Grove School team is #1 in US & Canada at international hardware security competition

A three-member team from The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering emerged US-Canada region winners in New York University’s global CSAW ’22 AI vs. Humans Challenge at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. The Grove team comprised electrical engineering (EE) PhD candidate Vedika Saravanan, EE PhD student Mohammad Walid Charrwi; and computer engineering graduate student Facundo Aguirre. Samah M. Saeed, assistant professor, electrical engineering, was the faculty advisor. 

Making its debut in the CSAW games, CCNY was nominated to the final phase where it competed against the University of Calgary (Canada) and University of Florida. “This is the most comprehensive student-run cyber security event in the world and we were competing against top teams from the United States and Canada region,” said Saeed. 

AI vs. Humans is a hardware security challenge contest co-located with CSAW 2022 for defeating artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools developed for hardware security. In the competition, participants can play the role of a defender, attacker, or both. The objective for the attacker is to inject stealthy hardware Trojans that evade state-of-the-art AI-based detection tools. For the defender, the objective is to generate test patterns that detect our AI-generated Trojans.

Participants are encouraged to use tools and techniques of their choice, such as heuristic-based, simulation-based, or even formal tools. In addition, they can be affiliated with either industry or academia.

The competition is designed to mimic real-world scenarios where an attacker can inject Trojans to cause damaging consequences ranging from altering the chip's functionality and leaking sensitive data, such as cryptographic keys, to causing denial-of-service attacks. 

The CSAW games are the brainchild of computer scientist Nasir Memon, currently a professor and vice dean for student and academic affairs at NYU. What he founded as a small contest called Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) 20 years ago, has grown to become the most comprehensive set of cybersecurity challenges by and for students around the globe. 

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization DegreeChoices ranks CCNY #3 nationally for social mobility. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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