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About

About

Pedro Pinto received a Licenciatura degree in Electrotecnical and Computer Engineering and a MSc degree in Communication Networks and Services both from University of Porto, Portugal. Also, he holds a joint PhD degree in Telecommunications from Universities of Minho, Aveiro and Porto, Portugal. He has 15+ years of experience lecturing in telecommunications and computer networks areas. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC) and also a senior researcher at INESC TEC. His research interests include wireless networks, routing, QoS and security.

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Publications

2019

The Security Challenges Emerging from the Technological Developments: A Practical Case Study of Organizational Awareness to the Security Risks

Authors
Costa, P; Montenegro, R; Pereira, T; Pinto, P;

Publication
Mobile Networks and Applications

Abstract
An increase number of cyberattacks on public and private organizations have been performed by exploiting their social and technological vulnerabilities. Mainly, these attacks aim to obtain illegal profits by extorting organizations, affecting their reputation and normal operation. In order to minimize the impact of these attacks, it is essential that these organizations not only implement preventive actions and efficient security mechanisms, but also continually evaluate the security risks their staff are exposed to when performing their job tasks. This paper presents a case study to assess the private and public Portuguese organizations security related practices followed by their staff. The results obtained by a conducted survey allow the analysis of behaviours and practices followed by the staff of these organizations and also allow to draw conclusions about their security procedures and risk awareness. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

2019

OSSEC IDS Extension to Improve Log Analysis and Override False Positive or Negative Detections

Authors
Teixeira, D; Assuncao, L; Pereira, T; Malta, S; Pinto, P;

Publication
JOURNAL OF SENSOR AND ACTUATOR NETWORKS

Abstract
Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are used to prevent attacks by detecting potential harmful intrusion attempts. Currently, there are a set of available Open Source IDS with different characteristics. The Open Source Host-based Intrusion Detection System (OSSEC) supports multiple features and its implementation consists of Agents that collect and send event logs to a Manager that analyzes and tests them against specific rules. In the Manager, if certain events match a specific rule, predefined actions are triggered in the Agents such as to block or unblock a particular IP address. However, once an action is triggered, the systems administrator is not able to centrally check and obtain detailed information of the past event logs. In addition, OSSEC may assume false positive or negative detections and their triggered actions: previously harmless but blocked IP addresses by OSSEC have to be unblocked in order to reestablish normal operation or potential harmful IP addresses not previously blocked by OSSEC should be blocked in order to increase protection levels. These operations to override OSSEC actions must be manually performed in every Agent, thus requiring time and human resources. Both these limitations have a higher impact on large scale OSSEC deployments assuming tens or hundreds of Agents. This paper proposes an extension to OSSEC that improves the administrator analysis capability by maintaining, organizing and presenting Agent logs in a central point, and it allows for blocking or unblocking IP addresses in order to override actions triggered by false detections. The proposed extension aims to increase efficiency of time and human resources management, mainly considering large scale OSSEC deployments.

2018

Aspect composition for multiple target languages using LARA

Authors
Pinto, P; Carvalho, T; Bispo, J; Ramalho, MA; Cardoso, JMP;

Publication
Computer Languages, Systems and Structures

Abstract
Usually, Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) languages are an extension of a specific target programming language (e.g., AspectJ for JAVA and AspectC++ for C++). Although providing AOP support with target language extensions may ease the adoption of an approach, it may impose constraints related with constructs and semantics. Furthermore, by tightly coupling the AOP language to the target language the reuse potential of many aspects, especially the ones regarding non-functional requirements, is lost. LARA is a domain-specific language inspired by AOP concepts, having the specification of source-to-source transformations as one of its main goals. LARA has been designed to be, as much as possible, independent of the target language and to provide constructs and semantics that ease the definition of concerns, especially related to non-functional requirements. In this paper, we propose techniques to overcome some of the challenges presented by a multilanguage approach to AOP of cross-cutting concerns focused on non-functional requirements and applied through the use of a weaving process. The techniques mainly focus on providing well-defined library interfaces that can have concrete implementations for each supported target language. The developer uses an agnostic interface and the weaver provides a specific implementation for the target language. We evaluate our approach using 8 concerns with varying levels of language agnosticism that support 4 target languages (C, C++, JAVA and MATLAB) and show that the proposed techniques contribute to more concise LARA aspects, high reuse of aspects, and to significant effort reductions when developing weavers for new imperative, object-oriented programming languages. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

2018

System protection agent against unauthorized activities via USB devices

Authors
Oliveira, J; Frade, M; Pinto, P;

Publication
IoTBDS 2018 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Internet of Things, Big Data and Security

Abstract
Security attacks using USB interfaces and devices are becoming more advanced, which boost efforts to develop counter measures in order to protect systems and data. One of the most recent attacks using USB devices is the BadUSB attack, performed by spoofing the device’s firmware and allowing the attackers to execute a set of malicious actions, e.g. an USB storage device could be mounted as USB keyboard in order to inject malicious scripts into the system. This paper proposes a protection agent against BadUSB attack developed for Windows operative systems. It allows a user to check the class of an USB device ready to be mounted, though enabling the detection of a potential attack if the expected functionality of the device does not match with its class type. The results show that the proposed protection agent is capable of detecting potential intrusions by blocking the installation of the device, scanning the device for something that identifies it, searching for a description locally and finally warning the user about the device meaning that all devices must be approved by the user when plugged in if the system protection agent is running. Copyright

2018

On the Track of ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Implementation Difficulties in Portuguese Organizations

Authors
Longras, A; Pereira, T; Carneiro, P; Pinto, P;

Publication
2018 9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS (IS)

Abstract
The security standard ISO/IEC 27001 provides orientations to support organizations to set adequate best practices in information security management, specifying requirements that enable the appropriate selection and implementation of security controls. This standard assists organizations to protect their information assets, achieve their adequate levels of security and thus help them to succeed their business goals. Currently, an increasing number of Portuguese organizations seek to comply ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard and obtain the respective certification. This paper presents the result of a research conducted in order to detail the main difficulties and limitations evidenced by Portuguese organizations while meeting the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard. Moreover, this paper provides discussion on the results obtained, to better understand the progress and status quo of this standard implementation. From the research conducted it can be seen that organizations are becoming heavily concerned with information security issues, mainly due it to the recent cybersecurity incidents occurred. Additionally, certification is recognized as an important instrument to give confidence and demonstrate to all organizational' customers, suppliers and stakeholders that information security components are verified and organized within the organization.