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Ulukus Receives NSF Grant for Wireless Security Research

Prof. Sennur Ulukus
Prof. Sennur Ulukus

Prof. Sennur Ulukus (ECE/ISR) is principal investigator for a four-year, $1.1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for her research, titled “Interactive Security.” This is a joint grant with Prof. Aylin Yener of Penn State University and Prof. Kannan Ramchandran of the University of California, Berkeley.

This wireless security research aims to secure wireless communication channels in the physical layer using techniques from information theory, communication theory,  and signal processing. The researchers plan to use the unique characteristics of the wireless medium to secure the communication.

The wide use of wireless data services leads to sensitive and confidential information delivered over wireless links. With e-crimes resulting from such information being compromised to unauthorized parties at an all time high, the “all wireless” vision can materialize only if the security of wireless information transfer can be guaranteed. Conventional approaches to information security are designed for wired networks with assumptions that lead to a disassociation from the physical medium in which communication takes place, and provide guarantees against adversaries that are computationally limited. This project provides a new approach for wireless networks to deliver provable and unconditional security. 

The researchers will design wireless networks with a secure foundation guaranteeing reliable and secure delivery of information. In doing so, the investigators account for untapped and rich resources provided by wireless systems naturally, including sources with correlated observations or application content, channels that provide spatial and temporal diversity, network nodes that are helpers or relays providing interaction, and broadcast and bi-directional nature of the medium enabling communication with feedback. The project calls for a network design paradigm that has security in its foundation and provides enlightened system design principles and protocols that are optimized to jointly exploit these resources. An extended goal is to integrate the resulting design principles for unconditional security with cryptographic approaches.

For more information, visit the NSF website.

May 12, 2010


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