RISCS Hosts 5/12 Charles River Crypto Day

Published: May 17th, 2017

Sponsored and hosted by the Hariri Institute for Computing and the BU Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security (RISCS), the Charles River Crypto Day brings together academics and research scientists from local universities and research labs to discuss recent advances in cryptography. The Charles River Crypto Day series, which is open to the public, is a recurring networking opportunity for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and research scientists pursuing basic cryptography research in the Greater Boston Area.

Visit the Charles River Crypto Day event page for more information and presentation recordings.

Argyro Karanasiou to Give 11/30 Wed@Hariri/RISCS Seminar

Published: November 23rd, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM, networking and refreshments at 2:45 PM
Hariri Institute for Computing
111 Cummington Mall, Room 180

In collaboration with Boston University’s Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security Group (RISCS), the Hariri Institute for Computing will be hosting Argyro Karanasiou (Senior Lecturer of Law, Bournemouth University) for a Wednesday@Hariri seminar.

Emergent Normative and Legal Aspects of Automated Systems: The Intricacies of Machine Learning Algorithms

Argyro Karanasiou
Senior Lecturer of Law, Bournemouth University

About the Speaker: Dr Argyro Karanasiou is a Senior Lecturer specialising in IT and Media Law, affiliated with the Centre for Intellectual Property, Policy & Management (CIPPM) and with the Data Science Institute (DSI) at Bournemouth University. She is also affiliate faculty staff of Harvard Law School (2014-2015), delivering the course CopyrightX:CIPPM (together with Professor M Borghi) in the UK.

BUSec Seminar – Prof. Tai Moreshet & Aanchal Malhotra

Published: June 10th, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016
12pm -1 pm
Location: PHO 339, 8 St Marys St
View Details >

BUSec Seminar – Bryan Ford, EPFL

Published: April 8th, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Location: MCS-180 (Hariri Seminar Room), 111 Cummington Mall

View Details >

Sharon Goldberg, Institute Fellow, Discovers Flaw in Computers’ Timekeeping

Published: April 7th, 2016

As featured in recent worldwide news, Sharon Goldberg, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Hariri Institute Fellow, discovered a potential vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol (NTP), the software that synchronizes clocks on computers. In a paper released on October 21st, Goldberg and her team reported a security problem that affects the clock function of tens of millions of computers on the internet. Applications ranging from bank website encryption schemes to bitcoin systems to website authentications could have been breached. Happily, says Goldberg, fixes for the vulnerability were implemented before the paper was published.

Goldberg’s work helps cement “BU’s presence in cybersecurity,” says Azer Bestavros, a CAS computer science professor and director of the Hariri Institute. “Sharon’s work often involves undergraduate students, and they get inspired by taking her courses, underscoring how excellence in research contributes significantly to the quality of teaching and experiential learning.”

[Read the full BU Today article]

[Read the Ars Technica article]

[Read the ZDNet article]

Teaching the Next Generation – Hacking with Holyoke Codes

Published: April 7th, 2016

Boston University researchers, including Hariri Institute Founding Director, Azer Bestavros, hosted a free, hands-on cybersecurity workshop  at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke, MA on December 12, 2015. The Hacking with Holyoke Codes workshop was attended by over 20 young people who learned about secret codes and cryptography. Both kids and their parents participated in activities such as passwords cracking and a Capture the Flag Hacking Contest.

The event, hosted in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, was sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association, Holyoke Codes, and Girls Inc of Holyoke. Support was provided by the National Science Foundation Grant through Boston University – MACS: A Modular Approach to Cloud Security.

[Read More]

Hariri Institute Director Azer Bestavros Confers with Federal Officials on Cybersecurity

Published: April 7th, 2016

On July 8, Hariri Institute Director Azer Bestavros briefed Department of Defense (DOD) and Homeland Security (DHS) officials on several cybersecurity projects now in progress at BU, including the Modular Approach to Cloud Security (MACS), a $10 million, five-year, National Science Foundation–funded project to help develop information systems with several layers of security measures, and  Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC), a computing cloud Hariri is developing with enhanced cybersecurity.

A professor of computer science at the College of Arts & Sciences, Bestavros says the information on BU’s projects was “very well received” by the officials. His meeting with government officials is featured on BU Today.

Hariri Fellow to Participate in Cybersecurity Panel

Published: April 7th, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Location: 121 Baystate Road

View Details >

Hariri Fellow Sharon Goldberg Weighs in on Apple Cybersecurity Case

Published: April 7th, 2016

Sharon Goldberg, a Hariri Institute Faculty Fellow and associate professor of computer science, has serious concerns about the FBI’s request to unlock Apple’s iPhone. Goldberg, a network security expert, sat down with BU Research to discuss the ongoing standoff between Apple and the FBI, as well as its potential to introduce substantial security risks for Apple and its users.

Goldberg explains that the FBI’s demand for Apple to write software that introduces a vulnerability into the iPhone would open the door to bugs and hardware attacks, not just for the iPhone in question, but for all Apple users. Goldberg adds, “our efforts to secure the internet are nowhere near where they need to be, and this would be a step backward at a time when we need to improve cybersecurity, not weaken it.” As Goldberg sees it, creating a method to circumvent the iPhone’s passcode security would likely drive “bad actors” to other devices, “[weakening] everyone’s security in hopes of making it easier to trap a few.”

[Read more]

Hariri Institute Director, Azer Bestavros, and Faculty Fellow, Sharon Goldberg, on President Obama’s Cybersecurity Budget Proposals

Published: April 7th, 2016

Budget proposals for the next fiscal year are expected to invest more heavily in research, including studies in the area of cybersecurity, fields in which BU and the Hariri Institute are leading research institutions.

Hariri Founding Director, Azer Bestavros, and Hariri Faculty Fellow Sharon Goldberg both expressed their excitement over the proposed increase for cybersecurity research. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the primary funder of cybersecurity research, may receive up to $150 million for its secure-computing program, a 16% jump from last year and one of the largest increases for a specific program at NSF. Hariri itself has three projects currently funded by NSF, one of which is the Modular Approach to Cloud Security (MACS). This joint project between BU, MIT, Northeastern, and UConn currently receives $10 million in funding.

Sharon Goldberg, a CAS associate professor of computer science, is a MACS researcher and is also engaged in other work that might benefit from any new funding. She says the Obama administration’s strategic plan for cybersecurity research emphasizes cryptography, and “most of my research is concerned with understanding how cryptographic mechanisms can be used to secure core internet protocols.”

Bestavros also voiced his concern that the new technology made possible by funding would go unused in the marketplace. Because bulletproof systems and networks created by researchers such as Bestavros and Goldberg are more expensive than current industry products, the new designs and innovations are seldom adopted into the market. Bestavros states the need for government to create regulations that “make building secure software an expectation.”

The politics and economics are complicated, he concedes. Industry fears that regulation stifles innovation were more valid when the information technology was in its infancy. “I think we have reached a point where we should expect the software development industry to have matured, but that opinion is not shared.”

Read the full BU Today article