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CERIAS Security Seminar: Mind the Gap: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities for Cyber R&D at the Edge

The Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security
November 29, 2023
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


Robert Denz
Riverside Research

Abstract: This is a hybrid event. Students are encouraged to attend in person: STEW G52(Suite 050B)
Commercial or defense systems are often developed first to meet a mission or customer need. Security of many of these systems is often developed at a component level by each components product team. The product teams often maintain robust security for their component within the system, but security gaps begin to form when the complete system is assembled. Adversaries will seek to exploit these gaps in the overall system design as they look for the path of least resistance to achieve their goals. These adversaries do not limit themselves to one exploitation domain and will often pivot across domains in their execution of an attack. To guard against these multi-domain threats, we as security practitioners and researchers need to work together to adjust our world view on the larger system of system security challenge that we face. This presentation begins the process of enumerating some of these gaps, how gaps came into existence, and provides potential research avenues to address them.

About: Dr. Robert Denz serves as the Director of the Secure and Resilient Systems group at Riverside Research. In this role, he leads a team of researchers who ensure software provenance, security, reliability, and resilience in systems. To achieve these objectives, the Secure and Resilient Systems group conducts innovative research in formal methods, AI-driven secure waveform design, and secure operating system implementations for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC).

Dr. Denz has over 15 years of experience working on and leading cybersecurity and anti-tamper research programs for DARPA and the DoD. He was recently the Principal Investigator for DARPA Dispersed Computing, where he oversaw a multi-disciplinary team that delivered distributed resilient mesh routing protocols to the tactical edge. Dr. Denz also served as a research lead for DARPA Mission Resilient Clouds (MRC), contributed to the DARPA Clean-slate design of Resilient, Adaptive Secure Hosts (CRASH), and was an original designer of the Air Force Cross-Domain Access SecureView Hypervisor. Through these efforts, he gained extensive knowledge of x86 processor internals and secure operating systems.

Dr. Denz received his PhD in secure hypervisor and kernel design from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 2016.


The weekly security seminar has been held every semester since spring of 1992. We invite personnel at Purdue and visitors from outside to present on topics of particular interest to them in the areas of computer and network security, computer crime investigation, information warfare, information ethics, public policy for computing and security, the computing "underground," and other related topics. More info

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