Yixin Sun earned recognition for her outstanding contributions to the theory, design, implementation and deployment of privacy enhancing technologies. Sun, Anita Jones Career Enhancement Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia, is the runner up in the 2020 Caspar Bowden Award competition.
Sun’s co-authored paper, Bamboozling Certificate Authorities with BGP, is published in the Proceedings of the 27th USENIX Security Symposium. Sun conducted the research while a Ph.D. student at Princeton University, advised by Professors Prateek Mittal and Mung Chiang. The research team conducted an assessment of Public Key Infrastructure vulnerabilities. Based on their assessment, the team proposed and evaluated two countermeasures to secure the PKI. Certificate authorities that can verify domains from multiple vantage points, thus making it more difficult for bad actors to launch an attack, is one countermeasure proposed. A second countermeasure is a border gate protocol monitoring system for certificate authorities to detect suspicious BGP routes and delay certificate issuance, sufficient for network operators to react to BGP attacks. Read the paper: https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/usenixsecurity18/sec18-birge-lee.pdf.