Logo: University of Southern California

Events Calendar

  • CS Colloquium: Ram Sundara Raman - Global Investigation of Network Connection Tampering

    Thu, Mar 28, 2024 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Ram Sundara Raman, University of Michigan

    Talk Title: Global Investigation of Network Connection Tampering

    Abstract: As the Internet's user base and criticality of online services continue to expand daily, powerful adversaries like Internet censors are increasingly monitoring and restricting Internet traffic. These adversaries, powered by advanced network technology, perform large-scale connection tampering attacks seeking to prevent users from accessing specific online content, compromising Internet availability and integrity. In recent years, we have witnessed recurring censorship events affecting Internet users globally, with far-reaching social, financial, and psychological consequences, making them important to study. However, characterizing tampering attacks at the global scale is an extremely challenging problem, given intentionally opaque practices by adversaries, varying tampering mechanisms and policies across networks, evolving environments, sparse ground truth, and safety risks in collecting data. In this talk, I will describe my research on building empirical methods to characterize connection tampering globally and investigate the network technology enabling tampering. First, I will describe a modular design for the Censored Planet Observatory that enables it to remotely and sustainably measure Internet censorship longitudinally in more than 200 countries. I will introduce time series analysis methods to detect key censorship events in longitudinal Censored Planet data, and reveal global censorship trends. I will also briefly describe methods to detect connection tampering using purely passive data. Next, I will introduce novel network measurement methods for locating and examining network devices that perform censorship. Finally, I will describe exciting ongoing and future research directions, such as building intelligent measurement platforms.    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Ram Sundara Raman is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, advised by Prof. Roya Ensafi. His research lies in the intersection of computer security, privacy, and networking, employing empirical methods to study large-scale Internet attacks. Ram has been recognized as a Rising Star at the Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI), and was awarded the IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize in 2023. His work has helped produce one of the biggest active censorship measurement platforms, the Censored Planet Observatory, and has helped prevent large-scale attacks on end-to-end encryption.

    Host: Jyo Deshmukh

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 109

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: CS Faculty Affairs


Return to Calendar