Oct 15, 2020 12:00 PM

NSF-funded project at K-State focuses on improved security of smart devices

Posted Oct 15, 2020 12:00 PM
<a href="https://www.ece.k-state.edu/people/faculty/guo/">Xiaolong Guo</a>&nbsp;photo courtesy KSU
Xiaolong Guo photo courtesy KSU

MANHATTAN — Smart homes, smart infrastructure, smart health and more — the list of applications embedded with sensors, software and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices continues to drive the need for rigorous analysis of hardware and software critical to ensuring the safety and security of these systems.

The National Science Foundation Division of Computing and Communication Foundations has awarded a $250,000, three-year grant to Xiaolong Guo, assistant professor in the Mike Wiegers Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University, for further research in this area.

Guo will collaborate on the project "Property-specific Hardware-oriented Formal Verification Modules for Embedded Systems" with Tuba Yavuz, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Florida.

Things unique to their approach include a property-directed co-model extraction and a property-specific run-time validation process to achieve scalability and precision in detecting bugs due to hardware-software interactions.

"If successful, the research will deliver methodologies, automation tools and system-level benchmarks that will allow vendors to detect security and safety vulnerabilities in early stages," Guo said. "Its greatest impact will be on workforce training and broadening participation in formal methods and embedded-system security."

This will primarily be achieved through courses Guo will develop and teach in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, outreach events and collaborations with industry.