We are delighted to announce that this year BioSTAR keynote will be given by: Mohamed Azab, Alexandria University
and its title is: Nature-inspired Moving-target defense: Fundamentals, Technology and Applications

Nature was always the source of inspiration towards many of the greatest advances that we relay on to maintain our daily life style. Most of the information technology research is somehow inspired from one the living beings. Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Computer networks, and Cyber security are perfect examples. For decades, Cyber security techniques were always reactively responding to threats and attacks. Such reactive response gave the attacker the asymmetric advantage opening the doors for many zero day threats and attacks. Nature inspiration in computer security dates, at least, to the definition of the term "computer virus" in the early 1980's. Self-propagating malware and computer worms have clear life-like properties. In nature, divers ity provides a defense against such self-propagating threats by maximizing the probability that some individuals will survive and replenish the population with a defense against that particular threat. Researchers noted that mimicking the defense techniques employed by fragile and weak creatures, can actually be a very effective technique to compensate the limitations of the conventional defenses, and even address those issues that were not yet detected. This idea radically changed the way we used to provision defense services, inventing what is known as Moving-target Defense (MtD). MtD works on creating asymmetric uncertainty for cyber threats rather that searching and blocking such threats. For years, researchers presented many technologies to realize the concept of MtD. In many cases, "security through diversity" was always the fundamental concept supporting such technologies. Motivated by the extreme success of diversity employment to ensure the safety and security of biological-beings against threats, diseases, or even predators; scantiest started to innovate new technologies to support such employment within cyber environments. Virtualization, Software-defined environments (networks, storage, radio, ... etc) are perfect examples for such technologies. En abling such technologies opened the door for many MtD applications across the entire IT stack. The last decade witnessed many innovative MtD applications to secure mission critical assets especially for virtualized and software-defined environments. MtD is presented to secure applications and machines hosted on the cloud, sensitive data transmitted across software-defined and wireless networks, and to insure operation stability in IoT networks. In this talk, we will have the chance to discuss the fundamentals, technologies supporting such fundamentals, and the applications of MtD across various domains.


As computing and communication systems continue to expand and offer new services, these advancements require more dynamic, diverse, and interconnected computing infrastructures. Unfortunately, defending and maintaining resilient and trustworthy operation of these complex systems are increasingly difficult challenges. Conventional approaches to Security, Trust, Assurance and Resilience (STAR for short) are often too narrowly focused and cannot easily scale to manage large, coordinated and persistent attacks in these environments.

Designs found in nature are increasingly used as a source of inspiration for STAR and related networking and intelligence solutions for complex computing and communication environments. Nature's footprint is present in the world of Information Technology, where there are an astounding number of computational bio-inspired techniques. These well-regarded approaches include genetic algorithms, neural networks, ant algorithms, immune systems just to name a few. For example several networking management and security technologies have successfully adopted some of nature’s approaches, such as swarm intelligence, artificial immune systems, sensor networks, moving target defense, diversity-based software design, etc. Nature has also developed an outstanding ability to recognize individuals or foreign objects and adapt/evolve to protect a group or a single organism. Solutions that incorporate these nature-inspired characteristics often have improved performance and/or provided new capabilities beyond more traditional methods.

The aim of this BioSTAR workshop is to bring together the research accomplishments provided by the researchers from academia and the industry. The other goal is to show the latest research results in the field of nature-inspired STAR aspects in computing and communications.

Topics of interests include, but are not limited to:
  • Nature-inspired anomaly and intrusion detection
  • Adaptation algorithms
  • Biometrics
  • Nature-inspired algorithms and technologies for STAR
  • Biomimetics
  • Artificial Immune Systems
  • Adaptive and Evolvable Systems
  • Machine Learning, neural networks, genetic algorithms for STAR
  • Nature-inspired analytics and prediction
  • Cognitive systems
  • Sensor and actuator networks and systems
  • Information hiding solutions (steganography, watermarking) for network traffic
  • Cooperative defense systems
  • Cloud-supported nature-inspired STAR
  • Theoretical development in heuristics
  • Management of decentralized networks
  • Nature-inspired algorithms for dependable networks
  • Platforms for STAR services
  • Diversity in computing and communications
  • Survivable and sustainable systems
  • STAR management systems
  • Autonomic cyber defenses


Papers will be accepted based on peer review (3 per paper) and should contain original, high quality work. All papers must be written in English.

Authors are invited to submit Regular Papers (maximum 6 pages) via EasyChair. Papers accepted by the workshop will be published in the Conference Proceedings published by IEEE Computer Society Press.

Papers must be formatted for US letter (not A4) size paper with margins of at least 3/4 inch on all sides. The text must be formatted in a two-column layout, with columns no more than 9 in. high and 3.375 in. wide. The text must be in Times font, 10-point or larger, with 12-point or larger line spacing. Authors are encouraged to use the IEEE conference proceedings templates found here. Failure to adhere to the page limit and formatting requirements will be grounds for rejection.

The extended versions of all accepted papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Cyber Security and Mobility (confirmed!).


  • January 25, 2018 (EXTENDED!!!) : Regular Paper Submission [submission link]
  • February 20, 2018 (EXTENDED!!!) : Notification Date
  • March 26, 2018: Camera-Ready Paper Deadline


09:00AM - 09:15AM - BioSTAR Welcome & Opening Remarks

09:15AM - 10:15AM - Keynote: Dr. Mohamed Azab - Nature-inspired Moving-target defense : Fundamentals, Technology and Applications

10:15AM - 10:45AM - Workshops Break

10:45AM - 12:00AM - BioSTAR Session #1
Panel: Commonalities and best practices in bio-inspired security
Description: As a capstone to this session, the organizers will lead a full-participation brainstorming session on unifying themes, best practices, and next-step challenges in bio-inspired security. Ideas and conclusions from this discussion will be included as an accepted paper to Journal of Cyber Security and Mobility, coauthored by all participants (though drafted primarily by the co-organizers), in the hopes of helping advance the field.

12:00AM - 12:30AM Gonzalo Suarez, Lazaros Gallos and Nina Fefferman. A Case Study in Tailoring a Bio-Inspired Cyber-Security Algorithm: designing anomaly detection for multilayer networks 12:30AM - 01:30PM - Workshops Lunch

01:30PM - 03:00PM - Session #2
Esraa M. Ghourab, Effat Fathalla, Mohamed Azab and Mohamed Eltoweissy. Diversity-based Moving-target Defense for Secure Wireless Vehicular Communications Nanda Kumar Thanigaivelan, Ethiopia Nigussie, Seppo Virtanen and Jouni Isoaho. Towards human bio-inspired defence mechanism for cyber security Denis Gracanin, Adam D'Amico, Mark Manuel, Walter Carlson, Mohamed Eltoweissy and Liang Cheng. Biologically Inspired Safety and Security for Smart Built Environments

03:20AM - 03:45PM - Workshops Break

03:45PM - 05:15PM - BioSTAR Session #3
Duc Le and A. Nur Zincir-Heywood. Evaluating Insider Threat Detection Workflow Using Supervised and Unsupervised Learning Abbas Acar, Hidayet Aksu, A. Selcuk Uluagac and Kemal Akkaya. WACA: Wearable-Assisted Continuous Authentication Vysakh S Mohan, Vinayakumar R, Soman Kp and Prabaharan Poornachandran. S.P.O.O.F Net: Syntactic Patterns for identification of Ominous Online Factors

05:15PM - 05:30PM - BioSTAR Closing Remarks


Wojciech Mazurczyk, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
Errin W. Fulp, Wake Forest University, NC, USA
Mohamed Eltoweissy, Virginia Military Institute, USA
Kenji Leibnitz, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan
Nina Fefferman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA

Tomasz Andrysiak, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Poland
Konstantin Boettinger, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security, Germany
Elias Bou-Harb, National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) & Concordia University, Canada
Luca Caviglione, ISSIA, CNR, Italy
Eric Chan-Tin, Oklahoma State University, USA
Shin-Ming Cheng, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Michal Choras, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Poland
El-Sayed El-Alfy, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia
Ruairi De Frein, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Kay Hamacher, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany
Artur Janicki, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
Joerg Keller, FernUniversitaet in Hagen, Germany
Maciej Korczynski, Grenoble Institute of Technology, France
Igor Kotenko, SPIIRAS, Russia
Jean-Francois Lalande, CentraleSupelec, France
Kenji Leibnitz, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan
Sean Moore, Centripetal Networks, USA
Tadashi Nakano, Osaka University, Japan
Pierre Parrend, ECAM Strasbourg-Europe, France
Christopher S. Oehmen, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
Marinella Petrocchi, IIT, CNR, Italy
Mayank Raj, IBM, USA
Siva Rajagopalan, Honeywell, USA
Hui Tian, National Huaqiao University, China
Steffen Wendzel, Fraunhofer FKIE, Germany
Xin-She Yang, Middlesex University, UK
Nur Zincir-Heywood, Dalhousie University, Canada


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