NYU student cybersecurity researchers take honors at computer conferences

December 11, 2013

Brooklyn, NY--A team of students from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with their faculty research partners from NYU-Poly and NYU Abu Dhabi, was awarded the Best Student Paper at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) from among 530 submissions. The paper's lead author was subsequently awarded the Bronze Medal in a second prestigious challenge, the ACM Student Research Competition for Design Automation.

The team, comprised of lead author and doctoral candidate Jeyavijayan (JV) Rajendran and undergraduate student Michael Sam, along with NYU-Poly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Ramesh Karri and NYU Abu Dhabi Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering Ozgur Sinanoglu, was recognized for its paper, "Security Analysis of Integrated Circuit Camouflaging." The researchers' goal was to determine the resiliency of camouflaged integrated circuits against cyber attackers. Without camouflaging, chips are prone to reverse engineering--a process that allows attackers to pirate designs and costs the semiconductor industry billions in lost revenue each year. The researchers are members of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP-NY and CRISSP-AD).

Camouflaging involves modifying existing gates to hamper an attacker's efforts to determine the functionality of each gate. The team launched a rigorous evaluation to find the most effective gates to camouflage, and formulated solutions to improve circuit security.

They discovered that a judicious selection of gates for camouflaging played a critical role in the ability of circuit designers to harden their devices against reverse engineering. Rather than camouflaging all gates, which involves considerable cost and results in power and delay overhead, the researchers devised original techniques that allow for a highly resilient camouflaging of only selected gates. Their solutions would force an attacker to resort to a time-consuming process of trial and error to uncover the functionality of the gate.

NYU-Poly President and Dean of NYU Engineering Katepalli R. Sreenivasan congratulated the team. "This research advances a key area of information security--how to improve the trustworthiness of computer hardware," he said. "This kind of work has wide-ranging, real-world impact, as there is no industry that is impervious to hardware threats. We're proud to see students and faculty from Brooklyn collaborating with our NYU partners from around the world to devise solutions for global challenges."

To the researchers' knowledge, they are the first academic team to devise an algorithm for determining which gates to camouflage. They report few, if any, barriers to semiconductor foundries that would want to incorporate their algorithm into the design of integrated circuits.

ACM reported record participation in this year's CCS conference, which took place in Berlin. Conference General Chair Professor Dr.-Ing. Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, who is also the director of the Systems Security Lab in the Department of Computer Science at Technische Universität Darmstadt, commented that "one of the main focuses of the conference was data protection from eavesdropping--an issue of worldwide interest." He noted that for many papers, "hardware security was a key area-- most of the best papers involved Trojan detection, and all were highly sophisticated."

The ACM Student Research Competition is a joint venture between the Association for Computing Machinery and Microsoft Research. The competition, now in its 10th year, provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to present original research at ACM conferences throughout the year. Rajendran was one of only six graduate students selected to present his research in the final round. Last year he won the Bronze Medal in the ACM Student Research Competition. He previously won third place in IT Security in the Kaspersky American Cup; the Myron M. Rosenthal Award for Best MS Academic Achievement in the NYU-Poly Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Service Recognition Award from Intel; and Best Student Paper Awards in the IEEE International symposium on Defect and Fault Tolerant VLSI Systems 2013 and IEEE International Conference on VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Design 2011, among other honors.
-end-
The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and the Polytechnic University, now widely known as NYU-Poly) is an affiliated institute of New York University, and will become its School of Engineering in January 2014. NYU-Poly, founded in 1854, is the nation's second-oldest private engineering school. It is presently a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a 159-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. It remains on the cutting edge of technology, innovatively extending the benefits of science, engineering, management and liberal studies to critical real-world opportunities and challenges, especially those linked to urban systems, health and wellness, and the global information economy. In addition to its programs on the main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it offers programs around the globe remotely through NYUe-Poly. NYU-Poly is closely connected to engineering in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai and to the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) also at MetroTech, while operating two incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit http://www.poly.edu.

NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Related Competition Articles from Brightsurf:

Cell competition in the thymus is crucial in a healthy organism
The study published in Cell Reports demonstrates that the development of T lymphocytes lays on the coordination of signals followed by cells in order to ensure the maintenance of a healthy organism.

How sexual competition and choice could protect species from extinction
New research shows that removing sexual competition and choice through enforced monogamy creates populations that are less resilient to environmental stress, such as climate change.

Aging and nutrients competition determine changes in microbiota
Two studies with surprising discoveries: in the elderly, the bacterium E. coli evolves in a way that can become potentially pathogenic and increase the risk of disease and, according to data obtained in another study, the metabolism of the same bacterium present in the microbiota evolves differently if it is alone or accompanied by other bacteria.

Is human cooperativity an outcome of competition between cultural groups?
A study by ASU researchers looks at how culture may have fueled our capacity to cooperate with strangers.

Location and competition
Those of us who drive regularly are keenly aware of gas prices and their daily fluctuations.

Political competition is hurting our charitable giving
As the midterm election heats up and the fallout of the Supreme Court nomination rings across the political divide, a new study presents a unique angle of American politics: how party affiliation affects charitable donations.

For wineries, competition boosts profits from sustainability
An international study of small- to medium-sized wineries and vineyards finds that the more sustainability practices a winery has in place, the better its financial performance -- and the effect is enhanced when a winery perceives significant pressure from competitors.

Outside competition breeds more trust among coworkers: Study
Working in a competitive industry fosters a greater level of trust amongst workers, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia, Princeton University and Aix-Marseille University, published today in Science: Advances.

Step aside Superman, steel is no competition for this new material
When it comes to materials, there is no question as to who wins the strongman competition.

Competition between males improves resilience against climate change
Animal species with males who compete intensively for mates might be more resilient to the effects of climate change, according to research by Queen Mary University of London.

Read More: Competition News and Competition Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.