New 6G Wireless Security Threats and Capabilities

10 Apr

Zhambyl Shaikhanov, PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University

External Presentation (External Speaker)

Next-generation wireless, 6G and beyond, will feature millimeter-wave and terahertz spectrum with large bandwidth and small wavelengths to address data rate and latency requirements of future wireless applications, including autonomous cars and immersive AR/VR. Accompanying that boost in capacity will be new networking challenges and security threats. In my talk, I will describe a new class of “Metasurface-In-The-Middle” attacks, exposing a formidable adversary that can intercept both next-generation directional pencil-beam WLAN links and today’s wireless backhaul links, similar to those employed in Wall Street for financial trading, all with almost imperceptible trace. Demonstrating the low-profile nature of the attack, I will show how the attacker designs and fabricates such sophisticated wavefront manipulation devices in minutes and at the cost of cents using office supplies. Moreover, with the attacker armed with an on-drone metasurface, I will show new aerial wavefront designs driven by drone flight patterns, demonstrating rooftop wireless backhaul interception in the Boston metropolitan area. Then, I will discuss novel sensing and applications with millimeter-wave programmable metasurfaces on smartphones, showcasing micron-scale sensing and reconfigurations. Finally, I will share several future research directions in wireless networking and sensing with advanced wavefront manipulation targeted toward shaping 6G and beyond wireless.

About Zhambyl Shaikhanov

Zhambyl Shaikhanov is a Ph.D. Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. He received his Master’s degree from Rice University and his Bachelor’s from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to graduate school, he worked at the Dell Server Networking Lab. Zhambyl’s research focuses on a broad spectrum of next-generation 6G and beyond wireless, including millimeter-wave and sub-THz networks. Building on strong theoretical foundations, he designs, prototypes, and experimentally demonstrates new wireless systems and architectures with applications in networking, security, and sensing. His research has been featured in many top-tier ACM/IEEE conferences and journals and has won multiple awards, including Best Demo Awards at ACM HotMobile 2023 and ACM WiSec 2022, and has been recognized with Texas Instruments Distinguished Fellowship, Rice ECE Fellowship, “Bolashak” International Scholarship, among many others.

This event will be conducted in English

  • Location: MR-A1 [Ramón] & MR-A2 [Cajal], IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid
  • Organization: IMDEA Networks Institute; NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M)
  • Time: 12:00
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