Cyber-Physical Systems Security Ideas Lab

IMG_2211Last week Ryan was invited to a five day workshop aimed at developing novel ideas and new directions in cyber-physical systems security. The workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Intel, brought together researchers from around the country to understand this space, develop research ideas, and generally brainstorm about the applications and issues surrounding this increasingly important area.

As part of the “getting to know you sessions”, we were asked to blindly draw a random person (the one seated across the table). The picture was Ryan’s caricature. We won’t reveal the artist, but the likeness is uncanny.

New(ish) Graduate Student: Riley Yeakle

e4e-riley-setupAfter finishing his undergraduate degree last spring at UCSD, Riley Yeakle has joined the Kastner group as its newest graduate student. As an undergraduate, Riley found the Engineers for Exploration group and dived into the world of remote imaging. As a student leader in Engineers for Exploration, Riley led development on the Intelligent Camera Trap, a robotic wildlife videographer, and the Tiger Tracker, a behavior monitoring system for the tigers at the San Diego Zoo. Riley even spent a summer in the District with the National Geographic Society working on the CritterCam, a camera collar for animals used to study animal behavior from a first person perspective in the wild. Work on these projects strongly influenced Riley’s research interests in machine learning, ecological sensor networks, and embedded computer vision.

A true Californian, Riley rock climbs, hikes, surfs, and plays Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu outside of school. In the Kastner Group, Riley is continuing his trend of creating technologies for exploration by developing acoustic localization algorithms for the SIO autonomous underwater explorers.

COSMOS Comes to an End

IMG_1287Ryan and Riley spent much of the past month working with 19 outstanding high school students as part of the UCSD COSMOS program. These students in Cluster 1: Computers in Everyday Life were exposed to topics in computer science and electrical engineering while developing Android applications, programming robotics, and developing embedded systems using Arduinos. Their final projects were outstanding, and highlighted in an article from the Qualcomm Institute and UCSD CSE Department. We are sure that these students will go on to do great things, and we hope to see them in the future. For more information, including pictures and videos of the various projects throughout the summer, feel free to check out the blog.

Qualcomm Institute Provides Seed Grant for Underwater Archaeology

perry+antonella-tahoeOur group was awarded a one year grant to aimed to develop robust 3D imaging techniques to study underwater archaeological sites. The grant, “Mapping and Visualizing Complex, Large-Scale Underwater Archaeological Sites and Artifacts” will extend the work done by Perry Naughton, Antonella Wilby and other Engineers for Exploration group members to create a multi-camera underwater system. The key contribution is to develop accurate localization in order to supplement the camera location information during the construction of the 3D models. Teledyne has generously loaned us an Explorer Doppler Velocity Log which we have coupled with an IMU, optical location techniques (e.g., optical flow), and acoustic ranging via buoys in order to get an accurate location lock for each picture taken. Press references [Qualcomm Institute, UCSD CSE]

New(ish) Post-Doc: Vinnie Wei Hu

DSC06217Vinnie Wei Hu recently returned back to our research group from Xi’an, China. Vinnie is no stranger to UCSD. He spent two years here as a visiting graduate student starting in 2009. During his visit, he worked with Ryan, Dr. Jason Oberg, and Dr. Ali Irturk on hardware security, specifically developing the theory behind gate level information flow tracking (GLIFT). After going back to Xi’an to finish his Ph.D, he is now starting his second stint in the Kastner Research Group to extend his research in hardware security. He plans to work on developing GLIFT for secure hardware design & verification and for enforcing embedded system security in order to secure the internet-of-things as well as cyber physical systems. Furthermore, he is looking into some research related to timing and power attacks on hardware involved in secure applications.

Ryan and Jason were hosted by Vinnie in China a couple of years ago and visited Museum of Terra-cotta Horses and Soldiers and rode around the 14 kilometer city wall built over 600 years ago (the picture is taken on that city wall). Welcome back Vinnie Wei Hu to the land of eternal sunshine!

Hardware Security Lattice Paper Accepted to ACM TODAES

latticeOur work on formalizing gate level information flow tracking (GLIFT) to handle multiple labels was accepted to the ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES). The article titled “Gate Level Information Flow Tracking for Security Lattices” extends the ability to track only two labels (e.g., trusted/untrusted) to larger number of comparable labels. For example, we could mark hardware cores as “verified built in-house”, “tested built in-house”, “verified external source”, “tested external source”, and “untested external”. In each case, there is a varying level of trust. With the ability to track these multiple labels, we can then understand how the various hardware cores affect each other. The lead author was our new post-doc Vinnie Wei Hu with co-authors Dejun Mu, Jason Oberg, Baolei Mao, Mohit Tiwari, Timothy Sherwood, and Ryan Kastner.

Embedded System Design Class Projects

CSE 145 and CSE 237Des2 combine the talents of undergraduate and graduate students to develop quarter long projects on a variety of topics in embedded systems. This year saw the development of a number of great projects. Many were proposed by Ryan and members of our research group. A number of them came directly from the students. All of the students put in countless hours to develop these projects, which were highlighted in news releases from the Jacobs School of Engineering and a two part series at Calit2 (Part 1, Part 2). The classes will be offered again in Spring 2015. Start thinking of some good ideas for next year!

Hardware Security Technology Highlighted in Various News Outlets

aes_flowsThe hardware security techniques developed in our research group, and being commercialized by Tortuga Logic, recently received a significant amount of news coverage. This all started with a story from the Jacobs School of Engineering that got picked up by a number of different venues including ACM TechNews, Calit2, R&D Magazine, Science Codex, Counsel and Heal, Phys.org, Science Daily, RF Globalnet, Product Design and Development, Red Orbit, and probably several others that I have missed. The International Business Times also interviewed Ryan and put out a rather lengthy story.

Three papers accepted to FPL 2014

fpl-mapOur group continues its success at FPL following up last years three papers and best paper award with three papers in this upcoming FPL to be held in Munich, Germany in September. Pingfan was the lead author on the paper “Hardware Accelerated Novel Optical De Novo Assembly for Large-Scale Genomes” which develops a hardware accelerated solution for genome matching. This paper was done in collaboration with our friends at BioNano Genomics. The second accepted paper was “Improving FPGA Accelerated Tracking with Multiple Online Trained Classifiers” with Matt as the lead author. This paper utilizes the performance of FPGAs to create a robust tracker by training the features in an online manner. Dajung was the lead author on the final paper, “High Throughput Channel Tracking for JTRS Wireless Channel Emulation”, which developed a channel tracker which is an integral part of the wireless channel emulator project with Toyon Research Group. Congrats and beifall to all the authors!