Faculty Candidate - Stephen Checkoway/UC - San Diego, CA, "Motor, Voters, and the Future of Embedded Security", ACES 2.302

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Mar 22, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found at


Type o

f Talk: Faculty Candidate

Speaker/Affiliation: Stephen Checkoway/UC -

San Diego, CA

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Graduate Students, Under

graduate Students and Outside Interested Parties

Date/Time: Thursday,
March 22, 2012, 11:00 am

Location: ACES 2.302

Host: Vitaly Sh


Talk Title: Motor, Voters, and the Future of Embedded Securi


The stereotypical view of computing, and hence compute

security, is a landscape filled with laptops, desktops, smartphones

and servers general purpose computers in the proper sense. However,

is is but the visible tip of the iceberg. In fact, most computing

is invisibly embedded into systems and environments that few of
us would

ever think of as computers. Indeed, applications in
virtually all walks

of modern life, from automobiles to medical
devices, power grids to vot

ing machines, have evolved to rely on the
same substrate of general purp

ose microprocessors and (frequently)
network connectivity that underlie o

ur personal computers. Yet along
with the power of these capabilities com

e the same potential risks as
well. My research has focused on understand

ing the scope of such
problems by exploring vulnerabilities in the embedd

ed environment, how
they arise, and the shape of the attack surfaces th

ey expose. In
this talk, I will particularly discuss recent work on two

platforms: modern automobiles and electronic voting machines.
In each
case, I will explain how implicit or explicit assumptions in th

design of the systems have opened them to attack. I will demonstrate

these problems, concretely and completely, including arbitrary control

over election results and remote tracking and control of an unmodified

tomobile. I will explain the nature of these problems, how they
have com

e to arise, and the challenges in hardening such systems going

Stephen Checkoway is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science and

Engineering at UC San Diego and before that he received his B.S. from

he University of Washington. He is also a member of the Center for

otive Embedded Systems Security, a collaboration between UC San
Diego an

d the University of Washington. Checkoway''s research spans a
range of a

pplied security problems including the security of embedded
and cyber-phy

sical systems, electronic voting, and memory safety