Research Highlights

Cybersecurity in a Post-Quantum World
New encryption methods strengthen current cybersecurity efforts and establish a platform for the secure communication of quantum computers.

Cybersecurity has transformed into an everyday reality for all users of Internet-connected devices. Joining wireless networks, shopping or paying bills online, logging into password-protected Web accounts, and toting always-connected mobile devices presents a constant security challenge. Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology are planning for an even bigger challenge to cryptography and cybersecurity: quantum computing.

Mobile App Security Research
Dr. David Naumann takes steps to analyze mobile Apps and prevent malware access.

Mobile applications are quickly becoming the new Web, assuming many of the tasks that a few short years ago could only be carried out on a desktop or laptop computer. Unfortunately, apps are the most common way through which smartphones and the data stored on them are compromised. In the face of this looming threat, Dr. David Naumann, Professor of Computer Science, develops tools that cost-effectively evaluate the trustworthiness of mobile apps on the Android platform.

Enhancing Battlefield Wireless Security
Formulating new methods of authentication to secure wireless communication for the armed forces.

For as long as armies have had to communicate and coordinate over large distances, people have tried to intercept messages, impersonate senders, or confound the enemy with decoy messages. In the information age, military networks have grown in complexity, with soldiers, vehicles and sensor nodes that all need to communicate in a flexible and secure manner. As the ability to communicate has grown in sophistication, so has the potential for eavesdropping and malicious attacks, and the integrity and security of battlefield communications is of paramount importance to modern military missions. Mobile nodes operating outside supporting infrastructure—for instance soldiers or vehicles performing mission-critical tactical tasks in hostile battlefield environments—provide significant challenges to secure communication.

Innovation Advances Wireless Networks
Researchers collaborate to end the scarcity of wireless spectrum with dynamic and efficient access.

The volume of radio communications has seen accelerated growth in recent years in order to accommodate traditional and emergent technologies. Modern radio communications include phone calls, text messages, photos, video, and data for smartphones and other mobile devices; television and radio broadcasts; public safety radio networks; and global positioning systems for navigation devices and applications. These communications travel over the air in the form of electromagnetic sine waves differentiated by their specific frequency or range of frequency. No two transmitters can share the same frequency in a single geographical area, so service providers must lease portions of wireless spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission. With the rapidly-increasing demands of new wireless services and applications for anytime/anywhere connectivity, there is a growing spectrum-scarcity problem.

Establishing a New Internet Security Protocol
Researchers experiment with enforceable Internet routing policies.

On March 12, 2013, for the first time in history, representatives of the US intelligence community testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee ranked the risk of cyber-attacks and cyber-espionage higher than worries about terrorism, transnational organized crime and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Online espionage, national security breaches, and sabotage are becoming more prominent and dangerous to countries around the world. Organizations and businesses are also increasingly contending with denial-of-service attacks that leave users unable to reach their sites. Viruses and malware continue to hinder user experiences on the Web. Leaders in industry, government and academia are calling for new solutions to alleviate these escalating concerns. The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program funded select few multi-institutional teams to explore new Internet designs without the constraints imposed by its current outdated architecture.

Streamlining Defense Data
DARPA project creates new language for interfacing with multiple sensor data streams.

Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have recently been awarded a DARPA grant to undertake one of the most ambitious challenges ever presented by the defense research agency. Dr. Hong Man and Dr. Yu-Dong Yao, both of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are helping the US military tackle the incredible task of intelligently managing all sensor and surveillance data collected in their global quest to secure American lives and interests.

Preventing Cell Phone Car Accidents
Existing technology can be leveraged to identify and alert you to a dangerous situation.

To increase safety on the road, wireless researchers are looking for technologies that can passively influence the behavior of drivers who put themselves and others at risk through distracting cell phone use. For their paper demonstrating a technique that detects drivers using phones, Dr. Yingying Chen and her graduate students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology recently won the Best Paper Award at the ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2011).

Post-Quantum Cryptography
Applying a new mathematical approach to cryptography for stronger online security.

By applying a new mathematical paradigm to cryptography, Dr. Antonio Nicolosi and his research group in the Department of Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology, together with other computer scientists and mathematicians at CUNY, are laying the foundation for a safer Internet. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently awarded this team a grant that will support the development of new cryptographic tools and protocols, as well as foster a unique collaboration between the cryptography and group-theory research communities.

Faster More Reliable Wireless Connections
Creating new global market opportunities.

Every year, the US racks up over 2.2 trillion mobile talk minutes and sends more than 2.1 trillion tex messages, all generating revenues of $164 billion and contributing over a quarter of a million jobs with the direct wireless carriers alone. By June 2011, nearly one-third of US households were wireless only, having no traditional telephone land line. There are more mobile-enabled talk or data devices in consumer hands than there are consumers.

Corporate Intruder Detection
Wi-Fi network signals provide introder detection without installing a separate security system.

Dr. Yingying Chen of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology was recently given The National Science Foundation’s highly competitive peer accolade, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her research, “Enhancing the Security of Pervasive Wireless Networks by Exploiting Location.” This funding is part of a continuing grant which goes into effect on March 1st, 2010.