Seminars & Colloquia

Jianliang Wu

Purdue University

"Securing IoT devices via Protocol Reduction and Formal Analysis"

Monday March 20, 2023 10:00 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) devices ease our daily life in all aspects, but attacks caused by security breaches and privacy leaks remain their primary threats. Existing approaches to secure IoT devices focus on only one of the three parties in the ecosystem, the designer, developer, or user, without considering the intersections among these parties. In this talk, I will describe my research on securing IoT devices, focusing on the intersection between different parties. I will first talk about LightBlue, the tool that reduces the attack surface of Bluetooth stack implementations from the users’ perspective. It leverages Bluetooth domain knowledge to address the multi-entry points challenge faced by data and flow analysis. LightBlue is applicable to several platforms, and it can remove 20 CVEs and prevent 2 real-world attacks. Then, I will introduce my work on identifying previously-unknown design vulnerabilities, leveraging formal analysis considering both the designers’ and developers’ assumptions. In this work, I built a comprehensive formal model for Bluetooth security protocols, including Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Bluetooth Mesh. To address the challenge posed by the protocol complexity, the model adopts a modular design. It abstracts each step within a protocol into an interface and implements different methods in each step as modules to instantiate the interface, through which all configurations of the protocol can be modeled with ease. Additionally, the model supports both the Dolev-Yao attack model (i.e., the designers’ assumption) and the semi-compromised device attack model (i.e., an assumption of the developers). Using this model, I rediscovered 5 known vulnerabilities and 2 new issues. Lastly, I will briefly talk about my future research plan for securing IoT devices.
Short Bio: Jianliang Wu is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University, advised by Dongyan Xu and Antonio Bianchi. He also works closely with Dave (Jing) Tian. His research interest lies in Systems Security, with a focus on the security and privacy issues caused by the communication between different parties in a system. His research has been published in top-tier security conferences (e.g., S&P and Security) and received the Best Paper Award from WOOT, and was one of the CSAW Applied Research Competition finalists.

Host: Will Enck, CSC

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