Welcome to my personal academic website

I am Lecturer in Networks and Security at the School of IT at the University of Sydney. I also lead the Node for Cybersecurity and Usable Security inside the Human-Centred Technologies cluster.

One of my goals is to make the Sydney area a great place to do R&D in IT Security. To this end, I am also Contributed Staff to Data61|CSIRO, a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, and a member of the Sydney Cybersecurity Network.

Research Interests

My research interests revolve around security and (network) measurement, with a decidedly empirical approach. My current interests are:

  • Global-scale measurement of Internet service deployments and their security
  • Data-driven security mechanisms
  • Analysis of blockchain technology and its implications

My theme is real-world security: security is achieved only by technology that supports its human users. No matter how brilliant the technology, if humans find it hard to operate, it will be insecure. Similarly, technology is always used in a context (at home, in finance, etc.) and this context is important in understanding how a technology must designed.

News

  • I have been appointed as a Theme Leader in the Sydney Nano Institute, responsible for developing the research fields nano communication and security, including quantum computing and security.

  • My term as coordinator for SSP/TSP has ended. From 15 Dec 2017 on, Dr Vera Chung will take over.

  • My student intake for 2018 for Honours and Master Coursework is already complete, sorry.

  • Our SecuriTea reading group is open and meeting every week. Join us! Drop me a line and I’ll add you to our Slack, or just show up every Wed 4pm on L4W, The Lounge™.

  • Our paper Mission accomplished? HTTPS Security after DigiNotar has won the IMC 2017 Community Contribution Award! Check out the dataset here. At 412GB, artefact is a bit of an understatement.

Bio

I hold a PhD from Technical University of Munich. I did both my post-grad and under-grad studies at Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen, one of Germany’s classic universities.

I also am a Visiting Lecturer at the University of New South Wales and a Visiting Academic at Technical University of Munich. As contributed university staff, I frequently collaborate with Data61 (CSIRO), Australia’s premier innovation group.

My full CV can be found here.

Selected publications

All publications

Prospective Honours/SSP/Capstone/Internships

One of the best parts of being an academic is working with students who share my passion for security. I generally offer a range of topics in the area of security and network security. Open topics can be found here. The current research theme for honours/Master by Research projects is described here (slides).

I also offer scholarships/internships within three programmes:

Prospective PhD students

If you want to do a PhD with me, please contact me several months before the application deadline and read the admission criteria carefully. If you are unsure whether you meet the criteria, you may contact Ms Evelyn Riegler to clarify. Please take the time to find out what I am working on.

Prospective PhD students must meet the admission criteria of the University and be competitive for a scholarship. For domestic students, this generally means a very strong High Distinction; international students are expected to have a converted GPA of 3.8 or better. A strong background in computer security and networks is required. Prospective students will need to draft a research proposal that clearly outlines the proposed research, its relationship to my own research agenda, and how it advances current knowledge and the state of the art. Please consult my list of publications to understand my research agenda better.

Once you are sure you meet the criteria and have a good idea of what I am working on, please do contact me. You can start out on your research proposal if you already know what you want to do, but I am also happy to answer emails about possible directions - I always have one or two ideas. Please do not forget to include a transcript and CV in your email.

Note, however, that I delete emails with generic enquiries where it is clear the sender made no attempt to understand what I am doing, how their proposed work would fit with mine, or the admission criteria are clearly not met.

Current students

I currently work with and advise the following students:

  • Christopher Natoli (PhD student, with Vincent Gramoli) - Blockchain measurement
  • Benedikt Brandner (Visiting Master student of TUM) - Blockchain measurement
  • Deanna Arora (Honours) - Blockchain measurement
  • Eve Martin-Hones (Honours) - Blockchain measurement
  • Hugh Chan (UNSW Engineering Thesis) - Blockchain measurement
  • Simon Koch (SSP) - Blockchain measurement
  • Yue Han (SSP) - Blockchain measurement

Graduated students

  • Ilya Nikolaev (Master by Research) - Blockchain security
  • Victory Wang (Honours) - Internet security
  • Jonathan Yan (Honours) - Software security
  • Andrew Yang (Engineering Project) - Software security
  • Joshua Murray (Honours), with Vincent Gramoli) - Blockchain security
  • Rabia Chaudry (PhD student, with Alan Fekete) - Performance of cloud technology
  • Gordon Draper (Master) - Blockchain security
  • Nyan Thit Lwin (Master) - Blockchain security
  • Michael Gravenor (Master) - Internet measurement
  • Hugh Chan (Data61 intern)
  • Andrew Kaploun (Data61 intern)
  • Jakob Bachhuber (TUM intern)
  • Bario Banfi (TUM intern)

Teaching

I am teaching the following unit in S1 2018:

I am going to teach the following units in S2 2018:

In the past, I have taught and coordinated the following units:

  • COMP5617: Empirical Security Analysis and Engineering (2016, 2017)
  • COMP9121: Design of Networks & Distributed Systems (2016, 2017)
  • COMP5618: Applied Cybersecurity (coordinator, 2017)

I was a co-lecturer at the University of New South Wales in 2016 and 2017:

SecuriTea

I run SecuriTea, a reading and discussion group for students and staff interested in all aspects of computer security. I bring tea, coffee & biscuits, and participants bring a mug and a passion for security. The goal is to grow the security community at USYD.

There is no fixed topic; we follow our interests, the setting is semi-formal. We often choose a paper to talk about for every meeting, but we then often broaden the scope. We also chat about recent events. Recurrent topics include, but are certainly not limited to, blockchain and measuring security with Internet scans and passive traffic monitoring.

Our SecuriTea reading group is open for all and meets every Wednesday, at 5pm, on Level 4 West, Building J12 (School of IT), in The Lounge ™ - turn right at the entrance and walk to the end of the hallway.

Join us! You can just turn up or drop me a line and I’ll add you to our Slack, where we coordinate.

Contact

  • +61 2 9036 9718
  • OpenPGP: 33F3 7D16 FBB0 259F F411 3AAF 678B 3566 55BA 1EA7
  • Room 414, School of IT (Building J12), University of Sydney, Darlington 2008 NSW
  • Location on the arrrrr! map