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Creators/Authors contains: "Gao, Xing"

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1. Low-rank matrix recovery is a fundamental problem in machine learning with numerous applications. In practice, the problem can be solved by convex optimization namely nuclear norm minimization, or by non-convex optimization as it is well-known that for low-rank matrix problems like matrix sensing and matrix completion, all local optima of the natural non-convex objectives are also globally optimal under certain ideal assumptions. In this paper, we study new approaches for matrix sensing in a semi-random model where an adversary can add any number of arbitrary sensing matrices. More precisely, the problem is to recover a low-rank matrix $X^\star$ from linear measurements $b_i = \langle A_i, X^\star \rangle$, where an unknown subset of the sensing matrices satisfies the Restricted Isometry Property (RIP) and the rest of the $A_i$'s are chosen adversarially. It is known that in the semi-random model, existing non-convex objectives can have bad local optima. To fix this, we present a descent-style algorithm that provably recovers the ground-truth matrix $X^\star$. For the closely-related problem of semi-random matrix completion, prior work [CG18] showed that all bad local optima can be eliminated by reweighting the input data. However, the analogous approach for matrix sensing requires reweighting a set of matrices to satisfy RIP, which is a condition that is NP-hard to check. Instead, we build on the framework proposed in [KLL$^+$23] for semi-random sparse linear regression, where the algorithm in each iteration reweights the input based on the current solution, and then takes a weighted gradient step that is guaranteed to work well locally. Our analysis crucially exploits the connection between sparsity in vector problems and low-rankness in matrix problems, which may have other applications in obtaining robust algorithms for sparse and low-rank problems.
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2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 31, 2024
3. With the increasing popularity of containerized applications, container registries have hosted millions of repositories that allow developers to store, manage, and share their software. Unfortunately, they have also become a hotbed for adversaries to spread malicious images to the public. In this paper, we present the first in-depth study on the vulnerability of container registries to typosquatting attacks, in which adversaries intentionally upload malicious images with an identification similar to that of a benign image so that users may accidentally download malicious images due to typos. We demonstrate that such typosquatting attacks could pose a serious security threat in both public and private registries as well as across multiple platforms. To shed light on the container registry typosquatting threat, we first conduct a measurement study and a 210-day proof-of-concept exploitation on public container registries, revealing that human users indeed make random typos and download unwanted container images. We also systematically investigate attack vectors on private registries and reveal that its naming space is open and could be easily exploited for launching a typosquatting attack. In addition, for a typosquatting attack across multiple platforms, we demonstrate that adversaries can easily self-host malicious registries or exploit existing container registries to manipulate repositories with similar identifications. Finally, we propose CRYSTAL, a lightweight extension to existing image management, which effectively defends against typosquatting attacks from both container users and registries.
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4. ABSTRACT

Multi-band photometric observations of 11 totally eclipsing contact binaries were carried out. Applying the Wilson–Devinney program, photometric solutions were obtained. There are two W-subtype systems, which are CRTS J133031.1+161202 and CRTS J154254.0+324652, and the rest of the systems are A-subtype systems. CRTS J154254.0 + 324652 has the highest fill-out factor with 94.3 per cent, and the lowest object is CRTS J155009.2 + 493639 with only 18.9 per cent. The mass ratios of the 11 systems are all less than 0.1, which means that they are extremely low-mass ratio binary systems. We performed period variation investigation and found that the orbital periods of three systems decrease slowly, which may be caused by the materials may transfer from the primary component to the secondary component, and those of six systems increase slowly, which indicates that the materials may transfer from the secondary component to the primary component. LAMOST low-resolution spectra of four objects were analysed, and using the spectral subtraction technique, Hα emission line was detected, which means that the four objects exhibit chromospheric activity. In order to understand their evolutionary status, the mass–luminosity and mass–radius diagrams were plotted. The two diagrams indicate that the primary component is in the main sequence evolution stage, and the secondary component is above TAMS, indicating that they are over-luminous. To determine whether the 11 systems are in a stable state, the ratio of spin angular momentum to orbital angular momentum (Js/Jo) and the instability parameters were calculated, and we argued that CRTS J234634.7 + 222824 is on the verge of a merger.

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5. Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports are a ubiquitous feature in computer systems and offer a cheap and efficient way to provide power and data connectivity between a host and peripheral devices. Even with the rise of cloud and off-site computing, USB has played a major role in enabling data transfer between devices. Its usage is especially prevalent in high-security environments where systems are ‘air-gapped’ and not connected to the Internet. However, recent research has demonstrated that USB is not nearly as secure as once thought, with different attacks showing that modified firmware on USB mass storage devices can compromise a host system. While many defenses have been proposed, they require user interaction, advanced hardware support (incompatible with legacy devices), or utilize device identifiers that can be subverted by an attacker. In this paper, we present Time-Print, a novel timing-based fingerprinting method, for identifying USB mass storage devices. We create a fingerprint by timing a series of read operations from different locations on a drive, as the timing variations are unique enough to identify individual USB devices. Time-Print is low overhead, completely software-based, and does not require any extra or specialized hardware. To validate the efficacy of Time-Print, we examine more than 40 USB flash drives and conduct experiments in multiple authentication scenarios. The experimental results show that Time-Print can (1) identify known/unknown brand/model USB devices with greater than 99.5% accuracy, (2) identify seen/unseen devices of the same brand/model with 95% accuracy, and (3) classify USB devices from the same brand/model with an average accuracy of 98.7%.
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