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Hacking 101: UConn students crack codes for the greater good

In 2015, 288,012 complaints of internet crime resulting in $1,070,711,522 in financial losses were reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation[i]. A staggering 80% of the claims came from the United States. The daunting task of staying ahead of hackers has led to a full-on cyber war across hardware and software battlefields. The good guys – collectively referred to as “ethical hackers”- Dr. John Chandy and Dr. Laurent Michel lead a team of undergraduate and graduate students at UConn’s Comcast Center of Excellence for Security Innovation. These cyber sleuths are equipped with high-tech tools to attack computing systems and identify and expose potential vulnerabilities. Chandy and Michel’s work was highlighted in the May 2016 edition of UConn Magazine, clarifying the scientific process of protecting hardware in the 21st century. Michel explains, “It’s not like we try something just to find out if it works or not. As we attempt an attack, we gather evidence along the way. That evidence may betray something about the platform, the device, the software we are trying to test. Once we have that information, we regroup and discuss what we have learned and its implications, and then we try to develop more experiments and high-end scenarios so we can learn more.”

[i]U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015 Internet Crime Report