U.S. Army awards Ohio State, Potomac Research, $1.1 million for cybersecurity research
Physics Professor Daniel Gauthier of the College of Arts and Sciences, electrical and computer engineering Professor Emre Koksal of the College of Engineering, and Potomac Research, LLC, recently received a $1.1 million Sequential Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) from the U.S. Army to continue research and development of an innovative cybersecurity technology called the Entropy Extraction Device (EED). The EED is a type of physically unclonable function (PUF), which uses the unpredictability of chaos to assign unique digital fingerprints to electronic chips, making them virtually unhackable. The EED design has been exclusively licensed to Verilock, a startup co-founded by Gauthier and created to bring this Ohio State technology to market.
The award is a two-year Phase II follow-on extension of previous Phase II STTR funding allocated by the U.S. Army and will allow for environmental and accelerated-aging tests when used as a firmware update for field-programmable gate arrays, or reconfigurable electronic circuits. When complete, the EED will bolster electronic devices’ cybersecurity and authentication capabilities, adding an extra layer of digital protection to defend against hackers and cyber-attacks.
“There have been really high-profile hacks and ransomware attacks recently,” Gauthier said. “This device would have been able to protect against those types of hacks.”
“As the exclusive licensee of the EED’s underlying technology, we see this award as a very positive signal of the commercial potential of our approach,” said Jim Northup, CEO of Verilock. “This investment will bring us closer to a market-ready product that has been thoroughly tested by the U.S. government and vetted to their highest standards for reliability and security. As the need for superior authentication and data security methods continues to grow in importance, we expect the EED to be a valuable tool in the security toolbox.”