Ph.D. Thesis Proposal
SafEdge for Residential Networks: Privacy from the bottom up
Aldo Cassola
College of Computer and Information Science
Northeastern University
CV: pdf
Proposal pdf.
Slides pdf.

The growth of mobile devices and computing has continued in recent years to the point where mobile network providers must not only upgrade their networks to serve the new traffic-intensive content that their users demand, but to actually turn to alternative methods of delivery, namely WiFi hotspots and femtocells. This demand is driven in part by the surge in streaming services, but also by the demand for ubiquitous access to data hosted in cloud services.

The increased connectivity has changed user expectations for access to their data. Cloud service providers have seen similar increases in their user bases as clients migrate from laptops and desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. The amounts of data and computation performed in cloud services has always been of interest to eavesdroppers, and their growth can only make it more valuable to them. In such a world, a growing dependency on centralized providers makes them single points of failures for privacy threats.

With residential broadband Internet becoming more commonplace, always-connected home devices can collaborate to build cloud services closer to the network edge to mitigate the threats, creating more diffuse targets of attack. In this work we propose to leverage these networks to provide improved privacy for network access control, and edge cloud storage with little to no administrative overhead to home network users. In particular we aim to provide IP location privacy, anonymous access control, data confidentiality and integrity. We show our prototyping work implemented over our own testbed for residential devices that we will also use for implementation and evaluation, and describe the work needed to extend our preliminary work to provide the above services.

Thesis Committee
Prof. Omprakash Gnawali (External Member, University of Houston) [CV]

Professor Mislove is an expert in distributed/networked systems, peer-to-peer storage systems, and online social networks security. Professor Choffnes' expertise lies in mobile networking and distributed systems. Professor Gnawali's expertise is in wireless networking and systems. The combined expertise of the committee provides a good fit to evaluate the thesis work.