Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
ACM career talk: career opportunities in data privacy
Continuing with our Innovation, Collaboration, Job Search, and Career help theme, the ACM UMBC chapter is back again, hosting another session on the coming Friday with Sameer Ahirrao, a Founder and CEO of Ardent Privacy. He will be talking about Innovation, Collaboration, and Career Opportunities in Data Privacy. Find more on how you can get a part-time off-campus or full-time internship under MIPS (Maryland Industrial Partnership) Program with Ardent Privacy.
Join us for insights from him and a Q&A session with Sameer. See you on Friday, March 16 at 3:00 pm EST on WebeX. For more information, contact: .
talk: Transparent Dishonesty: Front-Running Attacks on Blockchain, 12-1 pm ET 3/26
The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents
Transparent Dishonesty: Front-Running Attacks on Blockchain
Professor Jeremy Clark Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
12–1 pm ET Friday, March 26, 2021 online via WebEx
We consider front-running to be a course of action where an entity benefits from prior access to privileged market information about upcoming transactions and trades. Front-running has been an issue in financial instrument markets since the 1970s. With the advent of blockchain technology, front-running has resurfaced in new forms we explore here, instigated by blockchain’s decentralized and transparent nature. I will discuss our “systemization of knowledge” paper which draws from a scattered body of knowledge and instances of front-running across the top 25 most active decentral applications (DApps) deployed on Ethereum blockchain. Additionally, we carry out a detailed analysis of Status.im initial coin offering (ICO) and show evidence of abnormal miner’s behavior indicative of front-running token purchases. Finally, we map the proposed solutions to front-running into useful categories.
Jeremy Clark is an associate professor at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering. At Concordia, he holds the NSERC/Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton/Catallaxy Industrial Research Chair in Blockchain Technologies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, where his gold medal dissertation was on designing and deploying secure voting systems including Scantegrity—the first cryptographically verifiable system used in a public sector election. He wrote one of the earliest academic papers on Bitcoin, completed several research projects in the area, and contributed to the first textbook. Beyond research, he has worked with several municipalities on voting technology and testified to both the Canadian Senate and House finance committees on Bitcoin. 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: April 9, (UMBC), MeetingMayhem: A network adversarial thinking game; April 23, Peter Peterson (University of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial thinking; May 7, Farid Javani (UMBC), Anonymization by oblivious transfer.
talk: Machine Learning: New Methodology for Physical & Social Sciences, 1pm ET 3/24
talk: (Don’t) Mind the Gap: Bridging the Worlds of People and IoT Devices, 1-2 ET 3/23
(Don’t) Mind the Gap: Bridging the Worlds of People and IoT Devices
1:00-2:00 pm ET, Tuesday, 23 March 2021 online via WebEx
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to improve our lives through different services given the diversity of smart devices and their capabilities. For example, the IoT can empower services to make the re-opening of business during the current pandemic safer by monitoring adherence to regulations. But the large amounts of highly heterogeneous data captured by IoT devices typically require further processing to become useful information. The challenge is thus for IoT systems to determine which sensor data has to be captured/stored/processed/shared to, for instance, determine the occupancy of a specific office building or the spaces in which a potential exposure took place. This becomes even more challenging when IoT systems have to take into account the privacy preferences of individuals, such as the need to prevent sharing data about their daily patterns or habits.
In this talk, I will discuss my efforts into helping IoT systems bridge the gap between the world of IoT devices and the world where people act. First, I will introduce a model to represent knowledge about sensors/actuators, people, spaces, events, and their relationships. Based on the model, I will explain an algorithmic solution to translate user requests and privacy preferences defined in a high-level, more semantically meaningful way into operations on IoT devices and their captured data. Second, I will talk about the enforcement of privacy preferences in the context of the IoT. Finally, I will overview my experience building and deploying an IoT data management system, TIPPERS, which has been deployed at UC Irvine and two US Navy vessels and is soon to be deployed on other campuses. I will conclude the talk by discussing the exciting future work opportunities towards supporting the next generation of ubiquitous IoT data management systems and technologies that autonomously, transparently, and at scale, balance the trade-off between providing users with high utility and respecting people’s privacy requirements.
Roberto Yus is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Computer Science department at the University of California, Irvine working with Prof. Sharad Mehrotra. Before that, he spent a year as a visiting researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County working with Prof. Anupam Joshi and Prof. Tim Finin. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Zaragoza, Spain, funded through a 4-year fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. His research interests are in the fields of data management, knowledge representation, privacy, and the Internet of Things (IoT). His research focuses on the design of semantic data management solutions to empower IoT systems to understand user information requirements and user privacy preferences and adapt their operations taking those into account. Roberto’s research has been published in top-tier conferences and journals such as VLDB and the Journal of Web Semantics. He is part of the editorial board of the “Sensors” and “Frontiers in Big Data” journals and has served as part of the organizing and program committee of several conferences and workshops in addition to serving as an external reviewer for multiple conferences and journals.
talk: Towards Contextual Security of AI-enabled platforms, 1-2 pm ET 3/22
UMBC expands live online peer tutoring to include computing courses
UMBC expands live online peer tutoring to include computing courses
When Amanda Knapp heard last fall from Anupam Joshi, professor and chair of computer science and electrical engineering (CSEE), that his department wanted to offer online tutoring to students in their courses, she was ready to help make it happen. COVID or no COVID, she says, “It just made sense.”
Knapp is associate vice provost and assistant dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and she manages UMBC’s Academic Success Center (ASC). “We already had an established system in place and could provide the administration, training, staffing, and assessment,” she explains. “CSEE provided the funding and identified potential tutors for a variety of computer science courses, and we did the rest.”
Just a few months after the partnership began, it expanded to include courses in the information systems (IS) department. And this semester, tutors are supporting ten IS computing courses.
In total, the ASC’s new Computing Success Center now offers tutoring for 21 courses from across the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). And the center continues to grow, supported by COEIT Dean Keith J Bowman and Dean Katharine Cole, Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
Peer tutors help students of any major, from computing fields to the arts and life sciences, learn coding and other computing skills.
“The ethos of UMBC is to share knowledge and collaborate with others instead of being proprietary,” says Helena Mentis, associate professor of information systems. Mentis is COEIT’s associate dean of academic programs and learning, and one of the College leads on the partnership.
“At the end of the day,” she says, “our goal at UMBC is to ensure that there are multiple pathways for students to get the assistance they need to succeed and remove any barriers for access to help.”
ACM chapter talk Career, job search, and interviewing tips
Nikhil Kumar Mengani (UMBC MS CS ’18), Microsoft SDE
The UMBC student ACM chapter will hold a session on careers and job searches from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET on Saturday, March 13. Nikhil Mengani, a UMBC graduate and current Microsoft Software Development Engineer, will talk about interview tips, using LinkedIn, and overall job search best practices.
Join the online meeting for some great insights and a Q&A session with Nikhil. Join via webex. For more information, contact Samit Shivadekar at
Remote cyberattacks can be started from an unlimited distance through the Internet. These attacks include particular actions that allow attackers to compromise systems remotely. Address-based Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks and remote exploits are two main categories of these attacks. A remote exploit takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability to view or steal data or gain unauthorized access to a vulnerable system. Current security solutions in IPv6 such as IPsec, firewall, and Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) can prevent remote attacks against known vulnerability exploits. However, zero-day exploits can defeat the best firewalls and IDPSs due to using undisclosed and uncorrected computer application vulnerability. Therefore, a new solution is needed to prevent these attacks. This talk discusses a Moving Target Mobile IPv6 Defense (MTM6D) that randomly and dynamically changes the IP addresses to prevent remote attacks in the reconnaissance step. The talk briefly covers the wide range of applications of MTM6D including critical infrastructure networks, virtual private networks, web servers, Internet-controlled robots, and anti-censorship.
Vahid Heydari received the M.S. degree in Cybersecurity and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. He is also a co-founder of a cybersecurity startup ObtegoCyber. His research interests include moving target defenses, mobile ad-hoc, sensor, and vehicular network security. He is a member of ACM, IEEE Computer Society and Communications Society.
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:
Mar 12, Chao Liu (UMBC), Efficient asynchronous BFT with adaptive security Mar 26, Jeremy Clark (Concordia) April 9, (UMBC), MeetingMayhem: A network adversarial thinking game April 23, Peter Peterson (University of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial thinking May 7, Farid Javani (UMBC), Anonymization by oblivious transfer