Flexible Models for Secure Systems

Computer Science and Engineering
NYU Community Event

Speaker: Sarah Meiklejohn, UCSD


Modern computing and interactions have become increasingly complex over the last decade, resulting in an online ecosystem with many more options for users, but less transparent information about their security and, in particular, their privacy.  The solutions to the concerns that this situation has raised are robust and span a variety of different research communities.

To address these broad challenges, my research combines approaches from both the cryptography and security communities, among others.  In this talk, I will describe two recent projects: the first looks to the future design of systems resilient to existing attacks, and the second measures the security of a system that has been deployed already. In more detail, the first project considers how to model attacks on the security of a system, such as side channels and fault injection, and then how to design cryptosystems that can tolerate such related key attacks. 

The second project examines user anonymity in the Bitcoin network, and finds that an average Bitcoin user is experiencing a fairly low level of anonymity, making Bitcoin ultimately unattractive for criminal activity such as money laundering.


Sarah Meiklejohn is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at UC San Diego, with broad research interests in both computer security and cryptography; as such, her work appears in academic conferences such as Eurocrypt, USENIX Security and IMC, as well as news media outlets such as The New York Times. Since coming to UC San Diego, she has received a fellowship from the Charles Lee Powell Foundation and has done two internships at Microsoft Research. Before coming to UC San Diego, Sarah received an Sc.B. in Mathematics in 2008 and an Sc.M. in Computer Science in 2009, both from Brown University.