CSIS logoCenter for Secure Information Systems

Securing the World's Cyber Infrastructure

Aerial View of the George Mason Fairfax Campus

CSIS Seminar

Automating the Protection of Internet Freedoms

Speaker:   Kevin Bock, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Maryland
When:   February 24, 2022, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Where:   Zoom


Users on the Internet face threats from powerful, often politically motivated entities: nation-states deploy increasingly complex network infrastructure to regulate what content citizens can access and can launch powerful attacks. I will present my agenda towards automating the discovery of and protection against threats to internet freedoms, in two broad contexts: network censorship and denial of service attacks. First, I will present Geneva, a genetic algorithm I developed that trains directly against nation-state censors and automatically discovers new ways to evade nation-state censors. I will discuss the novel evasion strategies I found using Geneva, including the first not to require any extra client software whatsoever. Second, I will describe how I used automated methods to discover new denial of service amplification attacks, the nature of which were long thought to be impossible. Collectively, my work shows the power of combining automated techniques with large-scale network measurements. I will close with a discussion of my future agenda towards protecting internet freedoms in the next generation of the censorship arms race. Join Zoom Meeting https://gmu.zoom.us/j/99543213775?pwd=Mm5aSm5SMmNyVHF5MUloNDZRbzRkUT09 Meeting ID: 995 4321 3775 Passcode: 860713

Speaker Bio

Kevin Bock is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, advised by Dave Levin. His work focuses on enabling open communication, improving network security, and evading censorship. Kevin is passionate about scaling up undergraduate research, and has advised 26 undergraduate students to date on his anti-censorship team. Kevin is also adjunct faculty for the University of Maryland, where he created and teaches an upper-level undergraduate security course on Penetration Testing every Spring. Kevin's website is available at https://ter.ps/kevinbock.