Papamanthou Receives Yahoo! Labs Award

Papamanthou Receives Yahoo! Labs Award

Papamanthou Receives Yahoo! Labs Award

A faculty researcher in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) has received a $25,000 award from Yahoo! Labs to develop new algorithms for searchable encryption that will make it easier for users to navigate end-to-end secure email.

Charalampos “Babis” Papamanthou, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering with appointments in MC2 and UMIACS, received a Faculty Research and Engagement Award for his proposal, “Searchable Encryption For More Functional End-to-End Encrypted Email.” He will collaborate on this project with Payman Mohassel, a research scientist at Yahoo! Labs.

In light of people growing more concerned about the privacy of their email, several major Internet service providers, including Google and Yahoo, have been developing plug-in tools with the goal of giving users end-to-end encryption—meaning that only the sender and recipient can read an email’s content.

The problem, Papamanthou explains, is that the mail provider—through which all emails pass—is unable to perform any processing on the underlying data since it is encrypted. This, in particular, means that search functionality is no longer supported.

Since search is one of the most popular features of email, he adds, this is a pretty big limitation. Papamanthou’s research aims to make searching possible even as the emails remain encrypted.

“It is great that I am being given the chance to actively collaborate with Yahoo! researchers on such a timely problem,” Papamanthou says. “We had very productive research meetings when I visited Sunnyvale last spring and I am looking forward to future visits and research discussions on searchable encryption.”

He is currently developing a browser plug-in called PMAIL that will allow users to interact with a cloud-based email system that will store emails encrypted under keys managed by users—not by the cloud provider—while still allowing the cloud provider to perform common search queries in the users’ inbox. UMD undergraduates Daven Patel, a computer engineering major, and Josh Puncal and Mujtaba Elhag, both electrical and computer engineering majors, are working with Papamanthou on the project.

Click here to see a video overview of Papamanthou’s work on providing secure computations in the cloud.

MC2 is jointly supported by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. It is one of 16 centers and labs in UMIACS.

Related Articles:
Joseph JaJa Named Interim Chair of ECE Department
Papamanthou Receives NSF CAREER Award to Improve Security in Cloud Computing
Chellappa Elevated to AAAI Fellow
University Medal Awarded to Electrical Engineering Senior Jerome Quenum
Shoukry Wins NSF CAREER Award
Nisar and Odigwe Win 2018 International Space Solar Power Student Project Competition
UMD Researchers Conduct Field Tests to Evaluate the Atmosphere’s Effect on Lasers
Symbiont Health, Co-founded by ECE Major Erich Meissner Wins Pitch Dingman Competition & Do Good Challenge
MC2 Graduate Student Advised by Papamanthou Awarded Symantec Fellowship
Apple Publishes Artificial Intelligence Paper for the First Time Ever Lead by UMD Alumnus

October 30, 2015


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

MEI² Receives Two New Innovative Vehicle Technology Awards

BIOE, UMB to Host October Symposium

Taking Aim at Blood Infections

Engineering Sustainable Solutions…Globally!

Alumnus Lawrence Carin named Vice President for Research at Duke University

Five Years of Fearless Flight

UMD Alumna Receives PECASE Award, Highest Honor Given by U.S. Government to Outstanding Scientists

Alumnus Amir Ali Ahmadi receives PECASE Award

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar