Research

My primary research interests span broadly across the areas as follows.

  • AI security and privacy
  • Secure real-time wireless medical devices
  • Cyber-physical system security
  • Device fingerprinting
  • Acoustic side-channel
  • Captcha attacks and design

My other interests include mobile forensics, security & privacy of medical data, and efficient encryption scheme design. Google Scholar.

Awards and Funds

  • 10/2023 SmartSP’23 Best paper award
  • 06/2023 NSF SaTC Small Award
  • 04/2023 Outstanding Achievement Award in Externally Funded Research
  • 11/2022 NSF RII Track-4 Faculty Fellow Award
  • 08/2022 NSF CVDI Center Award
  • 07/22-06/25 Alfred and Helen M. Lamson Endowed Professorship Award
  • 09/2021 Facebook Award
  • 09/2021 NSF MRI Award
  • 07/2021 LA Broad Regents CEMC Award
  • 07/2021 Two LA Broad Regents SURE Awards
  • 06/2021 NSF CVDI Center Award
  • 12/2020 LA Broad Regents LAMDA cooperation program Award
  • 06/2019 NSF RII Track-1 Award
  • 06/2016 NSF CRII Award
  • 11/2015 Delaware Economic Development Office Award
  • 08/2014 ACM 2014 MobiHoc Best Poster Runner-up Award
  • 12/2013 Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • 04/2013 The Bronze Award Best Graduate Project in Future of Computing Competition

News

  • 2/19/2024: I delivered an invited talk on “Investigate and Mitigate the Attacks Caused by Out-of-Band Signals” to The Johns Hopkins University’s IAA Seminar Series. Thanks for Dr. Cao’s host! Slides Link
  • 2/7/2024: I am invited to give a talk on a biennial forum of the SaTC research community-The 2024 NSF SaTC PI meeting.
  • 2/5/2024: Welcome Jason W Woodworth to join our team as a research scientist.
  • 1/29/2024: Welcome Amirhossein Jamarani to join our team as a PhD student.
  • 1/29/2024: Congratulations to Sai. His paper titled “A Reliable Diabetic Retinopathy Grading via Transfer Learning and Ensemble Learning with Quadratic Weighted Kappa Metric” has been accepted by BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.
  • 1/29/2024: I will serve as a PC for the USENIX WOOT’24 Conference.
  • 1/26/2024: As a PC, I have reviewed papers for SEED 2024, SDIoTSec’24, MADWeb 2024, VehicleSec’24.
  • 11/13/2023: I delivered an online Distinguished Talk on “Investigate and Mitigate the Attacks Caused by Out-of-Band Signals” to Indiana University at Bloomington at 11 am Eastern Time. Thanks for Dr. Xing’s host. Link, Slides.
  • 11/12/2023: I joined the Student Support Committee of NDSS 2024. Link to apply.
  • 10/19/2023: I will visit The University of Pennsylvania in November 2023 as a visiting associate professor.
  • 10/13/2023: I will serve as a general chair of SmartSP 2024.
  • 10/13/2023: Our paper “ADC-Bank: Detecting Acoustic Out-of-Band Signal Injection on Inertial Sensors” got Best paper award at SmartSP’23.
  • 9/1/2023: One research scientist position is open. Apply for it here: Link.
  • 9/1/2023: Three minors’ free website to fight misinformation generated by AGI models is public now. Link
  • 8/23/2023: Congratulations to Diba. Her paper titled “Securing the Future: Exploring Privacy Risks and Security Questions in Robotic Systems” was accepted by SmartSP’23. Link
  • 8/17/2023: Congratulations to Dr. Yazhou Tu! Our paper “Towards Adversarial Process Control on Inertial Sensor Systems with Physical Feedback Side Channels” has been accepted by The 5th Workshop on CPS and IoT Security (co-located with ACM CCS 2023) (CPSIoTSec 2023). Link
  • I will be on my 1-year sabbatical leave since Sep. 2023.
  • On August 16th, I am promoted to associate professor officially.
  • Our thoughts and experiences on LLM models are public, Ethical Considerations and Policy Implications for Large Language Models: Guiding Responsible Development and Deployment. Link
  • Our paper “ADC-Bank: Detecting Acoustic Out-of-Band Signal Injection on Inertial Sensors” has been accepted by SmartSP’23. Link
  • Our Industry/University Cooperative Research project from Stratagraph Inc. will be renewed. Total amount: $50,000. 10/1/2023-9/30/2024, Role: PI.
  • 6/26/2023, I am thrilled to obtain the NSF SaTC Small award, SaTC: CORE: Small: Mitigating Threats of Physical-Domain Signal Injections on Security, Reliability, and Safety of Sensing and Control Systems, 7/1/2023-6/30/2026, $599,984, PI: Xiali Hei, Co-PI: Yazhou Tu. CNS-2231682. Thanks, NSF and the anonymous reviewers! Link
  • Congratulations to Dr. Yazhou Tu! Our paper “Auditory Eyesight: Demystifying $\mu$s-Precision Keystroke Tracking Attacks on Unconstrained Keyboard Inputs” has been accepted by USENIX Security 2023. Acceptance rate: 1.24 % (acceptance without major revision). Link, Codes/Dataset, Result Reproduced.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Jianyi Zhang! Our paper “A Small Leak Will Sink Many Ships: Vulnerabilities Related to Mini Programs Permissions” has been accepted by the 2023 IEEE Computer Society Signature Conference on Computers, Software, and Applications (COMPSAC 2023), Acceptance rate: 26 %. paper
  • I am happy to announce I received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Externally Funded Research at UL Lafayette for 2021-2022. Link
  • My student Yazhou Tu will join Auburn University as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Spring 2024. Congratulations to you, Yazhou!
  • Congratulations to Md Imran Hossen and Yazhou Tu! Our paper “A First Look at the Security of EEG-based Systems and Intelligent Algorithms under Physical Signal Injections” has been accepted by The inaugural AsiaCCS 2023 Workshop on Secure and Trustworthy Deep Learning Systems (SecTL 2023). paper
  • Call for paper of SmartSP 2023 was released. Link
  • On Feb. 17th Central time at 11 am, I will host Dr. Wenliang Du‘s seminar “Developing an Internet and Blockchain Emulator for Research and Education“. Link, Video.
  • Congratulations to my co-advised student Vijay Srinivas Tida on his Tenure Track Assistant Professor offer from The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University!
  • I will serve on the 17th IEEE Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT 2023) as a PC member.
  • I will serve on the 1st Workshop on Formal Methods-based Deep Learning for Industrial Control Systems Security (FoDLICSS 2023) as a PC member. Link
  • I will serve on Inaugural ISOC Symposium on Vehicle Security and Privacy (VehicleSec 2023) as a PC member.
  • 11/22/2022, I am happy to obtain the NSF RII Track-4 Faculty Fellow Award, RII Track-4:NSF: Fundamentals of Creating Trustworthy Medical Cyber-Physical Systems Under EMI Attacks, 1/1/2023-12/30/2024, $286,453, Single-PI. Link. OIA-2229752. Thanks, NSF and the anonymous reviewers!
  • WEDS lab presented on Science Day 2022. Link
  • I delivered a talk on “Investigate and Mitigate the Attacks Caused by Out-of-Band Signals” at Stony Brook University on October 5th.
  • I delivered a talk on “Investigate and Mitigate the Attacks Caused by Out-of-Band Signals” at the University of Pennsylvania on September 30th.
  • I delivered a talk on “Research on Attacks, Defenses, and Designs of Image and Audio CAPTCHAs” at the University of Houston on September 29th.
  • Congratulations to Vijay Srinivas Tida, two papers Privacy-Preserving Deep Learning Model for Covid-19 Disease Detection and Kernel-Segregated Transpose Convolution Operation, were accepted by HICSS-56: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2023.
  • Welcome a new team member Foba Ogunkeye to join as a master’s student in Fall 2022.
  • Welcome two new team members, Diba Afroze and Borun Das, to join as Ph.D. students in Fall 2022.
  • I will serve as a TPC member for the 8th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P 2023).
  • I will serve as a TPC member for the 19th Annual International Conference on Privacy, Security & Trust (PST2022).
  • On June 14th at 10 am central time, I will host Dr. Zhu Han’s seminar “Cryptoeconomics: Economic Mechanisms behind Blockchains“. Link, Video.
  • Welcome Md Imran Hossen to rejoin our team as a Post-Doc fellow!
  • Welcome Ian Gaughan and Noah Spears to join as undergraduate student researchers.
  • I am honored to receive Alfred and Helen M. Lamson Endowed Professorship Award in Computer Science from 2022 to 2025.
  • Congratulations to my student Md Imran Hossen for passing his Ph.D. dissertation defense on April 7th, 2022! He is the 2nd graduated Ph.D. in my group.
  • Congratulation to my former visitor scholar Dr. Zhang! His paper “XMAM: X-raying Models with A Matrix to Reveal Backdoor Attacks for Federated Learning” has been accepted by the Journal of Digital Communications and Networks.
  • Congratulations to my student Md Imran Hossen! His paper “aaeCAPTCHA: The Design and Implementation of Audio Adversarial CAPTCHA” was accepted by Euro S&P! This is the first usable and robust audio captcha with adversarial examples. Link. Code.
  • On Feb. 18th Central time 11 am, I will host Dr. Qiben Yan‘s seminar “Securing Cyber-Physical Systems Against Novel Physical-Layer Attacks“. Link, Video.
  • Welcome Shovon Paul to join our team as a Ph.D. student in Spring 2022!
  • Welcome Dr. Yazhou Tu to join our team as a research assistant professor in Spring 2022!
  • I will serve as a PC member on IEEE workshop on the Internet of Safe Things (SafeThings 2022).
  • I will hire two Postdoctoral Fellows. Please email me if you are interested in our projects.
  • Be invited to serve on NSF SaTC panel again.
  • I will serve as a PC member on AutoSec’22 Workshop.
  • Congratulations to my student Yazhou Tu for passing his Ph.D. dissertation defense on November 19th, 2021! Many thanks to the graduate committee member: Arun Lakhotia, Xu Yuan, Kevin Butler from University of Florida, and Kasper Rasmussen from University of Oxford.
  • I attended CVDI IAB Fall Meeting on Nov 17th, 2021.
  • On Oct. 29th Central time 11am, I will host Dr. Yuzhe Tang’s seminar “Blockchain DoS Security and Communication Efficiency”. Link, Video.
  • My proposal “Privacy-Preserving Federated Learning for Minimized fNIRS Data” is selected for funding. $149,180.00. Thanks, Facebook! Link.
  • On Sep. 10th Central time 11am, I will host Dr. Qi (Alfred) Chen‘s seminar “Towards Secure and Robust AI Stack in Emerging Autonomous Cyber-Physical System“. Link, Video.
  • My MRI proposal “CNS-2117785: MRI: Development of High-Confidence Medical Cyber-Physical System Research Instrument with Benchmark Security Software” is recommended for funding, $1,134,297.00Thanks, NSF! Link. Thanks, NSF and the anonymous reviewers!
  • I will serve as a session chair for top tier conference USENIX Security Symp. 2021. Link.
  • Welcome Sai Venkatesh Chilukoti to join our team as a PhD student for machine learning on medical data analysis! He is a very dedicated student.
  • One NSF Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) IAB project entitled “Decentralized and Distributed Deep Learning for Industrial IoT Devices” is selected for funding, $75,000.00. Co-PI is Dr. Li Chen.
  • I will serve as a session chair for the IEEE Workshop on the Internet of Safe Things 2021 in conjunction with IEEE Security and Privacy 2021. Link.
  • I got two Supervised Undergraduate Research Experiences awards for female minority students, $5,000 per student.
  • My 1-year project “Development of two VR-assisted low-cost online courses leading to security certificates” is selected by the Louisiana Board of Regents Cybersecurity Education Management Council (CEMC) for funding, $116,101.00. Link.
  • I will host Drs. Yinzhi Cao and DrPhilippe Burlina‘s seminar “Fairness and Privacy in AI Applied to Healthcare“. Link, Video.
  • My student Md Abdullah Ai Momin has completed his paper “Motion-based Liveness Detection for Voice Authentication of Tele-surgical Robots” to IEEE GLOBECOM 2021.
  • I will serve as a Program Committee Member of  USENIX Security Symp. 2022.
  • I will host Dr. Hongxin Hu‘s seminar “Rethinking Security for the Internet of Things“. Link, Video.
  • I will host Dr. Yuan Tian‘s seminar “When Machine Learning Meets Security and Privacy: Challenges and Opportunities“. Link, Video.
  • I will serve as a session chair for the Automotive and Autonomous Vehicle Security (AutoSec) Workshop 2021 in conjunction with NDSS 2021.
  • I will host Dr. Neil Gong‘s seminar “Secure Federated Learning“. Link, Video.
  • Report about our hCaptcha paper by The Record, Slashdot, Hacker News.
  • Congratulations to Md Imran Hossen. His paper A Low-Cost Attack against the hCaptcha System” got accepted by WOOT 2021! 
  • Congratulations to Md Fazle Rabby. His paper Stacked LSTM Based Deep Recurrent Neural Network with Kalman Smoothing for Blood Glucose Prediction got accepted by BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making! Link
  • Congratulations to Yazhou Tu. His paper Transduction Shield: A Low-Complexity Method to Detect and Correct the Effects of EMI Injection Attacks on Sensors got accepted by AsiaCCS 2021! Acceptance rate: 70/362=19.3%.
  • Our small project “Digital Image Correlation (DIC) Method for AM Process Evaluation and Monitoring” was funded by BoRSF-LA EPSCoR. $39,400.00.
  • Being appointed as an associate editor for IEEE ACCESS since Dec 1, 2020.
  • Start to Edit a book titled “Security, Data Analytics, and Energy-Aware Solutions in the IoT“. The submission deadline is Nov 4, 2020.
  • Being appointed as an Editorial Board Member by the journal “Internet of Things and Cloud Computing (IOTCC)”. Between August 20, 2020, to August 20, 2022.
  • Congratulations to Md Imran Hossen. His paper An Object Detection based Solver for Google’s Image reCAPTCHA v2 got accepted by RAID 2020!.
  • Our NSF RII Track-1: Louisiana Materials Design Alliance (LAMDA) proposal got funded. Link. Thanks, NSF and the anonymous reviewers!
  • Our work to print face shields for local hospitals was reported. Link
  • Our paper on how to reopen lockdown societies due to COVID-19. Chinese. English.
  • Our CCS paper about the security issues of temperature-control systems was featured by Control Global. link.
  • Our CCS paper about the security issues of temperature-control systems was featured by the first issue of ControlEngeering. Link 1. 
  • Our journal paper “Feature Fusion and Voiceprint Based Access Control for Wireless Insulin Pump Systems” was published at IEEE ACCESS. Congratulations to Yuan Ping and Bin Hao!
  • Our CCS paper about the security issues of temperature-control systems was featured by the University of Michigan Engineering News. Link.
  • I published an essay about how to select topics for top-4 security conferences. Link.
  • I published a checklist for top-4 security conferences. Link.
  • Our new paper written by my student, MD Imran Hossen, was reported by RECLAIM the Net!
  • Our new paper written by my student, MD Imran Hossen, was reported by The Register
  • My student Yazhou Tu’s paper Trick or Heat? Manipulating Critical Temperature-Based Control Systems Using Rectification Attacks” was accepted by ACM CCS 2019. Congratulations to Yazhou!
  • I was selected to serve as a PC member of USENIX SECURITY 2020!
  • Bin Hao presented his paper “Voiceprint-based Access Control for Wireless Insulin Pump Systems” at IEEE MASS 2010.
  • Welcome four new graduate students to join WEDS lab!
  • Our USENIX SECURITY paper written by my student, Yazhou Tu, was reported by The Register
  • I was selected to serve as a PC member of USENIX SECURITY 2019!
  • My student Yazhou Tu’s paper Injected and Delivered: Fabricating Implicit Control over Actuation Systems by Spoofing Inertial Sensors was accepted by USENIX SECURITY SYMP. 2018. Congratulations to Yazhou!
  • I will move to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • I was awarded an NSF CRII grant! Thanks, NSF and the anonymous reviewers!
  • I was awarded a Delaware Economic Development Office grant!

Active Grant

  • NSF SaTC Small Award, SaTC: CORE: Small: Mitigating Threats of Physical-Domain Signal Injections on Security, Reliability, and Safety of Sensing and Control Systems, 7/1/2023-6/30/2026, $599,984, PI: Xiali Hei, Co-PI: Yazhou Tu. Link. CNS-2231682.
  • NSF RII Track-4 Faculty Fellow Award, RII Track-4:NSF: Fundamentals of Creating Trustworthy Medical Cyber-Physical Systems Under EMI Attacks, 1/1/2023-12/30/2024, $286,453, Role: Single-PI, Link, OIA-2229752.
  • NSF, Project title: MRI: Development of High-Confidence Medical Cyber-Physical System Research Instrument with Benchmark Security Software. Amount: $1,134,297. 10/1/2021-9/30/2024. Role: PI, Link, CNS-2117785.
  • NSF, Project title:  RII Track-1: Louisiana Materials Design Alliance (LAMDA). Amount: $20M. 8/1/2020-7/31/2025. Role: co-PI, Link, OIA-1946231.

Previous Grant

  • Facebook, Project title: “Privacy-Preserving Federated Learning for Minimized fNIRS Data“. $149,180.00. 10/1/2021-9/30/2022. Role: Single PI.
  • NSF Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) Industry/University Cooperative Research project entitled Deep Learning Based Image Segmentation Methods to Identify Grain Characteristics for Rock Drilling. Total amount: $100,000. 10/1/2022-9/30/2024, Role: PI.
  • LA Broad Regents, Project title: Development of two VR-assisted low-cost online courses leading to security certificates. Amount: $116,101. 6/1/2021-5/1/2022. Role: PI. Link.
  • NSF Center for Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI) Industry/University Cooperative Research project entitled “Decentralized and Distributed Deep Learning for Industrial IoT Devices”. Amount: $75,000. August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022. Role: PI.
  • LA Broad Regents Supervised Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) program, Project Title: Digital Image Correlation Method (DIC) for AM Process Evaluation and Monitoring. Total amount: $5,000. 5/1/2021-4/30/2022, LA Broad Regents Supervised Undergraduate Research Experiences program, Role: PI.
  • LA Broad Regents Supervised Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) program, Project Title: Non-invasive Monitor and Attack Detection for Additive Manufacturing. Total amount:$5,000. 5/1/2021-4/30/2022, Role: PI.
  • LA Broad Regents, Project title: Digital Image Correlation Method (DIC) for AM Process Evaluation and Monitoring. Amount: $39,400. 1/1/2021-12/31/2021. Role: co-PI.
  • NSF,  Project title: CRII: SaTC: CPS: RUI: Cyber-Physical System Security in Implantable Insulin Injection Systems. Amount: $174,995. 11/20/2017-12/31/2019. Role: single PI, Link, CNS-1812553.
  • Delaware Economic Development Office, Project title: A human-aware energy-efficient security framework for memory-restrained Internet of Everything Devices. Amount: $99,997, 11/1/2015-10/31/17. Role: single PI.
  • Delaware State University, Professional Development Fund, \$3,500. 04/1/2016-05/30/2016, Role: Single PI.

Professional Activities

  • Panelist

    • NSF Major Research Instrument (MRI) 2023.
    • NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) 2022.
    • NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) 2021.
    • NSF Cyber-Physical System 2015
    • 2019 IEEE Senior Member Application Virtual Review Panel
  • Program Committee Member

    • IEEE Euro S&P 2023
    • WOOT 2023
    • USENIX SECURITY SYMP. 2019 & 2020 & 2021 & 2022
    • AutoSec 2019 & 2020 &2021
    • SafeThings  2021
    • IEEE ICDIS 2019
    • IEEE GLOBECOM 2013 & 2014 & 2015  & 2016 & 2017
    • IEEE ICC 2014 & 2015 & 2016 & 2017
    • IEEE WASA 2016 & 2017
    • IEEE CyperC 2014 & 2015
    • IEEE ICACCI 2014
    • IEEE ICCVE 2013 & 2014  & 2015
  • Editor of journals

    • Associate Editore of IEEE Access
    • Assistant managing editor of JISTMSR (Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management for Specialized Research)
    • Guest editor of Security Analytics and Intelligence for Cyber-Physical Systems, IEEE Access.
  • Reviewer for journals

    • IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
    • IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
    • IEEE Wireless Communications Letters
    • IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine
    • International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing
    • Wiley Journal of Security and Communication Networks