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Computing Colloquium Student Presentation featuring Chibuzo Ukegbu

April 25 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am MDT

Rethinking the Safety and Security of Critical Infrastructure Systems

Presenter: Chibuzo Ukegbu
Computing PhD Student, Cybersecurity Emphasis

Location: In person in CCP 259 or pre-register to attend via Zoom

Abstract: The recent advisory from the White House, as reported by Reuters on March 20, 2024, underscores a critical wake-up call: the US water and sewage systems, along with other vital infrastructures such as power grids, oil pipelines, rail lines, nuclear reactors, and chemical plants, are under escalating cyber attacks. These infrastructures are indispensable to societal safety and well-being, making their protection necessary and imperative.

Our upcoming presentation will explore the reinvigoration of security and safety protocols around these essential assets. Our investigation has centered on the robustness of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) programs that manage the processing logic of these systems. By employing formal verification methods and descriptive logic, specifically ontologies, we have novel strategies that, in cooperation with existing security and safety measures, will help safeguard these infrastructures. Our findings reveal potential techniques that help mitigate various attack vectors in industrial control safety and security.

Further, our research extends into innovative realms of real-time threat detection utilizing signal temporal logic alongside chemical process dynamics and semantic ontologies. This multifaceted approach allows for precise monitoring and rapid and proactive response to potential security breaches, particularly within complex chemical processing environments like the Tennessee Man’s plant.

The core of our discussion will be a detailed presentation of these methods and their implementation, highlighting our recent findings that enhance the capabilities and resilience against known and emerging threats. We will demonstrate the critical role of these technologies in fortifying the national infrastructure, thereby ensuring public safety and economic stability.