Pervasive computing and its Security Issues

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Describe the concepts and architectures of Pervasive Computing and its current security issues regarding the wireless connectivity

Describe the concepts and architectures of Pervasive Computing and its current security issues regarding the wireless connectivity

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  • First Wave - Mainframe computing: one computer shared by many people, via workstations.Second Wave - Personal computing: one computer used by one person, requiring a conscious interaction. Users largely bound to desktop.Third Wave – Pervasive (initially called ubiquitous) computing: one person, many computers. Millions of computers embedded in the environment, allowing technology to recede into the background.
  • Integrate between people’s lives and env. and make it available for the growth in number of microprocessors connected together using inbuilt (originally equipped with) communication technology such as wire or wireless technology and Internet.Goal of pervasive computing is the realization of computing people-oriented and ubiquitous, making the computer disappear from the eyes of the people, and people can't feel the presence of computer , so that people can only focus on the task rather than the tool - computer itself
  • actuators: output devices that respond to processed information by altering the environment via electronic or mechanical means. Zigbee and Bluetooth can be used to connect sensors and actuators with low energy consumption in short distances (up to 10 meters)Wi-Fi can be used to connect devices in middle ranges (several hundreds of meters);Wimax /LTE /3G /4G can be used to connect a home gateway to Internet in long ranges (several to tens of kilometres)
  • The function of services discovery is the faculty of middleware dynamic finding service. Once middleware found on service, it will start banding services and the corresponding procedures. It enables devices and services to properly discover, configure, and communicate with each other
  • Context-aware computing : For example: a context aware mobile phone may know that it is currently in the meeting room, and that the user has sat down. The phone may conclude that the user is currently in a meeting and reject any unimportant calls. - location awareness and activity recognition
  • Physical jamming: an adversary generates strong noises to prevent legitimate communications
  • EAP : Extensible Authentication Protocolsupports multiple authentication methods, such as token cards, one-time passwords, certificates, public key authentication and smart cards. IEEE 802.1x specifies how EAP should be encapsulated in LAN frames.
  • temporal key identity protocol (TKIP)When TKIP is used, a 20-bit message integrity check (MIC) is computed. Theoretically, it takes 2 minutes to crack MIC by brute force at 11 Mbps data rate. A countermeasure against this vulnerability is implemented with the temporal key identity protocol (TKIP): If two MIC failures are logged within one minute, communications are suspended for 60 seconds (this makes the brute force crack take 6 months). However, an attacker can attack against this countermeasure by intercepting a packet, modifying it so as to make the receiving station unable to calculate the correct MIC, and sending it again and again. This will make the AP and the client suspend their communication.
  • ARP:Address Resolution Protocol


  • 1. SOK PhearinDepartment of Computer Science MBC Lab., Konkuk University 1
  • 2. OutlineI. Overview of Pervasive ComputingII. ArchitectureIII. Wireless Communication Technologies in Pervasive Computing and Security IssuesIV. Wireless VulnerabilitiesV. Conclusion 2
  • 3. Pervasive Computing Overview“Ubiquitous computing names the third wave in computing, justnow beginning. First were mainframes, each shared by lots ofpeople. Now we are in the personal computing era, person andmachine staring uneasily at each other across the desktop. Nextcomes ubiquitous computing, or the age of calmtechnology, when technology recedes into the background of ourlives.”“The Computer for the 21st Century” - September, 1991 Mark D. Weiser (July 23, 1952 – April 27, 1999)3
  • 4. Pervasive Computing OverviewDevelopment of computing technologies:  1st wave : Mainframe computing era  2nd wave : Personal computing era  3rd wave : Pervasive computing era (initially called ubiquitous computing) 4
  • 5. What is Pervasive Computing Integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into people’s lives and environments, made possible by the growing availability of microprocessors with inbuilt communication facilities. Goals:  People Oriented  Implicitly use of computers  People will focus on task, not tool 5
  • 6. Pervasive Computing ComponentsThree converging areas of ICT components:  Computing devices: communicate with each other and act intelligently  Sensors: input devices  Processors: interpret and analyze data  Actuators: output devices  Communications: serve pervasive computing applications Ex. Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi, Wimax /LTE /3G /4G …  User Interfaces: point of contact between ICT and human  Active: Users overtly control PC technologies and devices  Passive: PC covertly control in the background  Coercive: both Active and Passive 6
  • 7. Architecture Application Middleware and Security Interface Various applications such as Smart Room, IntelligentIntelligent Computing Mobile Computing Navigation… can be built and Context-Aware used Affective Computing Embedded Operating System Hardware 7
  • 8. Architecture Application Not only: Middleware and Security Interface  Heterogeneity  ScalabilityIntelligent Computing Mobile Computing  Programming interface Context-Aware But also: Affective Computing  Service Discovery  Context-aware Embedded Operating System Hardware 8
  • 9. ArchitectureStructure of Middleware and Security Interface API Context-aware service Service Description Extend Module …… Security Mechanism 9
  • 10. Architecture Application Middleware and Security Interface An important aspect of theIntelligent Computing Mobile Computing difference between pervasive computing and desktop Context-Aware computing Affective Computing Embedded Operating System Hardware 10
  • 11. ArchitectureMobile Computing: •Automatic configuration, dynamic addressing and tracking system •Free switch between heterogeneous networksAffective Computing is the computing that relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotions. – Rosalind W. Picard •computer science, sensor technology, psychology, physiology •Key technologies: face recognitions, emotional signal measurements and analysisContext-aware Computing: senses environment context and human context changes. Key technologies: Location awareness, activities recognition 11
  • 12. Architecture Application Hardware: Middleware and Security Interface  Fast processing speed  Small sizeIntelligent Computing Mobile Computing Context-Aware Embedded Operating System: Affective Computing  Real-time services  Rational allocation Embedded Operating System memories Hardware 12
  • 13. ArchitectureStructure of Embedded Operating System and Hardware Network Sensors I/O Device Interface Real-time Embedded Operating System Pervasive Computing Hardware 13
  • 14. Wireless Communication Many existing and emerging wireless technologiesserve in Pervasive Computing:•Zigbee and Bluetooth - sensors and actuators - low energy consumption, short distances (up to 10 meters)•Wi-Fi - devices - middle ranges (several hundreds of meters)•Wimax /LTE /3G /4G - a home gateway to Internet - long ranges (several to tens of kilometres) 14
  • 15. Security IssuesCommon vulnerabilities existing in wireless technologies:  Physical jamming  Passive eavesdropping and traffic analysis  Message injection and active eavesdropping  Message deletion and interception  Insider attacks to breach data confidentiality  Denial of service (DoS) attacks 15
  • 16. Security IssuesVarious types of Attack to a Pervasive Computing can:  Compromise users’ data,  Crash an entire system  Render services unavailable  Potentially lead to the loss of property  Harm users and even lives 16
  • 17. Wireless VulnerabilitiesWi-Fi MAC Protocol Attacks  Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)  DoS attack: Clear Channel Assessment-Jamming  Virtual carrier sense  DoS attack: Repeat forged RTS/CTS messages with large NAV leading network slowdown 17
  • 18. Wireless Vulnerabilities 802.11 state machine  DoS attack: forge deauthentication or disassociation frames 18
  • 19. Wireless VulnerabilitiesWi-Fi Security Protocol Attacks 19
  • 20. Wireless VulnerabilitiesWi-Fi Security Protocol AttacksPre-Robust Security Network Association (Pre-RSNA): security mechanisms in the IEEE 802.11-1997  Attacks on Wired Equivalent Privacy(WEP):  Shared Key management – key can be easily obtained from the attackers  Weak RC4 encryption implementation – key can be easily broken by the brute force attack 20
  • 21. Wireless VulnerabilitiesRobust Security Network Association (RSNA): security mechanisms in the IEEE 802.11-2007, consisting of 3 security algorithms: Data confidentiality and integrity protocols RSNA security association management key management procedures 21
  • 22. Wireless VulnerabilitiesAttacks on RSNA •Security level rollback attack: “Pre-RSNA only” beacons to force the network to use WEP •EAP attack: forged association requests - disconnect legitimate users. •Four-way handshake DoS attack: forged first unauthenticated message - parallel incomplete Handshakes - exhaust queue space 22
  • 23. Wireless VulnerabilitiesAttacks on RSNA (Cont.) •RSN IE poisoning: fake beacons - fail at stage 3 •Reflection attack against four-way handshake: transmitted data sent back to originator . •Dos attack against TKIP: intercepted and modified packet - AP and the client suspend their communication 23
  • 24. Conclusion Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) are essential to pervasive computing applications since sensitive and real-time information may flow over any type of wireless links Many challenges and attacks have been proved. Each operation and policy should be carefully examined against any possible attacks. 24
  • 25. Reference Liu, Y. & Li, F., PCA: A Reference Architecture for Pervasive Computing, 2006 1 st International Symposium on Pervasive Computing and Applications, IEEE 04079121 Zhou, B, Marshall, A. & Lee, T. H., Wireless Security Issues in pervasive computing, 2010 Fourth International Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computing, IEEE 05715481 2006, Pervasive Computing, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 25
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