A foreign operative, a sophisticated hacker, or even just a disgruntled employee could be the one to do it. IT managers know, the computer networks of major corporations, universities, hospitals and other organizations are vulnerable to attack from any source.
Hardware-based keyloggers are a particular threat. These devices are surreptitiously placed on computers to steal login and password credentials from unsuspecting users, and those credentials are used to access the system. Hackers use these to steal data, install ransomware or otherwise cause havoc.
PAI Security is a student-run startup team that is fighting back. Harry Herzberg (pictured above, right) is the CEO of PAI and a Computer Science major at Oregon State University. He and his colleagues developed the “physical attack interruptor” prototype, which combines hardware and software to stop hardware keyloggers from accessing a system.
The PAI team includes Ben Brandeberry (pictured, above, left), a student in Business; Matthew Gilbert (above, centered), an Electrical Engineering student; and Zachary Elliot, a student in Computer Science.
The team went through the OSU Advantage Accelerator’s ITERATE program to develop their value proposition and learn customer discovery techniques. They are currently in the second stage ACCELERATE program, and also competing in the University’s Next Great Startup competition.
Harry credits the Accelerator for helping him refine his pitch and introducing him to business mentors and others. PAI is pushing ahead full steam, talking to customers, developing the prototype and continuing to refine their pitch.