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Selected Past Projects

Scantegrity

Scantegrity is a family of security enhancements for optical scan voting systems, providing such systems with end-to-end (E2E) verifiability of election results. Each version of the system uses privacy-preserving confirmation codes to allow a voter to prove to themselves that their ballot is included unmodified in the final tally. As the system relies on cryptographic techniques, the ability to validate an election outcome is both software independent as well as independent of faults in the physical chain-of-custody of the paper ballots. The system was developed by a team of researchers including cryptographers David Chaum and Ron Rivest.

Scantegrity II prints the confirmation codes in invisible ink to improve usability and dispute resolution. Two versions of the system are currently under research and development: Scantegrity III and Remotegrity. Scantegrity III further improves usability through the addition of a receipt printer. Remotegrity is an Internet version of the Scantegrity system.

CISA members that have worked on this project include Alan T. Sherman, Richard T. Carback III, Russell A. Fink, and John Conway.

This description is a reorganization of the information presented on the Scantegrity website.

 

Punchscan

Punchscan is the predecessor of Scantegrity system. It is the first vote capture system to offer fully end-to-end (E2E) verifiability of election results. Punchscan moves beyond ordinary paper audit trails offering a far more robust and available way for voters to become involved in the election oversight process. The system was invented by cryptographer David Chaum.

CISA members that worked on this project include Alan T. Sherman and Richard T. Carback III.

This description was taken from the Scantegrity website.

 

Trusted Platform Modules

Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) are secure cryptoprocessors that provide cryptographic primitives and services to otherwise insecure hardware. Services they provide include pseudo-random number generation, remote attestation (hashing), sealing (encryption), and binding (digital signatures). The hardware is tamper-resistant; it destroys its cryptographic keys if it detects tampering.

We have applied TPMs to provide integrity to the voting process by ensuring correctness of booted software. Scantegrity uses TPMs to increase assurance without being dependent on TPMs for security.

CISA members that worked in this area include Russell A. Fink and Richard T. Carback II

 

Cloud Forensics

When investigating suspected crimes in and against Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing environments, forensic examiners are poorly equipped to deal with the technological and legal challenges. Because data in the cloud are remote, distributed, and elastic, these challenges include understanding the cloud environment, acquiring and analyzing data remotely, and visualizing changes in virtualized data. Today digital forensics for cloud computing is challenging at best. This thesis identifies important issues in this new field and develops new practical forensic tools and techniques to facilitate forensics exams in cloud.

We are working to develop practical forensic tools and techniques to facilitate forensic examinations of the cloud. Forensics capabilities for cloud computing stands to impact cloud adoption on a global scale. Corporate decision makers, government policy makers, researchers, law enforcement and forensics examiners will be better able to evaluate the risks of cloud computing, to conduct forensic exams, and to guide future research and innovations as a result of this work.

For an example search warrant for IaaS cloud computing, see this page.

CISA members that work on this project include Josiah Dykstra and Alan T. Sherman.

 

SecurityEmpire

In interacting with any secure environment, the user is the weakest link in security. SecurityEmpire is a new interactive multiplayer computer game targeted towards high school students to teach Information Assurance (IA) concepts to users, without making assumptions regarding the user’s prior security experience. The game challenges users to build green energy systems (e.g., solar, geothermal, wind), while engaging in sound IA practices and avoiding security missteps.

The project addresses two threats to cyber safety: users act without thinking about the consequences of their actions; and users lack awareness of basic IA concepts. This project contributes to the DHS cyber initiative “Stop. Think. Connect.”.

In contrast with traditional teaching methods, educational games hold promise for greater student engagement and learning. Computer games offer a better chance than do board and card games to engage students who have access to computers because such students spend many more hours playing computer games and computer games can be copied and distributed more cheaply and efficiently.

The game will be fielded and tested in at Meade Senior High School (MHS) in Anne Arundel County as a stand-alone web game accessible via CISA servers. A second version is being developed as a Facebook application. Students will test the game, provide feedback, and suggest improvements for the game.

Play the game now!

This work is jointly lead by Alan T. Sherman (CISA), Marc Olano (Game Development Track), and Linda Oliva (Dept. of Education) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

CISA members that work on this project include Alan T. Sherman and Oliver Kubik.

The research paper about SecurityEmpire presented at 3GSE’14: