Yingying Chen receives MxD Grant for Securing Voice Control Technology in Digital Manufacturing

ECE Professor Yingying Chen received an award from Manufacturing x Digital (MxD) for the project “Securing Voice Control Technology in Manufacturing via Low Effort Authentication.”  In partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), MxD equips U.S. factories with the digital tools, cybersecurity, and workforce expertise needed to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. This multi-year renewable collaborative project with Texas A&M funded at $75,000 for the first year, investigates low-cost authentication solutions to tackle the security vulnerabilities in voice assistants (VA) at manufacturing plants. Voice assistants (VA) are becoming the one-stop hub for Industrial IoT-enabled manufacturing plants. With hands-free interaction, the use of voice technology offers a great advantage for the human operators during manufacturing cycles and in factory floors for better safety, productivity and efficiency. However, the convenience of using voice control technology in manufacturing also opens the door for adversaries to access a company’s private and critical information, and perform unauthorized actions. This project aims to design cross-domain (in both audio and vibration) low-effort authentication to defeat various attacks on voice assistant systems including impersonation attacks (whereby the adversary can fool the systems by imitating the legitimate user’s voice), replay attacks (via a simple record-and-replay of the user’s voice commands) and hidden voice attacks (whereby the adversary embedded malicious commands in music to access VA systems surreptitiously).

Congratulations Yingying!