Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Online, video conference

Abstract: While Smartphone and IoT devices usage become more and more pervasive, people start also asking to which extent such devices can be maliciously exploited as “tracking devices”. The concern is not only related to an adversary taking physical or remote control of the device, but also to what a passive adversary without the above capabilities can observe from the device communications. Work in this latter direction aimed, for example, at inferring the apps a user has installed on his device, or identifying the presence of a specific user within a network. In this talk, we discuss threats coming from contextual information and to which extent it is feasible, for example, to identify the specific actions that a user is doing on mobile apps, by eavesdropping their encrypted network traffic. We will also discuss the possibility of building covert and side channels leveraging timing, heat, energy consumption, and audio signals, to steal information from mobile devices, as well as inferring keypresses, password & PINs.

Speaker: Prof. Mauro Conti

Affiliation: Mauro Conti is Full Professor at the University of Padua, Italy, and Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Speaker's Short Bio: Mauro Conti is Full Professor at the University of Padua, Italy. He is also affiliated with TU Delft and University of Washington, Seattle. He obtained his Ph.D. from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, in 2009. After his Ph.D., he was a Post-Doc Researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2011 he joined as Assistant Professor the University of Padua, where he became Associate Professor in 2015, and Full Professor in 2018. He has been Visiting Researcher at GMU, UCLA, UCI, TU Darmstadt, UF, and FIU. He has been awarded with a Marie Curie Fellowship (2012) by the European Commission, and with a Fellowship by the German DAAD (2013). His research is also funded by companies, including Cisco, Intel, and Huawei. His main research interest is in the area of Security and Privacy. In this area, he published more than 350 papers in topmost international peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He is Area Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, and Associate Editor for several journals, including IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, and IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management. He was Program Chair for TRUST 2015, ICISS 2016, WiSec 2017, ACNS 2020, and General Chair for SecureComm 2012, SACMAT 2013, CANS 2021, and ACNS 2022. He is Senior Member of the IEEE and ACM. He is member of the Blockchain Expert Panel of the Italian Government. He is Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe.

Registration: Participation if free. However, registration is required on Eventbrite at the following link:

"Side and Covert Channels: the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Modern Technologies".