UCLA Samueli Professor Receives $1M in Grants for Internet-of-Things Security Research

Nader Sehatbakhsh

UCLA Samueli

Nov 29, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Nader Sehatbakhsh, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants for a combined total of $1 million. 

Both grants were awarded from NSF’s Computer and Network Systems division to fund Sehatbakhsh’s research on internet-of-things (IoT) devices. He received a three-year, $400,000 award to investigate security vulnerabilities in devices, such as smart watches and remote sensors, which are more susceptible to unexpected power outages, physical damages and other unique threats. Sehatbakhsh aims to address the problems utilizing circuit-architecture-algorithm techniques and emerging non-volatile, spin-based devices to enhance IoT device security.

Director of the Secure Systems and Architectures Lab, Sehatbakhsh also received a three-year, $600,000 grant to study the constraints of low-energy IoT devices in residential and industrial contexts. Collaborating with colleagues from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Texas at Austin, Sehatbakhsh focuses on leveraging the devices’ unintended signals, or side-channels, to augment their communication, fingerprinting and debugging capabilities. 

The two projects also have received additional funding from the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and Cisco Research.

A faculty member at UCLA since 2020, Sehatbakhsh specializes in hardware security and privacy. His lab develops security measures for a broad range of devices by first testing attacks on existing systems to discover vulnerabilities and then finding solutions to solve the problems. 

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