Monthly Archives: June 2017

Personal data tracker service allows to infer activities of other persons

From the March of this year everyone is able to check on the eesti.ee portal, which state agencies have reviewed their data from the population register. The new service is a matter of grave concern to notaries who are required to make inquiries into the population register, for example, if it is necessary to find out whether real estate may be the joint property of spouses or former spouses, or if it is necessary to organize succession proceedings based on data, including identifying potential heirs. According to Eve Strangi, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Notaries, after the Data Tracker service came into being, people who did not use the notarial service themselves, but whose parents, children or spouse had done this, also came to the notice that personal data was viewed.

In most cases, people can get information that their data has been viewed, but not always. “An exception, for example, is the situation where heir data is required to make a will. However, the will until the death of the maker is secret, and the existence and content of the act can not be disclosed to the heir earlier than specified by the law.

Heiko Vainsalu, Head of the State Information System Agency X-Road, said that the Data Tracker highlighted weaknesses in information systems, which should now be addressed by the authorities themselves. “It is now up to the authorities to eliminate them – to improve the logic of data services and to find data services better suited to specific needs. Besides the ability to track the use and processing of the data in the state information system, the Data Tracker helps to highlight and correct the design mistakes of information systems.”

Some filters are needed. For example, the queries made by law enforcement institutions in investigating the crimes must not show up to the subjects in the Data Tracker service.

Links:
http://arileht.delfi.ee/news/uudised/andmejalgija-paljastas-notarite-salajased-toimingud?id=78131976

Possible to apply for new ID card online using bank authentication

The Police and Border Guard (PPA) have a new online portal where citizens can apply for ID cards based on previously issued identification. Beyond their existing ID cards, people could also log in using their Mobile ID or Internet bank, which is good news for Apple users, as the state’s systems typically don’t work to the full extent for anyone coming in using Apple devices. That people could use their bank to log in meant that also those could apply for a new ID whose existing one had already lost its validity, Abram added.

The solution likely to be very welcome, as PPA has limited the number of offices where people can apply for documents to just a handful of service centers, and queues have been a constant problem. There are plans to extend the portal’s services to include passport applications as well other processes that are currently limited to PPA’s service centers, and to include all residents of Estonia that have a personal identification code (isikukood).

The law was changed to remove the requirement for the application to be digitally signed:

§ 5. Electronic filing of application
(1) Upon submission of an application electronically, the documents specified in the Regulation shall be attached to the application electronically.
(2) An electronically filed application shall be signed digitally or submitted uniquely via an electronic channel that allows verification of identity.
(3) If an application is submitted via an electronic channel specified in paragraph 2, the applicant shall, upon issuing his identity document, confirm with the signature that the data and documents submitted by him in the application are correct.

Links:
http://news.err.ee/602902/police-opens-new-internet-environment-for-simplified-id-application
https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/114012017014

Sensitive personal data published in document registers of state agencies

During a Garage48 hackathon held in Tallinn over the weekend, one participating team announced that they could not publish the results of their work as it contained too much personal data they had accidentally come across in state document registers. There are hundreds of such registers across Estonia, as each ministry, agencies, local governments and schools all have their own digital document registers.

The paper noted that while the Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate does check the security of document registers, it does so by hand, and checks are often followed by monitoring procedures and, less frequently, even fines for register administrators.

A similar problem was discovered back in April by Estonian startup Texta that created its own document registers analysis tool. Co-founder of Texta Silver Traat said they discovered a lot of highly detailed personal information in the documents register of the education ministry.

„We held a workshop as part of a language technology conference where we did what the state lacks the capacity to do itself. We downloaded 150,000 documents from the ministry’s document register and discovered that they held, among other things, people’s personal identification numbers, bank account numbers, addresses. We even came across some passport numbers,“ Traat described. He added that most of the information was from employment contracts.

This is the unfortunate side-effect of open data. For that data to be useful it actually has to contain at least some bits of personal data.

Links:
http://news.postimees.ee/4123431/stacks-of-sensitive-data-lying-unprotected
http://news.err.ee/597791/sensitive-personal-data-exposed-in-state-registers

Estonian “data embassy” to open in Luxembourg

Data of the Estonian administration may be stored on servers in Luxemburg as well as in Estonia already towards the end of this year. The “data embassy” created this way will contain information vital to the functioning of the state, and make an attack on the country’s systems more difficult.

As cyber security expert of Tallinn’s NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Jaan Priisalu, says, “If an operator is planning to occupy another country, one of their objectives is going to be to take over the existing institutions, or to suppress them, and if you can make these institutions ex-territorial, take them out of reach of the potential attacker, you increase the political price of the attack.”

According to advisor to the ministry’s state information systems department, Laura Kask, negotiations were held with other countries as well, but the ones with Luxembourg had developed the furthest. “For one thing, they offer data centers with a very high level of security, and for another they are quite similar to us in terms of their IT development and their way of thinking,” Kask said. In terms of money, there are no exact figures available, but the data center in Luxemburg will be markedly more expensive than running a similar infrastructure in Estonia. There is one entry in the government’s schedule concerning the data embassies, showing an allocation of €240,000.

The physical location of the servers will remain secret, and only people will have access to them that are cleared by the Estonian state.

The data to be backed up in Luxembourg so far covers ten priority databases, including the information system of the Governmental Payments Office (the Estonian treasury), the pensions insurance register, the business register, the population register, the cadaster, and the identity documents database.

Even now nothing forbids Estonian state to store data backups in Estonian embassies located in foreign states. Most likely the plan is to build failover system that is kept in sync in real time.

Links:
http://news.err.ee/592384/first-data-embassy-to-open-in-luxembourg
http://www.opengovasia.com/articles/7597-exclusive%E2%80%94whats-next-for-data-management-in-estonian-government%E2%80%93data-embassies-expanding-e-residency
http://news.err.ee/602273/estonian-government-approves-setting-up-data-embassy-in-luxembourg

University of Tartu is looking for professor of cryptography

Vacancy: UT, Institute of Computer Science, Professor of Cryptography
Duties and responsibilities: Development of curricula and courses in Cryptography. Teaching subjects related to Cryptography. Supervision of PhD and Master students. Successful application for research grants, administration of them and performing the research required under the grants. See also job description.
Required qualifications: PhD or an equivalent qualification in the relevant field See also requirements for teaching and research staff.
Required experience: Teaching experience at the university level, experience in supervising Master and PhD students. Administrative and research competence needed to provide the leadership in organising research.
Required language skills: Excellent command of English. Knowledge of Estonian is desirable but not essential.
Workload 1,00; and the classroom teaching load at least 128 academic hours per calendar year
Salary According to UT salary rules, depending on the candidate’s qualification and the level of experience. See also UT salary rules.
Starting at 01.01.2018
Deadline: 03.08.2017

Position fields can be interpreted rather broadly. Cryptography classic and quantum, post-quantum; privacy preserving data mining; privacy and security; new technologies like blockchain; from theoretical to more applied backgrounds. It is important to have a broad view of the field in order to be able to help our curriculum development goals as well as lead research in broad spectrum with many smaller more independent groups. Cryptography has been one of University of Tartu and Estonian ICT sector strongholds, many opportunities for local collaborations exist and could be developed.

Appointments will be for indefinite contracts, i.e. at immediately “tenured” level, with standard performance reviews every 5 years. Since university rules are flexible, internationally competitive levels can be negotiated dependent on ability to attract funding, international collaborations, visibility, etc.

Links:
http://www.ut.ee/en/welcome/job-offer/professor-cryptography

Cybersecurity related bachelor’s and master’s theses in University of Tartu 2016/2017

Managing Security Risks Using Attack-Defense Trees
Abstract: The In this thesis, we have addressed risk management using Attack Tree. The contribution to resolve the problem in this thesis includes three steps. Obtaining an alignment from Attack-Defense trees to ISSRM. Measurement of the metrics of the nodes of tree using historical data.
Student: Salman Lashkarara
Curriculum: Software Engineering (MSc)
Supervisor: Raimundas Matulevicius
Reviewer: Meelis Roos
Defense: 01.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

On Secure Bulletin Boards for E-Voting
Abstract: In this thesis, we propose a formal model for analysis of security and functionality of a bulletin board system motivated by the security requirements Culnane and Schneider introduced in Computer Security Foundations Symposium 2014.
Student: Annabell Kuldmaa
Curriculum: Computer Science (MSc)
Supervisor: Helger Lipmaa
Reviewer: Ahto Buldas
Defense: 01.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Research and Proof of Concept of Selected ISKE Highest Level Integrity Requirements
Abstract: This work takes integrity domain under detail research to meet ISKE requirements and security objectives demanded for data with highest integrity needs.
Student: Deivis Treier
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Andrey Sergeev
Defense: 02.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Method for Effective PDF Files Manipulation Detection
Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to ease the process of detecting manipulations in PDF files by addressing its source code, before having to use other methods such as image processing or text-line examination.  The result is the construction of a solid and effective method for PDF file investigation and analysis to determine its integrity.
Student: Gema Fernández Bascuñana
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Pavel Laptev, Inna Ivask, Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Hayretdin Bahsi
Defense: 02.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Establishing, Implementing and Auditing Linux Operating System Hardening Standard for Security Compliance
Abstract: This paper provides a proof-of-concept solution for being compliant with operating system hardening requirements of the company by establishing, implementing and auditing Linux (Debian) operating system hardening standard.
Student: Martin Jõgi
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Truls Tuxen Ringkjob, Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Marko Kääramees
Defense: 02.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

A Prototype For Learning Privacy-Preserving Data Publising
Abstract:  This master thesis will discuss different threats to privacy, discuss and compare different privacy-preserving methods to mitigate these threats. The thesis will give an overview of different possible implementations for these privacy-preserving methods. The other output of this thesis is educational purpose software that allows students to learn and practice privacy-preserving methods.
Student: Rain Oksvort
Curriculum: Software Engineering (MSc)
Supervisor: Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Benson Muite
Defense: 05.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Filesystem Fuzz Testing Framework
Abstract: In the present thesis a fuzz testing framework was built, which can be used for finding time-of-check-to-time-of-use type bugs in Linux filesystems.
Student: Vladislav Alenitsev
Curriculum: Computer Science (BSc)
Supervisor: Meelis Roos, Kristjan Krips
Reviewer: Karl Tarbe
Defense: 07.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Performance Testing Bulletin Board Implementations for Online Voting
Abstract: This work takes a look at two software solutions that can be used for such purpose and analyses their performance in testing environment imitating real election workload.
Student: Marek Pagel
Curriculum: Computer Science (BSc)
Supervisor: Sven Heiberg, Janno Siim
Reviewer: Ivo Kubjas
Defense: 07.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-404

Cybersecurity theses defence on June 9, 2017 in Tartu J. Liivi 2-403 at 10.00 AM.
Defence Committee: Raimundas Matulevičius (chairman), Olaf Manuel Maennel, Vitaly Skachek, Meelis Roos, Hayretdin Bahsi.
Grades received (random order): A, B, C, C, D.

Improving and Measuring Learning at Cyber Defence Exercises
Abstract:  This thesis takes a fresh look at learning in Cyber Defence Exercises (CDXs) and focuses on measuring learning outcomes. As such exercises come in a variety of formats, this thesis focuses on technical CDXs with Red and Blue teaming elements.
Student: Kaie Maennel
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Rain Ottis, Liina Randmann, Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Sten Mäses
Defense: 09.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-403

Federation of Cyber Ranges
Abstract: This study compares two cyber ranges and looks into possibilities of pooling and sharing of national facilities and to the establishment of a logical federation of interconnected cyber ranges. The thesis gives recommendations on information flow, proof of concept, guide-lines and prerequisites to achieve an initial interconnection with pooling and sharing capabilities.
Student: Allar Vallaots
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Jaan Priisalu, Uko Valtenberg, Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Rain Ottis
Defense: 09.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-403

A New Heuristic Based Phishing Detection Approach Utilizing Selenium Webdriver
Abstract: In this paper, we focus on detecting login phishing pages, pages that contain forms with email and password fields to allow for authorization to personal/restricted content. We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of our phishing detection tool “SeleniumPhishGuard”, a novel heuristic-based approach to detect phishing login pages.
Student: Ahmed Nafies Okasha Mohamed
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Olaf Manuel Maennel, Raimundas Matulevicius
Reviewer: Hayretdin Bahsi
Defense: 09.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-403

Analysis of Exploit-kit Incidents and Campaigns Through a Graph Database Framework
Abstract: A great deal of automation can be achieved here by using public APIs such as VirusTotal, whois databases, IP blacklists, etc during the analysis and a first part of our work is dedicated to that. We will then show that this approach reveals patterns and clusters from which decisions can be made from a defensive perspective.
Student: Guillaume Brodar
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Toomas Lepik, Raimundas Matulevicius
Reviewer: Arnis Paršovs
Defense: 09.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-403

Investigation of JTAG and ISP Techniques for Forensic Procedures
Abstract: This thesis is focusing on JTAG and ISP physical acquisitions techniques. The aim is to give an overview of these techniques from a forensic point of view and in addition to some other tests will try to prove that are forensically equivalent to any other method.
Student: Stefanos Pappas
Curriculum: Cyber Security (MSc)
Supervisor: Pavel Laptev, Raimundas Matulevičius
Reviewer: Emin Caliskan
Defense: 09.06.2017, Tartu, J.Liivi 2-403

Links:
https://www.cs.ut.ee/sites/default/files/cs/kaitsmiste_ajakava_1_2_5_06.pdf
https://www.cs.ut.ee/sites/default/files/cs/kaitsmiste_ajakava_6_7_8_9_06_.pdf