No Phone Left Unhacked at CSAW: THREADS, NYU-Poly’s First Mobile Security Conference

Part of the university’s Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) events, THREADS will be open to the public, and is aimed at computer security students as well as professionals working in the field.

With mobile device subscriptions now outnumbering people in the United States, smartphones and tablets have become ripe targets for cyber criminals. According to smartphone security company Lookout, more than 6 million people around the world were affected by Android malware alone from June 2011 to June 2012.

Organizing CSAW: THREADS are Dan Guido and Dino Dai Zovi, NYU-Poly hackers-in-residence and founders of the information security company Trail of Bits. They will be joined by other experts from industry, government and academia.  Presentations will address malware and app security, including how apps may be deployed to assess the vulnerability of mobile devices; a demonstration of security flaws and fixes on Android, Apple iOS and Blackberry OS platforms; and a discussion of cellular network security. 

“The speakers of CSAW: THREADS will present their research into the security of a wide range of mobile technologies,” Guido said. “Participants will learn about mobile software attacks and defenses, vulnerabilities in mobile operator networks and what capabilities attackers have to exploit these issues. We hope that by tearing these platforms apart and describing in detail attacks that already occur in the wild, we can inspire ideas for building stronger, safer systems moving forward.”

THREADS is the opening event of CSAW 2012, a three-day competition comprised of seven computer security challenges for high school, undergraduate and graduate students  Now in its ninth year, CSAW is a premier cyber security competition, attracting thousands of competitors online and bringing hundreds of students and experts to NYU-Poly’s Brooklyn campus for the final games. This year, CSAW has already set the record for the world’s largest Capture-the-Flag competition in the preliminary round of the entry-level hacking contest.

CSAW: THREADS will take place Thursday, November 15, 2012, from 9:00 a.m-5:00 p.m. Registration is required, and the fee is waived for faculty, and student participants registered for CSAW. For more information, visit

NYU-Poly was one of the first universities to introduce a cyber security program, and is designated as both a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a Center of Academic Excellence in Research by the National Security Agency.  The Sloan Consortium, an affiliation of educators and institutions dedicated to quality online education, named NYU-Poly’s virtual graduate cyber security program the Outstanding Online Program of 2011. The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP), a cutting-edge research collaboration of NYU-Poly and other NYU schools, re-examines the entire cyber security paradigm to integrate technology with broader issues such as human psychology, business, public policies and law.