Perhaps the true measure of a scholarly institution are the footprints its faculty and students leave behind. The Center for Cybersecurity continues to make an impression by addressing issues that can affect the privacy, security, and safety of potentially millions of individuals.
Here are a few recent examples:
- The Cybersecurity for Democracy initiative, lead by Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Damon McCoy and Ph.D. candidate Laura Edelson, digs into the roots of political advertising to determine who is behind it and who they are targeting. They work with reporters and institutions to provide data collection tools and access to raw data collected to provide insight into online political advertising.
- “Deep fakes,” or photos that have been digitally manipulated, are becoming increasingly harder to detect. CCS cofounder Nasir Memon, along with Paweł Korus, a research assistant professor in the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science, have introduced carefully crafted artifacts directly into images at the moment of image acquisition. These “digital watermarks,” are extremely sensitive to manipulation and can thus help to identify when a photograph has been tampered with.
- Uptane is a framework that protects software delivered over-the-air to the computerized units of automobiles. The framework can thwart attacks from malicious actors who can compromise servers and networks used to sign and deliver updates. Hence, it is designed to be resilient even to the best efforts of nation state attackers.
- Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing is growing in popularity, but unfortunately that popularity has attracted the attention of hackers. CCS is currently pioneering a new cybersecurity program for 3-D printing, a collaborative effort that bridges the disciplines of cybersecurity and mechanical design, and will eventually be part of a new Master of Science program and a new certificate program.
- Students in the NYU Cyber Fellows program engage in real world cyber defense exercises, alongside the New York City Cyber Command. Last March, the Fellows conducted the city’s first ever Cyber Defense Simulation, matching wits as defenders against a team of security experts from NYC3 and private industry, who took on the roles of the hackers. CyberSTRIKE (Simulated Threat Response and Incident Knowledge Exercise), gave the Fellows a chance to apply their classroom knowledge by defending against eight different simulated attacks in real time.