Nader Sehatbakhsh

PhD Candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology

I am a PhD candidate at the School of Computer Science in Georgia Tech working with Professor Milos Prvulovic and Professor Alenka Zajic. My research interest is on the broad area of Security and Privacy with emphasis on computer architecture, embedded/cyber-physical systems, side-channels, and hardware support for privacy-preserving and trustworthy AI/ML.

[Recent News] I'm joining the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in Summer 2020 as an Assistant Professor. You can learn more about my research interests in [Research]. Please contact me if you are interested in working with me.


Research

My research has been focused on improving the security and privacy of a wide range of systems- from modern computers to resource-constrained embedded systems. My work is interdisciplinary, spanning Computer Architecture, Security, Hardware Design, Machine Learning, Digital Signal Processing, and System design. The following describes them in more details. Please visit [Publication] for the latest list of my published papers.

  • Side-Channels: developing novel methods to discover, model, and mitigate side-channels (both physical and digital/micro-architectural side-channels) on modern and embedded processors,
  • Embedded and IoT Devices Security: developing novel hardware-based defense mechanisms for protecting embedded systems, especially, by leveraging the side-channel signals unintentionally generated by these resource-constrained devices.

Moving forward, I'm planning to continue my research in three main directions:

  • Remote Computation and Establishing Trust: developing novel HW/SW methods (e.g., by leveraging hardware, side-channels, and software characteristics of the system) to remotely establish trust (e.g., in order to securely execute an application remotely) on an untrusted resource-constrained computing device (e.g., an IoT device).
  • Hardware-Support for Privacy-Preserving and Trustworthy Computation especially for machine-learning and infrastructure-as-a-service scenarios.
  • Side-Channel-Resistant Architectures for Future Systems especially for resource-constraint IoT devices, emerging technologies (e.g., NVM, PIM, 3D chips, etc.), and domain-specific accelerators.
My work has been recognized with several awards and honors including the MICRO-49 Best Paper Award and Micro Top-Picks Honorable Mention. Please visit [Awards] for the full list of my honors and awards.


Publications

Conferences
  • C8.[HPCA'20] A New Side-Channel Vulnerability on Modern Computers by Exploiting Electromagnetic Emanations from the Power Management Unit.
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Berkay Yilmaz, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic.
  • (to appear) in Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA-26).
    (Acceptance Rate: 19.3%)
  • HPCA Best Paper Nominee.

  • C7.[HPCA'20] EMSim: A Microarchitecture-Level Simulation Tool for Modeling Electromagnetic Side-Channel Signals.
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Berkay Yilmaz, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic.
  • (to appear) in Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA-26).
    (Acceptance Rate: 19.3%)

  • C6.[MICRO'19] EMMA: Hardware/Software Attestation Framework for Embedded Systems Using Electromagnetic Signals. (pdf)
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Alireza Nazari, Haider Khan, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic,
  • In Proceedings of the 52nd IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO-52).
    (Acceptance Rate: 21%).

  • C5.[AAAI-FSS'19] Security and Privacy Considerations for Machine Learning Models Deployed in the Government and Public Sector.
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Ellie Daw, Onur Savas, Amin Hassanzadeh, Ian McCulloh,
  • (to appear) In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Fall Symposium Series (AAAI-FSS'19).

  • C4.[HOST'18] Syndrome: Spectral Analysis for Anomaly Detection on Medical IoT and Embedded Devices. (pdf)
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Monjur Alam, Alireza Nazari, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic,
  • In Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST’18).
    (Acceptance Rate: 19%)
  • Second Best Demo Award.

  • C3.[ISCA'17] EDDIE: EM-Based Detection of Deviations in Program Execution. (pdf)
  • Alireza Nazari, Nader Sehatbakhsh (same contribution), Monjur Alam, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic,
  • In Proceedings of the 44th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA’17).
    (Acceptance Rate: 16%).
  • MICRO Top-Picks Honorable Mention.


  • C2.[MICRO'16] Spectral Profiling: Observer-Effect-Free Profiling by Monitoring EM Emanations. (pdf)
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Alireza Nazari, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic,
  • In Proceedings of the 49th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO-49).
    (Acceptance Rate: 21%).
  • MICRO Best Paper Award.


  • C1.[DTIS'14] FPGA Implementation of Genetic Algorithm for Dynamic Filter-Bank Based Multicarrier Systems. (pdf)
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Mohammad Aliasgari, and Sied Mehdi Fakhraie,
  • In Proceedings of the 8th IEEE International Conference on Design and Technologies in Nanoscale Era (DTIS’14).
    (Acceptance Rate: 29%).



Journals
  • J6.[IEEE TC] REMOTE: Robust External Malware Detection Framework by Using Electromagnetic Signals. (pdf)
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Alireza Nazari, Monjur Alam, Frank Werner, Yuanda Zhu, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic. (2019).
  • IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC).

  • J5.[IEEE TIFS] Communication Model and Capacity Limits of Covert Channels Created by Software Activities. (pdf)
  • Berkay Yilmaz, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Milos Prvulovic, and Alenka Zajic. (2019).
  • IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (TIFS).

  • J4.[IEEE TDSC] IDEA: Intrusion Detection through Electromagnetic-Signal Analysis for Critical Embedded and Cyber-Physical Systems. (pdf)
  • Haider Khan, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Luong N. Nguyen, Robert Callan, Arie Yeredor, Milos Prvulovic, and Alenka Zajic. (2019).
  • IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC).

  • J3.[HASS] Malware Detection in Embedded Systems using Neural Network Model for Electromagnetic Side-Channel Signals. (pdf)
  • Haider Khan, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Luong N. Nguyen, Milos Prvulovic, and Alenka Zajic. (2019).
  • Journal of Hardware and Systems Security (HASS).

  • J2.[IEEE TAP] A Directive Antenna Based on Conducting Disks for Detecting Unintentional EM Emissions at Large Distances. (pdf)
  • Prateek Juyal, Sinan Adibeli, Nader Sehatbakhsh, and Alenka Zajic. (2018).
  • IEEE Transactions on Antenna and Propagations (TAP).

  • J1.[Elsevier Microelectronics Reliability] PVTA-Aware Approximate Custom Instruction Extension Technique: A Cross-Layer Approach. (pdf)
  • Bahar Farahani, Saeed Safari, Nader Sehatbakhsh. (2016).


  • (under-review)
  • U5.[HOST'20] SIP: Secure Insertion Policy for Shared Caches to Defeat Conflict-Based Cache Attacks.
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Moumita Dey, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic.
  • [Under Review] in the 13th IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST'20).

  • U4.[S&P'20] SoK: Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning.
  • Nader Sehatbakhsh, Ellie Daw, and Amin Hassanzadeh.
  • [Under Review] in the 41st IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland, S&P'20).

  • U3.[HOST'20] Blind Source Separation of Electromagnetic Side-Channel Signals in Embedded Systems.
  • Alireza Nazari, Frank Werner, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Alenka Zajic, and Milos Prvulovic.
  • [Under Review] in the 13th IEEE International Symposium on Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust (HOST'20).

  • U2.[IEEE Transactions on Antenna and Propagation] Side-Channel Propagation Measurements and Modeling for Hardware Security in IoT Devices.
  • Seun Sangodoyin, Frank Werner, Baki B. Yilmaz, Chia-Lin Cheng, Elvan M. Ugurlu, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Milos Prvulovic, and Alenka Zajic.
  • [Under Review] in IEEE Transactions on Antenna and Propagation (TAP).

  • U1.[EuCAP'20] Remote Monitoring and Propagation Modeling of EM Side-Channel Signals for IoT Device Security.
  • Seun Sangodoyin, Frank Werner, Baki B. Yilmaz, Chia-Lin Cheng, Elvan M. Ugurlu, Nader Sehatbakhsh, Milos Prvulovic, and Alenka Zajic
  • [Under Review] in the 14th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2020).


News

[January 2020] My side-channel simulator paper is nominated for Best Paper Award at HPCA-26. See [Publications] for more details.

[November 2019] Two papers are accepted at HPCA-26. See [Publications] for more details.

[October 2019] One paper is accepted at IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security. See [Publications] for more details.

[October 2019] Selected as an RSA Security Scholar. Hope to meet you all at RSA-Conference 2020!

[September 2019] Serving as a Committee Member at EMC2 Workshop (Workshop on Energy Efficient Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing). The 5th edition is at NeurIPS2019. Send your best work!

[August 2019] One paper is accepted at MICRO-52. See [Publications] for more details.

[July 2019] Two journal papers are accepted at IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Systems and Journal of Hardware Security (HASS). See [Publications] for more details.

[June 2019] Gave a talk at Accenture Cyber-Fusion Center, Washington DC, on novel methods for exploiting physical side-channels for malware detection.


Education

Georgia Institute of Technology

PhD
Computer Science
August 2014 - December 2019

Georgia Institute of Technology

M.Sc.
Electrical Engineering
August 2014 - August 2017

University of Tehran

B.Sc.
Electrical Engineering
September 2009 - May 2014

Experience

Internships

Cyber-Security Researcher

Accenture Labs, Cyber-Fusion Center

Explored novel methods for trustworthy AI and privacy-preserving machine learning including designing and implementation of a homomorphic encryption framework. Also, investigated new defense mechanisms against privacy attacks such as Member Inference and Model Extraction.

May 2019 - August 2019
Washington D.C.

Computer Architect

Cadence Design Systems, IPG/Tensillica Computer Architecture Group

Investigated new architectural techniques to improve the performance of a convolutional neural network accelerator using in-house cycle-accurate simulators (C++) and emulators (Python). Also, performed a Power-Performance-Area (PPA) analysis on RISC-V cores to systematically gain insights about the differences between RISC-V and the state-of-the-art ARM and MIPS in-order and OoO cores.

May 2018 - August 2018
San Jose, CA
Mentoring

Mentor

Opportunity Research Scholars (ORS) Program, School of ECE, Georgia Tech

Mentored and advised 6 undergraduate students (shown in the following) at the Georgia Institute of Technology for three different year-long projects.

  • Hope Hong, CE, Undergraduate Student, 2017-2019.
    Developing a Framework for Defending against Cyber-Security Attacks on Cyber-Physical and Medical Systems.
    Won the Second Best Demo Award at HOST'18.

  • Oguzhan Yilmaz, CE, Undergraduate Student, 2017-2019.
    Developing a Framework for Defending against Cyber-Security Attacks on Cyber-Physical and Medical Systems.
    Won the Second Best Demo Award at HOST'18.

  • Alison Kennedy, ECE, Undergraduate Student, 2018-2019.
    Designing a Secure, Privacy-Preserving Convolutional Neural Network Co-Processor Using RISC-V ISA.

  • Jacob Bruhn, ECE, Undergraduate Student, 2018-2019.
    Designing a Secure, Privacy-Preserving Convolutional Neural Network Co-Processor Using RISC-V ISA.

  • Ben Lazar, ECE, Undergraduate Student, 2017-2018.
    Implementing a Number of Cyber-Attacks (Code-Reuse, Buffer-Overflow, and APT) on Medical Cyber-Physical Devices.
    Won the Second Best Poster Award at RFID'18.

  • Barry Johnson-Smith, CE, Undergraduate Student, 2017-2018.
    Implementing a Number of Cyber-Attacks (Code-Reuse, Buffer-Overflow, and APT) on Medical Cyber-Physical Devices.
    Won the Second Best Poster Award at RFID'18.

August 2017 - May 2019
Atlanta, GA

Teaching
  • CS 3220 Processor Design, TA, Georgia Tech, Spring 2018.
  • CS 6290 Advanced Computer Architecture, TA, Georgia Tech Fall 2016.
  • Robotics Lab (Line-Tracker Robot design), Instructor, University of Tehran Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.
  • VLSI Design, TA, University of Tehran Spring and Fall 2013.
Services
  • DAC, External Reviewer, 2019.
  • 5th Workshop on Energy Efficient Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing (EMC2), Review Committee, 2019.
  • IEEE Transactions on Computers, Reviewer, 2018-2019.
  • IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, Reviewer, 2019.
  • IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I, Reviewer, 2019.
  • IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, Student Program Committee, 2018, 2019.


Honors & Awards

  • Best Paper Award, IEEE/ACM MICRO-49, 2016.
  • IEEE Micro Top Picks Honorable Mention, 2018.
  • Best Paper Nominee, IEEE/ACM HPCA-26, 2020.
  • Second Best Demo Award, IEEE HOST, 2017.
  • Best Student Paper Award, IEEE Region 8 Student Paper Contest, 2013.
  • Second Best Poster Award, IEEE RFID, 2018.
  • Named as one of the Georgia Tech Research Highlight of the Year, 2016.
  • Finalist, Annual Georgia Tech Cyber-Security Summit Competition, 2017 (over 125,000$ prize, 5 finalist).

Contact Information

My email address is:
   nsehatbakhsh3 AT gatech DOT edu

My office address is:
   TSRB 416A,
    85 5th street NW, Atlanta, GA, 30332