Can we STIR and SHAKE(n) our way out of unwanted robocalls?

Date: October 22, 2020
Time: 00:00 UTC - 00:00 UTC
Slides: Slides
Recording: Recording

Unwanted and illegal robocalls continue to be both one of the largest communications-related nuisances (particularly since many of us are home to get them all day…) and are commonly used to defraud victims using social security, warranty and other scams. Fighting these unwanted calls has proven to be hard and is likely to require a combination of approaches that may also hasten the end of the traditional circuit-switched public switched telephone network. I’ll describe why unwanted robocalls are probably harder to curtail than spam emails and what techniques may help. I’ll focus particularly on calling number authentication, standardized by the IETF and ATIS in the STIR and SHAKEN working groups. STIR/SHAKEN offer a good case study that protocol standards are necessary, but need to be augmented by additional organizational infrastructure and operational practices to be successful. However, calling number authentication combined with simple call filters may only offer a temporary respite from unwanted calls unless other holes in the call delivery chain are plugged that allow shady operators to place millions of calls.

Prof. Henning Schulzrinne, Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. MTS at AT&T Bell Laboratories; associate department head at GMD-Fokus (Berlin), before joining the Computer Science and EE departments at Columbia University. He served as chair of Computer Science from 2004 to 2009 and as Engineering Fellow, Technical Advisor and Chief Technology Officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2010 until 2017.

Protocol standards co-developed by him, including RTP, RTSP and SIP, are now used by almost all Internet telephony and multimedia applications. Fellow of the ACM and IEEE.

Introduction to IPv6 Security

Date: October 8, 2020
Time: 00:00 UTC - 00:00 UTC
Slides: Slides
Recording: Recording

How security will be handled in IPv6 is a question asked by many. Myths abound. In this session, we will start to look at:

• NAT is not a firewall (security by obscurity)
• Complexities introduced by multiple stacks
• Risks introduced by not considering IPv6
• Reconn attacks and defense
• Local network attacks and defense
• Unauthenticated NDP (similar to ARP)
• Cache table exhaustion and ping-pong attacks
• Rogue device attachments
• Mitigations
• Extension Headers
• ICMPv6

This is only a start. In the following year, we plan to do a more detailed investigation of this critical area. There will be follow-on webcasts. In the survey to enterprises, many people said that this was a topic they considered very important.

Nalini Elkins is the President of the Industry Network Technology Council. She is also the CEO and Founder of Inside Products, Inc. Nalini is a recognized leader in the field of computer performance measurement and analysis. In addition to being an experienced software product designer, developer, and planner, she is a formidable businesswoman. She has been the founder or co-founder of three start-ups in the high-tech arena.

Asynchronous Group Messaging Security

Date: July 23, 2020
Time: 00:00 UTC - 00:00 UTC
Slides: Slides
Recording: Recording

Peer-to-peer group communication has long been a necessity for usability in team coordination. However, the security of such systems has not been well understood or investigated in comparison to one-to-one secure messaging options (such as Signal or even TLS). Based on an ongoing IETF standardization initiative, this presentation will introduce participants to the basic concepts of group messaging security, end-goals, and threat models – including “self-healing” security – and will prepare them to ask critical questions regarding group communication security and implementations.

Britta Hale is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Naval Postgraduate School working in cryptography and cybersecurity. Her specialization areas include analysis and design of cryptographic key exchange and authentication protocols. Hale is currently active in the design and IETF standardization of the MLS group messaging protocol, user-mediated protocol analysis, and hybrid post-quantum cryptography.

Recent papers include the first public research on detection of man-in-the-middle attackers in messaging protocols. Hale holds a PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a Master’s in Mathematics of Cryptography and Communications from Royal Holloway, Univ. of London.

Internationalized Domain Names: Homographic Attacks

Date: July 7, 2020
Time: 00:00 UTC - 00:00 UTC
Slides: Slides
Recording: Recording

ICANN is engaged in an effort for the Internationalization of Domain Names — that is, making them available in languages other than English. Thıs ınvolves fıgurıng out what new symbols must be used, of course. But also figuring out which of the new symbols are easily confused with each other, or with existing symbols. Just by way of example, the Latin alphabet contains 26 basic letters, but those can be combined with some 20 diacritic marks (little dots and lines above or below the letter), giving a total of some 220 symbols. Some are only distinguishable if you know the language they happen in. For example, in a domain name suppose you encounter a Dotless I ( ı in lower case, this occurs in Turkish) when you are expecting a regular I, will you notice. In my observation, no — especially if you have never even heard of a Dotless I. (Did you notice when they got used in one sentence above?)

The domain name which is malformed in this way will most likely take you somewhere other than where you expected.  This is called a “homographic attack”.  Homographic attacks can be used for phishing and pharming with the end goal of introducing viruses or for defrauding the consumer. You may wish to understand these risks. You may also want to have some input into what limits get put on new names. We will tell you how you may get involved at ICANN.

Bill Jouris has been working in the computer industry since his college days, before the Internet was even thought of. His early career in industry was dealing with performance analysis and tuning of mainframe systems for financial and healthcare firms. He is Chief Operating Officer at Inside Products.

In addition, Bill has been active in the Computer Measurement Group, which is the professional organization for the computer performance field for decades, and served two terms on its Board of Directors. He is on the ICANN Latin Generation Panel which is a part of ICANN’s effort to expand the range of possible domain names.