On Friday June 29, a group of middle school girls spent the morning in UW CSE, followed by an afternoon visit to Amazon.com. In UW CSE, the students were hosted by Crystal Eney, Caitlin Harding, and Victoria Wagner, and participated in activities including “Computer Science Unplugged” (Allison Obourn), sustainability sensing (Eric Larson), and computer security (Karl Koscher).
The girls were participating in G2CS – Girls Gather for Computer Science – a 4-week summer program.
UW CSE Ph.D. student Alexei Czeskis was interviewed on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” concerning a program in San Antonio to track students within their high schools using RFID.
“Alexei Czeskis studies RFID privacy issues at the University of Washington’s Security and Privacy Research Lab. He says it’s hard to predict the consequences of collecting all this data on our children.
“‘We don’t know what it could be used for in the future,’ he says, ‘and that could be something good or it could be something really bad. For example, maybe it’s foreseeable that when these students apply to college for admission, colleges might be able to request this type of data. Those kinds of things could have implications for students further on in their lives.’”
Listen to the story here.
“Earlier in the week we reported on the pretty epic interactive Google doodle that was an homage to Dr Robert Moog. The super cool landing page allowed visitors to mess around with a virtual Moog synthesizer and then share their noisy creation with others as an application recorded and played back the sounds (On a virtual reel-to-reel no less!)
“One smart engineer is all it takes to push a project further of course. Karl Koscher is a Ph.D. student studying computer security at the University of Washington, and he told TNW …”
Read the post and try it out here.
UW CSE Security Lab Ph.D. student Franzi Roesner has been recognized with the “Best Practical Paper” award at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. The paper, “User-Driven Access Control: Rethinking Permission Granting in Modern Operating Systems,” was co-authored with UW CSE professor Yoshi Kohno, UW CSE Ph.D. alumnus and Microsoft Research staff member Alex Moshchuk, Microsoft Research staff members Bryan Parno and Helen Wang, and Microsoft staff member Crispin Cowan.
Congratulations to Franzi and her co-authors!
UW CSE has just won the 2012 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, repeating 2011’s performance.
Team members Mick Ayzenberg, Henry Baba-Weiss, Ian Finder, Karl Koscher, Landon Meernik, Miles Sackler, Cullen Walsh, and Lars Zornes — coached by Jake Appelbaum and advised by Melody Kadenko — qualified for the National competition by winning the Pacific Rim Regionals last month. Hearty congratulations to these folks, and also to Barbara Endicott-Popovsky of UW’s iSchool for encouraging a UW-wide focus on cybersecurity.
See an excellent UW News article here. See a Seattle Times article previewing the competition here. Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article on the competition here. Seattle Times article on the competition here. Other press, out the wazoo: Sacramento Bee; PR Newswire; Infosec Island; Sys-Con Media; KHQ Spokane; KFVS Eklville; KYTX Tylor Longview; splunk.
The Seattle Times previews the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition:
“Somewhere in Texas right now, 30 hackers known as the Red Team are attacking a computer network called Go Mommy, using every trick to try to bring it to its knees.
“Among the defenders: Eight computer-science students from the University of Washington, working to repel the attack — quite possibly while humming the ‘Angry Birds’ theme song.
“This is the world of college cybersecurity competitions, where a dose of black humor underscores an atmosphere of extreme suspicion, and the hackers dish out clever pop-culture references while trying to break the student networks with a bag of dirty tricks.
“The UW team is one of the best in the country. It’s one of 10 teams competing in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio this weekend as the defending champs, having won the competition for the first time last year.”
Read more here.
Last year, UW surprised itself by winning the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. It is perhaps not so surprising, then, that the UW team — composed entirely of CSE students — rocked at this weekend’s Fifth Annual Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, winning a return ticket to the nationals. UW’s score exceeded the combined scores of the second, third, and fourth place teams.
Congratulations to team members Mick Ayzenberg, Henry Baba-Weiss, Ian Finder, Karl Koscher, Landon Meernik, Cullen Walsh, Lars Zornes, Miro Enev (grad alternate), Max Sherman (undergrad alternate), Miles Sackler (Team Captain), Melody Kadenko (Team Advisor), and Jake Appelbaum (Team Co-Advisor).
Team Advisor Melody Kadenko says: “I am SO PROUD of them!!! Further, it proves that it’s not necessarily our team training and practice that can account for so many wins (since we don’t do much of that). It’s the CSE curriculum that teaches our students how to analyze, find solutions, think abstractly. The only thing left to teach during training/practice is how to not have a meltdown when something goes horribly wrong, and how to keep the profanity to a minimum when judges are present.”
Franzi Roesner is one of the twelve winners (from 198 nominees) of this year’s Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship competition.
Franzi is a UW CSE Ph.D. student working with Yoshi Kohno in the areas of security, privacy, and systems. She was an undergraduate at UT Austin.
“Look, I’m not trying to freak you out here. Well, OK, maybe a little. But think about it: We have computers all over the place. Your laptop or desktop PC; maybe you have a tablet too, maybe a smartphone. And it doesn’t stop there. Your car might be computerized, your kitchen, the toys your kids got for Christmas. If any of those computers are connected to any kind of network, there exists an issue of security …
“Yoshi Kohno is an associate professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. He and his team figured out how to break into a car’s internal, computer network. They were able to control the brakes and turn the car on and off. They also fiddled around with a commercially available toy robot. ‘One of the things we found is that as soon as we turned this toy robot on, it advertises a wireless ad hoc network that anyone can connect to,’ Kohno says …
“Kohno’s team has been looking into something far more serious than a toy robot: implanted medical devices. ‘We found that a person using their own equipment could wirelessly communicate with a pacemaker or defibrillator and change its settings, turn on and off therapies, and in fact make it issue a large shock,’ he says.”
Listen to the full story here.
“The break-in is one of the boldest known infiltrations in what has become a regular confrontation between US companies and Chinese hackers.
“Bradley Shear, George Washington University professor and Attorney At Law with the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC, Alexei Czeskis, Security and Privacy Research Lab with the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, and Paul Rosenweig, Principal with Red Branch Consulting and a visiting fellow at Heritage, talk about this complex operation, which involved at least 300 internet addresses.”
Listen to the story here.