Fei is Northeastern Lead for New Multi-University Research Center

Photo of Yunsi Fei

ECE Professor Yunsi Fei has been awarded $750K five-year grant from the NSF as the Northeastern lead for a new multi-university research center, CHEST, or Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust. Part of the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program, CHEST will coordinate university-based research with the needs of industry and government partners to advance knowledge of security, assurance, and trust for electronic hardware and embedded systems. CHEST is a consortium of the following six universities: Northeastern University, the University of California Davis, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Virginia.

Abstract Source: NSF

The Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST) coordinates university-based research with needs of industry and government partners to advance knowledge of security, assurance, and trust for electronic hardware and embedded systems. Interests of CHEST include identification, detection, monitoring, mitigation, and elimination of vulnerabilities that affect hardware and embedded systems. The CHEST Center addresses a range of attack vectors across design, operation, manufacturing, supply chains, and integration of the hardware, software, and firmware to a variety of systems. The Center is inventing and disseminating technologies, practices, and guidelines to stakeholders and educating a next generation of experts.

The NSF CHEST Center addresses security, assurance, and trust across several levels: Large-scale systems, embedded systems, design and operations, requirements, standards, manufacturing, supply chains, and integrated circuits and boards. Among the universities, the Northeastern University (NU) leads CHEST efforts for designing, mitigating, and protecting hardware and embedded systems against malicious attacks at the levels of architecture and embedded devices. Topics include: (i) clean-slate secure architecture to balance performance and information security on CPUs and accelerators; (ii) lightweight hardware primitives for security at the edge of Internet-of-Things; and (iii) hardening techniques for deep learning systems on edge computing under adversarial attacks.

Security, assurance, and trust of integrated cyber-physical systems enable meeting fundamental human needs, along with supporting broader social, environmental, and economic progress of the nation. The ability of systems to absorb disruptive shocks and recover with minimal loss is key to protecting human lives and property. The NSF CHEST Center influences the practices of industry, government, and the military in design, protection, and resilience to vulnerabilities associated with hardware and embedded systems. Improving assurance and trust contributes to the reducing the frequencies and severities of adverse events with attention to system missions, performance, schedule, and cost.

The NSF CHEST Center website, www.nsfchest.org, is the repository for all publicly accessible data, code, results, etc. These pages will be maintained for at least as long as the CHEST Center is active. In addition, all CHEST projects that are led by NU are permanently archived in digital format on the NU file servers with sufficient provisions for backup and recovery in case of equipment failure. All archival NU computers and servers are backed up on a regular basis.

Related Faculty: Yunsi Fei

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering