ECE Researchers receive NSF grant for Securing IoT and Edge Devices under Audio Adversarial Attacks

ECE faculty members Professor Yingying Chen (PI) and Assistant Professor Bo Yuan (Co-PI) are the recipients of an award from the National Science Foundation under the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program for the project "Securing IoT and Edge Devices under Audio Adversarial Attacks.” This is a three-year $500,000 collaborative effort led by Rutgers University with University of Tennessee Knoxville, with Rutgers receiving $330,000.

Powered by the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, the next-generation voice-controllable IoT and edge systems have substantially facilitated people’s daily lives. Such systems include voice assistant systems and voice authenticated mobile banking, among many others. However, the underlying machine learning approaches used in these systems are inherently vulnerable to audio adversarial attacks, in which an adversary can mislead the machine learning models via injecting imperceptible perturbation to the original audio input. Given the widespread adoption of voice-controllable IoT and edge systems in many privacy-critical and safety-critical applications, e.g., personal banking and autonomous driving, this project will investigate the severity and consequences of the audio-based adversarial attack and develop the corresponding defense solutions. The research outcome of this project will provide a solid foundation for building trustworthy voice-controllable IoT and edge systems. The developed defense techniques will improve the security of many intelligent audio systems, such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), keyword spotting, and speaker recognition.
 
More details on the project can be found at the NSF page here.
 
Congratulations Yingying and Bo!