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2013 CSAW ESC Finalists

November 27, 2013

Team UCF Knights, comprised of ECE Undergraduate students Dean Sullivan, Brandon Frazer, Jeff Biggers, Ryan Dixon, Henry Chan, and Victor Medina, received second place at the 2013 Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) Embedded Systems Challenge held from Nov. 14-16th in Brooklyn, New York at The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly). The competition challenged the students’ knowledge in one of the newest and most difficult fields within cyber security: testing and protecting electronic hardware. The UCF team was the only undergraduate team among eleven international collegiate teams that were chosen to compete in the final round. Dr. Yier Jin from the EECS Department served as the UCF team’s faculty advisor working with students on projects to prepare them for the competition in UCF’s Trusted Hardware Lab. The 2013 CSAW ESC finalists were:

  1. Team Nighthawk, University of Texas at Dallas-Tianyu Chen and Liwei Zhou; mentor: Professor Y. Makris
  2. UCF Knights, University of Central Florida-Dean Sullivan, Ryan Dixon, Victor Medina, Brandon Frazer, Jeff Biggers, and Henry Chan; mentor: Professor Yier Jin
  3. Iowa State Cyclones, Iowa State University-Matthew Hinrichsen; mentor: Professor J. Zambreno
  4. NYUAD attackers-NYU Abu Dhabi-Samah Mohamed Ahmed Saeed, Muhammad Yasin, and Chandrakumar Holenarasipursuresh; mentor: Professor Sinanoglu
  5. Intruders, University of Connecticut-Kan Xiao; mentor: Professor M. Tehranipoor
  6. Team Nanoscape Trojan, Case Western Reserve University-Yu Zheng and Abhishek Basak; mentor: Professor S. Bhunia
  7. Team Esisar, Grenoble INP – Esisar, France-Riff David, Conti Raphael, Zeroual Mouad, Coffe Jean-Charles, and Roux Baptiste; mentor: Professor D Hely
  8. Ninja Tyler Trojans, The University of Texas at Tyler-Mukesh Reddy Rudra, Varun Nagoorkar, Lagadapati Yamuna Sri, Lakshman Raut, Rajeshwar Rao Pinninti, Vrunda Tony Chitavaduta, Elizabeth Minu Joseph, Shyam Sai Prashanth Haran, Nimmy Anna Daniel, Mani Kumar Bikkumalla, and Dinesh Veramachineni; mentor Professor D. Hoe
  9. MoMA Avengers, NYU-Poly-Nektarios Georgios Tsoutsos and Charalambos Konstantinou; mentor. Professor M. Maniatakos
  10. Team NarMOS, University of South Florida-Matthew Lewandowski, Christopher Bell and James Muldoon; mentor: Professor S. Katkoori
  11. Team UTSA, University of Texas at San Antonio-Milad Maleki and Juan Portillo; mentor: Professor B. Li

The focus of this year’s ESC was on attacking chip (ICs) by making malicious modifications during manufacturing. In a red-team/blue-team scenario, the finalists were asked to design malicious hardware Trojans on an IP core in order to circumvent the security teams hardening techniques, while still meeting the functional specifications of the SoC designer. Professor Simha Sethumadhavan’s research team from Columbia University provided this year’s defense called FANCI, an RTL netlist checker. All attacks and defenses will be shared with other researchers on Trust-Hub, and the best work from this year’s competition will be presented as part of the new Hardware and Embedded Systems Security Track in hardware security related conference.

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