Justin Del Vecchio, PhD, and students in Canisius University’s cybersecurity master’s degree program recently presented their research to the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).
Del Vecchio, assistant professor of cybersecurity and computer science at Canisius, along with student researchers Eliana Furmanek ’23 and Andrew Perreault ’23 presented their research which focuses on unique applications of large language models (OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Meta’s Llama) to auto generate software code from human natural language instructions. Large language models offer malware developers opportunities to easily engineer previously unseen malware. Conversely, the models can make life difficult for cyber attackers by creating ephemeral executables that are difficult to reverse engineer and are continually changing. This limits the ability of attackers to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.
Del Vecchio came to Canisius in 2022 with more than 20 years of industry experience. He previously worked for CUBRC Inc., a leader in data fusion and analytics. Del Vecchio served as senior program manager and led a team of engineers to develop software solutions for government and private industry.
Furmanek ’23 holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in digital media arts from Canisius. Perreault ’23 holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in business from the university. Furmanek and Perreault are currently pursuing master’s degrees in cybersecurity at Canisius.
Canisius entered a partnership with USCYBERCOM in 2022. The partnership heightens the level of deterrence against adversaries in the cyber world. The joint military command unit enlists faculty and students in the university’s cybersecurity program to participate in its academic engagement network (AEN). The AEN collaboration aims to harness cyber research, expand cyber-focused analytic partnerships, and promote cyber careers through student outreach and mentorship opportunities at colleges and universities across the country.
Canisius is one of 84 higher education institutions selected for AEN membership and offers the only technology-based master’s level cybersecurity program in Western New York.
USCYBERCOM defends the nation, countering hostile cyber actors alongside interagency, industry, and international partners. It has three focus areas: Defending the DoDIN, providing support to combatant commanders for execution of their missions around the world, and strengthening our nation’s ability to withstand and respond to cyber-attack.
Click here for more information about the master’s degree program in cybersecurity at Canisius University.