Category: CyberS

Guy Hembroff Presents Invited Talk at HIMSS Meeting

On May 18, 2021, Dr. Guy Hembroff, Applied Computing, presented an invited talk at a meeting of Michigan’s Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Dr. Hembroff discussed his work developing a trusted framework architecture designed to improve population health management and patient engagement.

The talk demonstrated his team’s work in the development of accurate geo-tagged pandemic prediction algorithms, which are used to help coordinate medical supply chains to care for patients most vulnerable to COVID-19, an innovation that can be extended to help improve general population health management.

The framework of the pandemic prediction architecture, which aggregates longitudinal patient health data, including patient generated health data and social determinants of health, is a holistic and secure mHealth community model. The model can help Michigan residents overcome significant barriers in healthcare, while providing healthcare agencies with improved and coordinated population management and pandemic prediction.

The architecture’s machine learning algorithms strategically connect residents to community resources, providing customized health education aimed to increase the health literacy, empowerment and self-management of patients. The security of the architecture includes development of unique health identifiers and touch-less biometrics capable of large-scale identity management.

Dr. Guy Hembroff is an associate professor in the Applied Computing department of the Michigan Tech College of Computing, and director of the Health Informatics graduate program. His areas of expertise are network engineering, medical/health informatics, biometric development, intelligent medical devices, data analytics, and cybersecurity.

The event was sponsored by HIMSS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM).

A mission-driven non-profit, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS) is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of the health ecosystem through information and technology, according to the organization’s website.

Guy Hembroff Presents Talk to Digital Health Startups


Dr. Guy Hembroff presented a talk to representatives of a number of digital health startup companies May 20, 2021, as part of an event hosted by the the HealthSpark program of 20 Fathoms, an entrepreneurial-focused member organization in Traverse City, Michigan.

The startup companies, in many U.S. locations, are being mentored by 20 Fathoms members.

Dr. Hembroff is an Associate Professor of Applied Computing and director of the Health Informatics Master of Science degree program at Michigan Tech.


Dr. Hembroff’s talk, “Cybersecurity and Privacy + X: Best Practices for Health Startups,” was designed to help startup companies gain awareness of and plan strategically for the cybersecurity and privacy elements of their company, affiliations with vendors, and the rights and protections of consumers.

Talk topics included an overview of data security and privacy, web security, scams and fraud detection and protection, mobile device security, network security, incident response, digital health data integration and interoperability, and protection from ransomware attacks.


The HealthSpark program is Traverse City’s digital health accelerator. The organization advances innovation and facilitates solutions that will resolve today’s challenges in rural healthcare. A community-focused initiative, HealthSpark work sto bring world-class healthcare solutions to rural patients through the advancement of digital technology.

20Fathoms is a membership organization for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, creatives, and other innovators in the the Traverse City, Michigan, region.

Led by a team of experts who have walked-the-walk, we provide services, resources, support, and a robust network to help our members accelerate both their careers and businesses, according to the 20Fathoms website.

Pursue a Cybersecurity Career with this Generous NSF CyberCorps Scholarship


Apply now for Michigan Tech’s 2021-22 cohort of Cybersecurity Scholars and jumpstart your cybersecurity career!

The deadline to apply is June 1, 2021.

This generous scholarship opportunity provides up to three years of tuition and annual stipend.

Then, following completion of your degree, you’ll work in a cybersecurity-related position for a federal, state, local, or tribal agency for up to three years– a period equal to the length of your scholarship.

See full guidelines, requirements, and application information on the SFS website: mtu.edu/sfs.


Eligible Degree Programs

  1. BS in Cybersecurity (CyS)
  2. BS in Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA)
  3. BS in Computer Science (CS)
  4. BS in Software Engineering (SE)
  5. BS in Computer Engineering (CpE)
  6. BS in Electrical Engineering (EE)
  7. BS in Management Information Systems (MIS)
  8. MS in Cybersecurity

Ready to apply? Visit mtu.edu/sfs

Questions? Email sfs@mtu.edu


The Michigan Tech SFS Program

The SFS program at Michigan Tech involves multiple programs and departments, including the College of Computing and its departments of Applied Computing and Computer Science; the College of Engineering’s Department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the College of Business’s Management Information Systems B.S. program. 

“The U.S. is facing a significant shortage of well-trained and well-prepared cybersecurity professionals,” said Dr. Yu Cai, professor of applied computing and the principal investigator of the grant. “This new scholarship will continue to develop Michigan Tech’s national and international reputation as a leader and innovator in cybersecurity education, research and outreach activities.”

The five-year, $3.3 million NSF grant provides up to three years of full scholarship support for 20 Michigan Tech undergraduate and graduate students.


About the NSF Scholarship

Protecting worldwide digital infrastructure has become an urgent focus of industry and government. And employment in this sector is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.

In response, the National Science Foundation CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program was introduced as a nationwide program to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals, industrial control system security professionals, and security managers.

Sidike Paheding, AC, Awarded R-D Grant by Purdue University


Sidike Paheding (AC/ICC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $19,037 research and development grant from Purdue University. The two-year project is titled, “Cybersecurity Modules Aligned with Undergraduate Computer Science and Engineering Curricula.”

The project aims to serve the national interest by improving how cybersecurity concepts are taught in undergraduate computing curricula.

The grant is a sub-award of a $159,417 Purdue University NSF project . View that project here.


Abstract

This project aims to serve the national interest by improving how cybersecurity concepts are taught in undergraduate computing curricula. The need to design and maintain cyber-secure computing systems is increasingly important. As a result, the future technology workforce must be trained to have a security mindset, so that they consider cybersecurity during rather than after system design. This project aims to achieve this goal by building plug-and-play, hands-on cybersecurity modules for core courses in Computer Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering. The modules will align with the curricula recommended by the Association for Computing Machinery and will be designed for easy adoption into computing programs nationwide. Modules will be designed for integration into both introductory and advanced courses, thus helping students develop in-depth understanding of cybersecurity as they progress through their computing curriculum. It is expected that the project will encourage more students to pursue careers or higher degrees in the field of cybersecurity.

The project will examine how the modules may be best integrated into existing curricula and the effects of the modules on student learning and interest in cybersecurity. Assessment will leverage several methods including (a) a task load index to quantify rigor, (b) surveys to gain insight into the development of students’ security mindset and perceptions of cybersecurity, and (c) analysis of learning using analytical course rubrics. Deliverables of this project will include a suite of plug-and-play cybersecurity modules for Computer Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering courses that span from introductory to advanced levels and that meet standards for content breadth and depth. The results will be disseminated through publications, presentations, press releases, and social media to ensure that project outcomes are shared widely. The NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools.

GenCyber Teacher Camp Is July 19-23, 2021


An NSA/NSF GenCyber Cybersecurity Teacher Camp for K-12 teachers will take place at Michigan Tech the week of July 19 – 23, 2021. This residential camp is offered at no cost to all participants.

Topics include fundamental security knowledge, cyber hygiene, and other topics such as email phishing, password management, and cyber ethics. Participants will also learn how to develop lesson plans to teach cybersecurity in K-12.

Room and board are included. Each teacher participant will receive a stipend of $500 for attending and completing camp activities. Commuting is also possible. Camp activities will count for 25 State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH).

Find complete details and apply here.  The application deadline is May 1, 2021.

Funding of the camp is provided jointly by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a grant award led by Professor Yu Cai and Tim Van Wagner, both from the College of Computing Department of Applied Computing.

Watch a video from the 2019 GenCyber Teacher Camp below.

Assistants, Helpers Needed for Cybersecurity Teacher Camp, July 19-23


Dr. Yu Cai, Applied Computing, is seeking motivated students to help with this summer’s GenCyber Teacher Camp, which takes place on campus July 19-23, 2021.

  1. Twenty K-12 teachers attending the camp.
  2. Students will work as teaching assistants and camp helpers. They will set up the lab, help during hands-on activities and games, manage the website, and help the assessment. Students will be paid for 3 weeks of work during July.
  3. Contact Dr. Yu Cai (cai@mtu.edu) for details and to apply.

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

Placement Team Name Institution Total Points
1st Place nullbytes George Mason University 3697
2nd Place ChrisSucks George Mason University 3330
3rd Place GoBlue! 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