Ramakrishnan Sundara Raman

PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan

Ram is here!

ramaks@umich.edu

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University of Michigan



About Me


I am currently a second year PhD candidate at the University of Michigan Computer Science and Engineering department, where I am advised by Prof. Roya Ensafi. I am part of the Censored Planet Lab, where I work on improving security and privacy in the Internet. My current research involves measuring Internet censorship and network interference at global scale. My work also involves understanding and analyzing the technologies that enable censorship and surveillence. I lead work on the Censored Planet Observatory, which is a platform for measuring various types of network interference continously around the world.


Publications


Measuring the Deployment of Network Censorship Filters at Global Scale R. Sundara Raman, A. Stoll, J. Dalek, R. Ramesh, W. Scott, and R. Ensafi
Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium 2020, 23-26 February 2020, San Diego, CA, USA

Decentralized Control: A Case Study of Russia R. Ramesh, R. Sundara Raman, M. Bernhard, V. Ongkowijaya, L. Evdokimov, A. Edmundson, S. Sprecher,M. Ikram, and R. Ensafi
Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium 2020, 23-26 February 2020, San Diego, CA, USA

Kazakhstan's HTTPS Interception R. Sundara Raman, L. Evdokimov, E. Wurstrow, Alex Halderman and R. Ensafi
Technical Report, Censored Planet


News


26 June 2020

I gave a live-streamed talk about the Censored Planet Observatory at the OONI Internet Measurement Village


24 June 2020

I became a PhD candidate!!


24 February 2020

My first first-author research paper studying the proliferation of network censorship filters in the world.

FilterMap 1 FilterMap 2

6 November 2019

Excited to announce a research paper studying information control in depth in Russia.

Russia 1 Russia 2

29 October 2019

OONI released a blog post on the blocking of abortion rights websites on the web, to which I contributed using data from the Censored Planet Observatory.

OONI 1

31 July 2019

Attended and hosted a session in the Citizen Lab Summer Institute 2019 in Toronto, Canada facilitated by Citizen Lab's travel grant.

23 July 2019

I led an investigation into the interception of HTTPS connections of Internet users in Kazakhstan. A blog post about our work is here: https://censoredplanet.org/kazakhstan

Kazakhstan 1 Kazakhstan 2

20 May 2019

Attended IEEE S&P 2019 in San Fransisco, California.

13 May 2019

Attended the Midwest Security Workshop 7 in Chicago, Illinois

14 August 2018

Gave a Lightining Talk about the Censored Planet Observatory at FOCI 2018.

Lightning Talk


Projects


Censored Planet Observatory

I am the primary developer and maintainer of the Censored Planet Observatory, which is a platform for measuring Internet censorship and network interference continously and globally. The observatory uses thousands of remote infrastructural vantage points from over 170 countries to continuously monitor disruption tactics used by authorities around the world. All data collected using the Observatory is made public for use by researchers and policy-makers, and we have already released several reports based on data from the Observatory. I also maintain the Observatory website, which contains several visualizations of our data.

Map showing the Observatory's vantage point distribution:

VP

Map showing percentage of disruption detected using Satellite in different countries:

Satellite

Kazakhstan's HTTPS Interception

I led Censored Planet's investigation into the interception of HTTPS connections of Internet users in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan government began using a fake root CA from July 20 2019 to perform a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack against HTTPS connections to websites including Facebook, Twitter, and Google. This behavior significantly weakened Internet for Kazakh Internet users, who were instructed to manually trust the fake CA certificate. Our investigation suggested that only a portion of the Internet users in Kazakhstan were affected in what appeared to be a pilot test of the system. Our live measurements reveal that the attack was stopped on August 6 2019, and an official statement from the Kazakhstan Government suggests they will turn on the system "when necessary".

Live tracking of Censored Planet observatory vantage points observing the intercepion:

Kazakhstan

Thunderping Live

As a research intern at University of Maryland, I worked with Prof. Neil Spring on measuring last-mile residential Internet outages in areas affected by severe weather conditions. The Thunderping tool uses several vantage points to actively prove residential IP addresses. The real-time website shows Internet outages as they occur. The tool helped visualize heavy outages during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Visit the website at goo.gl/Zkbdch or click on the images.

Map showing outage statistics aggregated by state:

statemap

Map showing present weather condition and outage information:

countymap

Contact Me


Ann Arbor, MI

Phone: +1-(734)-353-6994

Email: ramaks@umich.edu