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UMBC 16th Digital Entertainment Conference, 11-5 Sat. 4/18 online

UMBC’s 16th Digital Entertainment Conference, online 11-5 Sat. 4/18

 

16th UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference

 

11:00am-5:00pm, Saturday, April 18, 2020

Online on YouTube

The Digital Entertainment Conference (DEC) is an annual event run by the students of the UMBC Game Developer’s Club that brings professional game developers from the area to UMBC to talk about their experience in the game industry. DEC’20 will be held online 11-5 on Saturday, April 18 on the UMBC Game Developers Club YouTube Channel. Attend online to see and interact with professions from the local game industry.

This year’s speakers include four professionals from Zenimax, a video game publisher headquartered in Maryland: Bobby Foster (Figure Artist), Eric Bakutis (Content Designer), Ryan Griffin (Artist), and Katie Hirsch (Programmer).

DEC’20 is free to attend and open to UMBC students, high school students, UMBC alumni and anyone interested in game development. It is sponsored by the UMBC Game Developers club and funded by the COEIT Dean’s Office’s Collaborative Student Funding Program.

UMBC Cyber Dawgs win Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

 

UMBC Cyber Dawgs win Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

 

Last weekend, the UMBC Cyber Dawgs took first place in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC), which was held virtually. UMBC’s team was one of eight that participated in the competition, fighting to protect their networks efficiently and effectively from simulated cyber threats and attacks. The team topped Penn State; the University of Maryland, College Park; and University of Virginia, which won the national championship for the past two years.

UMBC’s Cyber Dawgs will move on to compete in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC). Due to COVID-19, the competition will be held remotely this year.

How does the competition work?

These regional and national competitions attract leading collegiate cybersecurity teams from across the nation. They put teams in situations that mimic scenarios they might encounter working to secure and protect online systems for government agencies and companies. Throughout each challenge, teammates work together to protect their systems from hackers and cyber attacks. At the same time, they keep their networks accessible to the users relying on them. 

Meet the team

The MACCDC was about 14 hours long, and was held over two days. During the competition, the teams were not permitted to interact with their coaches Charles Nicholas, professor of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE), and Rick Forno, senior lecturer in CSEE.

The winning UMBC team included Anna Staats ‘20, computer science; RJ Joyce ‘18, M.S. ‘20, computer science; Cyrus Bonyadi, Ph.D. ‘23, computer science; Drew Barrett ‘20, computer science; Seamus Burke ‘20, computer science; Henry Budris ‘22, computer science; Chris Skane ‘21, computer science; and Nikola Bura ‘21, computer science. 

“We are so proud of our team, and their ability to work together as a team under such extraordinary conditions,” says Nicholas.

This is the third time in six years that the Cyber Dawgs have won the MACCDC. The UMBC team won the national championship in 2017.


Adapted from a UMBC News article by Megan Hanks. Banner image: Student using a computer. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

Talk: Lance Hoffman (GWU) Cyber Policy Challenges, 12-1pm 4/24 online

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Cyber Policy Challenges

Lance J. Hoffman
Distinguished Professor, George Washington University

12–1:00 pm, Friday, 24 April 2020

remotely via WebEx


System attackers and defenders operate on a constantly changing battlefield, and some of the more serious conflicts involving nation-states could be considered acts of war, though we are still in the early stages of defining war in cyberspace. Policies for security and privacy can vary wildly, and have important personal, national, and global consequences for privacy, free speech, censorship, and other issues. Things get even more complicated with the advent of the Internet of Things, where (mostly unsophisticated) users may think they have more control than they actually do and can make bad mistakes. Various ethical issues related to the development of these systems, including bias in artificial intelligence and what harm to choose when harm is unavoidable have only started to be examined. This talk will provide both historical context and some discussion of topical issues such as Zoombombing and the security of electronic voting systems as compared to mail ballots and traditional voting.


Professor Lance J. Hoffman is the author or editor of numerous articles and five books on computer security and privacy. He developed the first regularly offered course on computer security at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. A Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the Cyber Security Hall of Fame, Dr. Hoffman institutionalized the ACM Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. He has served on a number of Advisory Committees including those of Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Homeland Security and has testified before Congress on security and privacy-related issues. He is the principal investigator of the CyberCorps program at GWU. Dr. Hoffman earned his Ph. D. in Computer Science from Stanford University, after a B.S. in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.


Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL meetings: May 8, Jason Wells (UMBC SFS scholar) law enforcement; May 22, Spring SFS Meeting at UMBC, 9:30am-2pm, ITE456

online talk: Opal Hard Drives for Ransomware Resilience

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Opal Hard Drives for Ransomware Resilience

Russ Fink, Ph.D.
Senior Staff, the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory

12:00–1 pm,  Friday, 10 April 2020
via WebEx: umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman

 

Ransomware is crippling industry and government alike.  Paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee you’ll get your files back, but it funds the criminals who will continue on. Restoring from traditional network backups takes time, and never gets you back to the system you had before the attack.  In response, we have developed a resilient, local malware restore and recovery capability, capable of quickly restoring OS images onto “bare metal” after an attack or misconfiguration, useful for many applications.

I will discuss the technical details, including a description of the Opal hard drive specification, the Trusted Computing Group’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM), and how we secure secrets needed for WUBU – Wake-Up-Back-Up.  I’ll talk through some of the open-source technologies that we used to build our solution.  WebEx willing, I will give a live demonstration of a ShinoLocker ransomware infection, followed by an “as if nothing ever happened” recovery that takes only ten minutes.

Russ Fink is a senior staff member at the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory.  His research interests include computational private information retrieval, trusted computing applications, applied cryptography, and enterprise and mission cyber resiliency techniques.  He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from UMBC in 2010 working with Dr. Alan Sherman.  email: 

Host: Alan T. Sherman, . Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681.  The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays.  All meetings are open to the public.  Upcoming CDL Meetings:

  • Apr 24, Lance Hoffman (GWU), policy
  • May 8, Jason Wells (UMBC SFS scholar), law enforcement
  • May 22, Spring SFS Meeting at UMBC, 9:30am-2pm, ITE 456

CSEE Prof. LaBerge receives USM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

 

CSEE Prof. LaBerge receives USM Board of Regents’
Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

 

E. F. Charles LaBerge, Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department, has been awarded the 2020 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Since joining UMBC in 2008, E.F. Charles LaBerge’s career has been marked by outstanding classroom instruction, innovative teaching methods, and development of active learning spaces on campus. He brings a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to UMBC students enrolled in the range of courses that he teaches. As a professor of the practice in computer science and electrical engineering, LaBerge exposes his students to computer and electrical engineering concepts through real-world examples and multidisciplinary instruction. His extensive connections in industry have benefited his students and helped to prepare them for careers and graduate degrees.

As an instructor for the introduction to engineering course taken by all engineering students, he has impacted the educational careers of students across the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). He consistently receives high ranks and positive comments from students on course evaluations. Both his students and colleagues acknowledge and appreciate LaBerge’s modern approach to classroom instruction, which incorporates technology and new practices.

LaBerge was instrumental in the development of UMBC’s Active Learning Center, a space that supports collaborative learning to promote student success and retention in computing courses. He is a strong supporter of students across campus, opening his office to students, from those who have questions about classes to those seeking professional advice and mentorship. His teaching extends beyond the classroom, and he supports and mentors students presenting at UMBC’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Day each spring.

He is a very engaged member of COEIT, having served as the undergraduate program director for computer engineering and as the coordinator for computer engineering’s accreditation program, among other roles. His commitment to the College was recognized with the inaugural College of Engineering and Information Technology Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. This award was presented to him based on feedback from fellow faculty and colleagues.

LaBerge earned his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UMBC.

Adapted from the UMBC faculty awards announcement.

Prof. Naghmeh Karimi receives NSF CAREER award for research on the security of cryptographic chips

Professor Karimi and a custom measurement board developed by her collaborators at the University of Buchum, Germany that is being used to test a 65 nm application-specific integrated circuit sample

 

Investigating the Impact of Device Aging on the Security of Cryptographic Chips

 

Professor Naghmeh Karimi received a prestigious NSF CAREER award to support her research on Investigating the impact of device aging on the security of cryptographic chips.

CAREER awards are among NFS’s most prestigious awards and are intended to support early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Cryptographic chips implement cryptographic functions in hardware for better performance. Despite the significant performance benefits, cryptographic chips can be compromised by the adversaries via monitoring their power-consumption, tampering their logic or placing the chips under stress to generate erroneous outputs to infer sensitive data. The current protections against such attacks do not consider the aging of the devices that can cause a parametric shift of device parameters over time which can compromise device security.

Supported by this five-year award, Professor Karimi and her students will investigate the effects of device aging on the security of cryptographic devices, particularly those with protection against physical attacks, and develop solutions to ensure security when device aging comes into account. Her work will help enable the development of long-lasting security for trusted hardware platforms, and result in aging-resistant security solutions that benefit the society via devices that remain secure over their lifetime.

UMBC Cyber Dawgs win 15th Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

 

UMBC Cyber Dawgs place first in
15th Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

 

Congratulations to the UMBC Cyber Dawgs for winning the 15th Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) which was held this Friday and Saturday. UMBC placed first in a field of teams from eight Universities who made the regional finals out of an initial set of 27 qualifying teams. By winning the regional competition, UMBC will represent the Mid-Atlantic states in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition to be held on May 22-24, 2020.

The MACCDC has been held annually since 2006. Each year, it develops a new realistic challenge using the latest technologies currently in use. This year’s scenario involves student teams working for a fictitious Artificially Intelligent Institute (AII), a multinational corporation with offices in the Mid-Atlantic region. It was described as follows.

“As a leading provider of advanced AI surveillance tools to intelligence and law enforcement agencies, as well as private-sector organizations, the main business driver of AII is to show how new surveillance capabilities are transforming government’s and organization’s monitoring capabilities. As part of their duties, Blue Teams are expected to defend their systems against aggressors. Early intelligence reports suggest that rouge Hackistanian antagonist are interested in stealing AII’s intellectual property, source code, and customer database. Hackers contracted and working directly for the country of Hackistan are also interested in disrupting IoT devices on-premises at the various AII regional offices.”

The MACCDC team was chosen from members of the CyberDawgs student group, composed of students from a variety of majors who share a common interest in computer and network security. No prior experience is required to join and any UMBC students who want to learn more about cybersecurity and learn new skills in the field are encouraged to subscribe to its mailing list and attend meetings.

The CyberDawgs group is advised by CSEE faculty Charles Nicholas and Richard Forno.

Online Talks Double Feature: Blockchain and Network Defense, 12-2 Fri 3/27, UMBC

UMBC will hold a double feature with two online security-oriented talks from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EDT on Friday, March 27. Both talks will be shared via Webex.





From 1:00-2:00 pm, Professor Dr. John Mitchell of Stanford University will give a Lockheed Martin Distinguished lecture on “Will Blockchain Change Everything“. Join the presentation online at 1:00 pm EDT at https://umbc.webex.com/meet/joshi.

Far from serving only as a foundation for cryptocurrency, blockchain technology provides a general framework for trusted distributed ledgers. Over the past few years, their popularity has grown tremendously, as shown by the number of companies and efforts associated with the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project, for example. From a technical standpoint, a blockchain combines a storage layer, networking protocols, a consensus layer, and a programmable transaction layer, leveraging cryptographic operations. The distributed state machine paradigm provides atomicity and transaction rollback, while consensus supports distributed availability as well as certain forms of fair access. From an applications perspective, blockchains appeal to distributed networks of independent agents, as arise in supply chain, credentialing, and decentralized financial services. The talk will look at the potential for radical change as well as specific technical challenges associated with verifiable consensus protocols and trustworthy smart contracts.





From 12:00-1:00 pm EDT Col. Dan Yaroslaski, a former operations officer at the Marine Forces Cyberspace Command will talk on “Hard-Learned Lesson in Defense of a Network“. You can join the presentation online at 12:00 pm at https://umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman.

Often network defenders fail to take into account organizational culture when attempting to provide a secure, reliable, and usable enterprise network. Users and process leaders often fall victim to the false allure of the value of networked systems, without asking the question, “Should this be networked?” Collectively, organizations also forget that networks are a combination of the humans who use the network, the personas we all have to form to gain access to this manmade domain, and the interplay of logical and physical network architecture manifested in geographical locations. The value of some simple military principles—including defense-in-depth, mission focus, redundancy, and resiliency versus efficiency—can help a network defender better advise everyone from the “C Suite” decision-makers to the average network user, on how to have a secure network while accepting reasonable limitations.

Online talk: Synergy-based human-machine interfaces, 1-2 3/23, Webex

To investigate the neural representations of kinematic synergies, scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) signals and hand kinematics are recorded during representative types of hand grasping.

Synergy-based human-machine interfaces

Ramana Vinjamuri
Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Assistant Professor
Stevens Institute of Technology

 

1:00-2:00 pm Monday, 23 March 2020

Online Webex meeting

Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) have not only become popular technologies but have become the hope of many individuals for restoring their lost limb function. Any HMI has two important intrinsic design components—(i) decode the human commands and (ii) controlling the machine to convert that command into action. Decades of research went into making the interface between the human and the machine seamless but were unable to effectively address the inherent challenges, namely, complexity, adaptability, and variability. To overcome the above challenges, it is critical to computationally understand and quantitatively characterize the human sensorimotor control. Emerging areas in HMIs critically depend on the ability to build bioinspired models, experimentally validate them and utilize them in adaptive and intuitive control. The human hand with high dimensionality encompasses the three inherent challenges and may serve as an ideal validation paradigm. How the central nervous system (CNS) controls this high dimensional human hand effortlessly is still an unsolved mystery. To address this high dimensional control problem, many bioinspired motor control models have been proposed, one of which is based on synergies. According to this model, instead of controlling individual motor units, CNS simplifies the control using coordinated control of groups of motor units called synergies. However, there are several unanswered questions today— Where are synergies present in CNS? What is their role in motor control and motor learning? By combining the concepts of human motor control, computational neuroscience, machine learning and validation with noninvasive human experiments, can we answer these fundamental questions? The goal of this research is to develop efficient, seamless and near-natural human-machine interfaces based on biomimetically inspired models.

Ramana Vinjamuri received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2008 specialized in dimensionality reduction in control and coordination of human hand from the University of Pittsburgh. He worked as a postdoctoral research associate (2008-2012) in the field of Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI) to control prosthesis in the School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh where he received Mary E Switzer Merit Fellowship from NIDILRR in 2010. He worked as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University (2012-2013) in the area of neuroprosthetics. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (2013-Present). In 2018, he received Harvey N Davis Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2019. His other notable research awards are from USISTEF and New Jersey Health Foundation. He also holds a secondary appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, India.

Webex Talk: Hard-Learned Lesson in Defense of a Network, 12-1 Fri 3/27

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Hard-Learned Lesson in Defense of a Network

Dan Yaroslaski
Former Operations Officer at Marine Forces Cyberspace Command, Colonel, USMC


12–1:00pm, Friday, 27 March 2020
WebEx: https://umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman

Often network defenders fail to take into account organizational culture when attempting to provide a secure, reliable, and usable enterprise network. Users and process leaders often fall victim to the false allure of the value of networked systems, without asking the question, “Should this be networked?” Collectively, organizations also forget that networks are a combination of the humans who use the network, the personas we all have to form to gain access to this manmade domain, and the interplay of logical and physical network architecture manifested in geographical locations. The value of some simple military principles—including defense-in-depth, mission focus, redundancy, and resiliency versus efficiency—can help a network defender better advise everyone from the “C Suite” decision-makers to the average network user, on how to have a secure network while accepting reasonable limitations.

Colonel Dan Yaroslaski is a career Marine with over 30 years of service to the nation. He started as an enlisted anti-armor missileman, who then became an Assault Amphibian Vehicle Officer (AAV’s are 27 Ton armored amphibious descendants of the WW II vehicles used from Tarawa to Iwo Jima). He has made a career of integrating technology and human beings to form cohesive combat organizations. Dan’s diverse career placed him at the forefront of high-end, top-secret compartmentalized planning and execution, to the extremely human act of advising an Afghan National Army Kandak (Battalion). During his five-year tenure at Marine Forces Cyberspace Command, he successfully architected new techniques that took advantage of boundary defenses, to new and innovative ways to integrate traditional warfare methods with cyberspace operations, as highlighted in a recent NPR story about USCYBERCOM’s Operation GLOWING SYMPHONY. Dan also spent time creating effective policy directing network operations and defense, to include an extremely frustrating year negotiating the interplay of network operations, operations in the information environment, and Marine Corps culture. Dan and his wife are now empty nesters, so they spend an enormous amount of time nurturing two dogs to fill the void left by their children. As the Rolling Stones point out, “What a drag it is getting old.”

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings:

  • Apr 10, Russ Fink (APL), ransomware
  • Apr 24, Lance Hoffman (GWU), policy
  • May 8, Jason Wells (UMBC SFS scholar), law enforcement
  • May 22, Spring SFS Meeting at UMBC, 9:30am-2pm, ITE 456
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