Dr. Benjamin Cyr

Dr. Benjamin Cyr

Senior R&D Cybersecurity Engineer / Sandia National Laboratories

Dr. Benjamin Cyr

Dr. Benjamin Cyr is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the Computer Science and Engineering division at the University of Michigan. His research interests are in the development of secure sensors and sensing systems used in cyber-physical systems. In particular, his research has focused on ways to characterize and protect the unexpected vulnerabilities of many sensors to laser signal injection, where a modulated laser signal can be used to gain adversarial control of sensor data. This characterization includes defining attacker capabilities, developing models of attacks, determining the consequences on vulnerable systems, and making recommendations for effective defenses.

His research has led to the discovery of new vulnerabilities and potential defenses in LiDAR of autonomous vehicles, in MEMS microphones present in IoT devices, and even in sensors used on satellites and other space systems. For example, his research work Light Commands in 2020 used lasers to inject false acoustic information into smart home systems by exploiting various photoelectric and photoacoustic phenomena, resulting in the expansion of attacker capabilities to new threat models that were never considered.

He graduated with a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering from Auburn University, where he was a member of the Auburn University Small Satellite Program, where he worked on the electrical power system and the attitude determination and control subsystems.

While at school, he participated in several internships focused in several different fields, such as cybersecurity at Sandia National Laboratories in 2022, the security of autonomous vehicles at Motional, Inc. in 2021, the development of networking equipment at ADTRAN, Inc. in 2015-2016, and the management of a secure network at SAIC, Inc. in 2014.

He now works full-time at Sandia National Laboratories, where his research vision is to build and inspire technologies that will remain secure and trustworthy even under threats that most would never consider.

Presentation Date/Time:
Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Security in the Face of Microelectronics Supply Chain
(11:20am - 11:35am)

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