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Towsley Awarded Honorable Mention in NSA Cybersecurity Paper Competition

A paper written by CICS alum Boulat Bash (Ph.D. '15) and CICS distinguished professor Don Towsley recently received one of two honorable mentions in the National Security Agency (NSA) 4th Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition.

The review team for the competition awarded the paper because, "it's a strong and impactful paper with fresh ideas," and is "an example of how effective scientific exposition should be organized in scientific and engineering disciplines that employ heavy mathematical analysis."

Bash and Towsley worked alongside UMass Amherst ECE professor Dennis Goeckel and Raytheon BBN Technology colleagues, Andrei H. Gheorghe, Monika Patel, Jonathan L. Habif, and Saikat Guha.

Their paper, "Quantum-Secure Covert Communication on Bosonic Channels," was published in the October 2015 issue of Nature Communications, and examines how much information can be transmitted without an attacker detecting the transmission over an optical channel. Their research delves into the issue of covert transmission of information, hiding the transmission from third parties and thus preventing its decoding.

According to Towsley, "One beauty of this work is that it not only attacks an important societal problem but it also opens up a new area of information theory. Already numerous research groups are focusing on the implications of our results and generalizing them to a greater variety of systems. We find this very exciting."

The authors have been invited to present their work and findings at NSA on November 2, 2016.