The utilization of smart devices (e.g., phones and tablets) and wearable technologies (e.g., smart watches, health and fitness trackers) in our lives is continuously increasing with the emergence of new computing paradigms such as Internet of Things (IoT), Wearables, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) devices. According to some recent studies, by 2018, each person is expected to have on average five devices with an Internet connection. Given this popularity, in today’s Internet-centric world, these always-on, always-connected smart devices, IoT devices, and wearable technologies pose significant security challenges. For instance, an adversary can abuse these devices to access confidential information, spread viruses, and to spam or to conduct a social-engineering attack, possibly harming a legitimate user’s reputation and other users’ interest. Unfortunately, these devices are under the constant threat of an increasing number of cyber attacks. Hence, it is crucial to understand the threat landscape for these various devices and protect users’ valuable assets (e.g., accounts, passwords) from malicious activities.

Students in this REU Site will have a chance to learn the fundamental security concepts and investigate the security and insecurity of the smart IoT and wearable devices. The projects will be offered by 4 mentors and specifics will be discussed upon the acceptance of the candidates to the program. Below we list some potential areas that can be studied under these mentors:

Potential Broad Project Areas:

  • Privacy Preservation in Smart Homes
  • Blockchain Technologies for IoT
  • Vehicular and IoT Forensics
  • Security of Smart Wearable Technologies
  • Anomaly Detection in Smart City Smart Things
  • Authentication of Smart Devices under Multiple Radio Access Technologies

Mentors: 

  • Dr. Kemal Akkaya
  • Dr. Selcuk Uluagac
  • Dr. Alex Pons
  • Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim

General Qualifications:

  • Comfortable with programming in open source languages and platforms such as Java/C/C++, Python, and Android platform or prior programming experience with a strong interest and motivation to quickly learn the Android ecosystem
  • Knowledge/strong interest in security and networking/wireless fields is a plus, but not mandatory.