Wendy Fernandez

MIT Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Undergraduate Institution: The City College of New York, CUNY

Faculty Mentor: Anantha Chandraka

Research Supervisor: Rabia Tugce Yazicigil, Phillip Nadeau



I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, currently pursuing a bachelor degree on Electrical Engineer at The City College of New York. My research interests are: image processing, energy harvesting, power, integrated circuits, electronic devices, embedded systems and energy-efficient hardware systems. One of my goals is to increase the access to education for minorities, mainly disabled students. In my free time I like to watch anime, Korean dramas and read manga.

2017 Poster Presentation

2017 Research Abstract

Secure Frequency Hopping Measurement and Data Visualization

Wendy P. Fernandez, Department of Electrical Engineering, The City College of New York

Rabia Tugce Yazicigil, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Phillip Nadeau, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Anantha Chandrakasan, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The term Internet of Things (IoT) refers to scenarios where network connectivity and computing capability extends to objects, sensors and everyday items not normally considered computers. IoT devices can communicate using protocols such as Bluetooth-Low Energy (BLE). Due to vulnerability in the security of its communication, IoT is target of cyber-attacks. Techniques to enhance the security of BLE devices are necessary. IoT devices that use BLE communication utilize frequency hopping (FH) to provide a better quality of service in the crowded ISM band. FH is a technique that changes rapidly the carrier signal among many frequency choices in pseudorandom pattern. FH can be utilized as a physical security feature for BLE protocol, but it can be disrupted because the hopping sequence is exchanged during connection set-up and can be easily sniffed and followed. We hypothesize that a better selection of hopping pattern can improve the security of FH. We are implementing a data visualization method that helps to analyze the security level of BLE FH by graphically displaying the hopping sequence. We generated graphs of the input signal in the time domain and spectrograms in 2D and 3D, using a proper window size, frequency resolution, and time resolution. In addition, we computed FFT on each hop to look for spurious emissions to confirm that the transmitter is producing the desired radio signals effectively. The designed visualization techniques can serve as a tool for BLE manufacturers to analyze the security of their transmitters and select a more secure frequency variation.