ECE Researchers Awarded ACM HotMobile 23 Best Demo

“Remotely Positioned MetaSurface-Drone Attack”

Zhambyl Shaikhan

Zhambyl Shaikhanov and Edward W Knightly from Rice, in collaboration with Daniel Mittleman from Brown University, along with Sherif Badran and Josep Miquel Jornet from Northeastern University, have won the Best Demo Award at ACM HotMobile 23.

The event is the Twenty-fourth International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications. It hosts highly selective, interactive workshops focused on mobile applications, systems and environments, and on their underlying state-of-the-art technologies. The workshops are small, suitable for presenting and discussing new directions or controversial approaches

The award-winning demo is for the paper titled “Remotely Positioned MetaSurface-Drone (RMD) Attack,” which demonstrates security vulnerabilities of wireless backhaul links to aerial metasurfaces. Considering over-the-air threats as a strong adversary, it defines and experimentally exhibits the RMD attack. The results reveal that the RMD attacker can intercept backhaul transmissions with nearly zero bit-error-rate while maintaining minimal impact on legitimate communication.

It was a busy demo session with many people asking good questions and expressing how interesting our project is. The community is highly excited about what we are doing and I consider that a win, Shaikhanov said.

Shaikhanov is an electrical and computer engineering (ECE) doctoral student at Rice, where he earned his M.S. in ECE in 2020. He serves as a graduate research assistant for the Rice Networking Group under the leadership of  Knightly, the Sheafor–Lindsay Professor of ECE and Computer Science at Rice.

In addition to the ACM HotMobile 2023, Shaikhanov has received the Best Demo Award at ACM Wireless Security Conference of 2022. He is a Texas Instruments (TI) Distinguished Fellow and Rice ECE Fellow.