Computers & Security, vol. 38, Elsevier, pp. 14-27, OCT 2013. DOI (I.F.: 1.172)
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.
International Journal of Information Security (IJIS), vol. 2, no. 2, Springer, pp. 91-102, 2004.
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.
Computer Networks, vol. 134, Elsevier, pp. 46 - 54, 2018. DOI (I.F.: 3.03)
Journal of Computer Security, vol. 14, no. 5, IOS Press, pp. 469-482, 2006.
ERCIM News, vol. 49, pp. 38-40, 2002.
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)).
Computers & Security, vol. 23, no. 7, Elsevier, pp. 578-590, 2004. (I.F.: 0.412)
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.
Future Generation Computer Systems, vol. 75, Elsevier, pp. 46–57, 10/2017. DOI (I.F.: 4.639)
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.
Information Security Technical Report, vol. 12, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 139-147, Jun 2007. DOI
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.
Revista SIC: Seguridad en Informática y Comunicaciones, vol. 49, pp. 1-2, 2002.
Internet Research, vol. 15, no. 5, Emerald, pp. 544-556, 2005. (I.F.: 0.688)
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.
European CIIP Newsletter, vol. 11, issue 26, no. 1, European CIIP Newsletter, pp. 27-29, 03/2017.
Computer Communications, vol. 33, no. 9, Elsevier, pp. 0140-3664, 2010. DOI (I.F.: 0.816)
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.
Online Information Review Journal, vol. 27, no. 3, Emerald, pp. 147-159, 2003. (I.F.: 0.417)
IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 28, issue 2, IEEE, pp. 48-55, 04/2021. DOI (I.F.: 11.979)
Beyond fifth generation (B5G) communication networks and computation paradigms in the edge are expected to be integrated into power grid infrastructures over the coming years. In this sense, AI technologies will play a fundamental role to efficiently manage dynamic information flows of future applications, which impacts the authorization policies applied in such a complex scenario. This article studies how digital twins can evolve their context awareness capabilities and simulation technologies to anticipate faults or to detect cyber-security issues in real time, and update access control policies accordingly. Our study analyzes the evolution of monitoring platforms and architecture decentralization, including the application of machine learning and blockchain technologies in the smart grid, toward the goal of implementing autonomous and self-learning agents in the medium and long term. We conclude this study with future challenges on applying digital twins to B5G-based smart grid deployments.
Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 27, no. 3, Elsevier, pp. 489-499, 2005. (I.F.: 0.62)
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.
Novática, vol. 134, pp. 20-26, 1998.
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.
Revista SIC, vol. 88, Ediciones CODA, pp. 66-73, Feb 2010.
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.
Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 391-409, 2003. (I.F.: 0.523)
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.
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 14, issue 8, IEEE, pp. 3745-3753, 08/2019, 2018. DOI (I.F.: 7.377)
The Smart Grid offers many benefits due to the bidirectional communication between the users and the utility company, which makes it possible to perform a fine-grain consumption metering. This can be used for Demand Response purposes with the generation and delivery of electricity in real time. It is essential to rapidly anticipate high peaks of demand or potential attacks, so as to avoid power outages and denial of service, while effectively supplying consumption areas. In this paper, we propose a novel architecture where cloud computing resources are leveraged (and tested in practice) to enable, on the one hand, the consumption prediction through time series forecasting, as well as load balancing to uniformly distribute the demand over a set of available generators. On the other and, it also allows the detection of connectivity losses and intrusions within the control network by using controllability concepts.
Computer Standards & Interfaces, vol. 27, no. 5, Elsevier, pp. 467-478, Jun 2005. DOI (I.F.: 0.62)
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.
Revista SIC: Seguridad en Informática y Comunicaciones, vol. 38, pp. 1-5, 2001.