Fake Picassos, Tampered History, and Digital Forgery: Protecting the Genealogy of Bits with Secure Provenance

Ragib Hasan, Johns Hopkins University

As increasing amounts of valuable information are produced and persist digitally, the ability to determine the origin of data becomes important. In science, medicine, commerce, and government, data provenance tracking is essential for rights protection, regulatory compliance, management of intelligence and medical data, and authentication of information as it flows through workplace tasks. While significant research has been conducted in this area, the associated security and privacy issues have not been explored, leaving provenance information vulnerable to illicit alteration as it passes through untrusted environments.

In this talk, we show how to provide strong integrity and confidentiality assurances for data provenance information in an untrusted distributed environment. We describe our provenance-aware system prototype that implements provenance tracking of data writes at the application layer, which makes it extremely easy to deploy. We present empirical results that show that, for typical real-life workloads, the run-time overhead of our approach to recording provenance with confidentiality and integrity guarantees ranges from 1% - 13%. For more details, please refer to http://ragibhasan.com/research/provenance.html

Speaker Biography

Ragib Hasan is an NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Fellow and Assistant Research Scientist at the Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the Hopkins Storage Systems Lab, and works with Professor Randal Burns. He received his PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in October, 2009, and December, 2005, respectively, under the supervision of Professor Marianne Winslett of UIUC. Before that, he received a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering and graduated summa cum laude from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2003. Ragib Hasan’s research interest falls in the general area of data security, with emphasis on trustworthy data history and provenance for cloud computing, file systems, and databases. He is also interested in authorization and access control models for distributed systems and building automation systems. Hasan is the recipient of a 2009 NSF Computing Innovation Fellowship and the 2003 Chancellor Award and Gold Medal from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He is also an active Wikipedia editor, and an administrator in both the English and Bengali language Wikipedias.