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Sharing in the Rain: Towards Security & Privacy in Mobile Cloud Sensing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Michalas
    Dr S Getting
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The research area of this study will focus on creating secure and privacy-preserving cloud protocols that will allow mobile sensing applications to migrate to the cloud without compromising the privacy of the user. During the last years, the area of mobile sensing has met a great development and has the potential to offer a new understanding of our environment that will lead to innovative applications with tangible positive impact on the day-to-day users’ experience. However, users have been slow to adopt mobile sensing systems applications mostly due to the fear of storing sensitive data online. Without proper security mechanisms to protect users’ data from unauthorized access, it is much easier for sensitive information to be leaked to interested third parties. The computational power and resources of cloud computing can lead to solutions that will provide strong security and privacy-preserving mechanisms to the users of such applications. Just as the Internet has become a global phenomenon, so too has cloud computing, which is poised to become the catalyst for change in the near future.

Recent advances in sensing, computing, and networking have paved the way for the emerging paradigm of mobile sensing. The openness of such systems and the richness of user data they entail raise significant concerns for their storage and processing. The vision of this PhD proposal is to explore the possibility of incorporating cloud computing techniques to facilitate the vast amount of data collected. To this end, the candidate will need to address several competing challenges not previously considered in the literature. Currently, one of the biggest barriers that may limit the social acceptance of mobile sensing systems are privacy concerns and cloud computing has the potential to provide more robust secure and accountable systems that preserve user’s privacy and enable the provision of incentives to the participants. Part of the overall research will be to propose techniques based on the principles of trusted computing in order to build a trusted cloud infrastructure.

The successful candidate will need to have strong technical and theoretical skills to implement and test various protocols. Furthermore, during his/her studies will obtain the necessary skills for analysing protocols for possible flaws and vulnerabilities while (s)he will also gain valuable experience on proving the correctness and the security of a protocol.

Funding Notes

The Studentship consists of a fee waiver and a stipend of £16,000 per annum. Successful candidates will be expected to undertake some teaching duties.


Related publications

Antonis Michalas and Rafael Dowsley. “Towards Trusted eHealth Services in the Cloud”. Cloud Security and Data Privacy by Design (CloudSPD'15), Workshop co-located with the 8th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing, Limassol, Cyprus.

Nicolae Paladi, Antonis Michalas and Christian Gehrmann. “Domain Based Storage Protection with Secure Access Control for the Cloud”. The 2014 International Workshop on Security in Cloud Computing, held in conjunction with the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS), Kyoto, Japan.

Antonis Michalas and Nikos Komninos. “The Lord of the Sense: A Privacy Preserving Reputation System for Participatory Sensing Applications”. Proceedings of the 19th IEEE International Conference on Communications (ISCC'2014), Madeira, Portugal, 2014.

How good is research at University of Westminster in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 19.65

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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