talk: Moving Target Mobile IPv6 Defense, 12-1 Fri 2/26


The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Moving Target Mobile IPv6 Defense

Prof. Vahid Heydari
Computer Science, Rowan University

12:00–1 pm ET, Friday, 26 February 26, 2021

remotely via WebEx  


Remote cyberattacks can be started from an unlimited distance through the Internet. These attacks include particular actions that allow attackers to compromise systems remotely. Address-based Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks and remote exploits are two main categories of these attacks. A remote exploit takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability to view or steal data or gain unauthorized access to a vulnerable system. Current security solutions in IPv6 such as IPsec, firewall, and Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) can prevent remote attacks against known vulnerability exploits. However, zero-day exploits can defeat the best firewalls and IDPSs due to using undisclosed and uncorrected computer application vulnerability. Therefore, a new solution is needed to prevent these attacks. This talk discusses a Moving Target Mobile IPv6 Defense (MTM6D) that randomly and dynamically changes the IP addresses to prevent remote attacks in the reconnaissance step. The talk briefly covers the wide range of applications of MTM6D including critical infrastructure networks, virtual private networks, web servers, Internet-controlled robots, and anti-censorship.

 Vahid Heydari received the M.S. degree in Cybersecurity and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. He is also a co-founder of a cybersecurity startup ObtegoCyber. His research interests include moving target defenses, mobile ad-hoc, sensor, and vehicular network security. He is a member of ACM, IEEE Computer Society and Communications Society. 

Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays.  All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings:

Mar 12, Chao Liu (UMBC), Efficient asynchronous BFT with adaptive security
Mar 26, Jeremy Clark (Concordia)
April 9, (UMBC), MeetingMayhem: A network adversarial thinking game
April 23, Peter Peterson (University of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial thinking
May 7, Farid Javani (UMBC), Anonymization by oblivious transfer

Six UMBC faculty, incuding three in CSEE, receive MIPS research awards

Anupam Joshi (left, photo by Marlayna Demond’ 11) and Tina Williams-Koroma, ’02 computer science (right, photo courtesy of Williams-Koroma)

Three CSEE faculty receive MIPS research awards


This post is adapted from a UMBC News article UMBC faculty, alumni entrepreneurs receive record-number of MIPS awards for tech collaborations written by Adriana Fraser.

Six UMBC faculty members have just received grants from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program to develop new technologies with potential to grow the state’s economy. This is UMBC’s largest number of winning proposals within a single proposal round since MIPS began in 1987. The program connects University System of Maryland (USM) faculty and students with Maryland businesses. UMBC’s latest MIPS grantees include computer science and electrical engineering faculty Tim OatesChein-I Chang, and Anupam Joshi; Soobum Lee, mechanical engineering; Dipanjan Pan, chemical, biochemical, and environmental engineering; and Vikram Vakharia, marine biotechnology. Among their industry partners are UMBC alumni entrepreneurs who are building businesses in Maryland.

Joshi, professor and chair of computer science and electrical engineering, received a MIPS grant for a cybersecurity collaboration with the startup CyDeploy. They are developing a platform that automates the quality assurance process for cybersecurity updates made to IT and “internet of things” (IoT) devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and health and medical devices. CyDeploy CEO Tina Williams-Koroma ’02, computer science, presented Joshi with the idea to develop a “cybersecurity-driven change management system.” The technology is based on and leverages the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a cloud-based replica of a company’s systems. 

Williams-Koroma and Joshi’s group at UMBC developed a conceptual prototype. It shows the infrastructure and technology that would make the system feasible, combining off-the-shelf tools with novel research. “Increasingly, the government is now beginning to mandate security requirements around IoT devices. The longer-term vision that CyDeploy has is capturing the state of these systems, virtually recreating them and then running the security changes against virtual versions to see how the changes would affect those systems,” Joshi adds. 

Williams-Koroma, who is also an adjunct instructor at UMBC, projects that the initial development of the platform will be complete in late spring 2021. They anticipate launching a free pilot version for businesses to test their IT systems. IoT pilots will come in a later phase.


Read more about these awards in the UMBC News article UMBC faculty, alumni entrepreneurs receive record-number of MIPS awards for tech collaborations.

talk: Dr. Richard Carback on Startup Lessons Learned, 12-1 Fri 2/12


The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Startup Lessons Learned

Richard Carback (Ph.D. UMBC CS 2010)
xx network

12:00–1:00pm ET, Friday,12 February 12 2021
WebEx: https://umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman


This talk will explore the technology and lessons learned by UMBC alumnus Richard Carback from his experience co-founding and closing the security startup Lexumo, which provided the only automated service that continuously monitors IoT software platforms for the latest public vulnerabilities. In addition to covering some of the hard problems and Lexumo’s technical approach for monitoring all the world’s open-source software to assist companies in managing their vulnerabilities, Dr. Carback will discuss the mistakes and complexities of getting funded, delivering a product, and finding customers.

Dr. Richard Carback is a UMBC Alumnus (CS Ph.D., 2010) who is an entrepreneur who currently runs a private consultancy for computer security, computer forensics, cryptography, and smart contracts. He is a privacy-preserving systems expert with a background in elections and anonymity networks. While the group leader for the embedded systems security group at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories, he spun out an IoT vulnerability startup called Lexumo that provided the only automated service that continuously monitored IoT software platforms for the latest public vulnerabilities. At UMBC, he worked with Alan Sherman on secure elections and was the primary researcher behind Takoma Park’s deployment of the Scantegrity voting system, the first usage of voter-verifiable end-to-end election technology in a municipal election. email:

Host: Alan T. Sherman, . Support for this event was provided in part by the NSF under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1 pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings:

  • Feb 26, Vahid Heydari (Rowan University)
  • Mar 12, Chao Liu (UMBC), Efficient asynchronous BFT with adaptive security
  • Mar 26, Jeremy Clark (Concordia)
  • April 9, (UMBC), MeetingMayhem: A network adversarial thinking game
  • April 23, Peter Peterson (University of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial thinking
  • May 7, Farid Javani (UMBC), Anonymization by oblivious transfer

Two UMBC alumnae featured in Cybersecurity podcast


Two UMBC alumnae featured in The CyberWire podcast


The CyberWire produced a special podcast, In the clear: what it’s like working as a woman in the cleared community, that features three women working on cybersecurity at Northrop Grumman. Two are UMBC alumnae, software engineering manager Lauren and cyber software engineer Priyanka.

Lauren received a BS in Computer Science in 2015 and an M.S. in Computer Science in 2017. As an undergraduate student, she worked part-time as an IT Security Analyst tracking, locating, and performing forensics on infected computers located on campus. She joined Northrop Grumman in 2015 and continued her studies as a part-time graduate student, doing research on investigating different ways of characterizing cybersecurity exploit kits and the malware they produce.

Priyanka received a BS in Computer Science in 2018 and an MS in Computer Science in 2019. Her MS research was on multilingual text alignment for cybersecurity. She has been a lecture in the UMBC Computer Science program and the UMD Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) program. She is currently working on a Computer Science Ph.D. at UMBC focused on how AI can help protect cybersecurity systems from data poisoning attacks.


Listen to the 47 minute podcast here.

talk: 2021 SFS Research Study: Vulnerabilities in UMBC’s Incident Management System, 12-1 Jan. 29


The 2021 SFS Research Study: Vulnerabilities in UMBC’s Incident Management System

Cyrus Bonyadi and Enis Golaszewski
CSEE Department, UMBC

12:00noon–1pm Friday, 29 January 2021

remotely via WebEx 


 January 11–15, 2020, UMBC scholars in the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) and the DoD Cybersecurity Scholarship (CySP) programs collaboratively analyzed the security of UMBC’s Incident Management System (IMS). Students found numerous serious issues, including race conditions, code-injection, and cross-site scripting attacks, improper API implementation, and denial-of-service attacks. We present findings, recommendations, and details of these vulnerabilities.

UMBC’s Incident Management System (IMS) is a web application under development by UMBC’s DoIT to supplement their RequestTracker (RT). IMS allows DoIT security staff to supplement the information in RT by linking IMS incidents to RT tickets. IMS incidents store additional information and files regarding existing and potential security campaigns. Using the information in IMS and RT, DoIT generates executive reports, which can influence decisions related to budget, training, and other security concerns. Our study is helping to improve the architecture and implementation of IMS.

Participants comprised BS, MS, MPS, and Ph.D. students studying computer science, computer engineering, information systems, and cybersecurity, including SFS scholars who transferred from Montgomery College (MC) and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) to complete their four-year degrees at UMBC.

About the Speakers. Cyrus Jian Bonyadi is a Ph.D. Student at UMBC working on distributed computing consensus theory. He is an alumnus of the varsity CyberDawgs team. email:  Enis Golaszewski is a Ph.D. Student at UMBC working on protocol analysis. He is a leading member of the Protocol Analysis Lab under Dr. Sherman. email: 


Host: Alan T. Sherman, . Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1 pm.  All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings:

  • Feb 12, Richard Carback (xxnetwork), Startup lessons learned
  • Feb 26, Vahid Heydari (Rowan University)
  • Mar 12, Chao Liu (UMBC), Efficient asynchronous BFT with adaptive security
  • Mar 26, Jeremy Clark (Concordia)
  • April 9, (UMBC), MeetingMayhem: A network adversarial thinking game
  • April 23, Peter Peterson (University of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial thinking
  • May 7, Farid Javani (UMBC), Anonymization by oblivious transfer

event: UMBC INSuRE Research Projects from Fall 2020, 12-1:30 ET 12/18


UMBC’s Cyber Defense Lab presents


Presentations of the UMBC INSuRE Research Projects from Fall 2020


12:00noon–1:30pm, Friday, 18 December 2020

via WebEx


The Information Security Research and Education (INSuRE) research collaborative is a network of National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-Rs) universities that cooperate to engage students in solving applied cybersecurity research problems. Since fall 2012, INSuRE has fielded a multi-institutional cybersecurity research course in which BS, MS, and Ph.D. students work in small groups to solve unclassified problems proposed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and by other government and private organizations and laboratories.

Schedule
12:00-12:15pm poster presentations
12:15-12:40pm Detecting Web-Based Cryptomining Malware by Mining Open-Source Repositories
12:40-1:05pm Meeting Mayhem: A Network Adversary Game
1:05-1:30pm Analysis of the 5G AKA protocol with Comparison to 4G AKA

Detecting Web-Based Cryptomining Malware by Mining Open-Source Repositories
Naomi Albert, Elias Enamorado, Benjamin Padgette, Anshika Patel
Technical Director: William J. La Cholter (APL)
UMBC Expert: Charles Nicholas

With the ever-increasing popularity of browser-based cryptomining it is now more important than ever to detect malicious cryptojacking code. This paper serves to identify reliable indicators of injected cryptomining code in open-source repositories using static source code analysis techniques. We analyze static source code features of a curated set of cryptomining projects and innocuous codebases that are available as open-source projects on GitHub. Through this analysis we show that a novel Normalized Halstead Difficulty metric can be an important indicator of the presence of cryptomining software. Specifically, the Normalized Halstead complexity is significantly higher for cryptomining source code files as compared to the sampled non-miners. Using this newfound knowledge of the complexity of browser-based JavaScript cryptominers, supply-chain cryptojacking injection attacks in open-source repositories may be easier to identify through automated code review techniques.

Meeting Mayhem: A Network Adversary Game
Richard Baldwin, Trenton Foster
Technical Director: Edward Zieglar (NSA)
UMBC Experts: Marc Olano, Linda Oliva

Meeting Mayhem, a web-based educational game, teaches adversarial thinking through the Dolev-Yao security model. Meeting Mayhem is based on the paper-and-pencil “Protocol Analysis Game,” introduced by Edward Zieglar and adapted by UMBC PhD student Enis Golaszewski. Two or more users try to arrange a meeting time and place by sending messages through an insecure network controlled by an adversary. Through self discovery, players learn the dangers of network communications and the value of sound protocols supported by encryption, hashing, and digital signatures.

Formal Methods Analysis of the 5G AKA protocol, with Comparison to 4G AKA
Prajna Bhandary, Ryan Jahnige, Jason Schneck
Technical Director: Edward Zieglar (NSA)

We analyze the Fifth Generation (5G) Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA) protocol and the Fourth Generation (4G) Evolved Packet System Authentication and Key Agreement (EPS-AKA) protocol for possible structural faults using the Cryptographic Protocol Shapes Analyzer (CPSA). It is fundamental to provide authentication and key management in the security of cellular networks. 5G AKA provides mutual authentication between subscribers and the network, by providing the keys to protect both signaling and user plane data. 4G defines an authentication method, EPS-AKA, whereas 5G offers several different authentication techniques: 5G AKA, 5G EAP-AKA, and 5G EAP-TLS. In addition to our formal method analysis of 5G AKA and 4G EPS-AKA, we also analyze the differences in security properties between the 4G EPS-AKA protocol, and 5G AKA protocol. We verify that the upgrades made to 4G EPS-AKA improves control of the Home Network (HN) in 5G AKA. Additionally, we found that the ambiguous nature of the documentation regarding the channel between Serving Network (SN) and HN results in authentication concerns and we propose a solution.

Course Instructor: Alan T. Sherman

Support for this event is provided in part by the NSF under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL meetings:

Biweekly CDL talks will resume in the spring 2021 semester.
The 2021 UMBC SFS/CySP Research Study will take place remotely in January (likely January 11-15).

talk: Intelligence Community Election Security 2020, 12-1 Fri Dec 11


The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Intelligence Community Election Security 2020

David Imbordino
National Security Agency

12:00–1 pm, Friday, 11 December 2020

remote via Webex


NSA Election Security Lead, David Imbordino, will provide an overview of the U.S. intelligence community election security effort and how NSA fits into this whole of government effort. He will discuss the foreign cyber and influence threat landscape and NSA/U.S. Cyber Command’s joint approach to the election security mission to mitigate threats. This will include highlighting the evolution in NSA’s cybersecurity activities and partnerships with government partners and the broader ecosystem of industry and academia.


David Imbordino is a senior executive at the National Security Agency, currently serving as the NSA Election Security Lead. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing agency activities and partnerships in support of securing the 2020 U.S. elections. He has been with NSA for over 19 years, serving in various organizational, operational, and project leadership roles in areas such as counterterrorism, cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and computer network operations. He is a recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, as well as NSA’s Exceptional Civilian Service Award—the highest civilian award given by NSA.


Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings: 12-1:30pm, Dec. 18, Presentations of the UMBC INSuRE research projects from fall 2020.

talk: Tim Brennan on “Economics of Law” – Insights into Cybersecurity Policy, 12pm Tue 12/8

Tim Brennan speaks at a research forum on campus. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

The UMBC Center for Cybersecurity (UCYBR) Presents


“Economics of Law”
Insights into Cybersecurity Policy

Dr. Tim Brennan
Professor Emeritus, UMBC


Tuesday 8 December 2020 from 12-1 pm

Webex, Meeting #: 120 246 4425


Cybersecurity raises questions about who owns data and how best to discourage security breaches.  This talk will offer some unexpected and perhaps controversial perspectives from economics on relevant questions, including: Who presumptively should own data?  What is the purpose of liability law?  Should those who violate data security always be liable, or only if they fail to take appropriate measures to prevent leaks?  Could “the market” solve the problem, e.g., by people choosing where to shop on the basis of data security?  Would regulation be a better means than liability to promote cybersecurity?  Don’t expect answers to these questions; my hope is to stimulate and hopefully inform the discussion.  If time allows, I’ll review some major actions by the Federal Trade Commission, who is the lead national agency policing privacy-related conduct. 


Dr. Tim Brennan is professor emeritus of public policy and economics at UMBC, retiring in July 2020 after thirty years on the UMBC faculty.  He has also been FCC Chief Economist, held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau, and served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.  Before UMBC, he was an associate professor of telecommunications and public policy at George Washington University and a staff economist at the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division.  He has over 130 articles and book chapters and books on competition policy, economic regulation, telecommunications and energy policy, intellectual property, and economic methods.  His MA in math and Ph..D. in economics are from the University of Wisconsin.

talk: Cybersecurity & Local Government: Findings from a Nationwide Survey, 12-12 EST 11/19


Cybersecurity and Local Government: Findings from a Nationwide Survey

Donald Norris & Laura Mateczun

11:00-12:00 EST, Thursday, Nov 19, 2020

register to get the webinar link


This talk will discuss data and results from the first nationwide survey of cybersecurity among local or grassroots governments in the United States, examines how these governments manage this important function. As we have shown elsewhere, cybersecurity among local governments is increasingly important because these governments are under constant or nearly constant cyberattack. Due to the frequency of cyberattacks, as well as the probability that at least some attacks will succeed and cause damage to local government information systems, these governments have a great responsibility to protect their information assets. This, in turn, requires these governments to manage cybersecurity effectively, something our data show is largely absent at the American grassroots. That is, on average, local governments fail to manage cybersecurity well. After discussing our findings, we conclude and make recommendations for ways of improving local government cybersecurity management.

Donald F. Norris is Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His principal field of study is public management, specifically information technology in governmental organizations, including electronic government and cybersecurity. He has published extensively in refereed journals in these areas. He received a B.S. in history from the University of Memphis and an M.A. and a Ph. D. in political science from the University of Virginia.

Laura Mateczun is a graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and a member of the Maryland Bar. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County School of Public Policy studying public management. Her research interests involve local government cybersecurity, criminal justice, and the importance of equity in

Alan Sherman and collaborators develop VoteXX with new strategies for secure online voting

Remotegrity was the first voter-verifiable Internet voting system used in 2011 for a public office election in Takoma Park, Maryland

Alan Sherman and collaborators develop VoteXX with new strategies for secure online voting


Over the past several months, the topic of online voting has been at the top of the minds of millions of Americans and has been widely debated. Supporters often highlight how it would increase voter turnout through improved accessibility and convenience. Privacy and election integrity are among the top concerns about implementing an online voting system.

Researchers from UMBC and xx.network have been working to design an online voting system that is resistant to coercion and would provide a secure way for people to cast their ballots from computers, tablets, and smartphones in the future. Alan Sherman, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is developing the system, VoteXX, with David Chaum, a cryptographer known for his work on privacy-centered technology, and Richard Carback ‘05, M.S. ‘08, Ph.D. ‘10, computer science, who has spent his career deflecting would-be hackers.

The security of devices that voters might use to cast their ballot is a significant concern, notes Sherman. He explains that malware on the devices that voters use might change the votes or spy on the voter.

Two men facing each other talking in a hallway.
Alan Sherman, right, talking with Rick Forno on campus in 2018. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

As described in a press release and the researchers’ new whitepaper, VoteXX allows voters to confirm that their ballots were accurately cast, collected, and counted. This system uses ideas from an earlier system, Remotegrity, that the collaborators developed and used in a municipal election in Takoma Park, Maryland, in 2011. Voters received secret vote codes on a scratch-off card via traditional mail, which they used to hide their votes from the software and hardware. Remotegrity was based on Scantegrity, an earlier in-person verifiable voting that was also used in binding elections in Takoma Park, Maryland.

VoteXX uses a combination of simple strategies and complex cryptography to create a more secure online voting scheme. For example, to address the issues of coercion and vote selling, VoteXX allows voters to cancel or change their vote up to a certain deadline. David Chalm explains how this simple capability undermines vote selling. “You make it possible to flip (change or cancel) that vote outside the voting process. Because a vote buyer cannot be sure you didn’t or won’t flip your vote, they can’t be sure that a voter has been honest with them, making it useless to buy votes.”

This “vote flipping” approach provides a subversively simple yet powerful tool to voters. It’s accomplished by creating a “flip code” during the registration process that allows the voter to flip their vote after casting.

You can read more about this research in a UMBC News article by Megan Hanks.

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