05/11/2014CS, Taub 337


[2 topics] Censorship in the Wild, Analyzing Internet Filtering in Syria -- AND -- Paying for Likes? Understanding Facebook Like Fraud Using Honeypots

Dr. Arik Friedman

NICTA Australia

(1) Censorship in the Wild, Analyzing Internet Filtering in Syria. Several government authorities worldwide enforce Internet censorship, however, due to the lack of publicly available information and the inherent risks of performing active measurements, it is often hard for the research community to investigate censorship practices in the wild. In this talk I will present the methodology and the results of a measurement analysis of 600GB worth of leaked logs from 7 Blue Coat SG-9000 proxies - deployed in Syria to filter Internet traffic at a country scale. To the best of our knowledge, our work provides the first analytical look into Internet filtering in Syria. This is joint work with Abdelberi Chaabane, Terence Chen, Mathieu Cunche, Emiliano De Cristofaro and Mohamed Ali Kaafar. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.3401)

(2) Paying for Likes? Understanding Facebook Like Fraud Using Honeypots. Facebook pages offer an easy way to reach out to a very large audience as they can easily be promoted using Facebook's advertising platform. Recently, the number of likes of a Facebook page has become a measure of its popularity and profitability, and an underground market of services boosting page likes, aka like farms, has emerged. In this talk I will present a comparative measurement study of page likes garnered via Facebook ads and by a few like farms, based on a set of deployed honeypot pages. I will highlight a few interesting findings, including that some farms seem to be operated by bots and do not really try to hide the nature of their operations, while others follow a stealthier approach, mimicking regular users' behavior. This is joint work with Emiliano De Cristofaro, Guillaume Jourjoin, Mohamed Ali Kaafar and M. Zubair Shafiq. (http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.2097)

Bio: Dr. Arik Friedman is a senior researcher in NICTA's Networks Research Group. He received a PhD from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and MBA with specialization in Technology and Information Systems from Tel-Aviv University. His research interests include privacy-preserving data mining and computer security. He previously held the position of Program Manager at Microsoft R&D between 2007-2011, where he worked on privacy and security products.

19/11/2014CS, Taub 337


NFV: Virtualization Meets Telecommunications

Dr. Gabriel Silberman

Dell Research

This talk will introduce the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) concept. NFV uses IT-based virtualization technologies to create classes of virtualized network functions, or VNFs, to serve as building blocks for complex communication services. NFV, with its ability to leverage virtualization techniques to run on standard servers and even the Cloud, features the ability to quickly develop and deploy new products and services, as well as a reliable, flexible and elastic platform.

The origins of NFV can be traced to a white paper published in October of 2012 by a workgroup from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Since then, the NFV vision has captured the attention of both telecommunication service providers and their suppliers, with its potential for disrupting traditional development cycles and business models for providers and suppliers, as well as enabling a wide range of new applications within easy reach of developers.

NFV is seen by traditional telecommunications providers as a way to face the increasing challenge from newer and nimbler competitors such as Skype, Goggle Talk, and others. In particular, the use of NFV can accelerate product development and reduce costs by moving away from the long and costly development cycles typical of specialized proprietary systems, as well as creating an ecosystem of standard components for replacing old networks or building new functionality.

Dell Research, under the leadership of Wenjing Chu, has been working on several NFV initiatives and proofs of concept, together with a variety of technology partners and telcos. The most recent example is the High Velocity Cloud (HVC) proof of concept, shown to cut service deployment from months to minutes and capable of supporting a record 214Gb/s bandwidth while still leaving 90% of CPU available for network intensive workloads, when running on a single Dell R920 server. When considering mobile device traffic, a quarter rack with standard Dell servers, storage and networking equipment is capable of supporting the demands of a medium size city.

Bio: Gabriel (Gabby) Silberman is Executive Director of Technology Strategy in Dell's Research Division, responsible for University Alliances and Technology Outlook. He also holds an adjunct professor position with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. Before joining Dell in 2013, Gabby created CA Labs, the research arm of CA Technologies, and later served as Chief Scientist at Owl Computing Technologies. Previous to this, he led the worldwide expansion of IBM's Centers for Advanced Studies, and held various research and management positions at IBM Research and IBM Software Group. Before moving to industry, Gabby held a tenured faculty position at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and was visiting faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

Gabby earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in computer science from the Technion, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Gabby has more than 25 patents in process or awarded, 20 refereed journal publications, and has presented at 50+ international conferences and workshops.