Mr. Mohammad Mannan

Associate Professor
Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE)
Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Session Title: Securing user data and open-source binaries against strong adversaries

We have been developing solutions based on trusted computing technologies for data security, considering potentially dangerous but realistic situations. Examples include: protecting user data in rootkit-infected user machines; password confidentiality against password database breaches, compromised servers, rogue administrators, and phishing attacks; physical attacks when the attacker has full control over the target machine and can coerce the machine owner into revealing encryption passwords. We believe such a strong attacker model is in accordance with the current state of affairs, especially considering ubiquitious occurances of data breaches, and adversaries backed by nation-states with high technical capabilities and legal/questionable/illegal powers (e.g., US FISA, clandestine NSA programs, physical/psychological tortures). I will discuss few solutions we proposed in the recent years. Making these solutions open source is a critical part of their verifiability. While being open source is important for auditability, we identify major issues in the current practice of open source software using TrueCrypt as an example case, and highlight the importance of a verifiable build process.

Details of these papers are available here.


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