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Securing CPSs Using the Revolutionary Blockchain Technology

Project (1): Securing CPSs using the Revolutionary Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a decentralized and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the consensus of the network. Blockchain is the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin that lets people who do not know or trust each other build a dependable ledger. Blockchain technology has implications far beyond the cryptocurrency. In this project, the REU students will study using Blockchain to solve different security problems for real-world applications, investigate the advantages of using Blockchain over traditional approaches, and implement/evaluate the solutions on real Blockchain platform. Specifically, the REU students will work on the following cutting-edge research topic.

Secure Data Collection and Management of Internet of Things (IoT) Devices. In situations where thousands or tens of thousands of IoT devices are connected, using server-client model to control and manage the devices may have some limitations. Due to the centralized nature of the system, if the server fails (e.g., due to denial of service (DoS) attacks), the whole system fails. Moreover, in smart grid, some IoT devices should frequently report measurements, and attackers can compromise these measurements to launch data false injection attacks. Blockchain is a promising technology that can help solve the aforementioned challenges. The decentralized and immutable nature of the Blockchain makes it hard to launch DoS attacks and forge or modify the measurements stored in the Blockchain. In this task, the REU students will design a secure Blockchain-based IoT system to control IoT devices and store the measurements, and implement the system using Ethereum and a number of Raspberry Pis acquired from prior grants.

Qualifications: Self-driven and outcome-oriented work attitude, strong programming skills in Java, and knowledge/strong interest in security, cryptography, and networking fields is a plus, but not mandatory.

Mentor: Dr. Mahmoud (

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2021 NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)