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PhD Defense: Cross-Layer Attacks and Defenses in the Cyber-Physical System (CPS)

Name: Anomadarshi Barua

Chair: Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque

Date: May 1, 2023

Time: 12 PM – 2 PM

Location: EH 2430-Harut Barsamian

Committee: Pramod P Khargonekar, Zhou Li

Title: Cross-Layer Attacks and Defenses in the Cyber-Physical System (CPS)


Have you ever wondered how simple music can leak deadly pathogens from a bio-safety lab? Have you ever considered how an industrial robotic arm can be compromised from a cloud infrastructure? Have you ever imagined an attacker could use a magnetic field to shut down a weak microgrid?  If the above questions excite you, please attend my PhD oral defense, where my research answers the above questions with a practical demonstration of CPS attacks on industry-used infrastructure. With this seminar, the audience will gain a deep insight into how hardware/software interaction in CPS’s cross-layer can open a “Pandora’s Box” of unknown threats that can come from very unconventional ways.

My research sits at the intersection of hardware and software cross-layers in CPSs, exploring how interactions of cyber and physical components can affect the safety and controllability of closed-loop control from sensing to actuation. Most attacks on CPSs can be propagated from the physical domain to the cyber domain or vice-versa and hence, can be termed cross-layer attacks. To understand these cross-layer attacks, a very different set of methodologies and tools is needed. My research talks about how these tools can be made. Moreover, the seminar will show how cross-layer vulnerabilities can be handled using new hardware/software co-design approaches to detect, contain and isolate threats in CPSs.

Short Bio:

Anomadarshi Barua is a Ph.D. candidate studying Computer Engineering at the University of California Irvine. He received his M.S. degree in Embedded Computing Systems jointly at the University of Southampton (UoS) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2016. Now, He is working under the supervision of Professor Al Faruque in the Autonomous and Intelligent Cyber-Physical Systems (AICPS) Lab. His current research focuses on the system-level design of embedded and Cyber-Physical-Systems (CPSs) with a special interest in CPS security, low-power design, and computer microarchitecture. He publishes in the security conferences like ACM CCS, USENIX, ACSAC, RAID, HOST, and CHES and system conferences like ICCPS and ICCAD. He also has worked in several industries in North America and Europe, such as Intel Corporation (USA), Solidigm (USA), Nordic Semiconductor (Norway), and IDEAS (Norway). In his leisure time, he likes to travel to new places and go for hiking.