demonstrating accountability, but to build it. To this end, we need techniques to measure the factors that influence on accountability. In this paper, we provide a methodology to elicit metrics for accountability in the cloud, which consists of three different stages. Since the nature of accountability at- tributes is very abstract and complex, in the first stage we perform a conceptual analysis of the accountability attributes in order to decompose them into concrete practices and mechanisms. Then, we analyze relevant control frameworks designed to guide the implementation of security and privacy mechanisms, and use them to identify measurable factors, related to the practices and mechanisms defined earlier. Lastly, specific metrics for these factors are derived. We also provide some strategies that we consider relevant for the empirical validation of the elicited accountability metrics. 

Impact Factor: 2.849
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon nunez2016eliciting.pdf (460.29 KB)
F. Moyano, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "A Model-driven Approach for Engineering Trust and Reputation into Software Services", In Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 69, Elsevier, pp. 134-151, 04/2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.500 More..
Impact Factor: 3.500
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon JNCA16.pdf (613.36 KB)
C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, and S. Wolthusen, "Policy Enforcement System for Secure Interoperable Control in Distributed Smart Grid Systems", In Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 59, Elsevier, pp. 301–314, 01/2016. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2016: 3.500 More..

Abstract

Interoperability of distributed systems in charge of monitoring and maintaining the different critical domains belonging to Smart Grid scenarios comprise the central topic of this paper. Transparency in control transactions under a secure and reliable architecture is the aim of the policy enforcement system proposed here. The approach is based on the degree of observation of a context and on the role-based access control model defined by the IEC-62351-8 standard. Only authenticated and authorised entities are able to take control of those distributed elements (e.g., IEC-61850 objects) located at distant geographical locations and close to the critical infrastructures (e.g., substations). To ensure the effectiveness of the approach, it is built on graphical-theoretical formulations corresponding to graph theory, where it is possible to illustrate power control networks through power-law distributions whose monitoring relies on structural controllability theory. The interconnection of these distributions is subject to a network architecture based on the concept of the supernode where the interoperability depends on a simple rule-based expert system. This expert system focuses not only on accepting or denying access, but also on providing the means to attend to extreme situations, avoiding, as much as possible, the overloading of the communication. Through one practical study we also show the functionalities of the approach and the benefits that the authorisation itself can bring to the interoperability

Impact Factor: 3.500
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2016)

PDF icon alcaraz2016POL.pdf (1.81 MB)
A. Nieto, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "Testificación Digital", In Revista SIC, vol. 122, Ediciones CODA, pp. 94-98, Nov 2016. More..

Abstract

El creciente número de dispositivos interconectados trae consigo problemas de seguridad bien conocidos; por ejemplo, aquellos debidos a las vulnerabilidades en protocolos muy diversos –muchos de ellos propietarios– y al factor de error humano introducido por los usuarios. Sin embargo, cabe preguntarse cómo podemos usar el despliegue de tales dispositivos en beneficio de la ciberseguridad. En el proyecto IoTest se está desarrollando una solución, el Testigo Digital, que permitirá a los dispositivos personales con arquitectura de seguridad embebida reaccionar ante ataques virtuales, protegiéndonos de los ciberataques emergentes.

PDF icon nrlSIC16.pdf (476.98 KB)
2015
L. Cazorla, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Awareness and Reaction Strategies for Critical Infrastructure Protection", In Computers and Electrical Engineering, vol. 47, issue October, Elsevier, pp. 299-317, 2015. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2015: 1.084 DOI More..

Abstract

Current Critical Infrastructures (CIs) need intelligent automatic active reaction mechanisms to protect their critical processes against cyber attacks or system anomalies, and avoid the disruptive consequences of cascading failures between interdependent and interconnected systems. In this paper we study the Intrusion Detection, Prevention and Response Systems (IDPRS) that can offer this type of protection mechanisms, their constituting elements and their applicability to critical contexts. We design a methodological framework determining the essential elements present in the IDPRS, while evaluating each of their sub-components in terms of adequacy for critical contexts. We review the different types of active and passive countermeasures available, categorizing them and assessing whether or not they are suitable for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP). Through our study we look at different reaction systems and learn from them how to better create IDPRS solutions for CIP. 

Impact Factor: 1.084
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon cazorla2015b.pdf (469.16 KB)
A. Nieto, and J. Lopez, "Contextualising Heterogeneous Information in Unified Communications with Security Restrictions", In Computer Communications, vol. 68, Elsevier, pp. 33-46, 09/2015. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2015: 2.099 DOI More..

Abstract

The lack of abstraction in a growing semantic, virtual and abstract world poses new challenges for assessing security and QoS tradeoffs. For example, in Future Internet scenarios, where Unified Communications (UC) will take place, being able to predict the final devices that will form the network is not always possible. Without this information the analysis of the security and QoS tradeoff can only be based on partial information to be completed when more information about the environment is available. In this paper, we extend the description of context-based parametric relationship model, providing a tool for assessing the security and QoS tradeoff (SQT) based on interchangeable contexts. Our approach is able to use the heterogeneous information produced by scenarios where UC is present.

Impact Factor: 2.099
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon NL-COMCOM15.pdf (2 MB)
C. Alcaraz, and S. Zeadally, "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Requirements and Challenges for the 21st Century", In International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection (IJCIP), vol. 8, Elsevier Science, pp. 53–66, 01/2015. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2015: 1.351 DOI More..

Abstract

Critical infrastructures play a vital role in supporting modern society. The reliability, performance, continuous operation, safety, maintenance and protection of critical infrastructures are national priorities for countries around the world. This paper explores the vulnerabilities and threats facing modern critical infrastructures with special emphasis on industrial control systems, and describes a number of protection measures. The paper also discusses some of the challenging areas related to critical infrastructure protection such as governance and security management, secure network architectures, self-healing, modeling and simulation, wide-area situational awareness, forensics and learning, and trust management and privacy.

Impact Factor: 1.351
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon alcaraz2015CRI.pdf (4.03 MB)
R. Rios, J. Cuellar, and J. Lopez, "Probabilistic receiver-location privacy protection in wireless sensor networks", In Information Sciences, vol. 321, Elsevier, pp. 205 - 223, 07/2015. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2015: 3.364 DOI More..

Abstract

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are continually exposed to many types of attacks. Among these, the attacks targeted at the base station are the most devastating ones since this essential device processes and analyses all traffic generated in the network. Moreover, this feature can be exploited by a passive adversary to determine its location based on traffic analysis. This receiver-location privacy problem can be reduced by altering the traffic pattern of the network but the adversary may still be able to reach the base station if he gains access to the routing tables of a number of sensor nodes. In this paper we present HISP-NC (Homogenous Injection for Sink Privacy with Node Compromise protection), a receiver-location privacy solution that consists of two complementary schemes which protect the location of the base station in the presence of traffic analysis and node compromise attacks. The HISP-NC data transmission protocol prevents traffic analysis by probabilistically hiding the flow of real traffic with moderate amounts of fake traffic. Moreover, HISP-NC includes a perturbation mechanism that modifies the routing tables of the nodes to introduce some level of uncertainty in attackers capable of retrieving the routing information from the nodes. Our scheme is validated both analytically and experimentally through extensive simulations.

Impact Factor: 3.364
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon rios2015.pdf (692.33 KB)
L. Cazorla, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "A Three-Stage Analysis of IDS for Critical Infrastructures", In Computers & Security, vol. 55, no. November, Elsevier, pp. 235-250, 2015. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2015: 1.64 More..

Abstract

The correct operation of Critical Infrastructures (CIs) is vital for the well being of society, however these complex systems are subject to multiple faults and threats every day. International organizations around the world are alerting the scientific community to the need for protection of CIs, especially through preparedness and prevention mechanisms. One of the main tools available in this area is the use of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs). However, in order to deploy this type of component within a CI, especially within its Control System (CS), it is necessary to verify whether the characteristics of a given IDS solution are compatible with the special requirements and constraints of a critical environment. In this paper, we carry out an extensive study to determine the requirements imposed by the CS on the IDS solutions using the Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) Framework. The outcome of this process are the abstract properties that the IDS needs to satisfy in order to be deployed within a CS, which are refined through the identification of satisficing techniques for the NFRs. To provide quantifiable measurable evidence on the suitability of the IDS component for a CI, we broaden our study using the Goal Question Metric (GQM) approach to select a representative set of metrics. A requirements model, refined with satisficing techniques and sets of metrics which help assess, in the most quantifiable way possible, the suitability and performance of a given IDS solution for a critical scenario, constitutes the results of our analysis.

Impact Factor: 1.64
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon lorena2015c.pdf (1.54 MB)
2014
D. Nuñez, and I. Agudo, "BlindIdM: A Privacy-Preserving Approach for Identity Management as a Service", In International Journal of Information Security, vol. 13, issue 2, Springer, pp. 199-215, 2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 0.963 DOI More..

Abstract

Identity management is an almost indispensable component of today’s organizations and companies, as it plays a key role in authentication and access control; however, at the same time it is widely recognized as a costly and time-consuming task. The advent of cloud computing technologies, together with the promise of flexible, cheap and efficient provision of services, has provided the opportunity to externalize such a common process, shaping what has been called Identity Management as a Service (IDaaS). Nevertheless, as in the case of other cloud-based services, IDaaS brings with it great concerns regarding security and privacy, such as the loss of control over the outsourced data. In this paper we analyze these concerns and propose BlindIdM, a model for privacy-preserving IDaaS with a focus on data privacy protection. In particular, we describe how a SAML-based system can be augmented to employ proxy re-encryption techniques for achieving data condentiality with respect to the cloud provider, while preserving the ability to supply the identity service. This is an innovative contribution to both the privacy and identity management landscapes.

Impact Factor: 0.963
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon nunez2014blindidm.pdf (628.97 KB)
C. Fernandez-Gago, I. Agudo, and J. Lopez, "Building Trust from Context Similarity Measures", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, Special Issue on Security in Information Systems, vol. 36, issue 4, Elsevier, pp. 792-800, 2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 0.879 DOI More..

Abstract

 Trust is an essential feature of any system where entities have to collaborate among them. Trust can assist entities making decisions about what is the best entity for establishing a certain collaboration. It would be desirable to simulate behaviour of users as in social environments where they tend to establish relationships or to trust users who have common interests or share some of their opinions, i.e., users who are similar to them to some extent. Thus, in this paper we first introduce the concept of context similarity among entities and from it we derive a similarity network which can be seen as a graph. Based on this similarity network we dene a trust model that allows us also to establish trust along a path of entities. A possible applications of our model are proximity-based trust establishment. We validate our model in this scenario.

 

Impact Factor: 0.879
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon CSI13.pdf (573.29 KB)
C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Diagnosis Mechanism for Accurate Monitoring in Critical Infrastructure Protection", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 36, issue 3, Elsevier, pp. 501-512, 2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 0.879 DOI More..

Abstract

 Situational awareness for critical infrastructure protection, such as for energy control systems, has become a topic of interest in recent years. Despite attempts to address this area of research, more progress is still necessary to find attractive solutions that help bring about prevention and response at all times from anywhere and at any time. Given this need, we therefore propose in this paper, a smart mechanism able to offer a wide-area situational awareness with the ability to: (i) Control the real state of the observed infrastructure, (ii) respond to emergency situations and (iii) assess the degree of  ccuracy of the entire control system. To address these aspects, the mechanism is based on a hierarchical configuration of industrial sensors for control, the ISA100.11a standard for the prioritization and alarm management, and the F-Measure technique to study the level of accuracy of a sensor inside a neighbourhood. As proof of the functionality and feasibility of the mechanism for critical contexts, a software application implemented in nesC and Java is also presented in this paper.

Impact Factor: 0.879
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon alcaraz2013a.pdf (1.94 MB)
A. Nieto, and J. Lopez, "A Model for the Analysis of QoS and Security Tradeoff in Mobile Platforms", In Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET) Journal, vol. 19, issue 1, Springer US, pp. 64-78, 02/2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 1.045 DOI More..

Abstract

Today, mobile platforms are multimedia devices that provide different types of traffic with the consequent particular performance demands and, besides, security concerns (e.g. privacy). However, Security and QoS requirements quite often conflict to a large degree; the mobility and heterogeneous paradigm of the Future Internet makes coexistence even more difficult, posing new challenges to overcome. Probably, one of the main challenges is to identify the specific reasons why Security and QoS mechanisms are so related to each other. In this paper, we present a Parametric Relationship Model (PRM) to identify the Security and QoS dependencies, and to elaborate on the Security and QoS tradeoff. In particular, we perform an analysis that focus on the mobile platform environment and, consequently, also considers subjective parameters such user’s experience, that is crucial for increasing the usability of new solutions in the Future Internet. The final aim of our contribution is to facilitate the development of secure and efficient services for mobile platforms.

Impact Factor: 1.045
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon nieto2013mone.pdf (666.18 KB)
J. A. Montenegro, and J. Lopez, "A practical solution for sealed bid and multi-currency auctions", In Computers & Security, vol. 45, Elsevier, pp. 186-198, 09/2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 1.031 DOI More..

Abstract

This paper introduces a sealed bid and multi-currency auction using secure multiparty computation (SMC).

Two boolean functions, a comparison and multiplication function, have been designed as required to apply SMC. These functions are applied without revealing any information, not even to trusted third parties such as the auctioneer. A type of Zero Knowledge proof, discreet proof, has been implemented with three variants, interactive, regular and reduced non interactive proofs. These proofs make it possible to verify the correctness of the functions whilst preserving the privacy of the bid values. Moreover, a system performance evaluation of the proposal has been realized on heterogeneous platforms, including a mobile platform. The evaluation concludes that our proposal is practical even on mobile platforms.

Impact Factor: 1.031
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon MoLo15.pdf (1.48 MB)
N. Nomikos, et al., "Relay Selection for Secure 5G Green Communications", In Telecommunication Systems , Springer US, pp. 1-19, 11/2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 0.705 DOI More..

Abstract

In this article, we present relay selection policies in applications with secrecy requirements which are of interest in the fifth generation (5G) of wireless networks. More specifically, we provide a classification of relays based on their distinct communication attributes, such as processing, multiple antennas, storage, channel estimation, density and security level. In addition, we discuss the level of efficiency exhibited by each relay class, regarding their impact in delay-critical applications and green communications applications, while aiming at a specific security level at the physical layer. Then, relay selection policies are proposed taking into consideration the goals set by each application. Numerical evaluation of the proposed policies in terms of the average secrecy rate, average delay and power reduction show improved performance compared to other state-of-the-art solutions. 

Impact Factor: 0.705
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "WASAM: A Dynamic Wide-Area Situational Awareness Model for Critical Domains in Smart Grids", In Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 30, Elsevier, pp. 146-154, 2014. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2014: 2.786 DOI More..

Abstract

Control from anywhere and at anytime is nowadays a matter of paramount importance in critical systems. This is the case of the Smart Grid and its domains which should be monitored through intelligent and dynamic mechanisms able to anticipate, detect and respond before disruptions arise within the system. Given this fact and its importance for social welfare and the economy, a model for wide-area situational awareness is proposed in this paper. The model is based on a set of current technologies such as the wireless sensor networks, the ISA100.11a standard and cloud-computing together with a set of high-level functional services. These services include global and local support for prevention through a simple forecast scheme, detection of anomalies in the observation tasks, response to incidents, tests of accuracy and maintenance, as well as recovery of states and control in crisis situations.

Impact Factor: 2.786
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2014)

PDF icon alcaraz2013b.pdf (956.89 KB)
2013
A. Nieto, and J. Lopez, "Analysis and Taxonomy of Security/QoS tradeoff solutions for the Future Internet", In Security and Communication Networks (SCN) Journal, vol. 7, issue 12, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 2778-2803, 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 0.433 DOI More..

Abstract

Motivated by the growing convergence of diverse types of networks and the rise of concepts such as Future Internet (FI), in this paper we analyse the coexistence of security mechanisms and Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms in resourceconstrained networks, that are relevant types of networks within the FI environment. More precisely, we analyse the current state of the research on security and QoS in the integration of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs) and cellular networks. Furthermore, we propose a taxonomy to identify similarities among these technologies, as well as the requirements for network interconnection. As a result, we define a dependency-based model for the analysis of Security and QoS tradeoff, and also define a high-level integration architecture for networks in the FI setting. The final goal is to provide a critical point of view that allows to assess whether such an integration of networks can be both secure and efficient.

Impact Factor: 0.433
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon nietoscn13.pdf (1.67 MB)
R. Rios, J. A. Onieva, and J. Lopez, "Covert Communications through Network Configuration Messages", In Computers & Security, vol. 39, Part A, Elsevier, pp. 34 - 46, Nov 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.172 DOI More..

Abstract

Covert channels are a form of hidden communication that may violate the integrity of systems. Since their birth in Multi-Level Security systems in the early 70’s they have evolved considerably, such that new solutions have appeared for computer networks mainly due to vague protocols specifications. In this paper we concentrate on short-range covert channels and analyze the opportunities of concealing data in various extensively used protocols today. From this analysis we observe several features that can be effectively exploited for subliminal data transmission in the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). The result is a proof-of-concept implementation, HIDE\_DHCP, which integrates three different covert channels each of which accommodate to different stealthiness and capacity requirements. Finally, we provide a theoretical and experimental analysis of this tool in terms of its reliability, capacity, and detectability.

Impact Factor: 1.172
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon rios2013a.pdf (565.05 KB)
C. Alcaraz, and S.. Zeadally, "Critical Control System Protection in the 21st Century: Threats and Solutions", In IEEE Computer, vol. 46, no. 10, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 74 - 83, 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.438 DOI More..

Abstract

Information systems, networks, and technologies have become an integral part of modern critical control systems that manage many of today’s critical infrastructures. The continuous operation, maintenance, and protection of critical infrastructures have become a high national priority for governments around the world because our society heavily depends on them for most of our daily activities (travel, power usage, banking transactions, telecommunications, etc) and safety. It is therefore critical that these infrastructures have to be protected from potential accidental incidents or cyberattacks. We present the fundamental architectural components of critical control systems which manage most critical infrastructures. We identify some of the vulnerabilities and threats to modern critical control systems followed by protection solutions that can be deployed to mitigate attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities.

Impact Factor: 1.438
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "FACIES: online identification of Failure and Attack on interdependent Critical InfrastructurES", In European CIIP Newsletter, vol. 7, European_CIIP_Newsletter, pp. 11-13, Nov 2013. More..

Abstract

 FACIES aims to protect water treatment systems and their control systems against accidental or intentional incidents such as failures, anomalies and cyber-attacks with a particular emphasis on stealth attacks.

R. Roman, J. Zhou, and J. Lopez, "On the features and challenges of security and privacy in distributed internet of things", In Computer Networks, vol. 57, Elsevier, pp. 2266–2279, July 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.282 DOI More..

Abstract

In the Internet of Things, services can be provisioned using centralized architectures, where central entities acquire, process, and provide information. Alternatively, distributed architectures, where entities at the edge of the network exchange information and collaborate with each other in a dynamic way, can also be used. In order to understand the applicability and viability of this distributed approach, it is necessary to know its advantages and disadvantages – not only in terms of features but also in terms of security and privacy challenges. The purpose of this paper is to show that the distributed approach has various challenges that need to be solved, but also various interesting properties and strengths.

Impact Factor: 1.282
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon roman2013iot.pdf (407.59 KB)
F. Moyano, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "A Framework for Enabling Trust Requirements in Social Cloud Applications", In Requirements Engineering, vol. 18, issue 4, Springer London, pp. 321-341, Nov 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.147 DOI More..

Abstract

Cloud applications entail the provision of a huge amount of heterogeneous, geographically-distributed resources managed and shared by many different stakeholders who often do not know each other beforehand. This raises numerous security concerns that, if not addressed carefully, might hinder the adoption of this promising computational model. Appropriately dealing with these threats gains special relevance in the social cloud context, where computational resources are provided by the users themselves. We argue that taking trust and reputation requirements into account can leverage security in these scenarios by incorporating the notions of trust relationships and reputation into them. For this reason, we propose a development framework onto which developers can implement trust-aware social cloud applications. Developers can also adapt the framework in order to accommodate their application-specific needs.

Impact Factor: 1.147
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon moyano2013re.pdf (1.25 MB)
I. Agudo, R. Rios, and J. Lopez, "A Privacy-Aware Continuous Authentication Scheme for Proximity-Based Access Control", In Computers & Security, vol. 39 (B), Elsevier, pp. 117-126, 11/2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.172 DOI More..

Abstract

Continuous authentication is mainly associated with the use of biometrics to guarantee that a resource is being accessed by the same user throughout the usage period. Wireless devices can also serve as a supporting technology for continuous authentication or even as a complete alternative to biometrics when accessing proximity-based services. In this paper we present the implementation of a secure, non-invasive continuous authentication scheme supported by the use of Wearable Wireless Devices (WWD), which allow users to gain access to proximity-based services while preserving their privacy. Additionally we devise an improved scheme that circumvents some of the limitations of our implementation.

Impact Factor: 1.172
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon agudo2013.pdf (436.44 KB)
J. A. Montenegro, M. J. Fischer, J. Lopez, and R. Peralta, "Secure sealed-bid online auctions using discreet cryptographic proofs", In Mathematical and Computer Modelling, vol. 57, Elsevier, pp. 2583–2595, Jun 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 2.02 DOI More..

Abstract

This work describes the design and implementation of an auction system using secure multiparty computation techniques. Our aim is to produce a system that is practical under actual field constraints on computation, memory, and communication. The underlying protocol is privacy-preserving, that is, the winning bid is determined without information about the losing bids leaking to either the auctioneer or other bidders. Practical implementation of the protocol is feasible using circuit-based cryptographic proofs along with additively homomorphic bit commitment. Moreover, we propose the development of a Proof Certificatestandard. These certificates convey sufficient information to recreate the cryptographic proofs and verify them offline.

Impact Factor: 2.02
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon MFLR13.pdf (606.16 KB)
C. Alcaraz, R. Roman, P. Najera, and J. Lopez, "Security of Industrial Sensor Network-based Remote Substations in the context of the Internet of Things", In Ad Hoc Networks, vol. 11, Elsevier, pp. 1091–1104, 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.943 DOI More..

Abstract

The main objective of remote substations is to provide the central system with sensitive information from critical infrastructures, such as generation, distribution or transmission power systems. Wireless sensor networks have been recently applied in this particular context due to their attractive services and inherent benefits, such as simplicity, reliability and cost savings. However, as the number of control and data acquisition systems that use the Internet infrastructure to connect to substations increases, it is necessary to consider what connectivity model the sensor infrastructure should follow: either completely isolated from the Internet or integrated with it as part of the Internet of Things paradigm. This paper therefore addresses this question by providing a thorough analysis of both security requirements and infrastructural requirements corresponding to all those TCP/IP integration strategies that can be applicable to networks with constrained computational resources.

Impact Factor: 1.943
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon 1752.pdf (1.21 MB)
J. Lopez, C. Alcaraz, and R. Roman, "Smart Control of Operational Threats in Control Substations", In Computers & Security, vol. 38, Elsevier, pp. 14-27, OCT 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.172 DOI More..

Abstract

Any deliberate or unsuitable operational action in control tasks of critical infrastructures, such as energy generation, transmission and distribution systems that comprise sub-domains of a Smart Grid, could have a significant impact on the digital economy: without energy, the digital economy cannot live. In addition, the vast majority of these types of critical systems are configured in isolated locations where their control depends on the ability of a few, supposedly trustworthy, human operators. However, this assumption of reliabilty is not always true. Malicious human operators (criminal insiders) might take advantage of these situations to intentionally manipulate the critical nature of the underlying infrastructure. These criminal actions could be not attending to emergency events, inadequately responding to incidents or trying to alter the normal behaviour of the system with malicious actions. For this reason, in this paper we propose a smart response mechanism that controls human operators’ operational threats at all times. Moreover, the design of this mechanism allows the system to be able to not only evaluate by itself, the situation of a particular scenario but also to take control when areas are totally unprotected and/or isolated. The response mechanism, which is based on Industrial Wireless Sensor Networks (IWSNs) for the constant monitoring of observed critical infrastructures, on reputation for controlling human operators’ actions, and on the ISA100.11a standard for alarm management, has been implemented and simulated to evaluate its feasibility for critical contexts.

Impact Factor: 1.172
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon 1770.pdf (1.58 MB)
R. Rios, and J. Lopez, "(Un)Suitability of Anonymous Communication Systems to WSN", In IEEE Systems Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, IEEE Systems Council, pp. 298 - 310, Jun 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.746 DOI More..

Abstract

Anonymous communication systems have been extensively studied by the research community to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information from the analysis of individuals’ traffic patterns. Many remarkable solutions have been developed in this area, most of which have proven to be effective in the protection of user privacy against different types of attacks. Recently, the privacy preservation problem has also been considered in the realm of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) due to their imminent adoption in real-world scenarios. A special challenge that arises from the analysis of the flow of sensor nodes’ communications is the location privacy problem. In this work we concentrate on analyzing the suitability of traditional anonymous communication systems originally designed for the Internet to the original scenario of sensor networks. The results show that, in most cases, traditional solutions do not provide the adequate protection means for the particular problem of location privacy, while other solutions are too resource-consuming for the restricted capabilities of sensor nodes.

Impact Factor: 1.746
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon Rios2012a.pdf (488.58 KB)
P. Najera, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "User-centric secure integration of personal RFID tags and sensor networks", In Security and Communication Networks, vol. 6, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 1177–1197, Oct 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 0.433 DOI More..

Abstract

A personal network (PN) should enable the collaboration of user’s devices and services in a flexible, self-organizing and friendly manner. For such purpose, the PN must securely accommodate heterogeneous technologies with uneven computational and communication resources. In particular, personal RFID tags can enable seamless recognition of user’s context, provide user authentication and enable novel services enhancing the quality and quantity of data handled by the PN. However, the highly constrained features of common RFID tags and their passive role in the network highlights the need of an adequate secure communication model with personal tags which enables their participation as a member of the PN. In this paper, we present our concept of PN, with special emphasis on the role of RFID and sensor networks, and define a secure architecture for PNs including methods for the secure access to context-aware technologies from both local PN members and the Internet of Things. The PN architecture is designed to support differentiated security mechanisms to maximize the level of security for each type of personal device. Furthermore, we analyze which security solutions available in the literature can be adapted for our architecture, as well as the challenges and security mechanisms still necessary in the secure integration of personal tags.

Impact Factor: 0.433
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Wide-Area Situational Awareness for Critical Infrastructure Protection", In IEEE Computer, vol. 46, no. 4, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 30-37, 2013. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2013: 1.438 DOI More..

Abstract

Combining a wide-area situational awareness (WASA) methodological framework with a set of requirements for awareness construction can help in the development and commissioning of future WASA cyberdefense solutions

 

Impact Factor: 1.438
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

PDF icon 1761.pdf (1.56 MB)
2012
R. Roman, et al., "Advanced Secure Multimedia Services for Digital Homes", In Information Systems Frontiers, vol. 14, Springer, pp. 527-540, July 2012. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2012: 0.851 DOI More..

Abstract

Our society is becoming increasingly more IT-oriented, and the images and sounds that reflect our daily life are being stored mainly in a digital form. This digital personal life can be part of the home multimedia contents, and users demand access and possibly share these contents (such as photographs, videos, and music) in an ubiquitous way: from any location and with any device. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we introduce the Feel@Home system, whose main objective is to enable the previously mentioned vision of an ubiquitous digital personal life. Second, we describe the security architecture of Feel@Home, analyzing the security and privacy requirements that identify which threats and vulnerabilities must be considered, and deriving the security building blocks that can be used to protect both IMS-based and VPN-based solutions.

Impact Factor: 0.851
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

PDF icon Roman2010a.pdf (1.36 MB)
C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Analysis of Requirements for Critical Control Systems", In International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection (IJCIP), vol. 5, Elsevier, pp. 137–145, 2012. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2012: 0.63 DOI More..

Abstract

The use of modern information and communications technologies in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems used in the critical infrastructure has become an important topic of research. The modernization significantly enhances operational performance, but also introduces security issues and the associated risks. This paper formally analyzes how the introduction of new technologies can impact control systems and ultimately affect the performance of the critical infrastructure systems being controlled. Five control system requirements are identified with the goal of proposing new operational requirements that trade-off performance and security.

Impact Factor: 0.63
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

PDF icon 1730.pdf (705.14 KB)
D. Galindo, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "On the Energy Cost of Authenticated Key Agreement in Wireless Sensor Networks", In Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, vol. 12, Wiley, pp. 133-143, Jan 2012. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2012: 0.863 DOI More..

Abstract

Wireless sensors are battery-powered devices which are highly constrained in terms of computational capabilities, memory and communication bandwidth. While battery life is their main limitation, they require considerable energy to communicate data. Due to this, it turns out that the energy saving of computationally inexpensive primitives (like symmetric key cryptography (SKC)) can be nullified by the bigger amount of data they require to be sent. In this work, we study the energy cost of key agreement protocols between peers in a network using asymmetric key cryptography. Our main concern is to reduce the amount of data to be exchanged, which can be done by using special cryptographic paradigms like identity-based and self-certified cryptography. The main news is that an intensive computational primitive for resource-constrained devices, such as non-interactive identity-based authenticated key exchange, performs comparably or even better than traditional authenticated key exchange (AKE) in a variety of scenarios. Moreover, protocols based in this primitive can provide better security properties in real deployments than other simple protocols based on symmetric cryptography. Our findings illustrate to what extent the latest implementation advancements push the efficiency boundaries of public key cryptography (PKC) in wireless sensor networks (WSNs).

Impact Factor: 0.863
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

PDF icon Galindo2010.pdf (261.6 KB)
C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, R. Roman, and H-H. Chen, "Selecting key management schemes for WSN applications", In Computers & Security, vol. 31, no. 38, Elsevier, pp. 956–966, Nov 2012. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2012: 1.158 DOI More..

Abstract

Key management in wireless sensor networks (WSN) is an active research topic. Due to the fact that a large number of key management schemes (KMS) have been proposed in the literature, it is not easy for a sensor network designer to know exactly which KMS best fits in a particular WSN application. In this article, we offer a comprehensive review on how the application requirements and the properties of various key management schemes influence each other. Based on this review, we show that the KMS plays a critical role in determining the security performance of a WSN network with given application requirements. We also develop a method that allows the network designers to select the most suitable KMS for a specific WSN network setting. In addition, the article also addresses the issues on the current state-of-the-art research on the KMS for homogeneous (i.e. non-hierarchical) networks to provide solutions for establishing link-layer keys in various WSN applications and scenarios.

Impact Factor: 1.158
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

PDF icon AlcarazR2012.pdf (326.12 KB)
S.. Zeadally, A.. Pathan, C. Alcaraz, and M.. Badra, "Towards Privacy Protection in Smart Grid", In Wireless Personal Communications, vol. 73, Springer, pp. 23-50, Nov 2013, 2012. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2012: 0.428 DOI More..

Abstract

The smart grid is an electronically controlled electrical grid that connects power generation, transmission, distribution, and consumers using information communication technologies. One of the key characteristics of the smart grid is its support for bi-directional information flow between the consumer of electricity and the utility provider. This two-way interaction allows electricity to be generated in real-time based on consumers’ demands and power requests. As a result, consumer privacy becomes an important concern when collecting energy usage data with the deployment and adoption of smart grid technologies. To protect such sensitive information it is imperative that privacy protection mechanisms be used to protect the privacy of smart grid users. We present an analysis of recently proposed smart grid privacy solutions and identify their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their implementation complexity, efficiency, robustness, and simplicity.

 

Impact Factor: 0.428
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

PDF icon 1750.pdf (2 MB)
2011
R. Rios, and J. Lopez, "Analysis of Location Privacy Solutions in Wireless Sensor Networks", In IET Communications, vol. 5, Institution of Engineering and Technology, pp. 2518 - 2532, Nov 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.829 DOI More..

Abstract

Extensive work has been done on the protection of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) from the hardware to the application layer. However, only recently, the privacy preservation problem has drawn the attention of the research community because of its challenging nature. This problem is exacerbated in the domain of WSNs due to the extreme resource limitation of sensor nodes. In this paper we focus on the location privacy problem in WSNs, which allows an adversary to determine the location of nodes of interest to him. We provide a taxonomy of solutions based on the power of the adversary and the main techniques proposed by the various solutions. In addition, we describe and analyse the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Finally, we discuss some open challenges and future directions of research.

Impact Factor: 0.829
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Rios2011a.pdf (597.01 KB)
R. Roman, J. Lopez, and P. Najera, "A Cross-layer Approach for Integrating Security Mechanisms in Sensor Networks Architectures", In Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, vol. 11, Wiley, pp. 267-276, 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.884 DOI More..

Abstract

The wireless sensor networks (WSN) paradigm is especially vulnerable against external and internal attacks. Therefore, it is necessary to develop security mechanisms and protocols to protect them. These mechanisms must become an integral part of the software architecture and network stack of a sensor node. A question that remains is how to achieve this integration. In this paper we check how both academic and industrial solutions tackle this issue, and we present the concept of a transversal layer, where all the different security mechanisms could be contained. This way, all the elements of the architecture can interact with the security mechanisms, and the security mechanisms can have a holistic point of view of the whole architecture. We discuss the advantages of this approach, and also present how the transversal layer concept was applied to a real middleware architecture.

Impact Factor: 0.884
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Roman2010.pdf (243.44 KB)
C. Alcaraz, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "An Early Warning System based on Reputation for Energy Control Systems", In IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 2, no. 4, IEEE, pp. 827-834, Nov 2011. DOI More..

Abstract

Most of energy control or SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems are very dependent on advanced technologies and on traditional security mechanisms for protecting the a system against anomalous events. Security mechanisms are not enough to be used in critical systems, since they can only detect anomalous events occurring at a certain moment in time. For this reason it becomes of paramount importance the usage of intelligent systems with capability for preventing anomalous situations and reacting against them on time. This type of systems are, for example, Early Warning Systems (EWS). In this paper, we propose an EWS based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) (under the ISA100.11a standard) and reputation for controling the network behaviour. The WSN are organized into clusters where a Cluster Head (CH) is designated. This CH will contain a Reputation Manager Module. The usability of this approach is also analyzed considering a Smart Grid scenario.} keywords = {Critical Information Infrastructures, Sensor Networks, Early Warning Systems, Reputation, SCADA Systems, Smart Grid.

PDF icon Alcaraz2011.pdf (495.57 KB)
R. Rios, and J. Lopez, "Exploiting Context-Awareness to Enhance Source-Location Privacy in Wireless Sensor Networks", In The Computer Journal, vol. 54, Oxford University Press, pp. 1603-1615, Sept 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.785 DOI More..

Abstract

The source-location privacy problem in Wireless Sensor Networks has been traditionally tackled by the creation of random routes for every packet transmitted from the source nodes to the base station. These schemes provide a considerable protection level at a high cost in terms of message delivery time and energy consumption. This overhead is due to the fact that the data routing process is done in a blind way, without knowledge about the location of the attacker. In this work we propose the Context-Aware Location Privacy (CALP) approach, which takes advantage of the ability of sensor nodes to perceive the presence of a mobile adversary in their vicinity in order to transmit data packets in a more energy-efficient and privacy-preserving manner. In particular, we apply the concepts of CALP to the development of a shortest-path CALP routing algorithm. A permissive and a strict version of the protocol are studied for different adversarial models and the proposed schemes are evaluated through simulation experiments in terms of privacy protection and energy consumption. Finally, we present the conclusions of the paper as well as possible extensions of this work.

Impact Factor: 0.785
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Rios2011b.pdf (573.86 KB)
R. Roman, C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, and N. Sklavos, "Key management systems for sensor networks in the context of the Internet of Things", In Computers & Electrical Engineering, vol. 37, Elsevier, pp. 147-159, Mar 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.837 DOI More..

Abstract

If a wireless sensor network (WSN) is to be completely integrated into the Internet as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is necessary to consider various security challenges, such as the creation of a secure channel between an Internet host and a sensor node. In order to create such a channel, it is necessary to provide key management mechanisms that allow two remote devices to negotiate certain security credentials (e.g. secret keys) that will be used to protect the information flow. In this paper we will analyse not only the applicability of existing mechanisms such as public key cryptography and pre-shared keys for sensor nodes in the IoT context, but also the applicability of those link-layer oriented key management systems (KMS) whose original purpose is to provide shared keys for sensor nodes belonging to the same WSN.

Impact Factor: 0.837
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon roman2011.pdf (586.42 KB)
J. L. Vivas, I. Agudo, and J. Lopez, "A methodology for security assurance-driven system development", In Requirements Engineering, vol. 16, no. 1, Springer, pp. 55-73, Mar 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.971 DOI More..

Abstract

In this work, we introduce an assurance methodology that integrates assurance case creation with system development. It has been developed in order to provide trust and privacy assurance to the evolving European project PICOS (Privacy and Identity Management for Community Services), an international research project focused on mobile communities and community-supporting services, with special emphasis on aspects such as privacy, trust, and identity management. The leading force behind the approach is the ambition to develop a methodology for building and maintaining security cases throughout the system development life cycle in a typical system engineering effort, when much of the information relevant for assurance is produced and feedback can be provided to system developers. The first results of the application of the methodology to the development of the PICOS platform are presented.

Impact Factor: 0.971
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon vivas2010.pdf (1.27 MB)
P. Najera, and J. Lopez, "Real-time Location and Inpatient Care Systems Based on Passive RFID", In Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 34, Elsevier, pp. pp. 980-989, 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 1.065 DOI More..

Abstract

RFID technology meets identification and tracking requirements in healthcare environments with potential to speed up and increase reliability of involved processes. Due to this, high expectations for this integration have emerged, but hospital and medical centers interested in adoption of RFID technology require prior knowledge on how to squeeze RFID capabilities, real expectations and current challenges. In this paper, we show our lab tested solutions in two specific healthcare scenarios. On the one hand, we analyze the case of a medical equipment tracking system for healthcare facilities enabling both real-time location and theft prevention. Worth-noting aspects such as possible EMI interferences, technology selection and management of RFID data from hospital information system are analyzed. Lab testing of system reliability based on passive UHF RFID is provided for this case. On the other hand, we analyze and provide a solution for care and control of patients in a hospital based on passive HF RFID with the result of a fully functional demonstrator. Our prototype squeezes RFID features in order to provide a backup data source from patient’s wristband. It also provides an offline working mode aiming to increase application reliability under network fail down and therefore, improving patient’s safety. Considerations regarding lessons learned and challenges faced are exposed.

Impact Factor: 1.065
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Najera2010.pdf (241.66 KB)
C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, J. Zhou, and R. Roman, "Secure SCADA Framework for the Protection of Energy Control Systems", In Concurrency and Computation Practice & Experience, vol. 23, no. 12, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 1414-1430, Aug 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.636 DOI More..

Abstract

Energy distribution systems are becoming increasingly widespread in today’s society. One of the elements that is used to monitor and control these systems are the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. In particular, these control systems and their complexities, together with the emerging use of the Internet and wireless technologies, bring new challenges that must be carefully considered. Examples of such challenges are the particular bene¯ts of the integration of those new technologies, and also the e®ects they may have on the overall SCADA security. The main task of this paper is to provide a framework that shows how the integration of di®erent state-of-the-art technologies in an energy control system, such as Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs), and the Internet, can bring some interesting benefits such as status management and anomaly prevention, while maintaining the security of the whole system.

Impact Factor: 0.636
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Alcaraz2011a.pdf (908.82 KB)
R. Roman, P. Najera, and J. Lopez, "Securing the Internet of Things", In IEEE Computer, vol. 44, no. 9, IEEE, pp. 51 -58, Sept 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 1.47 DOI More..

Abstract

This paper presents security of Internet of things. In the Internet of Things vision, every physical object has a virtual component that can produce and consume services Such extreme interconnection will bring unprecedented convenience and economy, but it will also require novel approaches to ensure its safe and ethical use. The Internet and its users are already under continual attack, and a growing economy-replete with business models that undermine the Internet’s ethical use-is fully focused on exploiting the current version’s foundational weaknesses.

Impact Factor: 1.47
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon 1633.pdf (373.78 KB)
D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, and J. Lopez, "Security Services Architecture for Secure Mobile Grid Systems", In Journal of Systems Architecture, vol. 57, Elsevier, pp. 240-258, 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.444 More..

Abstract

 Mobile Grid, is a full inheritor of the Grid with the additional feature that it supports mobile users andresources. Security is an important aspect in Grid based systems, and it is more complex to ensure thisin a mobile platform owing to the limitations of resources in these devices. A Grid infrastructure that supportsthe participation of mobile nodes and incorporates security aspects will thus play a significant rolein the development of Grid computing. The idea of developing software through systematic developmentprocesses to improve software quality is not new. However, many information systems such as those ofGrid Computing are still not developed through methodologies which have been adapted to their mostdifferentiating features. The lack of adequate development methods for this kind of systems in whichsecurity is taken into account has encouraged us to build a methodology to develop them, offering adetailed guide for their analysis, design and implementation. It is important to use software V&V techniques,according to IEEE Std. 1012 for Software Verification and Validation, to ensure that a software systemmeets the operational needs of the user. This ensures that the requirements for the system arecorrect, complete, and consistent, and that the life-cycle products correctly design and implement systemrequirements. This paper shows part of a development process that we are elaborating for the constructionof information systems based on Grid Computing, which are highly dependent on mobile devices inwhich security plays a highly important role. In the design activity of the process, we design a securityarchitecture which serves as a reference for any mobile Grid application that we wish to build since thissecurity architecture defines a complete set of security services which will be instantiated depending onthe requirements and features found in previous activities of the process. A V&V task is also defined in thedesign activity to validate and verify both the architecture built and the traceability of the artifacts generatedin this activity. In this paper, we will present the service-oriented security architecture for MobileGrid Systems which considers all possible security services that may be required for any mobile Grid application.

Impact Factor: 0.444
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, J. Lopez, and M. Piattini, "Systematic Design of Secure Mobile Grid Systems", In Journal of Network and Computer Applications, vol. 34, Elsevier, pp. 1168-1183, 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 1.065 More..

Abstract

 Grid computing has arisen as an evolution of distributed systems mainly focused on the sharing of and remote access to resources in a uniform, transparent, secure, efficient and reliable manner. It is possible to join Grid technology and mobile technology in order to create one of the most promising technologies and developments to appear in recent years, in that they enrich one another and provide new solutions that solve many of the limitations and problems found in different technologies. Security is a very important factor in Mobile Grid Computing and is also difficult to achieve owing to the open nature of wireless networks and heterogeneous and distributed environments. Success in obtaining a secure system originates in incorporating security from the first stages of the development process. It has therefore been necessary to define a development process for this kind of systems in which security is incorporated in all stages of the development and the features and particularities of the Mobile Grid systems are taken into consideration. This paper presents one of the activities of this development process, the design activity, which consists of defining and designing a security software architecture. This architecture will be built from a security architecture, defined as reference architecture, in which security services, interfaces and operations are defined with the purpose of defining a reference security architecture which covers the majority of security requirements identified in the analysis activity. The design activity will build the system architecture that will be the input artefact for the subsequent activity in the process, which is the construction activity.

Impact Factor: 1.065
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, J. Lopez, and M. Piattini, "Towards a UML Extension of Reusable Secure Use Cases for Mobile Grid systems", In IEICE Trans. on Information and Systems, vol. E94-D, IEICE, pp. 243-254, Feb 2011. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2011: 0.178 DOI More..

Abstract

The systematic processes exactly define the development cycle and help the development team follow the same development strategies and techniques, thus allowing a continuous improvement in the quality of the developed products. Likewise, it is important that the development process used integrates security aspects from the first stages at the same level as other functional and non-functional requirements. Grid systems allow us to build very complex information systems with different and remarkable features (interoperability between multiple security domains, cross-domain authentication and authorization, dynamic, heterogeneous and limited mobile devices, etc). With the development of wireless technology and mobile devices, the Grid becomes the perfect candidate for letting mobile users make complex works that add new computational capacity to the Grid. A methodology of development for secure mobile Grid systems is being defined. One of the activities of this methodology is the requirements analysis which is based in reusable use cases. In this paper, we will present a UML-extension for security use cases and Grid use case which capture the behaviour of this kind of systems. A detailed description of all these new use cases defined in the UML extension is necessary, describing the stereotypes, tagged values, constraints and graphical notation. We show an example of how to apply and use this extension for building the diagram of use cases and incorporating common security aspects for this kind of systems. Also, we will see how the diagrams built can be reused in the construction of others diagrams saving time and effort in this task.
 

Impact Factor: 0.178
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon rosado2009.pdf (302.25 KB)
2010
D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, J. Lopez, and M. Piattini, "Analysis of Secure Mobile Grid Systems: A Systematic Approach", In Information and Software Technology, vol. 52, Elsevier, pp. 517-536, May 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 1.527 DOI More..

Abstract

Developing software through systematic processes is becoming more and more important due to the growing complexity of software development. It is important that the development process used integrates security aspects from the first stages at the same level as other functional and non-functional requirements. Systems which are based on Grid Computing are a kind of systems that have clear differentiating features in which security is a highly important aspect. The Mobile Grid, which is relevant to both Grid and Mobile Computing, is a full inheritor of the Grid with the additional feature that it supports mobile users and resources. A development methodology for Secure Mobile Grid Systems is proposed in which the security aspects are considered from the first stages of the life-cycle and in which the mobile Grid technological environment is always present in each activity. This paper presents the analysis activity, in which the requirements (focusing on the grid, mobile and security requirements) of the system are specified and which is driven by reusable use cases through which the requirements and needs of these systems can be defined. These use cases have been defined through a UML-extension for security use cases and Grid use cases which capture the behaviour of this kind of systems. The analysis activity has been applied to a real case.

Impact Factor: 1.527
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

Y.. Qiu, J.. Zhou, J.. Baek, and J. Lopez, "Authentication and Key Establishment in Dynamic Wireless Sensor Networks", In Sensors, vol. 10, pp. 3718-3731, 2010. More..
PDF icon 1694.pdf (325.85 KB)
J. L. Ferrer-Gomilla, J. A. Onieva, M. Payeras, and J. Lopez, "Certified electronic mail: Properties revisited", In Computers & Security, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 167 - 179, 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 0.889 DOI More..

Abstract

Certified electronic mail is an added value to traditional electronic mail. In the definition of this service some differences arise: a message in exchange for a reception proof, a message and a non repudiation of origin token in exchange for a reception proof, etc. It greatly depends on whether we want to emulate the courier service or improve the service in the electronic world. If the definition of the service seems conflictive, the definition of the properties and requirements of a good certified electronic mail protocol is even more difficult. The more consensuated features are the need of a fair exchange and the existence of a trusted third party (TTP). Each author chooses the properties that considers the most important, and many times the list is conditioned by the proposal. Which kind of TTP must be used? Must it be verifiable, transparent and/or stateless? Which features must the communication channel fulfil? Which temporal requirements must be established? What kind of fairness is desired? What efficiency level is required? Are confidentiality or transferability of the proofs compulsory properties? In this paper we collect the definitions, properties and requirements related with certified electronic mail. The aim of the paper is to create a clearer situation and analyze how some properties cannot be achieved simultaneously. Each protocol designer will have to decide which properties are the most important in the environment in where the service is to be deployed.

Impact Factor: 0.889
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon FerrerGomilla2009.pdf (301.65 KB)
D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, J. Lopez, and M. Piattini, "Developing a Secure Mobile Grid System through a UML Extension", In Journal of Universal Computer Science, vol. 16, no. 17, Springer, pp. 2333-2352, Sep 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 0.578 DOI More..

Abstract

The idea of developing software through systematic development processes toimprove software quality is not new. Nevertheless, there are still many information systemssuch as those of Grid Computing which are not developed through methodologies that areadapted to their most differentiating features. A systematic development process for Gridsystems that supports the participation of mobile nodes and incorporates security aspects intothe entire software lifecycle will thus play a significant role in the development of systemsbased on Grid computing. We are creating a development process for the construction ofinformation systems based on Grid Computing, which is highly dependent on mobile devices,in which security plays a highly important role. One of the activities in this process is that ofanalysis which is focused on ensuring that the system’s security and functional requirements areelicited, specified and modelled. In our approach, this activity is driven by use cases andsupported by the reusable repository. This obtains, builds, defines and refines the use cases ofthe secure Mobile Grid systems which represent the functional and non-functional requirementsof this kind of systems. In this paper, we present the proposed development process throughwhich we introduce the main aspects of the UML profile defined for building use case diagramsin the mobile Grid context through which it is possible to represent specific mobile Gridfeatures and security aspects, showing in detail how to build use case diagrams for a real mobile Grid application by using our UML profile, denominated as GridUCSec-Profile.

Impact Factor: 0.578
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

I. Agudo, "Digital Identity and Identity Management Technologies", In UPGRADE - The European Journal of the Informatics Professional, vol. 2010, CEPIS, pp. 6 - 12, 2010. More..

Abstract

There are many technologies for identity management available in the form of open specifications, open source tools and commercial applications. Currently, there are some competing standards for identity management. At the beginning SAML was the only viable choice with a higher enough acceptance level. Recently, another technology called WS-Federation has also gain some attention from the community. Although this technology is not as mature as SAML, it modular design gives it some advantages over SAML. It this work we mainly focus on the WS-Federation and the family of specifications that surround it.

PDF icon 1589.pdf (319.75 KB)
J. Lopez, R. Roman, and P. Najera, "Los Desafíos de Seguridad en la Internet de los Objetos", In Revista SIC, vol. 88, Ediciones CODA, pp. 66-73, Feb 2010. More..

Abstract

El paradigma de la Internet de los Objetos, donde todos aquellos objetos físicos que nos rodean tendrán la capacidad de generar y consumir información en el ámbito de un mundo virtual, se encuentra cada vez más cerca. Es ahora un buen momento para llamar la atención sobre sus principales desafíos de seguridad, tanto desde un punto de vista global como asociados a sus elementos más importantes (la tecnología RFID y las redes de sensores). Así, este paradigma puede ser plenamente comprendido y protegido, evolucionando hacia uno de los nuevos pilares del futuro.

PDF icon jlopez09.pdf (1.06 MB)
J. Forne, et al., "Pervasive Authentication and Authorization Infrastructures for Mobile Users", In Computer and Security, vol. 29, elsevier, pp. 501-514, 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 0.889 DOI More..

Abstract

Network and device heterogeneity, nomadic mobility, intermittent connectivity and, more generally, extremely dynamic operating conditions, are major challenges in the design of security infrastructures for pervasive computing. Yet, in a ubiquitous computing environment, limitations of traditional solutions for authentication and authorization can be overcome with a pervasive public key infrastructure (pervasive-PKI). This choice allows the validation of credentials of users roaming between heterogeneous networks, even when global connectivity is lost and some services are temporarily unreachable. Proof-of-concept implementations and testbed validation results demonstrate that strong security can be achieved for users and applications through the combination of traditional PKI services with a number of enhancements like: (i) dynamic and collaborative trust model, (ii) use of attribute certificates for privilege management, and (iii) modular architecture enabling nomadic mobility and enhanced with reconfiguration capabilities.

Impact Factor: 0.889
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon JordiForne2009.pdf (4.07 MB)
I. Agudo, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "A Scale Based Trust Model for Multi-Context Environments", In Computers and Mathematics with Applications, vol. 60, Elsevier, pp. 209-216, July, 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 1.472 DOI More..

Abstract

When interactions among users of a system have to take place, for example, over the internet, establishing trust relationships among these users becomes crucial. However, the way this trust is established depends to a certain extent on the context where the interactions take place. Most of the time, trust is encoded as a numerical value that might not be very meaningful for a not very experienced user. In this paper we propose a model that takes into account the semantic and the computational sides of trust. This avoids users having to deal directly with the computational side; they instead deal with meaningful labels such as Bad or Good in a given context.

Impact Factor: 1.472
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon Agudo2010b.pdf (279.77 KB)
C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "A Security Analysis for Wireless Sensor Mesh Networks in Highly Critical Systems", In IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, vol. 40, no. 4, IEEE, pp. 419-428, July, 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 2.105 DOI More..

Abstract

Nowadays, critical control systems are a fundamental component contributing to the overall performance of critical infrastructures in our society, most of which belong to the industrial sector. These complex systems include in their design different types of information and communication technology systems, such as wireless (mesh) sensor networks, to carry out control processes in real time. This fact has meant that several communication standards, such as Zigbee PRO, WirelessHART, and ISA100.11a, have been specified to ensure coexistence, reliability, and security in their communications. The main purpose of this paper has been to review these three standards and analyze their security. We have identified a set of threats and potential attacks in their routing protocols, and we consequently provide recommendations and countermeasures to help Industry protect its infrastructures.

Impact Factor: 2.105
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon Alcaraz2010a.pdf (557 KB)
J. L. Vivas, C. Fernandez-Gago, A. Benjumea, and J. Lopez, "A security framework for a workflow-based grid development platform.", In Computer Standards and Interfaces, vol. 32, no. 5-6, Elsevier, pp. 230-245, Oct 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 0.868 DOI More..

Abstract

This paper describes the security framework that is to be developed for the generic grid platform created for the project GREDIA. This platform is composed of several components that need to be secured. The platform uses the OGSA standards, so that the security framework will follow GSI, the portion of Globus that implements security. Thus, we will show the security features that GSI already provides and we will outline which others need to be created or enhanced.

Impact Factor: 0.868
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon vivas2009.pdf (1.34 MB)
J. Lopez, R. Roman, I. Agudo, and C. Fernandez-Gago, "Trust Management Systems for Wireless Sensor Networks: Best practices", In Computer Communications, vol. 33, no. 9, Elsevier, pp. 0140-3664, 2010. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2010: 0.816 DOI More..

Abstract

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been proven a useful technology for perceiving information about the physical world and as a consequence has been used in many applications such as measurement of temperature, radiation, flow of liquids, etc. The nature of this kind of technology, and also their vulnerabilities to attacks make the security tools required for them to be considered in a special way. The decision making in a WSN is essential for carrying out certain tasks as it aids sensors establish collaborations. In order to assist this process, trust management systems could play a relevant role. In this paper, we list the best practices that we consider are essential for developing a good trust management system for WSN and make an analysis of the state of the art related to these practices.

Impact Factor: 0.816
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon JavierLopezMunoz2010.pdf (210.98 KB)
2009
I. Agudo, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "Concurrent access control for multi-user and multi-processor systems based on trust relationships", In Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, vol. 21, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 1389-1403, July, 2009. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2009: 1.004 DOI More..

Abstract

Concurrent access control is an old problem in many fields in Computer Science. It has been solved in many languages and systems, using mechanisms like monitors or priority queues. Nowadays computers implement multi-core capabilities. This means that they are virtually capable of execution of processes in parallel. This requires new techniques and open new issues in the field of concurrent access control. Moreover, most operating systems are multi-user; thus, we have to focus on a multi-processor multi-user scenario. Trust becomes a paramount aspect when building distributed applications; the same applies on a lower scale in modern computers. We propose the use of a trust graph that keeps record of the trust relationships of the system and helps in deciding on concurrent access requests. The information encoded in the graph will be used both in order to decide on the access requests and to order granted requests in terms of their associated trust level

Impact Factor: 1.004
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2009)

PDF icon Agudo2009.pdf (180.3 KB)
R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "Integrating Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet: A Security Analysis", In Internet Research, vol. 19, no. 2, Emerald, pp. 246-259, Mar 2009. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2009: 0.844 DOI More..

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to analyze the security issues that arise when integrating wireless sensor networks (WSN) and the internet. Also, it seeks to review whether existing technology mechanisms are suitable and can be applied in this context.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers the possible approaches that can be used to connect a WSN with the internet, and analyzes the security of their interactions.

Findings: By providing the services of the network through a front-end proxy, a sensor network and the internet can interact securely. There are other challenges to be solved if the sensor nodes are integrated into the internet infrastructure, although there exists interesting advances on his matter.

Research limitations and implications: The complete integration of sensor networks and the internet still remains as an open issue.

Practical implications: With the current state of the art, it is possible to develop a secure sensor network that can provide its services to internet hosts with certain security properties.

Originality/value: The paper studies the interactions between sensor networks and the internet from the point of view of security. It identifies both solutions and research challenges.

Impact Factor: 0.844
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2009)

PDF icon roman2009a.pdf (394.32 KB)
D. G. Rosado, E. Fernandez-Medina, and J. Lopez, "Obtaining Security Requirements for a Mobile Grid System", In International Journal of Grid and High Performance Computing, vol. 1, IGI-Global, pp. 1-17, Jan 2009. DOI More..

Abstract

Mobile Grid includes the characteristics of the Grid systems together with the peculiarities of Mobile Computing, withthe additional feature of supporting mobile users and resources ina seamless, transparent, secure and efficient way. Security ofthese systems, due to their distributed and open nature, isconsidered a topic of great interest. We are elaborating amethodology of development to build secure mobile grid systemsconsidering security on all life cycle. In this paper we present thepractical results applying our methodology to a real case,specifically we apply the part of security requirements analysis toobtain and identify security requirements of a specific applicationfollowing a set of tasks defined for helping us in the definition,identification and specification of the security requirements onour case study. The methodology will help us to build a securegrid application in a systematic and iterative way.

PDF icon rosado2009c.pdf (219.29 KB)
M. Carbonell, J. Maria Sierra, and J. Lopez, "Secure multiparty payment with an intermediary entity", In Computers and Security, vol. 28, no. 5, Elsevier, pp. 289-300, 2009. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2009: 1.488 More..
Impact Factor: 1.488
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2009)

PDF icon 1705.pdf (409.62 KB)
P. Najera, F. Moyano, and J. Lopez, "Security Mechanisms and Access Control Infrastructure for e-Passports and General Purpose e-Documents", In Journal of Universal Computer Science, vol. 15, pp. 970-991, 2009. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2009: 0.669 DOI More..

Abstract

Traditional paper documents are not likely to disappear in the near future as they are present everywhere in daily life, however, paper-based documentation lacks the link with the digital world for agile and automated processing. At the same time it is prone to cloning, alteration and counterfeiting attacks. E-passport defined by ICAO and implemented in 45 countries is the most relevant case of hybrid documentation (i.e. paper format with electronic capabilities) to date, but, as the advantages of hybrid documentation are recognized more and more will undoubtedly appear. In this paper, we present the concept and security requirements of general-use e-documents, analyze the most comprehensive security solution (i.e. ePassport security mechanisms) and its suitability for general-purpose e-documentation. Finally, we propose alternatives for the weakest and less suitable protocol from ePassports: the BAC (Basic Access Control). In particular, an appropriate key management infrastructure for access control to document memory is discussed in conjunction with a prototype implementation.

Impact Factor: 0.669
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2009)

PDF icon Najera2009.pdf (293.84 KB)
2008
V. Benjumea, J. Lopez, and J. M. Troya, "Anonymity Analysis in Credentials-based Systems: A Formal Framework", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 30, no. 4, Elsevier, pp. 253-261, 2008. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2008: 1.074 More..

Abstract

  Anonymity has been formalized and some metrics have been defined in the scope of anonymizing communication channels. In this paper, such formalization has been extended to cope with anonymity in those scenarios where users must anonymously prove that they own certain privileges to perform remote transactions. In these types of scenarios, the authorization policy states the privileges required to perform a given remote transaction. The paper presents a framework to analyze the actual degree of anonymity reached in a given transaction and allows its comparison with an ideal anonymity degree as defined by the authorization policy, providinga tool to model, design and analyze anonymous systems in different scenarios.    

Impact Factor: 1.074
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2008)

PDF icon VicenteBenjumea2008.pdf (248.09 KB)
I. Agudo, J. Lopez, and J. A. Montenegro, "Enabling Attribute Delegation in Ubiquitous Environments", In Mobile Networks and Applications, vol. 13, no. 3-4, Springer, pp. 398-410, August, 2008. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2008: 1.619 DOI More..

Abstract

When delegation is implemented using the attribute certificates in a Privilege Management Infrastructure (PMI), it is possible to reach a considerable level of distributed functionality. However, the approach is not flexible enough for the requirements of ubiquitous environments. The PMI can become a too complex solution for devices such as smartphones and PDAs, where resources are limited. In this work we present an approach to solve the previous limitations by defining a second class of attributes, called domain attributes, which are managed directly by users and are not right under the scope of the PMI, thus providing a light solution for constrained devices. However, we relate the two classes of attributes are related by defining a simple ontology. While domain attribute credentials are defined using SAML notation, global attributes are defined using X.509 certificates. For this reason, we additionally introduce XSAML so that both kinds of credentials are integrated. We also introduce the concept of Attribute Federation which is responsible for supporting domain attributes and the corresponding ontology.

Impact Factor: 1.619
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2008)

PDF icon Agudo2008d.pdf (647.04 KB)
C. Alcaraz, et al., "Gestión segura de redes SCADA", In Nuevas tendencias en gestión de redes, Novática, no. 196, CEPIS, pp. 20-25, December, 2008. More..

Abstract

En el momento que se introduce en el mercado nuevas tecnologías basadas en entornos distribuidos comienzan a surgir en paralelo nuevos problemas de seguridad en los sistemas SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), los cuales monitorizan y gestionan otras infraestructuras de gran complejidad y escala. Un fallo o una interrupción en uno de sus componentes podría suponer un impacto negativo sobre la funcionalidad de otras infraestructuras, por lo que se hace necesario realizar frecuentes análisis de seguridad para así mantener actualizado el conocimiento y proveer recomendaciones y/o soluciones para mitigar o evitar futuras ocurrencias, garantizando una gestión de red fiable y siempre disponible.

PDF icon Alcaraz2008a.pdf (329.92 KB)
J. A. Onieva, J. Zhou, and J. Lopez, "Multi-Party Nonrepudiation: A survey", In ACM Comput. Surveys, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 5, December, 2008. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2008: 9.92 More..

Abstract

Nonrepudiation is a security service that plays an important role in many Internet applications. Traditional two-party nonrepudiation has been studied intensively in the literature. This survey focuses on multiparty scenarios and provides a comprehensive overview. It starts with a brief introduction of fundamental issues on nonrepudiation, including the types of nonrepudiation service and cryptographic evidence, the roles of trusted third-party, nonrepudiation phases and requirements, and the status of standardization. Then it describes the general multiparty nonrepudiation problem, and analyzes state-of-the-art mechanisms. After this, it presents in more detail the 1-N multiparty nonrepudiation solutions for distribution of different messages to multiple recipients. Finally, it discusses advanced solutions for two typical multiparty nonrepudiation applications, namely, multiparty certified email and multiparty contract signing.

Impact Factor: 9.92
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2008)

PDF icon JoseA.Onieva2008a.pdf (478.03 KB)
C. Alcaraz, et al., "Secure Management of SCADA Networks", In Novatica, New Trends in Network Management, vol. 9, no. 6, Cepis UPGRADE, pp. 22-28, December, 2008. More..

Abstract

When a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system monitors and manages other complex infrastructures through the use of distributed technologies, it becomes a critical infrastructure by itself: A failure or disruption in any of its components could implicate a serious impact on the performance of the other infrastructures. The connection with other systems makes a SCADA system more vulnerable against attacks, generating new security problems. As a result, it is essential to perform diverse security analysis frequently in order to keep an updated knowledge and to provide recommendations and/or solutions to mitigate or avoid anomalous events. This will facilitate the existence of a suitable, reliable, and available control network.

PDF icon Alcaraz2008b.pdf (325.52 KB)
R. Roman, J. Lopez, and S. Gritzalis, "Situation Awareness Mechanisms for Wireless Sensor Networks", In IEEE Communications Magazine, vol. 46, no. 4, IEEE, pp. 102-107, April, 2008. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2008: 2.799 DOI More..

Abstract

A wireless sensor network should be able to operate for long periods of time with little or no external management. There is a requirement for this autonomy: the sensor nodes must be able to configure themselves in the presence of adverse situations. Therefore, the nodes should make use of situation awareness mechanisms to determine the existence of abnormal events in their surroundings. This work approaches the problem by considering the possible abnormal events as diseases, thus making it possible to diagnose them through their symptoms, namely, their side effects. Considering these awareness mechanisms as a foundation for high-level monitoring services, this article also shows how these mechanisms are included in the blueprint of an intrusion detection system.

Impact Factor: 2.799
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2008)

PDF icon Roman2008a.pdf (280.63 KB)
2007
J. Lopez, I. Agudo, and J. A. Montenegro, "On the deployment of a real scalable delegation service", In Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 139-147, Jun 2007. DOI More..

Abstract

      This paper explains the evolution of the concept of delegation since its first references in the context of distributed authorization to the actual use as a fundamental part of a privilege management architecture. The work reviews some of the earliest contributions that pointed out the relevance of delegation when dealing with distributed authorization, in particular we comment on PolicyMaker and Keynote, and also on SDSI/SPKI. Then, we elaborate on Federation as a particular case of delegation, and remark the importance given to federation by the industry. Finally, the paper discusses about privilege management infrastructures, introducing a new mechanism to extend their functionality using advanced delegation services.

PDF icon JavierLopez2007.pdf (366.06 KB)
J. Zhou, W-Y. Chin, R. Roman, and J. Lopez, "An Effective Multi-layered Defense Framework Against Spam", In Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 179-185, 2007. DOI More..

Abstract

Spam is a big problem for email users. The battle between spamming and anti-spamming technologies has been going on for many years. Though many advanced anti-spamming technologies are progressing significantly, spam is still able to bombard many email users. The problem worsens when some anti-spamming methods unintentionally filtered legitimate emails instead! In this paper, we first review existing anti-spam technologies, then propose a layered defense framework using a combination of anti-spamming methods. Under this framework, the server-level defense is targeted for common spam while the client-level defense further filters specific spam for individual users. This layered structure improves on filtering accuracy and yet reduces the number of false positives. A sub-system using our pre-challenge method is implemented as an add-on in Microsoft Outlook 2002. In addition, we extend our client-based pre-challenge method to a domain-based solution thus further reducing the individual email users’ overheads.

PDF icon Zhou2007.pdf (549.17 KB)
J. A. Onieva, et al., "Integration of non-repudiation services in mobile DRM scenarios", In Telecommunications Systems, vol. 35, pp. 161-176, September, 2007. More..

Abstract

In any kind of electronic transaction, it is extremely important to assure that any of the parties involved can not deny their participation in the information exchange. This security property, which is called non-repudiation, becomes more important in Digital Rights Management (DRM) scenarios, where a consumer can freely access to certain contents but needs to obtain the proper Right Object (RO) from a vendor in order to process it. Any breach in this process could result on financial loss for any peer, thus it is necessary to provide a service that allows the creation of trusted evidence. Unfortunately, non-repudiation services has not been included so far in DRM specifications due to practical issues and the type of content distributed. In this paper we analyze how to allow the integration of non-repudiation services to a DRM framework, providing a set of protocols that allows the right objects acquisition to be undeniable, alongside with a proof-of-concept implementation and a validation process.

PDF icon JoseA.Onieva2007a.pdf (292.68 KB)
R. Roman, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "The Role of Wireless Sensor Networks in the Area of Critical Information Infrastructure", In Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 1, Elsevier, pp. 24-31, 2007. DOI More..

Abstract

Critical Infrastructures, such as energy, banking, and transport, are an essential pillar to the well-being of the national and international economy, security and quality of life. These infrastructures are dependent on a spectrum of highly interconnected information infrastructures for their smooth, reliable and continuous operation. The field of protecting such Critical Information Infrastructures, or CIIP, faces numerous challenges, such as managing the secure interaction between peers, assuring the resilience and robustness of the overall system, and deploying warning and alert systems, amongst others. In this tapestry of CIIP, Wireless Sensor Networks can be used as an invaluable tool due to their intelligent distributed control capabilities, alongside with their capability to work under severe conditions. In this paper, we justify why Wireless Sensor Networks technology is suitable for providing security for these scenarios, describing both their advantages and research issues and their role in the overall scheme of protecting the Critical Information Infrastructures.

PDF icon Roman2007a.pdf (183.54 KB)
R. Roman, C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "A Survey of Cryptographic Primitives and Implementations for Hardware-Constrained Sensor Network Nodes", In Mobile Networks and Applications, vol. 12, no. 4, Springer, pp. 231-244, August, 2007. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2007: 0.586 DOI More..

Abstract

In a wireless sensor network environment, a sensor node is extremely constrained in terms of hardware due to factors such as maximizing lifetime and minimizing physical size and overall cost. Nevertheless, these nodes must be able to run cryptographic operations based on primitives such as hash functions, symmetric encryption and public key cryptography in order to allow the creation of secure services. Our objective in this paper is to survey how the existing research-based and commercial-based sensor nodes are suitable for this purpose, analyzing how the hardware can influence the provision of the primitives and how software implementations tackles the task of implementing instances of those primitives. As a result, it will be possible to evaluate the influence of provision of security in the protocols and applications/scenarios where sensors can be used.

Impact Factor: 0.586
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2007)

PDF icon Roman2007.pdf (280.7 KB)
C. Dixon, C. Fernandez-Gago, M. Fisher, and W. van der Hoek, "Temporal Logics of Knowledge and their Applications in Security", In First Workshop in Information and Computer Security (ICS’06), vol. 186, Elsevier, pp. 27-42, 2007. DOI More..

Abstract

 Temporal logics of knowledge are useful for reasoning about situations where the knowledge of an agent or component is important, and where change in this knowledge may occur over time. Here we investigate the application of temporal logics of knowledge to the specification and verification of security protocols. We show how typical assumptions relating to authentication protocols can be specified. We consider verification methods for these logics, in particular, focusing on proofs using clausal resolution. Finally we present experiences from using a resolution based theorem prover applied to security protocols specified in temporal logics of knowledge.

PDF icon Dix07.pdf (340.26 KB)
2006
V. Benjumea, J. Lopez, and J. M. Troya, "Anonymous Attribute Certificates based on Traceable Signatures", In Internet Research, vol. 16, no. 2, Elsevier, pp. 120-139, 2006. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2006: 0.607 More..

Abstract

  In Benjumea et. al (Benjumea, 2004) we introduced the concept of anonymousattribute certificates in order to integrate anonymity capabilities in the standardizedX.509 attribute certificates. That solution was based on the use of fair-blind signatures(Stadler, 1995), but did not explore further possibilities of constructing similar datastructures based on more advanced signature schemes. In this new work, we propose anew type of anonymous attribute certificates that is based on the more recently proposedtraceable signature scheme (Kiayias, 2004a), providing a new anonymous authorizationsolution with interesting features that were not covered in the aforementioned scheme.Thus, this new solution allows users to make use of their attribute certificates in ananonymous way, but under certain circumstances it allows to disclose the users’ identities,trace the transactions carried out by any specific user, or revoke any anonymousattribute certificate. An additional contribution of this work is that it pays special attentionto the preservation of the unlinkability property between transactions, makingimpossible the creation of anonymous user profiles.

Impact Factor: 0.607
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2006)

PDF icon VicenteBenjumea2006a.pdf (320.1 KB)
R. Roman, J. Zhou, and J. Lopez, "An Anti-spam Scheme Using Pre-challenges", In Computer Communications, vol. 29, no. 15, Elsevier, pp. 2739-2749, 2006. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2006: 0.444 DOI More..

Abstract

Unsolicited Commercial Email, or Spam, is nowadays an increasingly serious problem to email users. A number of anti-spam schemes have been proposed in the literature and some of them have been deployed in email systems, but the problem has yet been well addressed. One of those schemes is challenge-response, in which a challenge, ranging from a simple mathematical problem to a hard-AI problem, is imposed on an email sender in order to forbid machine-based spam reaching receivers’ mailboxes. However, such a scheme introduces new problems for the users, e.g., delay of service and denial of service. In this paper, we introduce the pre-challenge scheme, which is based on the challenge-response mechanism and takes advantage of some features of email systems. It assumes each user has a challenge that is defined by the user himself/herself and associated with his/her email address, in such a way that an email sender can simultaneously retrieve a new receiver’s email address and challenge before sending an email in the first contact. Some new mechanisms are employed in our scheme to reach a good balance between security against spam and convenience to normal email users. Our scheme can be also used for protecting other messaging systems, like Instant Messaging and Blog comments.

Impact Factor: 0.444
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2006)

PDF icon Roman2006a.pdf (355.8 KB)
V. Benjumea, J. Lopez, and J. M. Troya, "Specification of a Framework for the Anonymous Use of Privileges", In Telematics and Informatics, vol. 23, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 179-195, 2006. More..

Abstract

In this paper we have defined an open framework to support open distributed applications where anonymous transactions based on user privileges play an important role. The goal of the framework is to provide a basis to the application level, and is presented from an open and general perspective where many different implementation schemes can fit. Moreover, we have presented a set of requirements that implementation schemes must fulfill to conform a fully anonymous privilege system, which guarantees to supported applications that anonymity will be preserved in remote transactions. Finally, we present an application scenario using the services provided by the framework in order to better show the possibilities of what this type of systems offers.

PDF icon VicenteBenjumea2006.pdf (174.49 KB)
J. Lopez, "Unleashing Public-Key Cryptography in Wireless Sensor Networks", In Journal of Computer Security, vol. 14, no. 5, IOS Press, pp. 469-482, 2006.
2005
R. Roman, J. Zhou, and J. Lopez, "Casual Virtual Private Network", In International Journal of Computer Systems Science & Engineering, vol. 3, CRL Publishing, pp. 185-192, 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.119 More..

Abstract

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide a cost-effective way for securing communications using public and insecure networks like the Internet. The main purpose of a VPN is to securely and transparently connect two or more remote networks to form virtually a single network, using centralized security policies for better management and protection. However, in certain scenarios, users may not require such a transparent access to the resources within their networks, but only want temporary secure access to internal services based on their own demands. We call the network architecture with such a feature as Casual VPN. In this paper, we present the notion of Casual VPN, and explain why traditional VPN architectures and protocols are unable to offer Casual VPN services. We also propose and define the operation of a particular Casual VPN architecture, C-VPN, which additionally allows the management of TCP and UDP-based protocols.

Impact Factor: 0.119
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon Roman2005f.pdf (501.2 KB)
C. Fernandez-Gago, et al., "First-Order Temporal Verification in Practice", In Journal of Automated Reasoning, vol. 34, Springer, pp. 295-321, 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.875 DOI More..

Abstract

First-order temporal logic, the extension of first-order logic with operators dealing with time, is a powerful and expressive formalism with many potential applications. This expressive logic can be viewed as a framework in which to investigate problems specified in other logics. The monodic fragment of first-order temporal logic is a useful fragment that possesses good computational properties such as completeness and sometimes even decidability. Temporal logics of knowledge are useful for dealing with situations where the knowledge of agents in a system is involved. In this paper we present a translation from temporal logics of knowledge into the monodic fragment of first-order temporal logic. We can then use a theorem prover for monodic first-order temporal logic to prove properties of the translated formulas. This allows problems specified in temporal logics of knowledge to be verified automatically without needing a specialized theorem prover for temporal logics of knowledge. We present the translation, its correctness, and examples of its use.

Impact Factor: 0.875
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon Fernandez2005.pdf (378.22 KB)
A. Winfield, et al., "On the Formal Specification of Emergent Behaviours of Swarm Robotics Systems", In International Journal of Advanced Robotics Systems, vol. 2, pp. 363-371, 2005. More..

Abstract

It is a characteristic of swarm robotics that specifying overall emergent swarm behaviours in terms of the low-level behaviours of individual robots is very difficult. Yet if swarm robotics is to make the transition from the laboratory to real-world engineering realisation we need such specifications. This paper explores the use of temporal logic to formally specify, and possibly also prove, the emergent behaviours of a robotic swarm. The paper makes use of a simplified wireless connected swarm as a case study with which to illustrate the approach. Such a formal approach could be an important step toward a disciplined design methodology for swarm robotics.

PDF icon Winfield2005.pdf (192.47 KB)
I. Agudo, J. Lopez, and J. A. Montenegro, "A Graphical Delegation Solution for X.509 Attribute Certificates", In ERCIM News, no. 63, ERCIM, pp. 33-34, October, 2005. More..
PDF icon IsaacAgudo2005.pdf (157.48 KB)
M. Yague, A. Mana, and J. Lopez, "A Metadata-based Access Control Model for Web Services", In Internet Research Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, Emerald, pp. 99-116, 2005. More..
PDF icon 1707.pdf (365.96 KB)
J. Zhou, J. A. Onieva, and J. Lopez, "Optimised Multi-Party Certified Email Protocols", In Information Management & Computer Security Journal, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 350-366, 2005. More..

Abstract

As a value-added service to deliver important data over the Internet with guaranteed receipt for each successful delivery, certified email has been discussed for years and a number of research papers appeared in the literature. But most of them deal with the two-party scenarios, i.e., there are only one sender and one recipient. In some applications, however, the same certified message may need to be sent to a set of recipients. In this paper, we presents two optimized multi-party certified email protocols. They have three major features. (1) A sender could notify multiple recipients of the same information while only those recipients who acknowledged are able to get the information. (2) Both the sender and the recipients can end a protocol run at any time without breach of fairness. (3) The exchange protocols are optimized, each of which have only three steps.

PDF icon Zhou2005.pdf (232.69 KB)
J. Lopez, J. J. Ortega, and J. M. Troya, "Security Protocols Analysis: A SDL-based Approach", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 27, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 489-499, 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.62 More..

Abstract

Organizations need to develop formally analyzed systems in order to achieve well-known formal method benefits. In order to study the security of communication systems, we have developed a methodology for the application of the formal analysis techniques, commonly used in communication protocols, to the analysis of cryptographic protocols. In particular, we have extended the design and analysis phases with security properties. Our proposal uses a specification notation based on one of the most used standard requirement languages HMSC/MSC, which can be automatically translated into a generic SDL specification. The SDL system obtained can then be used for the analysis of the addressed security properties, by using an observer process schema. Besides our main goal to provide a notation for describing the formal specification of security systems, our proposal also brings additional benefits, such as the study of the possible attacks to the system, and the possibility of re-using the specifications produced to describe and analyse more complex systems.

Impact Factor: 0.62
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon JavierLopez2005b.pdf (181.92 KB)
J. Lopez, et al., "Specification and Design of Advanced Authentication and Authorization Services", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 27, no. 5, Elsevier, pp. 467-478, Jun 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.62 DOI More..

Abstract

A challenging task in security engineering concerns the specification and integration of security with other requirements at the top level of requirements engineering. Empirical studies show that it is common at the business process level that customers and end users are able to express their security needs. Among the security needs of Internet applications, authentication and authorization services are outstanding and, sometimes, privacy becomes a parallel requirement. In this paper, we introduce a methodology for the specification of security requirements and use a case study to apply our solution. We further detail the resulting system after extending it with an Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure.

Impact Factor: 0.62
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon javierlopez2005c.pdf (210.49 KB)
S. K. Katsikas, J. Lopez, and G. Pernul, "Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business", In International Journal of Computer Systems, Science & Engineering, vol. 20, no. 6, CRL Publishing, 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.119 More..

Abstract

An important aspect of e-business is the area of e-commerce. According to recent surveys, one of the most severe restraining factors for the proliferation of e-commerce, as measured by the gap between predicted market value and actual development is the (lack of) security measures required to assure both businesses and customers that their business relationship and transactions will be carried out in privacy, correctly, and timely. A large number of individuals are not willing to engage in e-commerce (or are only participating at a reduced level) simply because they do not trust the e-commerce sites and the underlying information and communication technologies to be secure enough. This paper first considers privacy and security requirements for e-commerce applications; it then discusses methods and technologies that can be used to fulfil these requirements.

Impact Factor: 0.119
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon SokratisKatsikas2005a.pdf (215.19 KB)
J. Lopez, R. Oppliger, and G. Pernul, "Why Public Key Infrastructures have failed so far?", In Internet Research, vol. 15, no. 5, Emerald, pp. 544-556, 2005. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2005: 0.688 More..

Abstract

Since public key cryptography is a fundamental technology for electronic commerce, people have often argued that public key infrastructures and corresponding certification services are the gold-mines of the information age. Contrary to these relatively high expectations, public key infrastructures have not really taken off and many certification service providers have even gone out of business. In this paper, we overview and discuss the technical, economical, legal, and social reasons why public key infrastructures have failed so far, summarize the lessons learnt, and give our expectations about the future development of the field.

Impact Factor: 0.688
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2005)

PDF icon JavierLopez2005.pdf (101.63 KB)
2004
J. A. Onieva, J. Zhou, J. Lopez, and M. Carbonell, "Agent-mediated non-repudiation protocols", In Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, vol. 3, no. 2, Elsevier, pp. 152-162, 2004. More..

Abstract

Non-repudiation is a security service that provides cryptographic evidence to support the settlement of disputes in electronic commerce. In commercial transactions, an intermediary (or agent) might be involved to help transacting parties to conduct their business. Nevertheless, such an intermediary may not be fully trusted. In this paper, we propose agent-mediated non-repudiation protocols and analyze their security requirements. We first present a simple scenario with only one recipient, followed by a more complicated framework where multiple recipients are involved and collusion between them is possible. We also identify applications that could take advantage of these agent-mediated non-repudiation protocols.

PDF icon Onieva2004a.pdf (196.82 KB)
J. Lopez, R. Oppliger, and G. Pernul, "Authentication and Authorization Infrastructures (AAIs): A Comparative Survey", In Computers & Security, vol. 23, no. 7, Elsevier, pp. 578-590, 2004. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2004: 0.412 More..

Abstract

In this article, we argue that traditional approaches for authorization and access control in computer systems (i.e., discretionary, mandatory, and role-based access controls) are not appropriate to address the requirements of networked or distributed systems, and that proper authorization and access control requires infrastructural support in one way or another. This support can be provided, for example, by an authentication and authorization infrastructure (AAI). Against this background, we overview, analyze, discuss, and put into perspective some technologies that can be used to build and operate AAIs. More specifically, we address Microsoft .NET Passport and some related activities (e.g. the Liberty Alliance Project), Kerberos-based solutions, and AAIs that are based on digital certificates and public key infrastructures (PKIs). We conclude with the observation that there is no single best approach for providing an AAI, that every approach has specific advantages and disadvantages, and that a comprehensive AAI must combine various technologies and approaches.

Impact Factor: 0.412
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2004)

PDF icon JavierLopez2004.pdf (2.22 MB)
A. Mana, et al., "A Framework for Secure Execution of Software", In International Journal of Information Security (IJIS), vol. 3, no. 2, Springer, pp. 99-112, 2004. More..

Abstract

    The protection of software applications is one of the most important problems to solve in information security because it has a crucial effect on other security issues.We can find in the literature many research initiatives that have tried to solve this problem, many of them based on the use of tamperproof hardware tokens. This type of solutions depends on two basic premises: (i) to increase the physical security by using tamperproof devices, and (ii) to increase the complexity of the analysis of the software. The first premise is reasonable. The second one is certainly related to the first one. In fact, its main goal is that the pirate user can not modify the software to bypass an operation that is crucial: checking the presence of the token. However, the experience shows that the second premise is not realistic because the analysis of the executable code is always possible. Moreover, the techniques used to obstruct the analysis process are not enough to discourage an attacker with average resources. In this paper, we review the most relevant works related to software protection, present a taxonomy of those works and, most important, we introduce a new and robust software protection scheme. This solution, called SmartProt, is based on the use of smart cards and cryptographic techniques, and its security relies only on the first of previous premises; that is, Smartprot has been designed to avoid attacks based on code analysis and software modification. The entire system is described following a lifecycle approach, explaining in detail the card setup, production, authorization, and execution phases. We also present some interesting applications of Smart- Prot as well as the protocols developed to manage licenses. Finally, we provide an analysis of its implementation details.

PDF icon AntonioMana2004.pdf (496.63 KB)
J. A. Onieva, J. Zhou, and J. Lopez, "Non-repudiation Protocols for Multiple Entities", In Computer Communications, vol. 27, no. 16, pp. 1608-1616, 2004. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2004: 0.574 More..

Abstract

Non-repudiation is a security service that provides cryptographic evidence to support the settlement of disputes. In this paper, we introduce the state-of-the-art of non-repudiation protocols for multiple entities. We extend an existing multi-party non-repudiation (MPNR) protocol to allow an originator to send different messages to many recipients in a single transaction. We further propose an optimistic multi-party non-repudiation protocol for exchange of different messages. The performance of our protocols with enhanced functionalities is still promising in comparison with existing MPNR protocols.

Impact Factor: 0.574
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2004)

PDF icon Onieva2004c.pdf (217.87 KB)
J. Lopez, A. Mana, J. A. Montenegro, and J. J. Ortega, "PKI Design Based on the Use of On-line Certification Authorities", In International Journal of Information Security (IJIS), vol. 2, no. 2, Springer, pp. 91-102, 2004. More..

Abstract

Public-Key Infrastructures (PKIs) are considered the basis of the protocols and tools needed to guarantee the security demanded for new Internet applications like electronic commerce, government-citizen relationships and digital distribution. This paper introduces a new infrastructure design, Cert’eM, a key management and certification system that is based on the structure of the electronic mail service and on the principle of near-certification. Cert’eM provides secure means to identify users and distribute their public-key certificates, enhances the efficiency of revocation procedures, and avoids scalability and synchronization problems. Because we have considered the revocation problem as priority in the design process, and with a big influence in the rest of the PKI components, we have developed an alternative solution to the use of Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs), which has become one of the strongest points in this new scheme.

PDF icon JavierLopez2004b.pdf (283.07 KB)
2003
S. Gurgens, J. Lopez, and R. Peralta, "Analysis of E-commerce Protocols: Adapting a Traditional Technique", In International Journal of Information Security, vol. 2, no. 1, Springer, pp. 21-36, 2003. More..

Abstract

We present the adaptation of our model for the validation of key distribution and authentication protocols to address some of the specific needs of protocols for electronic commerce. The two models defer in both the threat scenario and in the protocol formalization. We demonstrate the suitability of our adaptation by analyzing a specific version of the Internet Billing Server protocol introduced by Carnegie MellonUniversity. Our analysis shows that, while the security properties a key distribution or authentication protocol shall provide are well understood, it is often not clear which properties an electronic commerce protocol can or shall provide. We use the automatic theorem proving software ‘‘Otter’’ developed at Argonne National Laboratories for state space exploration.

PDF icon SigridGuergens2003.pdf (222.22 KB)
J. Lopez, et al., "Integrating PMI Services in CORBA Applications", In Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 391-409, 2003. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2003: 0.523 More..

Abstract

Application-level access control is an important requirement in many distributed environments. For instance, in new scenarios such as e-commerce, access to resources by previously unknown users is an essential problem to be solved. The integration of Privilege Management Infrastructure (PMI) services in the access control system represents a scalable way to solve this problem. Within the CORBA standards, the Resource Access Decision (RAD) facility is a mechanism used by security-aware applications to obtain authorization decisions and to manage access decision policies. This paper presents PMI-RAD, an approach to integrate the services of an external PMI into CORBA applications using the RAD facility. In particular, the integration of the external PMI in the access control system is based on the semantic description of the PMI services. Our RAD implementation requests and verifies attribute certificates from the PMI in a transparent way for CORBA objects.

Impact Factor: 0.523
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2003)

PDF icon JavierLopez2003c.pdf (93.71 KB)
J. Lopez, et al., "A Secure Solution for Commercial Digital Libraries", In Online Information Review Journal, vol. 27, no. 3, Emerald, pp. 147-159, 2003. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2003: 0.417 More..
Impact Factor: 0.417
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2003)

PDF icon 1708.pdf (126.04 KB)
S. Rusell, E. Dawson, E. Okamoto, and J. Lopez, "Virtual Certificates and Synthetic Certificates: New Paradigms for Improving Public Key Validation", In Computer Communications, vol. 26, no. 16, Elsevier, pp. 1826-1838, 2003. ISI JCR Impact Factor 2003: 0.508 More..

Abstract

The certificate paradigm is applied recursively to obtain the public keys of a number of Certification Authorities and, accordingly, to obtain the public keys of a number of final entities. Thus, validation of the authorized public key of a party in a network transaction is commonly based on processing the certificate chain descended from a trusted root issuer, involving non-negligible time and cost. Those chains become long in communications between large organizations, which is the typical case of e-commerce and e-government applications. The process of validation of extensive chains introduces performance problems in two aspects: signature verification and revocation checking. That is, the repeated processing of long chains of certificates creates severe efficiency problems. This fact causes that most of the advantages provided by Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) are not conveniently exploited. In this paper we analyze the scenarios in which large volumes of digitally signed transactions between commercial entities exist. These cases require of interoperation among PKIs. We show that solutions available in those scenarios still involve processing of too long chains of certificates, either at the receiving computer or by an outsourced entity. For this reason, we propose new concepts of virtual certificate and synthetic certificate for faster and less costly processing of certificate chains. In this way, communications in a certificate-based intercommunity can be highly improved. We also show how these types of certificates can be applied in practice.

Impact Factor: 0.508
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2003)

PDF icon SelwynRusell2003.pdf (227.92 KB)
2002
J. Lopez, "Proyecto CASENET: Integración del Diseño y Análisis de Protocolos Segurospara el Comerio-e", In Revista SIC: Seguridad en Informática y Comunicaciones, vol. 49, pp. 1-2, 2002.
J. Lopez, A. Mana, P. Merino, and J. M. Troya, "The Role of Smartcards in Practial Information Security", In ERCIM News, vol. 49, pp. 38-40, 2002. More..

Abstract

The transition from traditional commerce to electronic and mobile commerce is fostered by aspects like convenience, speed and ease of use. However, security issues remain unsolved. Smart cards open new possibilities for the development of security schemes and protocols that can provide security in applications such as electronic payments or software protection where traditional cryptographic tools are not useful. The GISUM group is involved in several research projects that make use of smart cards. Current applications include a secure electronic forms framework for government-citizen relations, electronic ticketing systems for GMS phones and Internet, a PDA-based digital signature environment, public transport, access control systems, software protection and banking applications. This report focuses on two recent projects: the eTicket electronic ticketing project (1FD97 1269 C02 02 (TAP)), a coordinated project with the Carlos III University of Madrid; and the Alcance project, consisting of the development of a secure electronic forms framework for secure Internet-based communication between citizens and the public administration (1FD97 0850 (TIC)).

PDF icon JavierLopez2002d.pdf (119.71 KB)
2001
J. Lopez, "Servicios de Notarización Electrónica", In Revista SIC: Seguridad en Informática y Comunicaciones, vol. 38, pp. 1-5, 2001.
J. Davila, and J. Lopez, "Sistemas Electrónicos de Micropago", In Revista de Contratación Electrónica, vol. 22, pp. 3-22, 2001.
2000
J. Davila, J. Lopez, and F. Rosello, "Diseño de Protocolos de No-Repudio", In Revista SIC: Seguridad en Informática y Comunicaciones, vol. 38, pp. 1-5, 2000.
J. Areitio, J. Lopez, and J. M. Troya, "Horizontes y Tendencias de Seguridad en Internet", In Novática, vol. 145, pp. 65-71, 2000. More..

Abstract

  El comercio electrónico está llamado a ser el fenómeno de mayor importancia en el futuro de Internet. Entre sus aplicaciones se encuentran las compras en línea, la banca electrónica, la tele-educación, los casinos virtuales, los servicios de pago por visión y vídeo bajo demanda, etc. Desde el punto de vista de la Seguridad, estas aplicaciones presentan una serie de nuevos requisitos que van a imponer un gran esfuerzo investigador a corto y medio plazo. En este artículo se presentan algunos de los más importantes, como la administración de la confianza, la utilización de pagos electrónicos, la necesidad de la protección de la propiedad intelectual, los servicios de protección de privacidad y anonimato, y la autonomía de código y la detección de fraudes, identificándose las áreas de investigación relacionadas.

PDF icon JavierAreitio2000.pdf (95.24 KB)
1998
G. Ramos, J. Lopez, and R. Morales, "Comparisons of Parikh’s conditions to other conditions for context-free languages", In Theoretical Computer Science, vol. 202, no. 1-2, Elsevier, pp. 231-244, 1998. ISI JCR Impact Factor 1998: 0.349 More..

Abstract

  this paper we first compare Parikh’s condition to various pumping conditions - Bar- Hillel’s pumping lemma, Ogden’s condition and Bader-Moura’s condition; secondly, to interchange condition; and finally, to Sokolowski’s and Grant“s conditions. In order to carry out these comparisons we present some properties of Parikh’s languages. The main result is the orthogonality of the previously mentioned conditions and Parikh’s condition. In

Impact Factor: 0.349
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 1998)

PDF icon GonzaloRamos1998.pdf (792.29 KB)
J. Lopez, A. Mana, J. J. Ortega, and L. Pino, "Una Solución Integral para la Autenticación de Usuarios y la Administración de Claves en Internet", In Novática, vol. 134, pp. 20-26, 1998. More..

Abstract

La seguridad es uno de los aspectos más conflictivos del uso de Internet. La falta de una política de seguridad global está frenando el desarrollo de Internet en áreas tan interesantes y prometedoras como el comercio electrónico o la interacción con las administraciones públicas. Las técnicas criptográficas actuales proporcionan un alto grado de confidencialidad; no obstante, es difícil garantizar la identificación segura de los usuarios y, además, la gestión de las claves de los mismos es poco eficiente y presenta graves problemas de escalabilidad y seguridad. En este trabajo se describe una solución a ambos problemas basada en una Infraestructura de Clave Pública que proporciona una administración simple y eficiente de las claves de los usuarios y posibilita la autenticación segura de los mismos. El sistema se ha probado con éxito de forma local y, en breve, será instalado para su prueba por parte de la comunidad de usuarios de RedIris.

PDF icon JavierLopez1998.pdf (174.34 KB)