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Life and Work in Cyber and Wireless Security

Tuesday, April 2,
3 pm in RUCH 103

Cyber-Physical Systems graphic

Sam Ramirez of Idaho National Laboratory will provide a brief overview and focus on the research projects and capabilities of INL’s Cyber Security Research and Development Department within the National and Homeland Security Directorate.  A discussion will continue on three cybersecurity research laboratories:

  • Hardware Exploitation Laboratory
  • Decapsulation Exploitation Laboratory
  • Wireless Exploitation Laboratory  

There will be insight into some of the current wireless cyber security projects intermingled with some life experiences as a cyber security professional.  

About the presenter

Sam Ramirez started at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 1991 and has worked numerous system projects dealing with various topic areas from safety systems to Internet-based applications and more recently working wireless computer security assessment and training.  He spent a number of years out in the private sector continuing his work on Internet-based applications such as WS-Gopher and the emerging web, building an early web browser prototype that contained forms and security encryption, which didn’t exist at the time.  He rode the web explosion wave right into the new millennium as a consultant and managed to survive Y2K helping companies like Sprint and Raytheon land on their feet afterward.  He continued as a consultant to the INL working on a cybersecurity evaluation database now known as the DHS CISA Cyber Security Evaluation Tool or CSET. 

An opportunity presented itself to work with the U.S. Air Force as an INL employee, once again, on an electronic warfare project, which required the geospatial mapping of radar propagation models of various types to provide the air war fighter situational awareness on various missions.  This began Sam’s keen interest in wireless security technology, which led him to work on cybersecurity research of 4G-LTE systems.  While researching LTE, he spent a few years working with malware forensics and low-level hardware/firmware reversing of various electronic components. 

Sam is currently working on several different wireless cyber security projects, which including research on a signal identification and classification system, assessment of aviation wireless systems, and Vehicle to X (V2X) communications security research.  He has spent the last three years competing at the Wireless CTF at DEFCON and sponsoring wireless CTFs at INL.  Geek moment: Programmed BASIC and Pascal on a Radio Shack TRS-80 in 1983.  First Hack: Compromise of admin and user passwords on a Four-Phase business system in 1984.        

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