A guide to events on our campuses.

Assembly Series

A tradition of convening thought leaders since 1953

McKelvey School of Engineering

ESE Dissertation Proposal: Huifeng Zhu

Friday, January 14 | 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

The sophistication of today's computing system and the global supply chain distributed worldwide give rise to the increasing hardware vulnerabilities threats in electronic systems.

Such vulnerabilities cause severe, challenging, and expensive security problems. Among the hardware blocks in electronic systems, the power delivery network (PDN) is becoming an emerging security concern. The PDN is an essential and ubiquitous component in any electronic system, and its own complexity has been growing with the system it supports. Similar to other system-level shared hardware resources, the PDN can introduce unintentional interactions that attackers seek to exploit. However, PDN is often neglected in conventional security analysis and verification due to its analog/mixed-signal nature and its lack of functional abstraction.
To address this security challenge, in my Ph.D. research, I focus on cross-layer security analysis for PDN. To understand the role of PDN in power side-channel attacks, I propose PowerScout, a security-oriented PDN modeling framework. Based on this framework, we can gain a deep understanding of the fundamental mechanisms causing PDN-based vulnerabilities. Leveraging such understanding, I then explore the utility and risk brought by the modern power delivery system. From the perspective of utility, I propose PDNPulse, a PDN-based PCB anomaly detection framework; and exploring the risk side of the picture, I propose SuperCharge, a novel attack targeting touchscreen through charger noises. For the remaining part of my Ph.D. study, I plan to holistically analyze PDN at a system level by including modern power management schemes and policies.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology

Electrical & Systems Engineering
Speaker Information

Huifeng Zhu
PhD Candidate
Washington University in St. Louis 

Google Calendar iCal Outlook