Ph.D. Computer Science, Technical University Vienna (Austria), 2002
M.S. Computer Science, Technical University Vienna (Austria), 2000
I am a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My research interests are computer and communications security, with an emphasis on malware analysis and detection, web security, and security in social networks. I enjoy to build systems and to make security tools available to the public. I have published more than 100 conference and journal papers, and I am a recent recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the MIT Technology Review TR35 Award for young innovators, an IBM Faculty Award, and several best paper awards.
The main focus of my research is systems security. I seek to create solutions that solve important security issues affecting a large number of users. The goal of my work is to build security systems, deploy them in real-world environments, and perform experiments to characterize and explain their behavior. I believe that creating working systems that address real-world problems not only provides a great incentive for my research, but also allows for the necessary sanity checks of the results. As part of my research, I have contributed to systems that analyze programs to determine whether they are malicious or not (both for x86 binaries and mobile phone application). I have also worked on systems that scan the code of web applications to find vulnerabilities. Finally, I have worked on novel ways to break privacy on social networks as well as on ways to improve them such that those attacks no longer work.