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College of Engineering and Computing

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Crichigno receives grant for research on cybersecurity techniques

By Leigh Thomas | March 27, 2020

The College of Engineering and Computing Integrated Information Technology (IIT) Department has received a $500,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of new techniques against cyber attacks. The project team is led by Jorge Crichigno and Ph.D. students working on the college’s Cyberinfrastructure Lab.

The project focuses on enhancing the security of devices that transmit sensitive data in real time, collectively known as the “Internet of Things" (IoT). While a number of research endeavors are already addressing IoT security problems, several challenges hinder their success. These include the lack of IoT monitoring capabilities once such devices are deployed, the shortage of remediation techniques when they are compromised, and the inadequacy of methodologies to permit the comprehension of the underlying IoT malicious infrastructures.

Leveraging the expertise of the Cyberinfrastructure Lab in high-speed networks and next-generation programmable switches, the proposed system will scrutinize real-time unsolicited Internet-scale traffic. The team is currently developing classifiers to fingerprint IoT devices, identifying their types and vendors, and disclosing their large-scale vulnerabilities and hosting environments.

Crichigno said, “At least 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2023, but security of these devices has fallen in priority, making them easier to exploit and threatening the privacy of the consumers and mission-critical systems. This project will develop new methodologies and contribute to existing cybersecurity measures by creating a large-scale cyberinfrastructure for data and threat sharing.”

The participant institutions are University of Texas at San Antonio, University of South Carolina and University of South Florida.


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