Cybersecurity Institute Holds Inaugural Hackathon

The Cybersecurity Institute held its first Hackathon on Friday, October 13th, in CS 150/151. The hackathon's primary focus was on understanding what tools could help make mobile apps safe by design. The event's goal was to make progress in building a system that determines the appropriate age rating of an app based on the actual content shown to users (as opposed to the intent of the app developer). Projects involved techniques for scraping content from apps and the web, labeling content, and machine learning classifiers that consider text and images against app store age rating criteria.

In attendance were over 30 UMass CICS graduate students, UMass CICS faculty and professional staff, over 15 professionals from MITRE, and a few friends from Pixel Forensics, Inc (PFI). MITRE is a non-profit operator of federally-funded research and development centers based in eastern Mass. PFI is an MA-based company focused on image/video forensics. Many of the MITRE and PFI employees are alums of the CICS graduate program.