Author archives

Scott Ruoti - I take an interdisciplinary approach to research, applying research methods from diverse areas ranging from applied cryptography to human-computer interaction. For example, when I begin investigating a new problem, I first collaborate with application-domain experts and conduct user studies of stakeholders to identify key requirements and design constraints. Next, I design cryptographic protocols and develop proof-of-concept prototypes that address identified needs. Third, I conduct empirical evaluations to ensure that these prototypes satisfy the stakeholder requirements and stay within the identified design constraints in real-world usage. Critically, these evaluations include both technical evaluations—such as measuring latency or demonstrating the ability to stop an attack—and user-centered evaluations—such as usability testing and longitudinal studies. Notably, I am one of only a few researchers who takes such a holistic approach to security research.

What is proof-of-stake? A computer scientist explains a new way to make cryptocurrencies, NFTs and metaverse transactions

Prof. Scott Ruoti briefs us on yet another new component in Digital Ledger Technology. Proof-of-stake is a mechanism for achieving consensus on a blockchain. Blockchain is a technology that records transactions that can’t be deleted or altered. It’s a decentralized database, or ledger, that is under no one person or organization’s control. Since no one controls the database, consensus mechanisms, such as proof-of-stake, are needed to coordinate the operation of blockchain-based systems.

Subjects: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Economy, Energy, Financial System, Legal Research, Technology Trends

How QR codes work and what makes them dangerous – a computer scientist explains

Scott Ruoti, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Tennessee discusses security issues respective to QR codes. He states that these codes are not inherently dangerous. They are simply a way to store data. However, just as it can be hazardous to click links in emails, visiting URLs stored in QR codes can also be risky in several ways.

Subjects: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Privacy, Spyware