Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EECS in the News

Meet DDoSCoin, the Cryptocurrency that Pays When You P0wn

This article in the Register reports on the research conducted by CSE alum Eric Wustrow and CSE student Benjamin VanderSloot. They created a proof-of-work project built on cryptocurrency that offers a means to prove participation in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoSCoin allows miners to prove that they have contributed to a distributed denial of service attack against specific target servers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  

New Cryptocurrency DDoSCoin Incentivizes Users for Participating in DDoS Attacks

The article reports on the new research paper by CSE alum Eric Wustrow and CSE student Benjamin VanderSloot. The researchers have put forward the concept of DDoSCoin a cryptocurrency with a malicious proof-of-work. Presented at the Usenix 2016 security conference, the researchers explain the DDoSCoin system which enables miners to select the victim servers by consensus using a proof-of-stake protocol. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  

Online voting could be really convenient. But its still probably a terrible idea.

This article reports on Internet voting availability in the US. It then examines Estonia's electronic voting system, which has been been hailed by some as a model system for secure electronic voting. Prof. J. Alex Halderman, who was part of a security team that documented failings in the Estonian system, disagrees and is quoted in the article. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Algorithms can be More Fair than Humans

In this article in The Conversation, Prof. H. V. Jagadish talks about how algorithms can discriminate, even when their designers don't intend that to happen, but they also can make detecting bias easier. He states, “While it is tempting to believe data-driven decisions are unbiased, research and scholarly discussion are beginning to demonstrate that unfairness and discrimination remain.“ [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Jagadish, HV  

Screen Savers: The World's Smallest Computer

The new episode of Screen Savers features Prof. David Blaauw, whose team has developed the world's smallest computer. The Michigan Micro Mote (M3) works as a fully functioning computer on the millimeter scale. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

Hackers Fool Tesla Autopilot Into Making Obstacles 'Disappear' -- But Don't Panic About Crashes Yet

Wenyuan Xu, a visiting professor at CSE from the University of South Carolina, is part of a research team that has developed techniques for sabotaging the sensors for the autopilot in a Tesla. This article in Forbes describes how the research team used three forms of attack to tick the Tesla. [Full Story]

Hackers Fool Tesla S's Autopilot to Hide and Spoof Obstacles

Wenyuan Xu, a visiting professor at CSE from the University of South Carolina, is part of a research team that has developed techniques for sabotaging the sensors for the autopilot in a Tesla. This article in Wired describes how they simulated an attack from an adjacent car equipped with sensor jamming equipment. [Full Story]

CSE Researchers Win Pwnie Award for Work on DROWN Attack

A research team that includes CSE PhD student David Adrian and Prof. J. Alex Halderman has been awarded the Pwnie Award for Best Cryptographic Attack at the BlackHat conference for their work on the DROWN attack. DROWN is a serious vulnerability that affects HTTPS and other services that rely on SSL and TLS, some of the essential cryptographic protocols for Internet security. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes

This in-depth article in Politico traces the history of "the Princeton group" -- a cadre of security experts, including Michigan's Prof. J. Alex Halderman, who grew out of Andrew Appel and Ed Felton's groups at Princeton and have influenced the conversation on the security of electronic voting. The article concludes with this remark from Halderman regarding the danger posed by state-sponsored cyber attackers: "We sit around all day and write research papers. But these people are full time exploiters. They're the professionals. We're the amateurs." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

The Adventures of a Blissfully Unaware Bipedal Robot at the Grassy Wave Field

Evan Ackerman writes: "Grizzle says that when it comes to MARLO trying to conquer the 'devious undulations' of the Wave Field, 'we have gotten farther than I thought we would, to be honest.' This is the sort of thing we like to hear from researchers and dont, usually: pleasant surprise about how well their robot is performing. For more details on how MARLO managed to get this far, we asked him a few specific questions." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Tiny Computer Has Enormous Potential

"The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., has a new addition - one that is at the cutting edge of new computer technology. It isnt a breakthrough new powerhouse in computing, but instead a computer so small that one of the devices can sit on the edge of a coin." It's the Michigan Micro Mote! [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  

Students from the United States visiting various work groups of BrainLinks-BrainTools this summer

Four undergrad students participating in the International Program for the Advancement of Neurotechnology (IPAN)'s summer bootcamp visited the cluster of excellence at Freiburg University in Germany. The students received training in modern neuroscience research and tools. IPAN and the study abroad program are directed by Prof. Euisik Yoon. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  International Prog. for the Adv. of Neurotechnology  Undergraduate Students  Yoon, Euisik  

The DNC Leak Shows How Vulnerable This Election Is To Hacking

Security experts including Prof. J. Alex Halderman are quoted in this article about the security risks associated with electronic voting. Many studies conducted by Prof. Halderman and his contemporaries have demonstrated that elections based on electronic voting are at risk of manipulation - often without detection. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Reinforcement Renaissance

This article in Communications of the ACM reviews reinforcement learning and how it is complemented by deep learning in systems that aim to learn the way that humans do. Prof Satinder Singh Baveja is quoted in the article. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Baveja, Satinder Singh  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Machine Learning  

National Robotics Initiative: Celebrating Five Years, Looking Ahead

Move over, C-3PO and R2-D2! You may have been robot celebrities during the glory years of Star Wars, but next-generation robotics are the new, 21st century superstars. A recent event on Capitol Hill celebrated the five-year anniversary of the National Robotics Initiative. It also provided an opportunity for NRI-funded research groups to both display their accomplishments, and also encourage Congress to maintain this critical funding mechanism for robotics in the United States. Prof. Jessy Grizzle attended with a display on his work. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Software Systems  Robotics  

R&D's Scientist of the Year - Starting 50 Years Ago with the Pioneer

50 years ago R&D Magazine chose its very first recipient of the prestigious Scientist of the Year Award Emmett Leith. The professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan was presented with the honor for co-inventing the three-dimensional holography, better known as the technology of laser to help create 3D photography. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Holography  Lab-Optics and Photonics  

The Mr. Robot Hack Report: Ransomware and Owning the Smart Home

This article references work done by UM CSE researchers, led by Prof. Atul Prakash, who recently exposed vulnerabilities in the Samsung SmartThings platform that let them set off smoke alarms or even unlock doors. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  Prakash, Atul  Security (Computing)  

Clever Tool Shields Your Car From Hacks by Watching its Internal Clocks

In a paper they plan to present at the Usenix security conference next month, researchers led by Kang G. Shin, the Kevin and Nancy O'Connor Professor of Computer Science, describe an easy-to-assemble tool they call the Clock-based Intrusion Detection System, or CIDS. CIDS characterizes the clock inaccuracies of all of the processors in a car in order to spot the malicious messages that hackers use to take control of vehicle components like brakes and transmission. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Automotive industry  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  Shin, Kang G.  

Experimenting with Post-Quantum Cryptography

This Google blog post announces the company's decision to test post-quantum cryptography in Chrome, in which a small fraction of connections between desktop Chrome and Google's servers will use a post-quantum key-exchange algorithm in addition to the elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm that would typically be used. The algorithm used in the test builds on work by Prof. Chris Peikert and his collaborators. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Theory of Computation  Peikert, Chris  Quantum Computing  Security (Computing)  

Online voting would be disastrous because hackers could hijack the democratic process

This article frames the very real dangers of online voting and underscores them with examples from Prof. J. Alex Halderman's work in demonstrating weaknesses in the Estonian online voting system and Washington DC's 2010 attempt at an Internet voting system. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

A Women's History of Silicon Valley

Too often, in Silicon Valley as in other places, women are involved in significant events, but their stories go untold. They are the cofounders who are not named in press articles. Check out this list of seven women who were key figures in the technologies that made Silicon Valley what it is today. Included on the list is Professor Emeritus Lynn Conway, who helped make large-scale chip production and innovation possible with her pivotal work on VLSI. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Conway, Lynn  Women in Computing  

Google snaps up startup in push to master computer vision

The future of computer vision looks bright following a string of tech acquisitions in the field, most recently by Google. Jason Corso offers his perspective on the future of computer vision and the challenges researchers have yet to overcome. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

Tesla crash raises concerns about autonomous vehicle regulation

The fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S in Autopilot mode has turned up pressure on auto industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology is deployed safely. Jason Corso says the product is meant to be a beta test, and that the crash is a wake-up call to a need for significant further study. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

Why experts worry about the Tesla crash

Jason Corso told the Detroit Free Press that Tesla's recent autopilot crash is "not a major setback, but an indication of the work still to do." The crash, which resulted in one fatality, occured when neither the automated system nor the driver recognized the white side of the semi-truck against a brightly lit sky. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Computer Vision  Corso, Jason  Lab-Systems  

Thorny Technical Questions Remain for Net Neutrality

In this article in The Conversation, Prof. Harsha Madhyastha examines the principle of network neutrality and makes the case for scenarios in which ISPs should be able to treat some differing types of traffic unequally. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  Madhyastha, Harsha  Networks and Networking  

The Most Interesting Tech IPO of the Year

Twilio, founded by CS alumni Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis in 2007, went public on June 23 with shares closing up nearly 90 percent in the first day of trading. Quartz calls it "the most interesting tech IPO of the year." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Entrepreneurship  

James Freudenberg Takes Embedded Control Systems to Zurich

Prof. James Freudenberg taught his course, Embedded Control Systems, as a guest at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. The school prepared a video highlighting the course, which provides a comprehensive overview of embedded control systems. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Freudenberg, James S.  Lab-Systems  

Video of the week: Injectable radio broadcasts through flesh in real-time

The Engineer highlighted research by Prof. David Wentzloff and David Blaauw on an injectable radio that can broadcast from inside the human body. This latest advance will enable the relay of information in real-time to devices monitoring heart fibrillation as well as glucose monitoring for diabetics. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Health  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Medical diagnosis  Millimeter-scale Computing  Wentzloff, David  

U-M professors know wonders, risks of self-driving cars

This article in the Free Press examines the work of Profs. Edwin Olson and Ryan Eustice as they take on their new roles heading up key research areas at Toyota's new Ann Arbor Toyota Research Institute location. Prof. Olson will lead Toyota's the perception thrust and Prof. Eustice will lead the mapping/localization effort. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

Sony Wants to Push AIs to Learn From Their Own Experiences

Sony has invested in AI startup Cogitai to build intelligent systems that will learn from their own experiences in the world. Prof. Satinder Singh, the co-founder of Cogitai, discusses continual learning and the future of intelligent systems. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Baveja, Satinder Singh  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

Malware Attacks Putting Patients' Medical Records at Risk

Prof. Kevin Fu talks to Michigan Radio about the recent news stories regarding some U.S. hospitals being hit by malware attacks. When hospitals are hit, patient records can be in danger. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Fu, Kevin  Lab-Software Systems  Medical Device Security  

More Than 30 States Offer Online Voting, but Experts Warn it isnt Secure

This article revisits the question of online voting. Prof. Halderman cites a pilot project from six years ago in DC where the public was invited to attack a proposed Internet voting system. Halderman led a team that within 48 hours was able to gain nearly complete control of the server and change every vote. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  

MARLO the bipedal robot makes worldwide news coverage with her new steps

Jessy Grizzle and his students have their latest two-legged robot, MARLO, walking well over difficult terrain. The story started out on popular tech blogs and magazines like Engadget, Popular Science, VICE Motherboard, Gizmag and CNET. It was also covered by international English language publications such as the Daily Mail, International Business Times, the BBC, and the Canadian Discovery Channel (Daily Planet show). Other international coverage included French, Danish and Czech sites. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Software Systems  Robotics  

Your Devices' Latest Feature? They Can Spy on Your Every Move

In The Converstation, Prof. HV Jagadish sheds light on how smart devices are a gateway for hackers to spy on you. Since devices are networked, they can communicate in ways we dont want them to and people can take control of these technologies to learn private information about you. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Jagadish, HV  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  Security (national and personal safety)  

For Michigan Professor, Computer Science is Much More Than a Job

This article reports on Prof. Jason Mars and his work in developing technologies for intelligent personal assistants, from the software for the assistants themselves to the servers that are required to run such software. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Lab-Computer Engineering (CE Lab)  Mars, Jason  

5 big challenges that self-driving cars still have to overcome

in this article, Prof. Edwin Olson comments on what are seen are the key challenges involved in deploying autonomous or assistive driving technology. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

UM professors, students lead startup with real-world uses for AI technology

This article profiles Clinc, the artificial intelligence startup founded by Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang with CSE graduate students Michael Laurenzano and Johann Hauswald. Clinc is based in Ann Arbor and uses intelligent personal assistant technology to fuel new applications. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Graduate Students  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Numbers Game

This article in Michigan Research examines the growing importance of sports analytics and describes the work of Prof. Jenna Wiens in using machine learning to extract information from NBA sports data for automatically recognizing common defense strategies to ball screens. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Big Data  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Machine Learning  Wiens, Jenna  

Google Self-Driving Car Will Be Ready Soon for Some, in Decades for Others

This article reports on a talk given by Chris Urmson, Google self-driving car project director, at the SXSW conference, in which he seemed to reset expectations regarding the arrival autonomous vehicles. The article includes comments by Prof. Edwin Olson, who researches self-driving cars at UM and who is quite familiar with the technical challenges that remain to be addressed before such vehicles become ubiquitous. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

Attack against TLS shows the pitfalls of weakening encryption

This article describes how, for the third time in a year, security researchers including Prof. J. Alex Halderman have found a method to attack encrypted Web communications, a direct result of weaknesses that were mandated two decades ago by the U.S. government. The latest instance is the DROWN attack. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

'Thousands of popular sites' at risk of Drown hack attacks

This article describes how researchers including Prof. J. Alex Halderman have discovered a new way to disable popular internet encryption protocols. Their "DROWN" attack takes advantage of past government rules against strong encryption in technology to be exported. The rules have since changed, but the effects live on. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Drown attack: how weakened encryption jeopardizes 'secure' sites

This article describes how researchers including Prof. J. Alex Halderman have succeeded in attacking "secure" connections that are used in email, news and entertainment services. The article notes that the technique could affect up to one third of all websites that use secure communications and is a legacy of past efforts to water down online encryption. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

How to know when your boss is lying to you

This article in Mashable describes "tells" for when someone is lying. It includes a mention of new software developed by Prof. Rada Mihalcea and her collaborators that is better able to identify deception than human observers are. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Mihalcea, Rada  

President Obama Announces Computer Science for All

President Obama has announced a new Computer Science for All initiative to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn CS and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world. [Full Story]

Internet voting is just too hackable, say security experts

This article revisits the question of Internet voting, and reviews the reasons why these systems have been proven unreliable in the past. Prof. J. Alex Halderman, a prominent researcher in this area who has demonstrated vulnerabilities in many types of electronic voting systems, is quoted: "Imagine the incentives of a rival country to come in and change the outcome of a vote for national leadership. Elections require correct outcomes and true ballot secrecy." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Driverless cars work great in sunny California. But how about in a blizzard?

This article quotes Prof. Edwin Olson regarding the research he is doing in conjunction with Ford on autonomous vehicles and their use in conditions that include snow-covered roads. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

Even your academic advisor might one day be a robot

This article in Engadget highlights the new research collaboration between Michigan and IBM, which is aimed at building a conversationally-driven, artificially intelligent academic advisor that guides undergraduate students through their course options [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Baveja, Satinder Singh  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

Cybersecurity Startup QuadMetrics Calculates Odds a Company Will be Breached

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, QuadMetrics Inc. says it can predict with greater than 90% accuracy the likelihood that a company will be breached within the next year. QuadMetrics cloud service determines the probability of a breach at a particular company by collecting from its network more than 250 different data points. The company was co-founded by Prof. Mingyan Liu. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Systems  Liu, Mingyan  Security (Computing)  

The Story of a Digital Teddy Bear Shows How College Learning Is Changing

This story highlights the changing nature of education, driven in part by computationally-enabled entrepreneurship. Hackathons such as MHacks at U-M and other "outside the classroom" activities have created new opportunities for students to manage their own educations. The digital teddy bears highlighted in the story came to life as a project at MHacks 6. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Entrepreneurship  

Researchers make progress on holy grail of autonomous vehicles: driving in snow

This story by Michigan Radio talks about testing autonomous cars on snow covered roads. The new research was done by Profs. Edwin Olson and Ryan Eustice in collaboration with Ford. The new research shows it's possible for a self-driving car to get around using highly detailed 3D maps of everything that surrounds the vehicle. The news was also featured in their top of the hour news summary, please click here to listen. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

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