ISTS

Dartmouth IT Security Institute Gets New Leadership

Office of Public Affairs

Professor of Computer Science Sean Smith is assuming the leadership of Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS). The institute is dedicated to pursuing research and education to advance information security and privacy throughout society.

The torch has been passed to him by Denise Anthony, associate professor of sociology and director of ISTS since 2008. “I can move on from my position as director knowing that it is in Sean’s capable hands,” says Anthony. “Sean is a leading thinker in computer security and privacy research, and he is also an excellent teacher and collaborator who embodies the mission of ISTS.”

Anthony is embarking on a nine-month sabbatical and will continue to be involved in collaborative research projects through ISTS focused on privacy and healthcare IT as well as efforts to promote STEM education and career opportunities for women and minorities.

Dartmouth-Led Team Receives NSF Health Care Cybersecurity Grant

Joseph Blumberg

Dartmouth has been awarded a $10-million, five-year grant from the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research into ways of safeguarding  the confidentiality of personal health and medical information as these records make the transition from paper files to electronic systems.

David Kotz, Dartmouth’s associate dean of the faculty for the sciences and the Champion International Professor in the Department of Computer Science, will lead an interdisciplinary and multi-institution project team which includes experts in computer science, business, behavioral health, health policy, and health care information technology.

“This project tackles many of the fundamental computer science research challenges to providing trustworthy information systems for health and wellness, as sensitive information and health-related tasks are increasingly pushed into mobile devices and cloud-based services,” Kotz says.

Dartmouth Research Imparts Momentum to Mobile Health

Joseph Blumberg

Bracelets and amulets are in the works at Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society. Rather than items of mere adornment, the scientists and engineers are constructing personal mobile health (mHealth) devices—highly functional jewelry, as it were. mHealth is a rapidly growing field where technology helps you or your physician monitor your health through mobile devices. This approach can offer more accurate and timely diagnoses as well as lower health costs. However, smartphones are often used to transmit collected medical information, and these transmissions are vulnerable to hacking.

Devices Use Biometrics to Prevent Hack Attacks (ARS Technica, Popular Science)

Dartmouth researchers are developing a wearable electronic device that uses a person’s unique physiological responses to protect his or her own medical devices, such as pacemakers, against being tampered with by malicious hackers, reports ARS Technica.

The proposed wearable instrument, worn like a watch, could identify the person who is wearing it and create a protective encryption system for the healthcare devices to which it is linked. ARS Technica points to a statement the authors made in their research explaining the capabilities of the new instrument. “Without any other action on the part of the users, the devices discover each other’s presence, recognize that they are on the same body, develop shared secrets from which to derive encryption keys, and establish reliable and secure communications.”