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Ersin Uzun


Publications by Ersin Uzun (bibliography)

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Uzun, Ersin, Saxena, Nitesh and Kumar, Arun (2011): Pairing devices for social interactions: a comparative usability evaluation. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011. pp. 2315-2324. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1978942.1979282

When users wish to establish wireless radio communication between/among their devices, the channel has to be bootstrapped first. The process of setting up a secure communication channel between two previously unassociated devices is referred to as "Secure Device Pairing". The focus of prior research on this topic has mostly been limited to "personal pairing" scenarios, whereby a single user controls both the devices. In this paper, we instead consider "social pairing" scenarios, whereby two different users establish pairing between their respective devices. We present a comprehensive study to identify methods suitable for social pairing, and comparatively evaluate the usability and security of these methods. Our results identify methods best-suited for users, in terms of efficiency, error-tolerance and of course, usability. Our work provides insights on the applicability and usability of methods for emerging social pairing scenarios, a topic largely ignored so far.

© All rights reserved Uzun et al. and/or their publisher

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Nithyanand, Rishab, Saxena, Nitesh, Tsudik, Gene and Uzun, Ersin (2010): Groupthink: usability of secure group association for wireless devices. In: Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Uniquitous Computing 2010. pp. 331-340. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1864349.1864399

A fairly common modern setting entails users, each in possession of a personal wireless device, wanting to communicate securely, via their devices. If these users (and their devices) have no prior association, a new security context must be established. In order to prevent potential attacks, the initial context (association) establishment process must involve only the intended devices and their users. A number of methods for initial secure association of two devices have been proposed; their usability factors have been explored and compared extensively. However, a more challenging problem of initial secure association of a group of devices (and users) has not received much attention. Although a few secure group association methods have been proposed, their usability aspects have not been studied, especially, in a comparative manner. This paper discusses desirable features and evaluation criteria for secure group association, identifies suitable methods and presents a comparative usability study. Results show that some simple methods (e.g., peer- or leader-based number comparisons) are quite attractive for small groups, being fast, reasonably secure and well-received by users.

© All rights reserved Nithyanand et al. and/or their publisher

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Kobsa, Alfred, Sonawalla, Rahim, Tsudik, Gene, Uzun, Ersin and Wang, Yang (2009): Serial hook-ups: a comparative usability study of secure device pairing methods. In: Proceedings of the 2009 Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security 2009. p. 10. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1572532.1572546

Secure Device Pairing is the bootstrapping of secure communication between two previously unassociated devices over a wireless channel. The human-imperceptible nature of wireless communication, lack of any prior security context, and absence of a common trust infrastructure open the door for Man-in-the-Middle (aka Evil Twin) attacks. A number of methods have been proposed to mitigate these attacks, each requiring user assistance in authenticating information exchanged over the wireless channel via some human-perceptible auxiliary channels, e.g., visual, acoustic or tactile. In this paper, we present results of the first comprehensive and comparative study of eleven notable secure device pairing methods. Usability measures include: task performance times, ratings on System Usability Scale (SUS), task completion rates, and perceived security. Study subjects were controlled for age, gender and prior experience with device pairing. We present overall results and identify problematic methods for certain classes of users as well as methods best-suited for various device configurations.

© All rights reserved Kobsa et al. and/or ACM Press

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