Team of 8 ECE Students Place and Win Award at Embedded Catch-The-Flag Competition
A team of 8 ECE students led by Professor Yunsi Fei participated in an embedded catch-the-flag (eCTF) competition hosted by MITRE, and won the "Most Flag Points" award and came in 2nd place overall.
This award comes after a three month long competition to explore the difficulties of embedded security. Four schools, including Tufts, WPI, and UMass Amherst, also participated in the eCTF competition. Each team was tasked with designing a device that could unlock a door by entering in a 6 digit PIN. The only catch is that it needed to be designed with as few security vulnerabilities as possible.
Flags were awarded in both phases of the competition, Phase 1: Secure Design, and Phase 2: Attack. The Northeastern team defended 7 out of 8 flags by building a system that was secure on all fronts: hardware, software and networking. Professor Fei's team also gained 1400 flag points for their attacks on a competitor’s device during the attack phase.
First to submit a working device and first to get points on the scoreboard, the Northeastern team was highly focused and organized. After designing a secure device from the ground up, and then attacking other teams’ devices, the students have a better understanding of how tough it is to secure an embedded device against all possible threats. But with the hands-on experience of being both the designer and attacker of a device, they are much more prepared to deal with the real-world necessity for practical and intelligent security.
Congradualtions to Professor Yunsi Fei and her team: Mitch Kucia, Alyssa Bezreh, Sam Sussman, Bryce Carter, Christopher Babroski, Xinhao Zhu, Chris Holtsnider, and Ginamarie Spiridigliozzi.