CS Extra 9/27/2018: Detecting Vulnerable Code: from Mobile Apps to IoT Devices

Thursday, September 27, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Antonio Bianchi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at The University of Iowa, presents this Thursday Extra.

Mobile application markets, such as the Google's Play Store and the Apple's App Store, receive thousands of new applications every day. Ideally, all these apps should be properly vetted to find both security-relevant programming mistakes. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of the submitted code rules out the possibility of using human experts to analyze it. Consequently, researchers have proposed and implemented different techniques to analyze automatically mobile applications.

In this talk, Bianchi will talk about his research using automated analysis techniques to detect security issues in existing Android applications. In particular, he will present his work in detecting Android applications implementing vulnerable authentication schemas. He will also discuss some of the currently open problems in the field and future research directions.

CS Table 4/17/2018: Oracle v. Google Ruling

We will revisit the Oracle v. Google case after the recent appeals ruling in favor of Oracle. We will look at the circumstances surrounding the case, revisit definitions of patent and copyright, and try to understand what the ramifications of this decision are for users of Java, Android, open-source software, and the tech sector as a whole.

There are four readings, but if you are pressed for time, we recommend "A Brief History of Oracle v. Google" first and then reviewing the definitions of "Trademark, Patent, and Copyright" as needed.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224A (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

Thursday Extra: "Enhancing Myro Java using Android"

On Thursday, April 17, Nora Bresette Buccino will discuss the development of an application programming interface for small robots in Java, with extensions to the Android environment:

The use of personal robots in computing is becoming more ubiquitous as robots are a good way to attract students and introduce them to the subject of computer science. Therefore, it is important to make use of all the features of the robots to give users a sense of the capabilities provided by robotics. The API (Application Programming Interface) defined by the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, called Myro, originally created in Python, has now been adapted to many other popular programming languages including Java. The Myro Java API created for the Scribbler robots by Professor Douglas Harms of DePauw University included most of the features of Myro Python. Our goals in this project were to add features to the Myro Java API, to enhance the user's capabilities, and to attempt to incorporate Android development into Myro Java.

Smart phones and tablets have become an integral part of the way we communicate and learn. Not only can these devices be used to communicate with other people, but they can also communicate with other devices through Bluetooth and infrared sensors. Thus these types of devices can interact with devices such as robots and applications can be created to control these robots. Therefore, we decided to integrate Myro and Android to provide the opportunity to not only learn about robotics but to also learn about Android programming and mobile application development.

At 4:15 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, “Enhancing Myro Java using Android,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Grinnellians attend hackathon

From the September 27 edition of the S&B:

"Last weekend, a group of seven Grinnell students went to the annual MHacks “hackathon” event, organized by the University of Michigan. This was the first time students from Grinnell participated in such an event as a group. With approximately 1200 participants from over 100 schools across the country, this was the biggest hackathon of the year."

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