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05/12/2019 HYU News > Academics > 이달의연구자

Title

[Excellent R&D] Repairing Software with Software

Professor Oh Hee-kuck (Division of Computer Science, ERICA Campus)

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Contents

As the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) approaches, the everyday embedded devices (from MP3 players to cars) also happen to carry their users' most personal information. If they fall into the wrong hands, these handy devices could easily turn against their users. Nevertheless, the software embedded in most devices has serious, well-known security weaknesses. Professor Oh Hee-kuck (Division of Computer Science, ERICA Campus) saw this problem, and through his recent study ARM Architecture-specific Binary Adjustment Technique and Low-level Obfuscation Method Research, invented software that can remove all software vulnerabilities.
 

Through his research, Professor Oh Hee-kuck (Division of Computer Science, ERICA Campus) invented software that protects the security vulnerabilities of the software of embedded devices. 


According to Oh, many of the vendors of embedded devices are not mainstream platforms. Thus, they lack the capital and technology to properly implant the latest security technology or to offer sufficient updates for their software. Also, although 90 percent of small devices are based on the same ARM processor (a type of CPU), the devices have myriads of varieties. The security technologies applied on one device do not work on other kinds of devices, based on factors such as the manufacturing platform or the compiler version. For this reason, many embedded devices are left vulnerable to even the most outdated attacks.

Through his research, Oh invented security software that can repair other software. His software aims to detect weak spots and strengthen devices’ security in a uniform way, regardless of the manufacturing platform or the program version. So, even if the device was not aided with security technology upon manufacturing or even if the original vendor disappeared, the device's security can constantly be strengthened. “Success in this research will greatly enhance the general security of embedded devices and may also encourage faster development of safe IoT,” explained Oh. 
 

Oh heavily emphasizes the importance of the individual device-user's awareness on the issue of security.


Most importantly, Oh stressed the importance of individual’s awareness about security. “How many of you ignore the update message of the security system or set very weak passwords?” asked Oh. Even if the security system is strong, if the user’s password is weak, the attackers will easily make it through to the confidentialities. Furthermore, Oh explained that security is like a chain - if one link is broken, the others will easily collapse. “Perhaps, the ones who contribute the most to weak security are the individual users,” added Oh, encouraging each user to pay more attention to the importance of security.



Lim Ji-woo        il04131@hanyang.ac.kr
Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

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