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Collision-Free Autonomous Robot Navigation in Unknown Environments Utilizing PSO for Path Planning

Abstract

The autonomous navigation of robots in unknown environments is a challenge since it needs the integration of a several subsystems to implement different functionality. It needs drawing a map of the environment, robot map localization, motion planning or path following, implementing the path in real-world, and many others; all have to be implemented simultaneously. Thus, the development of autonomous robot navigation (ARN) problem is essential for the growth of the robotics field of research. In this paper, we present a simulation of a swarm intelligence method is known as Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) to develop an ARN system that can navigate in an unknown environment, reaching a pre-defined goal and become collision-free. The proposed system is built such that each subsystem manipulates a specific task which integrated to achieve the robot mission. PSO is used to optimize the robot path by providing several waypoints that minimize the robot traveling distance. The Gazebo simulator was used to test the response of the system under various envirvector representing a solution to the optimization problem.onmental conditions. The proposed ARN system maintained robust navigation and avoided the obstacles in different unknown environments. vector representing a solution to the optimization problem.

Open access
Decision-Making Enhancement in a Big Data Environment: Application of the K-Means Algorithm to Mixed Data

Abstract

Big data research has become an important discipline in information systems research. However, the flood of data being generated on the Internet is increasingly unstructured and non-numeric in the form of images and texts. Thus, research indicates that there is an increasing need to develop more efficient algorithms for treating mixed data in big data for effective decision making. In this paper, we apply the classical K-means algorithm to both numeric and categorical attributes in big data platforms. We first present an algorithm that handles the problem of mixed data. We then use big data platforms to implement the algorithm, demonstrating its functionalities by applying the algorithm in a detailed case study. This provides us with a solid basis for performing more targeted profiling for decision making and research using big data. Consequently, the decision makers will be able to treat mixed data, numerical and categorical data, to explain and predict phenomena in the big data ecosystem. Our research includes a detailed end-to-end case study that presents an implementation of the suggested procedure. This demonstrates its capabilities and the advantages that allow it to improve the decision-making process by targeting organizations’ business requirements to a specific cluster[s]/profiles[s] based on the enhancement outcomes.

Open access
Detecting Driver’s Fatigue, Distraction and Activity Using a Non-Intrusive Ai-Based Monitoring System

Abstract

The lack of attention during the driving task is considered as a major risk factor for fatal road accidents around the world. Despite the ever-growing trend for autonomous driving which promises to bring greater road-safety benefits, the fact is today’s vehicles still only feature partial and conditional automation, demanding frequent driver action. Moreover, the monotony of such a scenario may induce fatigue or distraction, reducing driver awareness and impairing the regain of the vehicle’s control. To address this challenge, we introduce a non-intrusive system to monitor the driver in terms of fatigue, distraction, and activity. The proposed system explores state-of-the-art sensors, as well as machine learning algorithms for data extraction and modeling. In the domain of fatigue supervision, we propose a feature set that considers the vehicle’s automation level. In terms of distraction assessment, the contributions concern (i) a holistic system that covers the full range of driver distraction types and (ii) a monitoring unit that predicts the driver activity causing the faulty behavior. By comparing the performance of Support Vector Machines against Decision Trees, conducted experiments indicated that our system can predict the driver’s state with an accuracy ranging from 89% to 93%.

Open access
Detecting TCP/IP Connections via IPID Hash Collisions

Abstract

We present a novel attack for detecting the presence of an active TCP connection between a remote Linux server and an arbitrary client machine. The attack takes advantage of side-channels present in the Linux kernel’s handling of the values used to populate an IPv4 packet’s IPID field and applies to kernel versions of 4.0 and higher. We implement and test this attack and evaluate its real world effectiveness and performance when used on active connections to popular web servers. Our evaluation shows that the attack is capable of correctly detecting the IP-port 4-tuple representing an active TCP connection in 84% of our mock attacks. We also demonstrate how the attack can be used by the middle onion router in a Tor circuit to test whether a given client is connected to the guard entry node associated with a given circuit.

In addition we discuss the potential issues an attacker would face when attempting to scale it to real world attacks, as well as possible mitigations against the attack. Our attack does not exhaust any global resource, and therefore challenges the notion that there is a direct one-to-one connection between shared, limited resources and non-trivial network side-channels. This means that simply enumerating global shared resources and considering the ways in which they can be exhausted will not suffice for certifying a kernel TCP/IP network stack to be free of privacy risk side-channels.

Open access
#DontTweetThis: Scoring Private Information in Social Networks

Abstract

With the growing popularity of online social networks, a large amount of private or sensitive information has been posted online. In particular, studies show that users sometimes reveal too much information or unintentionally release regretful messages, especially when they are careless, emotional, or unaware of privacy risks. As such, there exist great needs to be able to identify potentially-sensitive online contents, so that users could be alerted with such findings. In this paper, we propose a context-aware, text-based quantitative model for private information assessment, namely PrivScore, which is expected to serve as the foundation of a privacy leakage alerting mechanism. We first solicit diverse opinions on the sensitiveness of private information from crowdsourcing workers, and examine the responses to discover a perceptual model behind the consensuses and disagreements. We then develop a computational scheme using deep neural networks to compute a context-free PrivScore (i.e., the “consensus” privacy score among average users). Finally, we integrate tweet histories, topic preferences and social contexts to generate a personalized context-aware PrivScore. This privacy scoring mechanism could be employed to identify potentially-private messages and alert users to think again before posting them to OSNs.

Open access
Editors’ Introduction
Open access
A Girl Has No Name: Automated Authorship Obfuscation using Mutant-X

Abstract

Stylometric authorship attribution aims to identify an anonymous or disputed document’s author by examining its writing style. The development of powerful machine learning based stylometric authorship attribution methods presents a serious privacy threat for individuals such as journalists and activists who wish to publish anonymously. Researchers have proposed several authorship obfuscation approaches that try to make appropriate changes (e.g. word/phrase replacements) to evade attribution while preserving semantics. Unfortunately, existing authorship obfuscation approaches are lacking because they either require some manual effort, require significant training data, or do not work for long documents. To address these limitations, we propose a genetic algorithm based random search framework called Mutant-X which can automatically obfuscate text to successfully evade attribution while keeping the semantics of the obfuscated text similar to the original text. Specifically, Mutant-X sequentially makes changes in the text using mutation and crossover techniques while being guided by a fitness function that takes into account both attribution probability and semantic relevance. While Mutant-X requires black-box knowledge of the adversary’s classifier, it does not require any additional training data and also works on documents of any length. We evaluate Mutant-X against a variety of authorship attribution methods on two different text corpora. Our results show that Mutant-X can decrease the accuracy of state-of-the-art authorship attribution methods by as much as 64% while preserving the semantics much better than existing automated authorship obfuscation approaches. While Mutant-X advances the state-of-the-art in automated authorship obfuscation, we find that it does not generalize to a stronger threat model where the adversary uses a different attribution classifier than what Mutant-X assumes. Our findings warrant the need for future research to improve the generalizability (or transferability) of automated authorship obfuscation approaches.

Open access
Guard Placement Attacks on Path Selection Algorithms for Tor

Abstract

The popularity of Tor has made it an attractive target for a variety of deanonymization and fingerprinting attacks. Location-based path selection algorithms have been proposed as a countermeasure to defend against such attacks. However, adversaries can exploit the location-awareness of these algorithms by strategically placing relays in locations that increase their chances of being selected as a client’s guard. Being chosen as a guard facilitates website fingerprinting and traffic correlation attacks over extended time periods. In this work, we rigorously define and analyze the guard placement attack. We present novel guard placement attacks and show that three state-of-the-art path selection algorithms—Counter-RAPTOR, DeNASA, and LASTor—are vulnerable to these attacks, overcoming defenses considered by all three systems. For instance, in one attack, we show that an adversary contributing only 0.216% of Tor’s total bandwidth can attain an average selection probability of 18.22%, 84× higher than what it would be under Tor currently. Our findings indicate that existing location-based path selection algorithms allow guards to achieve disproportionately high selection probabilities relative to the cost required to run the guard. Finally, we propose and evaluate a generic defense mechanism that provably defends any path selection algorithm against guard placement attacks. We run our defense mechanism on each of the three path selection algorithms, and find that our mechanism significantly enhances the security of these algorithms against guard placement attacks with only minimal impact to the goals or performance of the original algorithms.

Open access
Handoff All Your Privacy – A Review of Apple’s Bluetooth Low Energy Continuity Protocol

Abstract

We investigate Apple’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Continuity protocol, designed to support interoperability and communication between iOS and macOS devices, and show that the price for this seamless experience is leakage of identifying information and behavioral data to passive adversaries. First, we reverse engineer numerous Continuity protocol message types and identify data fields that are transmitted unencrypted. We show that Continuity messages are broadcast over BLE in response to actions such as locking and unlocking a device’s screen, copying and pasting information, making and accepting phone calls, and tapping the screen while it is unlocked. Laboratory experiments reveal a significant flaw in the most recent versions of macOS that defeats BLE Media Access Control (MAC) address randomization entirely by causing the public MAC address to be broadcast. We demonstrate that the format and content of Continuity messages can be used to fingerprint the type and Operating System (OS) version of a device, as well as behaviorally profile users. Finally, we show that predictable sequence numbers in these frames can allow an adversary to track Apple devices across space and time, defeating existing anti-tracking techniques such as MAC address randomization.

Open access
Monte Carlo and Reconstruction Membership Inference Attacks against Generative Models

Abstract

We present two information leakage attacks that outperform previous work on membership inference against generative models. The first attack allows membership inference without assumptions on the type of the generative model. Contrary to previous evaluation metrics for generative models, like Kernel Density Estimation, it only considers samples of the model which are close to training data records. The second attack specifically targets Variational Autoencoders, achieving high membership inference accuracy. Furthermore, previous work mostly considers membership inference adversaries who perform single record membership inference. We argue for considering regulatory actors who perform set membership inference to identify the use of specific datasets for training. The attacks are evaluated on two generative model architectures, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoen-coders (VAEs), trained on standard image datasets. Our results show that the two attacks yield success rates superior to previous work on most data sets while at the same time having only very mild assumptions. We envision the two attacks in combination with the membership inference attack type formalization as especially useful. For example, to enforce data privacy standards and automatically assessing model quality in machine learning as a service setups. In practice, our work motivates the use of GANs since they prove less vulnerable against information leakage attacks while producing detailed samples.

Open access