Lecture – Assistant Prof. Gerhard Hancke, City University of Hong Kong

Ad-Hoc Security for Smart Things


Mingfa Pearl Spring Hotel

Contents of the Lecture:

We are increasingly surrounded by simple (and not so simple) devices with computational and communication capability, which assist us in everyday tasks and together comprise the idea of an Internet-of-Things. Some devices are used in security sensitive or critical applications, such as industrial sensor networks, and the security capabilities in such systems are rightly attracting growing interest. To perform their duties the devices are often required to set up ad-hoc connections to interact, and this is could often be with another device or a system where no prior trust relationship exists between the parties. Establishing a secure connection between two devices in such an unstructured environment presents some interesting research problems. Unfortunately, not all these problems can be solved with conventional cryptographic mechanisms alone, and we need to look at alternative ways to reinforce existing security mechanisms. Incorporating the physical context of a device, i.e. physical characteristics of the device, the communication channel or the surroundings, into security protocols is seen as a possible solution. This talk gives an overview of IoT security issues, ending with a brief introduction to the use of physical context to build, or improve, security services.

About the Reporter:

Dr Gerhard Hancke is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Computer Science at City University of Hong Kong. He received a Bachelor and Masters of Engineering degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2002 and 2003, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory in 2008.  Subsequently, he worked for the ISG Smart Card Centre within the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) as lead researcher/engineer where he was involved in the evaluation, development and integration of smart card and RFID systems. At the same time he has worked as Research Leader for the Advanced Sensor Network group at the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He is a member of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society where he is the Chair of the Technical Committee on Cloud and Wireless Systems for Industrial Applications and also Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Chartered Engineer registered with the UK Engineering Council. His main interests are system security, cyber-physical/pervasive systems and smart sensing applications.