Zhang wins CAREER award to address cyber-physical security threats


In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, which transports nearly half of fuel consumed on the East Coast, experienced a cyberattack that affected its operations for several days, making it the largest cyberattack of its kind in the U.S. For safety-critical, real-time cyber-physical systems, from critical energy infrastructure that provides the daily necessity to pacemaker implants that save lives, staying correct and responsive in the presence of cyberattacks is essential.

Ning Zhang plans to address threats to the availability of these systems with a five-year $521,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Zhang is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in cyber-physical system security.

Zhang will address threats to availability in different layers of the system stack, from the underlying operating system to the safety-critical and nonsafety-critical processes. He will look at three key areas: generalized system availability assurance on heterogeneous hardware platform; software availability through information flow analysis and selective recovery; and performance interference and isolation.

Read more on the McKelvey School of Engineering website.

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