A new approach to mitigating security risks of phone clone co-location over mobile clouds

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-184
Journal / PublicationJournal of Network and Computer Applications
Online published18 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


Mobile cloud provides smart phone users with unprecedented opportunities to enjoy the abundant computing and storage resources of cloud computing. One viable scheme is to offload computational intensive applications to a mobile phone's agent in the cloud, which could be implemented as a thin virtual machine (VM), also termed as phone clone. Due to shared hardware components among coresident VMs, a VM is subject to covert channel attacks and may potentially leak information to other VMs located in the same physical host. In this paper, we address two critical problems: how to allocate phone clones to minimize the risk of information leakage and how to migrate phone clones whenever the risk becomes higher than a given threshold. We design SWAP: a security aware provisioning and migration scheme for phone clones. Our solution utilizes the spatial and temporal features of phone clones, and by considering the online social connection of mobile users, we greatly simplify the search space of the optimal solution. Furthermore, we study the tradeoffs among security, cost, and load balancing in phone clone provisioning. We evaluate our solution using Reality Mining and Nodobo dataset. Experimental results indicate that our algorithms are nearly optimal for phone clone allocation and are effective in maintaining low security risk and minimizing the number of phone clone migrations.

Research Area(s)

  • Mobile cloud, Phone clones, Security