Florida Center for Cybersecurity Partners with USF and SOFWERX to Support Student Research into Smart Safehouses

June 20, 2018

With support from the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, six students from the University of South Florida's (USF) College of Engineering have embarked on a yearlong internship to develop a state-of-the-art, cyber-ready safehouse. The six students involved in this ongoing partnership between USF and SOFWERX are Daniel Thomas (Computer Science), Savannah Wheeler (Computer Science), Petar Betuhovski (Information Technology and Environmental Sciences), Giancarlo Villar (Information Technology), Steven Serisky (Masters in Cybersecurity), and Nathalie Labao (Masters in Cybersecurity).

The students have integrated layers of cybersecurity to protect the device network and occupants' online activities from cyber attacks and added a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to automate a Nerf gun that drops from the ceiling and fires when the system detects intruders carrying weapons. All these elements combine to create a truly "smart" safehouse—one that not only can adjust the thermostat, but also detect and block hacking attempts, monitor nearby social media, and detect intruders.

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