Research Highlights

Georgia Tech cybersecurity and privacy research is represented worldwide at prominent venues and showcases some of the latest breakthroughs in the fields. Contributors are experts in a wide range of areas and collaborate across disciplines to tackle complex challenges in today’s technology environment.

Submit research highlights for consideration to Joshua Preston.

March 2021

Georgia Tech placed second in the National Security Agency’s Codebreaker Challenge for 2020. GT participants are primarily from the Information Security Lab course, CS 6265, taught by Taesoo Kim, and will be recognized this month in a virtual celebration. The NSA Codebreaker Challenge provides students with a hands-on opportunity to develop their reverse-engineering / low-level code analysis skills while working on a realistic problem set centered around the NSA’s mission. Georgia Tech has ranked in the top three every year since the competition started. Click on the image to see results from the top 100 teams.

February 2021

The institute is a leading contributor to the technical papers program at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, Feb. 21-25. You can explore Georgia Tech work along with a visual analysis of all organizations at NDSS developed by the school.

See Georgia Tech authors and papers


Milton Mueller and MS Cybersecurity student Colin Kiernan presented a paper on Feb. 18 at leading policy conference TPRC (Telecommunications Policy Research Conference) entitled: “Standardizing Internet Security: Surveillance, Human Rights and TLS 1.3“. This paper conducts a detailed case study of the development of a new transport layer security (TLS) standard and its implications for the privacy of Internet users and the security and accountability of network operators.

At the Future of Privacy Forum’s 11th annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers event, a paper co-authored by Peter Swire received an award recognizing leading privacy scholarship that is relevant to policymakers in the U.S. Congress, at U.S. federal agencies, and international data protection authorities. Read the paper here and listen to a 3-minute overview from Swire below.

January 2021

The 30th USENIX Security Symposium, scheduled for August 2021, is publishing accepted research in three rounds. The first group of accepted papers include a strong lineup from Georgia Tech experts including Brendan Saltaformaggio, Taesoo Kim, Raheem Beyah, Frank Li, Paul Pearce and others. Learn more about the teams through the interactive data visualization and click on paper titles to explore the work.

December 2020

Peter Swire, professor of law and ethics in the Scheller College of Business, gave testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation on “The Invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Future of Transatlantic Data Flows,” in Washington, DC, on Dec. 9, 2020. The hearing was part of the public record covering issues concerning the European Union, the United States, and international flows of “personal data,” which is often called PII or “personally identifiable information” in the U.S. Video (1:03 mark) | Testimony

At the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference in December, a research team from Georgia Tech, led by CS Professor Wenke Lee and ECE Asst. Professor Brendan Saltaformaggio, demonstrated via simulation the vulnerability of stock markets to being manipulated by a botnet of compromised brokerage accounts. In a paper co-authored by CS Professor Mustaque Ahamad, researchers explored whether it is possible to build a practical collaborative phone blacklisting system that makes use of mechanisms to provide privacy guarantees to participants who collaborate to detect spam callers. Also accepted in the technical program was “A Flexible Framework for Expediting Bug Finding by Leveraging Past (Mis-)Behavior to Discover New Bugs” co-authored by ECE Assoc. Professor Manos Antonakakis. Georgia Tech, as at CCS 2020, is a leader in the technical program

At the IEEE Big Data Conference 2020 in December, Georgia Tech research showed that non-expert users are responsible for 96 percent of all counter misinformation tweets. The finding is part of the paper “The Role of the Crowd in Countering Misinformation: A Case Study of the COVID-19 Infodemic.”

A Georgia Tech team received a best student paper award at the IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST) for the paper “A Novel Golden-Chip-Free Clustering Technique Using Backscattering Side Channel for Hardware Trojan Detection.” Authors include Luong Nguyen, Baki Yilmaz, Milos Prvulovic and Alenka Zajic.

The paper demonstrated that hardware Trojans can be detected using backscattering RF side-channels (discovered by the authors) and anomaly detection techniques without having a “golden sample” (a fabricated sample verified to be free of hardware Trojans). This technology will enable improved supply chain security by testing devices prior to deployment.

November 2020

Milton Mueller was a featured keynote in November at the 2020 Conference of the Hague Program for Cyber Norms, a prominent three-day conference on cybersecurity and cyber diplomacy topics in one of the world’s centers of international diplomacy.

The United Nations Internet Governance Forum in November virtually hosted more than 6,000 participants from 170 countries. Cybersecurity policy topics formed a major element of this meeting. GT faculty and researchers in the School of Public Policy’s Internet Governance Project (IGP) hosted leading workshops on topics such as “Overcoming the US-China Digital Cold War” and another focused on the technical, economic, and policy implications of the new DNS over HTTPS standard.

Twenty GT authors published seven papers in November at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), the flagship annual conference of the Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC) for the ACM. Georgia Tech led all institutions in number of accepted papers.

  • Wenke Lee was a keynote speaker.
  • Frank Li was a runner up for the SIGSAC dissertation award.
  • The paper “PinDr0p: Using Single-Ended Audio Features to Determine Call Provenance” from ACM CCS 2010 was selected for the Test of Time Award of ACM CCS 2020.