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Research Group

Postdocs

  • Kunal Garg

    Group: Postdoc

    Web: Personal Website

    Kunal is a Postdoctoral Scholar (joint appointment with Prof. Ricardo Sanfelice). Kunal's research interests include robust multi-agent path planning using optimization methods, switched and hybrid system based analysis and control synthesis, finite- and fixed-time stability of dynamical systems with applications to control synthesis for spatiotemporal specifications, and continuous-time optimization. Kunal Garg received his PhD from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan April 2021.

PhD Students

  • Xi Qin

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: UCSC Website

    Xi is intersted in network measurements and network security. She works on deep-packet inspection for industrial control systems, analyzing real-world deployments of IEC 104, ICCP, DNP3 and Modbus/TCP.

  • Luis Salazar

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: Personal Website

    Luis works on security and penetration testing. He is applying his skills to improve the security of IoT devices, automated vehicles, and software-defined networks.

  • Neil Ortiz

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: UCSC Website

    Neil Ortiz is an expert on power system operations. Before joining UCSC, he worked with XM, the operator of the power grid in Colombia. His research project is to identify the successful practices and lessons learned by countries subject to persistent attacks on their critical infrastructures, and incorporate these lessons into social and technical solutions that we can use to better understand the nature of the threat, and to motivate better public and private sector postures for the protection of critical infrastructures from physical as well as cyber-attacks. His research will leverage the experience of five decades of sustained attacks against the critical infrastructures of Colombia and study the government and industry responses and best practices in that country.

  • Keerthi Koneru

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: Personal Website

    Keerthi Koneru is interested in network security, deep-packet inspection, and the security of smart devices in the Internet of Things.

  • Juan Lozano

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: Personal Website

    Juan is working on the security of industrial control networks.

  • Gabriel Torres

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web: SSL Website

    Gabriel is interested in hardware-assisted security for privacy and integrity in cyber-physical systems. Gabriel Torres graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2020. He began his Ph.D. in the Fall of 2020 under Dr. Alvaro Cardenas. His research interests are in security and privacy in cyber-physical systems. These systems have become ubiquitous despite having glaring security and privacy concerns. Thus, he hopes to improve the security and privacy of these systems so that society and industries can benefit from these internet-connected devices without compromises.

  • Luis Burbano

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web:

    Luis is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science and Engineering. Before joining UCSC in the fall of 2020, he received his B.S. and M.S. in Electronics Engineering from Universidad de los Andes. He is interested in developing security and privacy-preserving strategies for cyber-physical systems using control techniques.

  • Diego Ortiz

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web:

    Diego is interested in the security of embedded systems and fraud.

  • Sebastian Castro

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web:

    Sebastian is interested in reverse engineering and binary analysis.

  • Juanita Gomez

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web:

    Juanita is interested in cryptography and security.

  • Eya Badal

    Group: Ph.D. Students

    Web:

    Eya is interested in security education.

  • Alumni

    Postdocs

    • Jairo Giraldo

      Group: Postdoc

      Web: Google Scholar Profile

      Jairo is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah. He works on security and privacy problems in control theory. His work focuses on how Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) have unique properties that can be exploited to design privacy-enhancing technologies particularly tailored to achieve privacy with the lowest negative impact to the utility of these systems. In particular he was worked on two examples of these properties by looking at the inherent noise of CPS, and their sensor sampling flexibility, and show how they can be used to design differential privacy algorithms that introduce less noise, and adaptive sensor sampling algorithms that hide sensitive information without the need to add noise. He also works on securing industrial control systems by leveraging physics-aware intrusion detection systems.

    • Mohamed Maghenem

      Group: Postdoc

      Web: Google Scholar Profile

      Mohamed Maghenem received his Control-Engineer degree from the Polytechnical School of Algiers, Algeria, in 2013, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Automatic Control from the University of Paris-Saclay, France, in 2014 and 2017, respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz from 2018 through 2021. M. Maghenem has the honour of holding a research position at the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) since January 2021. His research interests include dynamical systems theory (stability, safety, reachability, robustness, and synchronization), control systems theory (adaptive, time-varying, linear, non-linear, hybrid, robust, etc.) with applications to power systems, mechanical systems, and cyber-physical systems.

    PhD Students

    • Raul Quinonez

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web:

      Raul is a software engineer working at CoreLogic. He was a PhD student co-advised with Dr. Zhiqiang Lin. His research interest include operating system security and security for embedded devices. Raul is currently focusing on Internet of Thing (IoT) devices and developing security tools for automated devices including unmanned aerial and ground vehicles.

    • Kelvin Mai

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web:

      Kelvin is a security researcher working for the Department of Defense. He works in network security and deep-packet inspection for industrial control systems. He focuses on extracting semantic information from industrial network to identify suspicious events.

    • Junia Valente

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web: Personal Website

      Junia is a security researcher at Cylance. Junia's research focuses on the security of Internet of Things devices and on designing physics-based attestation for remote cyber-physical systems. In particular, she proposed the use of visual-challenges to increase the trustworthiness of remotely-captured video footage. Her visual-challenges research won the second place of the ACM Student Research Competition at the 2015 Grace Hopper Conference. Her team won the FWD.us Debug DC Growthathon in 2014. She has reported various vulnerabilities in IoT devices, including CVE-2015-8287.

    • Carlos Barreto

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web: Personal Website

      Carlos is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Vanderbilt University. Carlos is interested in control theory, game theory and mechanism design, and how incentives and economic games can improve the security of control systems and the smart grid.

    • Mustafa Faisal

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web: Personal Website

      Mustafa is a Data Scientist at Procter and Gamble. Mustafa's research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and security and privacy in industrial control systems and the smart grid. He works on deep packet inspection of industrial control protocols, tracking the communication patterns of controllers, servers, and field devices for security purposes.

    • David Urbina

      Group: Ph.D. Students

      Web: Personal Website

      David is a Security Researcher at Intel Corporation where he is responsible for the secure design, development and operation of hardware and software products and services on IoT. His research interests fall on the areas of IoT security, Industrial Control Systems (ICS) security, and software architecture and design. His paper on studying network patterns of encrypted AMI network traffic won the 2014 best paper award at the IEEE Smart Grid Communications Conference.

    • MS Students

      • David Lang

        Group: MS Students

        Web:

        David Lang's MS thesis was co-advised with Prof. Su-hua Wang from the Psychology department. His research focuses on the security of IoT devices for children. He is in particular interested in human factors in security, and how parents evaluate devices for their children.

      • Matthew Wynn

        Group: MS Students

        Web:

        Matthew is a security engineer at BetterHelp.com. His work focuses on the security of IoT devices, including IoT hubs and the safety and privacy of intimate devices.

      • Undergraduate Students

      • Aviv Brook

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web: LinkedIn

        Aviv's research interests lie in the intersection of theoretical computer science, computational mathematics, and information security. His paper analysing the first malware framework to attack a power grid (co-authored with Dominic Lucchesi) won the 2021 Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award at UCSC's engineering department. Aviv also independently developed a novel algorithm for computing modular nested exponentiation which was previously unsolvable by computers.

      • Dominic Lucchesi

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web:

        Dominic worked with the cyber-physical systems research lab performing reverse engineering of industrial malware with Aviv Brook Their work won the 2021 Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award at UCSC's engineering department.

      • Illiana Reed, Miguel Salinas, Andrew Fellers and Che Ho Chan

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web: Github Repository for Dallas Autonomous Car

        Illiana, Miguel, Andrew and Che Ho have been working on developing an extensible autonomous vehicle platform. They recevied the third price (out of 43) for their senior design project in 2018. They are co-advised by Dr. Tyler Summers from ME.

      • Sonia Torres

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web:

        Sonia Torres is an alumn of the Young Women In Science and Engineering (YWISE) program at UTD. She is currently working on Mandatory Security Policies for Industrial Control Systems. Her research was selected as a Jonsson School Undergraduate Research Experience Award winner for the 2016-2017 academic year. She also received the first place of the YWISE 2014 program. In addition her work is supported by an NSF-CRISP REU for improving the security of our critical infrastructures. She was the web chair for the first ACM CPS-SPC security workshop.

      • Vanessa Webb

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web:

        Vanessa is interested in privacy issues with Internet of Things devices.

      • Elena Diaz

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web:

        Elena is interested in privacy issues with Internet of Things devices.

      • Kelly Venechanos

        Group: Undergraduate Students

        Web:

        Kelly is interested in privacy and security for Internet of Things Devices. He co-authored a journal paper in the ACM Transactions on Cyber-Physical Systems titled: Improving the Security of Visual Challenges, in cooperation with PhD student Junia Valente.

        • Cathryn Ploehn

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web: http://bigdatautd.wordpress.com

          Cathryn is the recipient of a Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) for 2013-2014 sponsored by CRA-W and a UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Scholar Award. Her research interests include human-machine interfaces and the visual representation of information for data analysts and security analysts. She is a co-author of a Cloud Security Alliance White Paper on Big Data Analytics for Security and has presented her work at the CRA-W/CDC Broadening Participation in Visualization Workshop and the Grace Hopper Conference. She graduated in 2014 and started a summer internship at NIST on usable security.

        • Michael Guerrero

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web:

          Michael is the recipient of a Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) for Spring 2014 sponsored by CRA-W. His research interests include intrusion detection for process control systems. His paper on studying network patterns of encrypted AMI network traffic won the 2014 best paper award at the IEEE Smart Grid Communications Conference.

        • Michael Christian

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web: http://mikechristian.site40.net/MySite/journal.php

          Michael Christian is a senior computer science student at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, South Carolina, and is participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at UT Dallas for the summer of 2014. He is interested Human Centered Computing and network security.

        • Carlos Ortega

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web: http://corteg20.people.uic.edu/dreu/

          Carlos is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago currently working on a BS in computer science and participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at UT Dallas for the summer of 2014. He is interested in Human Centered Interaction and in data visualizations and analytics.

        • Grace St. Clair

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web: http://bigdatautd.wordpress.com

          Grace is the recipient of a Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) for 2013-2014 sponsored by CRA-W and a UT Dallas Research Scholar Award. Her research interests lie in the interseccion of Big Data analytics tools and information security and she is a co-author of a Cloud Security Alliance Report on Big Data Analytics for Security.

        • Laurel Mohrman

          Group: Undergraduate Students

          Web: http://bigdatautd.wordpress.com

          Laurel is the recipient of a UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Scholar Award for 2013-2014. She is interested in network security, intrusion detection, and analytic tools to detect anomalies in computer networks.

        High School Students

        • Arlene Godfreey-Igwe, Stacy Godfreey-Igwe,

          Abigail Joseph, and Jaspreet Kaur

          Group: High School Students

          Web: Project Website

          Arlene, Stacy, Abigail, and Jaspreet are students at Berkner High School. They are participating in the 2016-2017 Young Women In Science and Engineering (YWISE) program at the University of Texas at Dallas. Their goal is to understand the various ways IoT devices collect data from consumers, give consumers choice and consent for these practices, and analyze their communication patterns. Some of the devices they are analyzing include an electricity consumption monitor, wearables, and smart home hubs like the Samsung Hub and the Amazon Echo.

        Visitors And Co-Adviced International Students

        • John Henry Castellanos

          Group: Visitors

          Web: Website

          John Castellanos is a PhD student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He is interested in the security of industrial control systems. He is co-advised by Jianying Zhou and Martin Ochoa.

        • Andres Felipe Murillo

          Group: Visitors

          Web: Google Scholar Profile

          Andres is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, under the supervision of Sandra Rueda and the co-supervision of Alvaro Cardenas. His research interests focus on Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) security, Cyber-Physical Security, and Smart Grids.

        • Luis Francisco Combita

          Group: Visitors

          Web:

          Luis Francisco is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Universidad Distrital in Colombia. He is completing his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia under the supervision of Nicanor Quijano and co-supervision of Alvaro Cardenas. His research interests lie on extending fault-detection and fault-identification algorithms in Control Theory to deal with adversarial faults, rather than random natural faults.

        • Jairo Giraldo

          Group: Visitors

          Web: Google Scholar Profile

          Jairo obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. He is interested in Control Theory, Passivity Theory and their application to Microgrids synchronization and control.

        • Marina Krotofil

          Group: Visitors

          Web: Personal Website

          Marina is a Ph.D. Candidate at Hamburg University of Technology. She is interested in Process Control Systems security and testbeds.

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