"Hardware in Cybersecurity: From the Weakest Link to Great Promises"

Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:00 PM

Location: LTS Auditorium, 8080 Greenmead Drive

Gang Qu
UMD Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research

It is well-known that hardware implementation can outperform the software implementation of most applications, including security primitives such as encryption, by up to several order of magnitudes. However, hardware implementation may also make these mathematically-sound security primitives vulnerable.

In this talk, we will discuss the role of hardware in cybersecurity. The finite state machine (FSM) model will be used to demonstrate that systems built with today’s design flow and tools are vulnerable against a simple random walk attack.

Recent work on physical unclonable function (PUF), a unique feature embedded in the chip during fabrication process, will be shared, including usability problems that exist. We will also look at some new projects on hardware-software co-design in building security and trust to demonstrate the great promise that hardware can bring to cybersecurity.

Gang Qu is a professor in the UMD Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research.

Qu serves as director of the Maryland Embedded Systems and Hardware Security Lab and the Wireless Sensors Laboratory. He is also a member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center and Maryland Energy Research Center.

His research focuses on the area of embedded systems and VLSI CAD with focus on low-power system design and hardware-related security and trust. Qu studies optimization and combinatorial problems, applying his theoretical discoveries to applications in VLSI CAD, bioinformatics, cybersecurity and more.

He received a doctorate in computer science from UCLA.