Cybersecurity raises questions about who owns data and how best to discourage security breaches. This talk will offer some unexpected and perhaps controversial perspectives from economics on relevant questions, including: Who presumptively should own data? What is the purpose of liability law? Should those who violate data security always be liable, or only if they fail to take appropriate measures to prevent leaks? Could “the market” solve the problem, e.g., by people choosing where to shop on the basis of data security? Would regulation be a better means than liability to promote cybersecurity? Don’t expect answers to these questions; my hope is to stimulate and hopefully inform the discussion. If time allows, I’ll review some major actions by the Federal Trade Commission, who is the lead national agency policing privacy-related conduct.
Dr. Tim Brennan is professor emeritus of public policy and economics at UMBC, retiring in July 2020 after thirty years on the UMBC faculty. He has also been FCC Chief Economist, held the T.D. MacDonald Chair in the Canadian government’s Competition Bureau, and served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Before UMBC, he was an associate professor of telecommunications and public policy at George Washington University and a staff economist at the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division. He has over 130 articles and book chapters and books on competition policy, economic regulation, telecommunications and energy policy, intellectual property, and economic methods. His MA in math and Ph..D. in economics are from the University of Wisconsin.
The challenging time facing the pandemic forced us to relate to the human being’s broadband picture and his surrounding as one functioning system across countries and continents. The need is to relate both to the Micro (including in-body, physical, and mental conditions) and the Macro (such as environmental, cultural, and economic factors) providing a comprehensive understanding of the human body functioning in the surrounding, towards a precise, personalized “disease signature,” definition, especially these days. A systematic literature review on the “disease signature” term revealed no clear definition. In many articles, the “disease signature” phrase appears as a single biomarker (often genetic), mainly related to neurology or oncology. (Stemmer, A. at All, 2019. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 67(4)). The major goal is the unity of nature, science, and technology, from the nanoscale towards converging knowledge and tools, at a confluence of disciplines, as was envisioned by the NSF in 2001 (NBIC) and further at the joint EU-US WTEC effort “Converging of Knowledge, Technology, Society,” Roco et al., Springer 2013.
The COVID-19 global health emergency increased the need for early precise diagnosis and treatment while facing major physical and mental threat and stress, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These understandings reemphasized the need to join all forces, converge, verify and embed all knowledge, expertise, and new advanced technologies in the various disciplines. Furthermore, it enforced to verify the data originated by various sources while bridging all cultural, conceptual, curation and technology barriers, preserving privacy and ethics regulations and ensuring reliable advanced analysis tools. All of the above provide profound insight into the human body and brain functioning in the surrounding and reliable “Disease Signature,” followed by suitable therapeutic treatment.
The question to be asked: Are we able to collect Big enough data, distributed and representative enough, while bridging all barriers and accurate analysis tools to ensure reliable, replicable, reproducible outcome towards precise, personalized medicine? The Brain Medical Informatics Platform (MIP), developed by the EU Human Brain Flagship Project, as part of the EBRAINS platform, is a key feasibility study along these lines. It involves broad clinical data collections from 30 hospitals, converging knowledge and data, embedding new technologies for data privacy, preservation, and curation, as well as sophisticated analysis tools. The MIP and EBRAINS framework goal is to identify “BRAIN Disease Signatures” towards reliable medical treatment. A 3C (Categorize, Classify, Cluster) Methodology, developed in our lab, is one of the tools available on the MIP. It incorporates expert medical knowledge and experience into the analysis process of disease manifestation and potential biomarkers towards reliable insights. The 3C approach was applied to the ADNI (Alzheimer’s disease Neuro Imaging) cohort, discovering association with new subtypes, which were later verified using the Rome Gemelli hospital labs clinical data. Other case studies were Parkinson’s Disease, genetic and biomarker research: (Tal Kozlovski, et al., 2019, Frontiers in Neurology, Movement Disorders), as well as PTSD research (Ben-Zion et al., 2020, Translational Psychiatry), both in collaboration with the Tel Aviv Medical Center. The COVID-19 global health emergency increased the need for early precise diagnosis and treatment while facing major physical and mental threat and stress, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These understandings reemphasized the need to join all forces, converge, verify and embed all knowledge, expertise, and new advanced technologies in the various disciplines. Furthermore, it enforced to verify the data originated by various sources while bridging all cultural, conceptual, curation and technology barriers, preserving privacy and ethics regulations and ensuring reliable advanced analysis tools. All of the above to provide profound insight into the human body and brain functioning in the surrounding as well as reliable “Disease Signature”, followed by suitable therapeutic treatment.
Providing “Healthy Aging” to the elderly is a perfect example conceiving all, these days, as the elderly became one of the vulnerable groups at risk. The loneliness and isolation forced by the current pandemic results in severe conditions, including stress disorders and PTSD. Thus, an International “Healthy Aging” initiative was established at TAU, promoting broad interdisciplinary research, combining knowledge and data analysis as well as advanced technologies, from most areas of science: including economics, art, social sciences, mental and physical health, lifestyle, engineering, etc. All that to ensure the best fitted reliable treatment and a balanced quality of life to the elderly in general, and in these days, in particular.
Dr. Mira Marcus-Kalish is the Director of International Research Collaborations at Tel Aviv University. Her main areas of research are mathematical modeling, converging technologies, and data mining. Dr. Kalish holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, where she developed one of the first computerized systems for electrocardiogram (ECG) diagnosis. Her postdoctoral training was at Harvard University, the MBCRR (Molecular Biology Computer Research and Resource) laboratory, and at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She was awarded her B.Sc. in Statistics and Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Phone +1-202-860-2110; code: 120 706 1902
The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm refers to the network of physical objects or”things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with servers, centralized systems, and/or other connected devices based on a variety of communication infrastructures. IoT makes it possible to sense and control objects creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems. IoT will usher automation in a large number of application domains, ranging from manufacturing and energy management (e.g., Smart Grid), to healthcare management and urban life (e.g. Smart City). However, because of its fine-grained, continuous, and pervasive data acquisition and control capabilities, IoT raises concerns about security and privacy. Deploying existing security solutions to IoT is not straightforward because of device heterogeneity, highly dynamic and possibly unprotected environments, and large scale. In this talk, after outlining key challenges in IoT security and privacy, we present initial approaches to securing IoT data and then focus on our recent work on security analysis for cellular network protocols and edge-based anomaly detection.
Elisa Bertino is a professor of Computer Science at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, she was a professor and department head at the Department of Computer Science and Communication of the University of Milan. She has been a visiting researcher at the IBM Research Laboratory (now Almaden) in San Jose, at the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation, at Rutgers University, and at Telcordia Technologies. Her main research interests include security, privacy, database systems, distributed systems, and sensor networks. Her research focuses on digital identity management, biometrics, IoT security, security of 4G and 5G cellular network protocols, and policy infrastructures for managing distributed systems. Prof. Bertino has published more than 700 papers in all major refereed journals, and in proceedings of international conferences and symposia. She has given keynotes, tutorials, and invited presentations at conferences and other events. She is a Fellow member of ACM, IEEE, and AAAS. She received the 2002 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award “For outstanding contributions to database systems and database security and advanced data management systems”, the 2005 IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for “Pioneering and innovative research contributions to secure distributed systems”, and the ACM 2019-2020 Athena Lecturer Award.
This talk will discuss data and results from the first nationwide survey of cybersecurity among local or grassroots governments in the United States, examines how these governments manage this important function. As we have shown elsewhere, cybersecurity among local governments is increasingly important because these governments are under constant or nearly constant cyberattack. Due to the frequency of cyberattacks, as well as the probability that at least some attacks will succeed and cause damage to local government information systems, these governments have a great responsibility to protect their information assets. This, in turn, requires these governments to manage cybersecurity effectively, something our data show is largely absent at the American grassroots. That is, on average, local governments fail to manage cybersecurity well. After discussing our findings, we conclude and make recommendations for ways of improving local government cybersecurity management.
Donald F. Norris is Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His principal field of study is public management, specifically information technology in governmental organizations, including electronic government and cybersecurity. He has published extensively in refereed journals in these areas. He received a B.S. in history from the University of Memphis and an M.A. and a Ph. D. in political science from the University of Virginia.
Laura Mateczun is a graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and a member of the Maryland Bar. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County School of Public Policy studying public management. Her research interests involve local government cybersecurity, criminal justice, and the importance of equity in
(Joint work with Alan T. Sherman)
A boardroom election is an election with a small number of voters carried out with public communications. We present BVOT, a self-tallying boardroom voting protocol with ballot secrecy, fairness (no tally information is available before the polls close), and dispute-freeness (voters can observe that all voters correctly followed the protocol).
BVOT works by using a multiparty threshold homomorphic encryption system in which each candidate is associated with a masked unique prime. Each voter engages in an oblivious transfer with an untrusted distributor: the voter selects the index of a prime associated with a candidate and receives the selected prime in a masked form. The voter then casts their vote by encrypting their masked prime and broadcasting it to everyone. The distributor does not learn the voter’s choice, and no one learns the mapping between primes and candidates until the audit phase. By hiding the mapping between primes and candidates, BVOT provides voters with insufficient information to carry out effective cheating. The threshold feature prevents anyone from computing any partial tally—until everyone has voted. Multiplying all votes, their decryption shares, and the unmasking factor yields a product of the primes each raised to the number of votes received.
In contrast to some existing boardroom voting protocols, BVOT does not rely on any zero-knowledge proof; instead, it uses oblivious transfer to assure ballot secrecy and correct vote casting. Also, BVOT can handle multiple candidates in one election. BVOT prevents cheating by hiding crucial information: an attempt to increase the tally of one candidate might increase the tally of another candidate. After all votes are cast, any party can tally the votes.
Farid Javani is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at UMBC, working with Alan Sherman. His research interests include algorithms, security, applied cryptography, and distributed systems. He is the manager of the Enterprise Architecture team at CCC Information Services in Chicago. email:
Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1:00 pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings: Oct. 30, Jonathan Katz (UMCP), [possibly on secure distributed computation]; Nov. 13, TBA, [possibly: David R Imbordino (NSA), Security of the 2020 presidential election]; and Dec. 11, TBA, [possibly: Peter A. H. Peterson (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial Thinking]
This is the second in a series of events that aim to build community among students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field of computing.
Join us for an opportunity to meet, chat with, and engage fellow CSEE students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Panelists will discuss life beyond the undergraduate years.
Let’s Do This! Be Social- Virtually
Welcome Remarks– Dr. Freeman Hrabowski
Dr. Jeff Avery, Northrup Grumman
Federico Cifuentes-Urtubey, Ph.D. student, UIUC
Dr. Patti Ordóñez, Associate Prof., UP-RP
Dr. Nwokedi Idika, Google
Kerry Luke, Northrop Grumman
Mr. Ivan Sekyonda Dr. Marcella Wilson
Dr. Dmitri Perkins Dr. David Chapman
Protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC) allow a collection of mutually distrusting parties to compute a function of their private inputs without revealing anything else about their inputs to each other. Secure computation was shown to be feasible 35 years ago, but only in the past decade has its efficiency been improved to the point where it has been implemented and, more recently, begun to be used. This real-world deployment of secure computation suggests new applications and raises new questions.
This talk will survey some recent work at the intersection of the theory and practice of MPC, focusing on a surprising application to the construction of Picnic, a “post-quantum” signature scheme currently under consideration by NIST for standardization.
Jonathan Katz is a faculty member in the department of computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he formerly served as director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center for over five years. He is an IACR Fellow, was named a University of Maryland distinguished scholar-teacher in 2017-2018, and received the ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Contribution Award in 2019.
Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1pm. All meetings are open to the public.
Upcoming CDL Meetings: Nov. 13, TBA, [possibly: David R Imbordino (NSA), Security of the 2020 presidential election]; Dec. 11, TBA, [possibly: Peter A. H. Peterson (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial Thinking]
Political struggles in and through the global Internet and related technologies are entering into a particularly dangerous phase for openness, security, and human rights. A growing number of governments and private companies have turned to “offensive” operations, with means ranging from sophisticated and expensive to homegrown and cheap. A large and largely unregulated market for commercial surveillance technology is finding willing clientele among the world’s least accountable regimes. Powerful spyware tools are used to infiltrate civil society networks, targeting the devices of journalists, human rights defenders, minority movements, and political opposition, often with lethal consequences. Drawing from the last decade of research at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, I will provide an overview of these disturbing trends and discuss some pathways to repairing and restoring the Internet as a sphere that supports, rather than diminishes, human rights.
Ronald J. Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab undertakes interdisciplinary research at the intersection of global security, ICTs, and human rights. The research outputs of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including over two dozen reports receiving front-page coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other media over the last decade. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet (Random House: 2013) Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society (House of Anansi: 2020) as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on Internet censorship, surveillance, and cybersecurity. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness and security worldwide.”
In this talk, Maria Vachino from Easy Dynamics and Dr. James P. Howard from APL will provide an overview of what blockchain is and isn’t, focusing on non-cryptocurrency use cases, will explain the results of their research for the DHS S&T Cybersecurity Directorate, and will provide insight into the value (or lack therefore) of the technology.
Maria Vachino is the Director of Digital Identity at Easy Dynamics where she is focused on Identity Credential & Access Management (ICAM) technologies, policies, & standards, Cybersecurity, and IT modernization for the US Federal Government. She started investigating applications for blockchain technology in 2015 as the Technical and Government Engagement Lead for the DHS S&T Cyber Security Directorate’s Identity Management Research & Development Program while a member of the Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Maria has a BS in Computer Science from UMBC and an MS in Cybersecurity.
Dr. James P. Howard, II (UMBC Ph.D. ’14) is a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Previously, he was a consultant to numerous government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Executive Office of the President, and the United States Department of Homeland Security, and worked for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an internal consultant on scientific computing. He is a passionate educator, teaching mathematics and statistics at the University of Maryland Global Campus since 2010 and has taught public management at Central Michigan University, Penn State, and the University of Baltimore. His most recent work has modeled the spread of infectious respiratory diseases and Ebolavirus, predicted global disruptive events, researched using blockchain for government services, and created devices for rescuing victims of building collapse. He is the author of two books.