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Tsinghua graduate dissertation on network security honored

Dec 28, 2023 15:32

In a recent announcement made in Copenhagen, Denmark, the ACM Special Interest Group on Security, Audit, and Control (ACM SIGSAC) declared the winners of the 2023 ACM SIGSAC Doctoral Dissertation Award. Among the laureates was Feng Xuewei, a 2022 doctoral graduate from the Institute of Computer Networks of the Department of Computer Science and Technology at Tsinghua University. Feng's dissertation, titled "Exploring the Security Implications of Cross-Layer Interactions in Network Protocols," secured the runner-up position for the ACM SIGSAC Doctoral Dissertation Award. His work was supervised by Professor Xu Ke from the Department of Computer Science and Technology. This marks the first time since the award's inception in 2014 that finalists have emerged from the Asia-Pacific region.


Feng's doctoral dissertation delves into the security implications arising from the dynamic cross-layer interactions within the TCP/IP protocol stack during packet transmission. Despite the criticality of these interactions, the security concerns stemming from ambiguity and information leakage have been largely overlooked. Feng's research thoroughly investigates this issue, identifying four typical security vulnerabilities that persist within the TCP/IP protocol stack during cross-layer interactions. Furthermore, he proposes a comprehensive defense solution to systematically address these vulnerabilities. His results have been published at top security conferences including IEEE S&P, USENIX Security, NDSS, and CCS. The research has earned accolades such as the CCS'2020 Best Paper Nomination Award and the Frontiers of Science Award of the first International Congress of Basic Science. Feng's work has received high praise from renowned international network security scholars like Adrian Perrig and Ravi Sandhu. It has also been acknowledged by numerous well-known organizations and enterprises including Qualcomm, Wi-Fi Alliance, Linux community, FreeBSD community, OpenWrt community, China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Huawei, Alibaba, H3C, and more. His findings have been featured multiple times by prominent international media outlets such as The Register.

ACM SIGSAC, the sole professional organization in the security field of the International Computer Society, established the ACM SIGSAC Doctoral Dissertation Award to honor doctoral dissertations worldwide that have made significant contributions to the fields of computer security, auditing, and control. This year, the award drew participation from many top international universities including MIT, Harvard University, Yale University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, ETH Zürich, and Technical University of Munich. The review committee, chaired by Professor Yan Chen of Northwestern University, a distinguished scholar in international network security, comprises renowned security experts and scholars from three continents.