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Enhancing Trust –A Unified Meta-Model for Software Security Vulnerability Analysis

Title:

Enhancing Trust –A Unified Meta-Model for Software Security Vulnerability Analysis

Alqahtani, Sultan (2018) Enhancing Trust –A Unified Meta-Model for Software Security Vulnerability Analysis. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Over the last decade, a globalization of the software industry has taken place which has facilitated the sharing and reuse of code across existing project boundaries. At the same time, such global reuse also introduces new challenges to the Software Engineering community, with not only code implementation being shared across systems but also any vulnerabilities it is exposed to as well. Hence, vulnerabilities found in APIs no longer affect only individual projects but instead might spread across projects and even global software ecosystem borders. Tracing such vulnerabilities on a global scale becomes an inherently difficult task, with many of the resources required for the analysis not only growing at unprecedented rates but also being spread across heterogeneous resources. Software developers are struggling to identify and locate the required data to take full advantage of these resources. The Semantic Web and its supporting technology stack have been widely promoted to model, integrate, and support interoperability among heterogeneous data sources.
This dissertation introduces four major contributions to address these challenges: (1) It provides a literature review of the use of software vulnerabilities databases (SVDBs) in the Software Engineering community. (2) Based on findings from this literature review, we present SEVONT, a Semantic Web based modeling approach to support a formal and semi-automated approach for unifying vulnerability information resources. SEVONT introduces a multi-layer knowledge model which not only provides a unified knowledge representation, but also captures software vulnerability information at different abstract levels to allow for seamless integration, analysis, and reuse of the modeled knowledge. The modeling approach takes advantage of Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) to guide knowledge engineers in identifying reusable knowledge concepts and modeling them. (3) A Security Vulnerability Analysis Framework (SV-AF) is introduced, which is an instantiation of the SEVONT knowledge model to support evidence-based vulnerability detection. The framework integrates vulnerability ontologies (and data) with existing Software Engineering ontologies allowing for the use of Semantic Web reasoning services to trace and assess the impact of security vulnerabilities across project boundaries.
Several case studies are presented to illustrate the applicability and flexibility of our modelling approach, demonstrating that the presented knowledge modeling approach cannot only unify heterogeneous vulnerability data sources but also enables new types of vulnerability analysis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Computer Science and Software Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Alqahtani, Sultan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Computer Science
Date:30 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Juergen, Rilling
Keywords:vulnerability analysis; software engineering; vulnerability databases; knowledge model;
ID Code:984378
Deposited By: SULTAN ALQAHTANI
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:44
Last Modified:02 Apr 2019 15:41

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