May 25, 2020
Pietro Frigo, a PhD student in the VUSec group at VU Amsterdam just won a Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF). Pietro is the only winner in the area of Computer Security for the 2020 European QIF Edition. According to the Qualcomm website:
"The QIF program is focused on recognizing, rewarding, and mentoring innovative PhD students across a broad range of technical research areas, based on Qualcomm’s core values of innovation, execution and teamwork".
QIFs are awarded based on research proposals assessed by Qualcomm. The selection is competitive, with submissions from top European institutes such as ETH, EPFL, ICL, and MPI. Pietro's awarded research proposal focuses on automating reverse engineering and attack surface analysis for modern DRAM chips. This is a natural followup to his recent TRRespass work on finding vulnerabilities in state-of-the-art in-DRAM defenses against Rowhammer attacks, which was awarded "Best Paper" at the IEEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in 2020 (the leading Computer Security conference).