Security in network and distributed systems

Our research interests in this area are in security, privacy and applied cryptography, and currently centred on the important theme of ubiquitous/distributed computing security and privacy with the long-term key goal of developing general frameworks for the intelligent provision of security and privacy protection to various applications in ubiquitous computing and large-scale distributed system environments. The following highlights our recent research activities:

  • Design of cryptographic primitives, protocols and architectures to achieve non-repudiation and fairness security properties: Internet-based business activities/transactions and service accesses, collectively referred to as E-commerce, are vulnerable to various security and privacy threats. The repudiation of receipt and unfairness of transactions are among the most challenging security threats.
  • Design of novel authentication, digital signature, credential delegation and trust management schemes to support end-to-end secure mobile computing and commerce: The exponential growths of wireless devices and mobile users have changed the way in which people do their businesses and communicate. A great challenge to this increasingly popular technology is its security provision that requires different considerations from those of wired networks due to the nature of wireless devices, e.g., low computational power and energy capacities and communication bandwidths. In particular, more research is needed for the development of efficient and resource-aware end-to-end solutions that integrate the wired Internet backbone with wireless air interface to support seamless and secure wireless access to Internet-based services.
  • Design of dynamic and context-aware security and privacy solutions: In a large-scale distributed computing environment such as Grids, users are typically from different organisations, and systems run by these organisations usually have different security policies and offer different security services. Moreover, users and services often join or leave the environment dynamically, and data and services provided have a range of sensitivity levels. Thus the security solutions should be flexible, dynamic and fine-grained. One way of achieving this is to combine context-aware security provision, privacy-preserving data access, parameterised authentication and authentication strength linked access control.
  • Distributed Data Privacy: Owing to the rapid development of computer networks, data storage and distributed processing, there is an increasing demand to use or access data stored in distributed data repositories. In parallel with these developments, there are mounting concerns about threats to privacy, with a call to data holders to lay down appropriate safeguards to ensure the privacy of data originators. It is increasingly urgent to develop privacy solution to protect secure distributed data access and computation.

Related projects

Interested parties

  • Jay Sean Chin
  • Clara Corzo
  • Ian Featherstone
  • Dr. Alexandra Nenadic
  • Dr. Ning Zhang
  • Li Yao
  • Zhixin Yu
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