Summer Workshop 2023 Recap

By Assefaw Gebremedhin and James Crabb

Day 1 (May 22):

The workshop was kicked off with a brief welcome by Voiland College Associate Dean of Research Haluk Beyenal followed by a presentation from Partha Pande, Director of EECS. Pande gave an update on the thriving undergraduate and graduate programs in EECS and underscored WSU’s commitment to cybersecurity and launch of the new cybersecurity degree. 

Assefaw Gebremedhin gave an overview of the CySER Institute and the summer workshop.  Next, Gebremedhin’s advisee, Computer Science PhD student James Halvorsen discussed generative machine learning for security, drawing on his own research.

Julia Stachofsky, PhD candidate in Management Information Systems at WSU MISE, led an interactive session on legacy systems management and security that included several group activities.

Jana Doppa (WSU, EECS) gave a research presentation on human-in-the-loop anomaly detection.

John Miller, Jordan Liebe, and Tim Cain (WSU-Tricities) gave a coordinated set of presentations on user interface for interpretation of code vulnerabilities. 

Day 2 (May 23):

Rob Crossler (WSU, MISE) gave a two-block accessible lecture that featured many discussion points and exercises. The first block dealt with understanding the human and organizational security context, and the topic of the second block was risk management and business continuity.  

Sonja Glumich, Senior Research Computer Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) and VICEROY Air Force Program Manager, highlighted concepts from Air Force Cyber Doctrine, discussed the challenges of cyber, and introduced the VICEROY MAVEN program. 

Afternoon of Day 2 included a research showcase where undergraduate CySER students and graduate mentors presented their work and interacted with workshop participants. This was followed by a  certificate ceremony to recognize CySER program participants. The celebration featured a short video message from Congressman Kilmer who congratulated the graduates and commended the CySER consortium’s efforts. 

The day ended with a presentation by John Diaz from Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Center who shared about his background and gave an overview of cybersecurity activities and collaboration opportunities at Keyport.

Day 3 (May 24):

Chris Hundhausen (Oregon State University) interviewed Slater Weinstock (Casaba Security) about the day-to-day experiences of a cybersecurity professional.

Jennifer McCullough, VICEROY Project Lead at the Griffiss Institute (GI), spoke about the vision of VICEROY and internship opportunities at GI.

The second half of the morning session on Day 3 was a Team Building and Leadership session led by Majors Paul Hyde and John Ford of WSU AFROTC, LTC Matthew Sheftic of WSU Army ROTC, and Captain JonCharles Tenbusch of CWU AFROTC. The session involved a team building exercise and discussions facilitated by Major Hyde.  LTC Sheftic and Major Ford added to the discussion by contributing thoughts, observations, and personal experiences.

The afternoon of Day 3 featured two presentations. Deborah Wells (CWU) spoke about generative AI and large language models and their connection with cybersecurity.  Larry Holder (WSU, EECS) gave an interactive tutorial on graph mining for insider threat detection. The two hour tutorial featured discussion of concepts and algorithms with a hands-on demo of graph mining code.

Day 4 (May 25):

This day was dedicated to a field trip at Pacific Northwest National Labs.  The group arrived at PNNL in Richland around 11 AM. After badging and check-in at Discovery Hall, the group was off to guided tours of various labs and facilities in a fully packed schedule, led by Jene Iceberg, Heather Roney and Dan Sanner. The schedule included tours of Cyber Security Operations Center, Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center, IoT Lab, 5G Lab, and Visualization Lab and talks around internships.  The personnel from each unit provided passionate and enthusiastic descriptions of their work. The visit was concluded  with a round-table discussion led by Elena Peterson and Dan Sanner of PNNL.

Day 5 (May 26):

The morning was spent at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman.  Kelsey Cummings greeted the CySER group and led a panel discussion with cyber experts at SEL:  Kylan Robinson, Victoria Erixson, and Noah Bell.  This was followed by a tour of the manufacturing facilities at SEL.

The afternoon began with a presentation from Rita Barrios, Assistant Director of the Vehicle Cybersecurity VICEROY program at University of Detroit Mercy.

Chris Major of Montana State University spoke about hardware and malware detection and recovery using field programmable gate arrays.

The afternoon concluded with a talk by Slater Weinstock (Casaba Security) on how to maintain security across the software supply chain.

Day 6 (May 27):

Due to travel delays, Matt Boehnke‘s (faculty at CBC and state senator) presentation on Army Cyber Command and military and civilian job opportunities in that field was moved to the early afternoon.  In the meantime, James Crabb gave an impromptu presentation on his research and the work done by his mentees regarding application of learning theories to improve how cybersecurity is taught.  Bernard Van Wie also shared his work and experiences on engineering education best practices.

Several participants and graduate mentors along with Bernard Van Wie had a picnic at Kamiak Butte along with food, games, hiking, and getting to know each other a bit more.  The weather threatened a little bit of rain at first, but we weren’t scared off.

Day 7 (May 30):

The first session of the day was a two-hour block featuring Noel Schulz (WSU, EECS) and  Tim Schulz, VP of Research and Engineering at Scythe.  Noel Schulz discussed the importance of cybersecurity in power systems and electrical grids.  Tim Schulz spoke on four important cybersecurity topics: cyber archeology, adversary emulation, purple teaming, and industrial control systems.

Nathan Kipp, Engineering Manager of Infrastructure Defense Product Development at Schweizer Engineering Labs, gave a presentation on cybersecurity in industrial control systems with an emphasis on risk management.

In the afternoon, Andrew Fallin (PhD candidate at MSU) gave a four-hour hands-on digital forensics tutorial that allowed the participants to explore some modern tools.

Day 8 (May 31):

Unfortunately, the hands-on tutorial scheduled to be given by Jim Alves-Foss (UI) had to be cancelled.  The morning started with a presentation from Alexander Salazar and Dan Brown, cybersecurity advisors at CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency).  They covered CISA’s mission, discussed cyber-related job opportunities there, and shared brochures and pamphlets with the students.

Brenden Fraser-Hevlin (WSU, PhD candidate in chemical engineering) and Alec Schuler (WSU, PhD student in mechanical and materials engineering) kicked off the afternoon with a presentation on their research into simulating cyber-attacks on biological manufacturing systems.

After that, Haipeng Cai (WSU, EECS) talked about his research into making defenses against mobile malware more sustainable.

Finally, Sola Adesope closed out the presentation portion of the workshop with a talk on lifelong learning and how to get the most out of an internship.

Day 9 (June 1):

The final day of the workshop was a field trip to Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, WA.  Our guide, TSgt. Brittany Arnold, had arranged for a couple presentations from leadership on the Air Force Base about their missions and opportunities in the Air National Guard.  Participants also got to go on a tour through the facilities of the 256th CBCS which handles long-range communications, cybersecurity, and network infrastructure for military units in the field.