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  1. Mobile tracking has long been a privacy problem, where the geographic data and timestamps gathered by mobile network operators (MNOs) are used to track the locations and movements of mobile subscribers. Additionally, selling the geolocation information of subscribers has become a lucrative business. Many mobile carriers have violated user privacy agreements by selling users’ location history to third parties without user consent, exacerbating privacy issues related to mobile tracking and profiling. This paper presents AAKA, an anonymous authentication and key agreement scheme designed to protect against mobile tracking by honest-but-curious MNOs. AAKA leverages anonymous credentials and introduces a novel mobile authentication protocol that allows legitimate subscribers to access the network anonymously, without revealing their unique (real) IDs. It ensures the integrity of user credentials, preventing forgery, and ensures that connections made by the same user at different times cannot be linked. While the MNO alone cannot identify or profile a user, AAKA enables identification of a user under legal intervention, such as when the MNOs collaborate with an authorized law enforcement agency. Our design is compatible with the latest cellular architecture and SIM standardized by 3GPP, meeting 3GPP’s fundamental security requirements for User Equipment (UE) authentication and key agreement processes. A comprehensive security analysis demonstrates the scheme’s effectiveness. The evaluation shows that the scheme is practical, with a credential presentation generation taking∼ 52 ms on a constrained host device equipped with a standard cellular SIM. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 26, 2025
  2. We report a new neural backdoor attack, named Hibernated Backdoor, which is stealthy, aggressive and devastating. The backdoor is planted in a hibernated mode to avoid being detected. Once deployed and fine-tuned on end-devices, the hibernated backdoor turns into the active state that can be exploited by the attacker. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first hibernated neural backdoor attack. It is achieved by maximizing the mutual information (MI) between the gradients of regular and malicious data on the model. We introduce a practical algorithm to achieve MI maximization to effectively plant the hibernated backdoor. To evade adaptive defenses, we further develop a targeted hibernated backdoor, which can only be activated by specific data samples and thus achieves a higher degree of stealthiness. We show the hibernated backdoor is robust and cannot be removed by existing backdoor removal schemes. It has been fully tested on four datasets with two neural network architectures, compared to five existing backdoor attacks, and evaluated using seven backdoor detection schemes. The experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the hibernated backdoor attack under various settings. 
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  3. Federated learning (FL) is a distributed machine learning technique to address the data privacy issue. Participant selection is critical to determine the latency of the training process in a heterogeneous FL architecture, where users with different hardware setups and wireless channel conditions communicate with their base station to participate in the FL training process. Many solutions have been designed to consider computational and uploading latency of different users to select suitable participants such that the straggler problem can be avoided. However, none of these solutions consider the waiting time of a participant, which refers to the latency of a participant waiting for the wireless channel to be available, and the waiting time could significantly affect the latency of the training process, especially when a huge number of participants are involved in the training process and share the wireless channel in the time-division duplexing manner to upload their local FL models. In this paper, we consider not only the computational and uploading latency but also the waiting time (which is estimated based on an M/G/1 queueing model) of a participant to select suitable participants. We formulate an optimization problem to maximize the number of selected participants, who can upload their local models before the deadline in a global iteration. The Latency awarE pARticipant selectioN (LEARN) algorithm is proposed to solve the problem and the performance of LEARN is validated via simulations. 
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  4. null (Ed.)