Camouflaging Technologies in Cyber Space
Speaker:Prof. Wei ZHAO
Rector of University of Macau
Date & Time:19 May 2009 (Tuesday) 15:00 - 17:00
Venue:United Nations University
International Institute for SoftwareTechnology
Seminar Room


For many Internet applications, the ability to protect the identity of participants and the characteristics of their communication in distributed applications is critical. For such applications, a number of traffic camouflaging systems have been developed over the past several years. The effectiveness of these systems relies greatly on (1) the protocol by which messages are (re-)routed among the participants and (2) the scheme by which links are padded. In this talk, we will discuss our recent discoveries on the effectiveness of these camouflaging methods. Our results contradict some of the methods that have been commonly used. For example, we find that using more agents in re-routing may not necessarily increase the probability that a sender can be identified. Furthermore, padding links with a constant-bit rate pattern may result in the worst probability; that an adversary can identify the underlying payload status. We will discuss how to develop optimal strategies for these traffic camouflaging systems.


Internationally renowned Chinese-American scholar Professor Wei Zhao has been appointed the eighth Rector of the University of Macau (UM) commencing on 10 November 2008. At the same time as taking up the new rectorship, he is also appointed the first Chair Professor of the University of Macau. Professor Zhao completed his undergraduate programme in physics at Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China, in 1977, and he later received his MSc and PhD degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in 1983 and 1986 respectively. Before joining the University of Macau, Professor Zhao served as the Dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Director for the Division of Computer and Network Systems in the US National Science Foundation, and Senior Associate Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. During his academic career, he has also worked as a faculty member at Shaanxi Normal University, Amherst College, University of Adelaide, Texas A&M University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

As an IEEE Fellow, Professor Zhao has made significant contributions in distributed computing, real-time systems, computer networks, and cyberspace security. His research group has been well recognized and received numerous awards and prizes including the outstanding paper award from the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, the best paper award from the IEEE National Aerospace and Electronics Conference, and an award on technology transfer from the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency. In 2007, he received the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems Outstanding Achievement Award. Professor Zhao is the holder of two US patents and has published over 280 papers in journals, conferences, and book chapters.

Since the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Chinese students have travelled to America to work and study, but very few attained such high achievements as Professor Zhao, who served as senior research and education administrator in the US comprehensive universities and a senior official of a US federal government agency. Meanwhile, Professor Zhao continues to engage actively in various activities for education and research exchange with the People's Republic of China. He was the founding chair of the US-China Dragon Star Committee, Overseas Advisory Committee for Shanghai Jiaotong University Electronics and Information Technology College, and Overseas Advisory Committee for the Higher Education Press (in the field of Computer Science). In 2005, he was awarded the Lifelong Achievement Award by the Chinese Association of Science and Technology (CAST USA). In 2007, he was honored with the Overseas Achievement Award by the Chinese Computer Federation.

Professor Zhao shows great passion for higher education. He looks forward to working closely with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to elevate the University's position in the international community. With the support of the Macao SAR Government, he is confident to build on the University's strengths and enhance its international reputation, making the University of Macau a leading university in the country and beyond.