Lincoln Laboratory 70th Anniversary Virtual MIT / LL Collaborations Seminar Series: Cyber Resiliency: From Evolution to Revolution

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

Virtual Event

Dr. Hamed Okhravi (MIT LL) and Dr. Howie Shrobe (MIT CSAIL)

Join us via Zoom on 25 August at 11:00 am for a 70th Anniversary MIT and Lincoln Laboratory Collaborations seminar titled “Cyber Resilient Systems,” presented by Dr. Hamed Okhravi (Lincoln Laboratory) and Dr. Howie Shrobe (MIT CSAIL). Modern mission-critical systems leverage commodity components such as processors, operating systems, and programming languages as a cost-effective way to quickly create mission infrastructure. However, these components are inherently insecure because they were designed in an era when the need for security was not widely understood. Current bolt-on defenses can provide only partial protection at best.

This seminar provides an overview of more than nine years of collaboration between Lincoln Laboratory and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) to design, analyze, implement, and evaluate cyber resilient systems. This collaboration started with studying add-on defenses that can improve the resiliency of computer systems in an evolutionary way. Guided by the findings about the limits of such add-on defenses when applied to commodity components, such as unsafe programming languages (e.g., C/C++), the collaboration then focused on building a vision and a roadmap for secure-by-design computer systems in which important security properties are inherent. Our vision, called the Resilient Mission Computer moonshot, builds on recent advancements in safe programming languages (e.g., Rust) and security-aware processor designs (e.g., tagged architectures) to eliminate large classes of cyber vulnerabilities by design.

Dr. Hamed Okhravi - Bio

Dr. Hamed Okhravi is a Senior Staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he leads programs and conducts research in the area of systems security. His research interests include cybersecurity, science of security, security evaluation, and operating systems. He is the recipient of two R&D 100 Awards (2020 and 2018), the Stratus Award for Cloud Computing (2020), Lincoln Laboratory's Best Invention Award (2019), a Team Award (2015), the National Security Agency's Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Award (2015), and the Laboratory's Early Career Technical Achievement Award (2014) for his work in computer security.

Dr. Okhravi is an associate editor of the IEEE Security & Privacy journal and he has served twice as the program chair of the ACM Moving Target Defense workshop. He has also served on the program committee of numerous top-tier security conferences. He holds MS and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Dr. Howard Shrobe - Bio

Dr. Howard Shrobe is a Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s CSAIL. He the founder and director of CSAIL’s cybersecurity research initiative. He currently leads a research group that focuses on the application of AI planning technology to cyber vulnerability analysis and this work is being applied in the DARPA Cyber-Hunting at Scale and Cyber Assured Systems Engineering programs. He is also a member of the HOPE team in the DARPA System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware program and the RITA team in the DARPA Artificial Social Intelligence for Successful Teams program.

Dr. Shrobe served as Associate Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and later as Associate Director of CSAIL. He has twice served as a program manager at DARPA (1994 – 1997 and 2010 – 2013). He was also Vice President of Technology at Symbolics Inc., where he led the development of the Ivory microprocessor and the Joshua AI programming toolkit. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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