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    SnP Lab Student Research Assistant Position


    The Security and Privacy Lab is looking for an hourly-paid Research Assistant. The student will work on IoT security, mobile security, or cloud computing security.

    The student is expected to be:

    • 1) Eager to solve problems
    • 2) Familiar with operating systems
    • 3) Familiar with system programming (C is preferred)

    If you are interested, please send your resume to Professor Bo Chen (bchen@mtu.edu), Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science.

    Dr. Chen’s website: https://cs.mtu.edu/~bchen
    SnP Lab website: https://snp.cs.mtu.edu

    Dr. Bo Chen and students in the SnP lab


    Michigan Tech Team Ranks #3 in Spring 2021 NCL Power Rankings


    Michigan Tech ranks number three (3) in the Spring 2021 National Cyber League’s Cyber Power Rankings, rising 12 points from a Fall 2020 ranking of 15. One hundred (100) teams were ranked.


    In the NCL cyber-competitions, thousands of students from hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide are challenged to identify hackers from forensic data, pentest and audit vulnerable websites, recover from ransomware attacks, and more.


    Three factors are considered in a school’s annual Cyber Power Ranking. In descending magnitude of weight, they are:

    • The school’s top performing team during the Team Game
    • The school’s top performing student during the Individual Game
    • The number of participating students from the school, with additional consideration given to better student performance during the Individual Game

    Schools are ranked based on their top team performance, their top student’s individual performance, and the aggregate individual performance of their students. The rankings represent the ability of students from these schools to perform real-world cybersecurity tasks on the Cyber Skyline platform.


    See how the NCL competitions work.


    View the full list of NCL rankings.


    The Cyber Power Rankings were created by Cyber Skyline in partnership with the National Cyber League (NCL). Every year, over 10,000 students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the US participate in the NCL competitions.


    Conference on Applied Cryptography: Call for Participation


    The 2021 EAI International Conference on Applied Cryptography in Computer and Communications (AC3 2021) takes place May 15-16, 2021.

    Register for the virtual conference here.

    Dr. Bo Chen, Computer Science, founding general chair of the new EAI conference, says the conference has brought together researchers, developers and practitioners from around the world who will focus on, discuss, and explore the area of applied cryptography in computer and communication systems.

    Conference Topics

    Conference topics include all aspects of applied cryptography, including symmetric cryptography, public-key cryptography, cryptographic protocols, cryptographic implementations, cryptographic standards and practices, as well as using cryptography to solve real-world problems.

    Technical Program

    The AC3 2021 technical program includes four main conference tracks at which 11 papers will be presented virtually in oral presentations.

    • Track 1 – Blockchain
    • Track 2 – Authentication
    • Track 3 – Secure Computation
    • 4 – Practical Crypto Application. Aside from the high-quality technical paper presentations, the technical program also features two keynote speeches, and one technical workshop.

    Keynotes

    The two keynote speeches will be delivered by Prof. Kui Ren (ACM Fellow, IEEE Fellow), Zhejiang University, China; and IEEE Fellow Prof. Robert Deng, Singapore Management University.

    Workshop

    A workshop, the First International Workshop on Security for Internet of Things (IOTS 2021), includes four technical papers which aim to develop cryptographic techniques for ensuring the IoT security. The conference, originally planned to be held in Xiamen China, was moved it online for the health and safety of participants.


    Register to participate in the virtual conference here. Use the “Sign up for free access to the livestream” option.


    European Alliance for Innovation (EAI) is an international professional community and a nonprofit organization. The goal of EAI is to empower the global ICT research and innovation community, and to promote cooperation between European and International ICT communities.

    EAI Conferences span the globe with opportunities to meet, explore, and contribute to the world of ICT research. With 100+ annual events (including MobiQuitous, SecureComm, etc.), EAI is one of the world’s most prolific scientific communities.

    EAI Conferences are published via Springer’s LNICST and EAI’s EUDL, and they are indexed in all leading indexing services, including EI, ISI, Scopus, CrossRef, Google Scholar, dblp, MAS, EBSCO, Microsoft Academic Search, CiteSeerX, and more.


    Computing Majors on Team that Takes 3rd in Lockheed CTF Competition

    Two College of Computing RedTeam students are part of a five-member team that finished 3rd in last weekend’s invitation-only Lockheed Martin Advanced Technologies Laboratories (ATL) Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition.

    The multi-day virtual event involved 200 students on 40 teams. It opened for answer submission Friday, January 8, at 8:00 p.m., and closed Sunday, January 10, at 8 p.m.

    The 3rd Place team, GoBlue!, trailed the 2nd Place team by only 14 points. RedTeam members are Michigan Tech undergraduates Dakoda Patterson, Computer Science, and Trevor Hornsby, Cybersecurity, and three University of Michigan students from the RedTeam’s partnership with that institution.

    Michigan Tech RedTeam faculty advisors are Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, and Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science.

    “We were lucky to be one of the 40 teams invited,” said Cai. “This was no small task, as the CTF included a large number of points in Reversing and “pwning” challenges, which proved to be fairly difficult. Other challenges were Cryptography, Stegonography, Web Exploitation, and miscellaneous challenges.”

    CTF competitions place hidden “flags” in various computer systems, programs, images, messages, network traffic and other computing environments. Each individual or team is tasked with finding these flags. Participants win prizes while learning how to defend against cybersecurity attacks in a competitive and safe arena.

    Top Three Teams

    PlacementTeam NameInstitutionTotal Points
    1st PlacenullbytesGeorge Mason University3697
    2nd PlaceChrisSucksGeorge Mason University3330
    3rd PlaceGoBlue!Michigan Tech and University of Michigan 3316


    Bo Chen, CS, Wins REF Grant for Decentralized Cloud Storage Project

    Bo Chen, Computer Science, has been awarded a Fall 2020 REF Research Seed Grant (REF-RS) for his project, “Towards Secure and Reliable Decentralized Cloud Storage.” Funding for the 12-month, $25,800 award begins on January 1, 2021.

    Bo Chen, Computer Science

    “This grant will provide significant help to advance my current research,” says Chen. “This is really exciting news for me.”

    Bo Chen is a researcher with the ICC’s Cybersecurity and Computing Education research groups.

    As a recipient of the REF seed grant, which is awarded by the Michigan Tech Office of the Vice President for Research, Chen will participate in review and feedback for the next round of REF proposals. View the full list of Fall 2020 REF award recipients here.

    Abstract

    A decentralized cloud storage system eliminates the need of dedicated computing infrastructures by allowing peers which have spare storage space to join the network and to provide storage service. Compared to the conventional centralized cloud storage system, it can bring significant benefits including cheaper storage cost, better fault tolerance, greater scalability, as well as more efficient data storing and retrieval, making it well fit the emerging Internet of things (IoT) applications.

    While bringing immense benefits, the decentralized cloud storage system also raises significant security concerns, since the storage peers are much less reputable than the traditional data centers and may more likely misbehave.

    This project thus aims to build a secure and reliable decentralized cloud storage system which can serve as the cloud infrastructure for future IoT applications. The project will actively investigate two fundamental security issues faced by the decentralized cloud storage system: 1) How can we prevent the malicious storage peers from stealing the data? 2) How can we ensure that once the data are stored into the system, they are always retrievable even if the storage peers misbehave?

    To address the aforementioned issues in an untrusted p2p environment, the PI will integrate efficient integrity checking with the blockchain, as well as the broadly equipped secure hardware like Intel SGX. The PI will also broaden the educational impact of the proposed project by actively involving both graduate and undergraduate students from the MTU cybersecurity programs.


    Research Excellence Fund Awards Announced

    by Vice President for Research Office

    The Vice President for Research Office announces the Fall 2020 REF awards. Thanks to the individual REF reviewers and the REF review panelists, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

    Research Seed Grants:

    • Sajjad Bigham, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    • Bo Chen, Computer Science
    • Daniel Dowden, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Ana Dyreson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    • Hassan Masoud, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    • Xinyu Ye, Civil and Environmental Engineering


    Bo Chen’s Research on COVID-19 Prevention Method to be Published in IEEE IoT Magazine

    A paper authored by Michigan Tech Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science, and Data Science master’s student Shashank Reddy Danda, has been accepted for publication in the IEEE Internet of Things Magazine special issue on Smart IoT Solutions for Combating COVID-19 Pandemic. The special issue will be published in September 2020.

    The paper focuses on Chen’s research of COVID-19 prevention through the leveraging of computing technology. The project is currently supported by a Michigan Tech College of Computing seed grant, and external funding for further development is being pursued.

    Chen is a member of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity.

    Download a preprint of the paper here.

    Abstract:
    Recently, the impact of coronavirus has been witnessed by almost every country around the world. To mitigate spreading of coronavirus, a fundamental strategy would be reducing the chance of healthy people from being exposed to it. Having observed the fact that most viruses come from coughing/sneezing/runny nose of infected people, in this work we propose to detect such symptom events via mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, smart watches, and other IoT devices) possessed by most people in modern world and, to instantly broadcast locations where the symptoms have been observed to other people. This would be able to significantly reduce risk that healthy people get exposed to the viruses. The mobile devices today are usually equipped with various sensors including microphone, accelerometer, and GPS, as well as network connection (4G, LTE, Wi-Fi), which makes our proposal feasible. Further experimental evaluation shows that coronavirus-like symptoms (coughing/sneezing/runny nose) can be detected with an accuracy around 90%; in addition, the dry cough (more likely happening to COVID-19 patients) and wet cough can also be differentiated with a high accuracy.

    Bo Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. His areas of expertise include mobile device security, cloud computing security, named data networking security, big data security, and blockchain.

    Shashank Reddy Danda is an MS student in Data Science. He is currently working as a research assistant in MTU Security and Privacy (SnP) Lab under the supervision of Dr. Bo Chen.

    IEEE Internet of Things Magazine (IEEE IoTM) is a publication of the IEEE Internet of Things Initiative, a Multi-Society Technical Group.


    Yu Cai is PI of 2-year NSA GenCyber Project

    Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, a member of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity, is the principal investigator on a two-year project that has received a $99,942 grant from the National Security Agency (GenCyber). The project is titled, “GenCyber Teacher Camp at Michigan Tech. “

    Lecturer Tim Van Wagner (AC) and Assistant Professor Bo Chen (CS, DataS) are Co-PIs. Cai will serve as the camp director, Tim Van Wagner as lead instructor.

    This GenCyber project aims to host a week-long, residential summer camp for twenty K-12 STEM teachers in 2021 at Michigan Tech. Target educators are primarily from Michigan and surrounding states.

    The objectives of the camp are to teach cybersecurity knowledge and safe online behavior, develop innovative teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content, and provide professional development opportunities so participants will return to their home schools with contagious enthusiasm about teaching cybersecurity.

    The GenCyber camp will be offered at no cost to camp participants. Room and board will be provided. Teacher participants will receive a stipend of $500 for attending and completing camp activities.

    Read about the 2019 Michigan Tech GenCyber camps for teachers and students here.


    More Achievements for MTU RedTeam

    The MTU RedTeam ranked 13th out of 162 teams in a recent 24-hour Cybar OSINT Capture The Flag (CTF) cybersecurity competition. The team finished tied for 5th place, having completed all the challenges presented by the competition.

    Students on the team were Trevor Hornsby (Software Engineering), Shane Hoppe (Computer Science), Matthew Chau (Cybersecurity), Steven Whitaker (Electrical Engineering), and Sankalp Shastry (Electrical Engineering).

    Professor Yu Cai, Applied Computing, and Assistant Professor Bo Chen, Computer Science, are advisor and co-advisor of RedTeam, respectively. Both are members of the ICC’s Center for Cybersecurity.

    RedTeam promotes a security-driven mindset among Michigan Tech students and provides a community and resource for those wishing to learn more about information security. The RedTeam competes in National Cyber League (NCL) competitions, a great way for students to gain competency in cybersecurity tools and boost their resumes.

    RedTeam is on Slack at mturedteam.slack.com. Interested students can sign up with a Michigan Tech email. View past RedTeam presentations here.

    This OSINT CTF is non-theoretical and contestants work in teams of up to four members to crowdsource the collection of OSINT to assist law enforcement in generating new leads on missing persons.

    The contest runs as a Capture the Flag (CTF) format where contestants must collect various “flags” which equate to points. Since the each flag submitted is treated as potential “net new intelligence”, Trace Labs has a team of volunteers known as “Judges” who validate each submission and award points if the flag meets the category requirements. At the end of each CTF, the team with the most points on the scoreboard wins.