Fourth Annual Group Retreat

KRG Group Hike 2015A tradition unlike any other — the Kastner Research Group retreat. Most of the members of the group headed for a few days of adventure, research presentations, and high elevation mountain air last week. The fourth annual installment included the group hike up and around the Crystal Crag near Mammoth Lakes. The five mile hike, with over 1000 feet of elevation gain, was enjoyed by some more than others. But everyone made it and has some stories to tell. The picture shows the group (at least those that survived) with the Crystal Crag in the background. Next year we will try something a little less difficult, e.g., hiking up Mount Everest.

New PhD Student: Jeremy Blackstone

JeremyBlackstone_Portrait_72dpiWe are pleased to welcome Jeremy Blackstone as the newest PhD student in the Kastner Research Group. However, Jeremy is no stranger; he has worked with us for two summers. In Summer 2013, he worked as a member of the Engineers for Exploration program. Last summer he did research on the RIFFA project. Jeremy graduated magna cum laude in computer science from Howard University, where he also earned his M.S. degree

Jeremy Blackstone is the first graduate student selected to receive a fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. Program to do a doctorate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He was also awarded a UC-HBCU fellowship. He graduated magna cum laude in computer science from Howard University, where he also earned his M.S. degree.

National Science Foundation Secure and Trustworthy Computing Award

hardware-securityWe recently received an NSF grant on “Employing Information Theoretic Metrics to Quantify and Enhance the Security of Hardware Designs”. The project will develop quantitative hardware security metrics that enable designers to precisely evaluate the security of the system. We do this by employing statistical measures on the amount of uncertainty and information flow that is present across different portions of the hardware. These metrics are oblivious to the types of variables under consideration. Thus, we can assess both functional security properties related to confidentiality and integrity as well as covert channels. Our metrics enable the characterization of portions of the system that are potentially vulnerable to attacks. And they determine the effectiveness of mitigation techniques on the overall security of the system. The end result is more secure hardware, which leads to safer and more secure computing devices.

Link: grant information