ISSN : 1796-203X
Volume : 4    Issue : 5    Date : May 2009

Special Issue: Security and High Performance Computer Systems

Guest Editors: Luca Spalazzi and Ratan Guha

Luca Spalazzi and Ratan Guha
Page(s): 355-356
Full Text:
PDF (390 KB)

Malicious attacks on computer systems everyday propose many new challenges and, hence
research on providing security in computing receives significant attention continuously. Some major
challenges include unknown attack analysis, detection, and response. Another challenge is related
to performances of such security tools. Indeed, new attacks require computationally complex
analysis and thus require tools in high performance computer systems. We conducted a workshop
in 2008 based on this theme.

This special issue of Journal of Computers contains expanded versions of eight selected papers
from that Workshop on Security and High Performance Computing Systems (SHPCS 2008) as part
of the 2008 International Conference High Performance Computing and Simulation (HPCS 2008),
held in Nicosia, Cyprus 3 – 6 June 2008. SHPCS was held in Conjunction with the 22nd European
Conference on Modeling and Simulation (ECMS 2008). SHPCS 2008, HPCS 2008 and ECMS 2008
were highly successful events whose joint programs provided the participants with high-quality
papers in the area of security, simulation, modeling, performance evaluation and high performance
computing systems. The technical program of SHPCS 2008 comprised 11 papers authored by
researchers from 8 different countries. The eight papers selected deal with various aspects of
security: attack, data collection, detection and prevention. Below, we briefly introduce the eight

The paper by Bernaschi, Bisson, Gabrielli, and Tacconi proposes a dictionary based attack strategy
against cryptosystems compliant to the OpenPGP standard. They developed a simplified
mechanism to quickly test passphrases that might protect a specified private key ring. Only
passphrases that pass this test complete the full validation procedure. The authors propose a
distributed computing architecture to carry out large scale dictionary attacks using the proposed
strategy. They experimented with their attack strategy in a test-bed consisting of 100baseT Ethernet
LAN with 20 personal computers.

The paper by Briffaut, Lalande, and Toinard presents the design of a secured high-interaction
honeypot that welcomes attackers, allows malicious activities but prevents system corruption. The
clustered honeypot architecture consists of three types of hosts (1) mandatory access control, (2)
Discretionary Access Conrol (DAC) and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Various off-the-shelf
security tools are deployed to detect a corruption and to ease analysis. In addition, host and network
information enabled them full analysis for complex scenario of attacks. In fact, in a second paper,
Blanc, Clemente, Rouzaud-Cornbas, and Toinard classify the malicious distributed SELinux
activities by using collected data from the honeypot.

Becker, Drozda, Schaust, Bohlmann, and Szczerbicka in their paper discuss and evaluate several
learning algorithms according to their suitability for intrusion and attack detection. Learning
algorithms subject to evaluation include bio-inspired approaches such as Artificial Immune
Systems or Neural Networks, and classical such as Decision Trees, Bayes classifier, Support
Vector Machines, k-Nearest Neighbors.

The paper by Dai, Guha, and Lee present an approach to detect unknown virus using dynamic
instruction sequences from unknown executables. Following a data mining process, the authors
perform feature extraction, feature selection and then build a classification model to learn instruction
association patterns from both benign and malicious dataset automatically. Then by applying this
classification model, the nature of an unknown program is predicted. Runtime instruction
sequences are collected in a virtual program monitor designed by them.

Biscotti, Capuzzi, Cardinale, Pagliarecci, and Spalazzi present a hybrid approach to intrusion
detection and prevention for web applications. This approach consists in combining anomaly
detection, misuse detection, and a prevention module. The proposed system updates the misuse
and anomaly model based on the feedback received by the security manager. From the results
arises an improvement with respect to other state-of-the-art Web-IDSs.

Benerecetti, Cuomo, Peron consider the problem of verifying time–sensitive security protocols,
where temporal aspects explicitly appear in the description. For that purpose, they present a model
checking tool, TPMC, for the analysis of security protocols employing THLPSL (Timed High-Level
Protocol Specification Language) as a specification language and UPPAAL as the model checking
engine. They also report some experimental results on a number of timed and untimed security

The paper by Hahkala, Mikkonen, Silander, and White identifies the requirements, defines the
architecture and the protocol for a pseudonymity system for grids. This pseudo-anonymous system
will protect users from tracing them and their actions by others. The paper also discusses some
appropriate applications of this architecture.

We would like to express our appreciation to the authors of the eight papers who made this special
issue possible. Our sincere thanks also go to the referees who have provided their review reports in
a timely manner and to the Editor-in-chief Prof. Dr. Prabhat Mahanti who have given us helpful
instructions and guidance.

Index Terms
Special Issue, Security, High Performance, Computer Systems