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Visiting Ph.D. student from the University of L'Aquila gave a talk on "Security in Embedded Systems: the Wireless Sensor Networks case" at CISTER

23, Apr, 2019

Walter Tiberti, a visiting Ph.D. student from the University of L'Aquila (Italy) gave a talk with the title "Security in Embedded Systems: the Wireless Sensor Networks case".

After a quick overview on security in general-purpose platforms and in the Embedded System domain, he presented some state-of-the-art cryptographic solutions for securing a particular class of Embedded Systems: the Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). He introduced the "Topology Authenticated Key Scheme" (TAKS), an lightweight hybrid-cryptography scheme for Wireless Sensor Networks. TAKS overcome the key distribution problem of symmetric cryptographic schemes by splitting the full key into different sets of components. Each uni-directional communication link is protected by a key which can be retrieved only by combining the proper key components with a combination function. In this way, the network designer can define a logical topology on top of a WSN, generate and finally distribute the key components according the topology defined. A WSN node using TAKS will never have the full key pre-programmed inside its memory, thus, even if an attacker manages to "capture" the node, he/she will have no enough information to compromise the communication links.

Walter also presented the WSN Intrusion Detection System (WIDS) and its TinyOS-based implementation, TinyWIDS. WIDS is a misuse-based IDS designed for WSN which aims to model each known attack by means of Weak Process Models (WPM) and to estimate, at any given time, the WSN node state in respect of the defined attack models. When a WSN node has, in its estimated states list, a state which is considered dangerous, a notification is sent to the higher layers (e.g. a reaction-manager layer).

Walter works on Embedded Systems security as well as malware analysis, penetration testing, reverse-engineering, low-level software design and development (e.g. drivers, firmwares, etc.) and digital hardware design for reconfigurable platforms. He has been involved in European projects such as ERC VISION (2009) and he is currently working in the ECSEL SafeCOP project.

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Related Projects:

Safe Cooperating Cyber-Physical Systems using Wireless Communication