I am a Full Professor of the department of Computer Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Broadly, I work in the areas of computer and network security, and applied cryptography. My particular focus is on fundamental, transformative, inter-disciplinary and game changing research, which can go beyond the traditional confines of academic domain and make a positive impact to the lives of end users hopefully relatively quickly.
My students and I run the SPIES — Security and Privacy In Emerging computing and networking Systems — research lab. I have a major emphasis on workforce development, especially in areas related to cyber-security. In this line, I am the principal investigator and director of the UAB CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, funded by NSF, and have been serving as the Co-Director of UAB’s M.S. program in Cyber-Security. I also co-lead UAB’s Center for Cyber Security, which is an NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R).
My research has been externally supported by NSF (multiple grants and multiple programs, including SaTC, CICI and SFS), NIJ/DoJ, Google (2 Faculty Research Awards), Comcast, Cisco, Microsoft Research, Intel, Nokia, and Research in Motion.
I obtained my Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine. I hold an M.S. in Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computing from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. Before joining UAB, I was on the faculty of the department of Computer Science and Engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering.
Note for Students: I am always looking for exceptionally bright prospective PhD/MS/BS students to join my research group. If interested, please contact me with your CV.
Recent Selected Contributions/Grants/Awards (2013-2020):
- A ~$500,000 NSF Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) Grant, 2021
- A $900,000 NSF Medium Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Grant (SaTC) Grant, 2020
- A $550,000 supplement on our ongoing grant NSF Scholarship for Service (SFS) Grant, 2019
- Runner Up, The Mark Weiser Best Paper Award, Percom 2019
- Research grant from Microsoft Research to study security warnings via the Neuro Security methodology introduced at the SPIES lab, 2019
- NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Grant (SaTC) Grant, 2017
- Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, 2016/17
- NSF Scholarship for Service (SFS) Grant, 2016/17
- The NIJ GRF-STEM fellowship, 2016/17 (for my PhD student, Ajaya Neupane)
- NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Grant (SaTC) Grant, 2015
- NSF Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) Grant, 2015
- Comcast Research Award, 2014
- NDSS 2014 Distinguished Paper Award
- Google Research Award, 2013
- Cisco Grant, 2013
- Papers at ACM TOPS’21, TMC’21, EuroS&P’21 (2 papers), AsiaCCS’21 (3 papers), WiSec’21 (2 papers); ACSAC’20 (3 papers), WiSec’20; NDSS’19, Percom’19, ACSAC’19 (2 papers); Oakland’18, TDSC’18, TMC’18, ACSAC’18, WiSec’18; CCS’17 (2 papers), WWW’17, TDSC’17, ICDCS’17, ACSAC’17, WiSec’17 (2 papers); CCS’16, NDSS’16, ACSAC’16 (2 papers), WiSec’16 (2 papers), TIFS’16; CCS’15, ACSAC’15 (2 papers), ESORICS’15, Percom’15, TIFS’15; CCS’14, NDSS’14 (2 papers), Percom’14, ICME’14; TETC’13, TIFS’13, TDSC’13, WiSec’13
- Extensive Media Coverage including MSN, NBC, Fox, CNN, Discovery News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Tech, CNBC, MIT Tech Review, ACM TechNews, Bloomberg, Economist, ZDNet, CACM News, Slashdot, Guardian, Science Daily, Motherboard and Conversation.
- Springer Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET) Special Issue Guest Co-Editor, Security and Privacy in Communication Networks, 2021.
- Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PoPETs) (since 2019)
- IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (TIFS) (from 2013 to 2016)
- Springer’s International Journal of Information Security (IJIS) (from 2013 to 2018)
Recent Program Committees:
- 2022: USENIX Security, ACNS, ASIACCS
- 2021: CNS (TPC Co-Chair); WWW (S&P Track), ASIACCS, PETS, SADFE, WiSec, ACSAC, ICICS
- 2020: SecureComm (TPC Co-Chair), IJCB (Area Chair), Oakland, PETS, ASIACCS; WWW (S&P Track), ACSAC, ACSAC Artifact Evaluation, WiSec, CNS, ICICS
- 2019: Oakland, CNS (TPC Area Chair), CCS, ACSAC, ACSAC Artifact Evaluation Track, PETS, WiSec
- 2018: WWW (S&P Track); CCS; Wisec: ISI (TPC Chair); SciSec
- 2017: IEEE ISBA (TPC Co-Chair), WiSec, SEC, ESORICS, WPES
- 2016: IEEE RFID (TPC Co-Chair), Protocols and Security Track), CCS, ESORICS, WiSec, CANS, WPES, SPVAN, RFIDSec
- 2015: USENIX Security, NSS, RFIDSec, ESORICS, CCS, ICCCN, LightSec, ICISC