Kevin Fu Researches Mystery Embassy Ailment

THaW researcher Kevin Fu, along with colleagues Chen Yan and Wenyuan Xu, recently released a technical report on a mysterious ailment at the United States embassy in Cuba. After exploring a wide variety of options, the trio concluded that the ailment may in fact have inadvertently been caused by interfering ultrasonic waves in the environment. Click through below to see some press coverage their discoveries have received, in addition to the full technical report.

The Conversation – Can Sound Be Used As A Weapon?

IEEE Spectrum – Finally, A Likely Explanation for the “Sonic Weapon” Used At The US Embassy In Cuba

PDF: On Cuba, Diplomats, Ultrasound, and Intermodulation Distortion

THaW Releases Technical Report On STEM Outreach Program


As part of THaW’s efforts towards community outreach and education, we have developed a curriculum based on the FitBit technology platform. This curriculum has been successfully deployed in two pilot groups let by THaW associates over the past two years.

Now, THaW researcher Joseph Carrigan, along with PI’s David Kotz and Avi Rubin, has formalized the curriculum into a technical report to allow others to use our implementation. Said Carrigan, “We developed an outreach activity that is engaging, informative, and repeatable. We are interested to see how it will be used at other locations.” To peruse the technical report and access the curriculum guidelines, please click below.

STEM Outreach Activity with Fitbit Wearable Devices

Eric Johnson Explores Hospital Care Quality

THaW member Eric Johnson (along with co-author Sung Choi) recently published at the 14th Workshop on The Economics of Information Security. In the paper, the two explore the ramifications of hospital data breaches, and if these breaches have an effect on quality of care. To learn more, click through to the paper below.

PDF: Do Hospital Data Breaches Reduce Patient Care Quality?

Kevin Fu Named As IEEE Fellow

Wei LuTHaW leader Kevin Fu was recently named a fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to embedded and medical device security. The honor comes as part of the 2018 class, and  is “a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation”. To read more about Kevin’s award and accomplishments, click through below.

Kevin Fu Elected IEEE Fellow for Contributions to Embedded and Medical Device Security

Kevin Fu Discusses Medical Device Security

In a recent Viewpoint article in JAMA, THaW member Kevin Fu explored a recent pacemaker vulnerability, and its ramifications for medical device security in general. In the post, he discusses both the full extent of the vulnerabilities, as well as the practical considerations to be taken as a result. To read the full text of the article, click the link below.

Cybersecurity Concerns and Medical Devices – Lessons From a Pacemaker Advisory

Eric Johnson Comments On The Roles Of Security Executives

THaW member Eric Johnson recently published an article at the website Third Certainty about how Security Executives can best achieve their goals. In the article, he delves into approaches executives can take, and how they can achieve optimal leadership. To read more, click through below.

Eric Johnson – Security executives must lead through influence rather than control

WearSys papers, MobiSys posters

THaW researchers are showing off some cool research at this week’s MobiSys conference in Niagara Falls, with three papers at MobiSys workshops and a poster in the poster session.

  • Aarathi Prasad and David Kotz. ENACT: Encounter-based Architecture for Contact Tracing. In ACM Workshop on Physical Analytics (WPA), pages 37-42, June 2017. ACM Press. DOI 10.1145/3092305.3092310.
  • Rui Liu, Reza Rawassizadeh, and David Kotz. Toward Accurate and Efficient Feature Selection for Speaker Recognition on Wearables. InProceedings of the ACM Workshop on Wearable Systems and Applications (WearSys), pages 41-46, 2017. ACM Press. DOI 10.1145/3089351.3089352.
  • Rui Liu, Cory Cornelius, Reza Rawassizadeh, Ron Peterson, and David Kotz. Poster: Vocal Resonance as a Passive Biometric. In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys), pages 160, 2017. ACM Press. DOI 10.1145/3081333.3089304.
  • Xiaohui Liang and David Kotz. AuthoRing: Wearable User-presence Authentication. In Proceedings of the ACM Workshop on Wearable Systems and Applications (WearSys), pages 5-10, 2017. ACM Press. DOI 10.1145/3089351.3089357.