Week 41: The Rise Of Security At DAC

Hacking cars, cable and FPGA security and DARPA on trust. It’s all part of this year’s DAC agenda.


All potential attendees interested in security topics should know one thing—the Wednesday keynote on hacking automobiles, while sure to be compelling, will only scratch the surface of security-related content at DAC. Another presenter will talk about how increasing demand for “connected life on the go” and “Internet-enabled everything” opens up a wide variety of security issues for IoT applications. Yet another will cover some of the many cybersecurity risks to consider in hardware design. So if you want to find out more about cybersecurity, no matter if you are a software developer, hardware designer, researcher, or simply an everyday user of devices churned out by the tech industry, DAC is the place to be.

This striking content is thanks largely to our security chair, Ramesh Karri, who helped me to secure several security-related SKY talks. SKY talks are short keynotes that happen during the daily conference breaks at 1:00 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday the SKY talks will take place in the DAC pavilion and so will be open to every DAC attendee. On Thursday the talks are upstairs with the technical program.

Three of this year’s SKY talks focus on security

  • Monday—Comcast’s Ramesh Sepehrrad, responsible for overall governance, technology risk and compliance as it relates to information and infrastructure strategy at the cable company; “IoT Security: Solutions and Challenges Ahead”
  • Thursday—Altera’s Sean Atsatt, architect and member of the CTO office; “FPGAs and Increasing Security Requirements”
  • Thursday—DARPA’s Kerry Bernstein, “On the Matter of Trust”

More details will be available once the program goes live on March 26.

I would like to use say a bit more about Ramesh. He is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering, from the University of California at San Diego. His research interests include trustworthy ICs and processors; VLSI design for test and trust; and interaction between security and reliability. Check out his Google Scholar page for more. He was the recipient of the Humboldt Fellowship and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is the area director for cyber security of the New York State Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies at NYU-Poly; hardware security lead of the Center for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP), co-founder of the Trust-Hub; and organizer of the NYU’s annual red team/blue team event, the Embedded Security Challenge. He has more than 150 journal and conference publications in these areas.

And as for what doesn’t show up in his bio, he is an incredible cook and was certainly the star chef of our cooking class in Portland back last September. If hackers take down the network so we all can’t look up recipes on our phones and iPads at dinnertime, Ramesh is among those who will still be eating just as well.


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