Breakerspace is a research lab at the University of Maryland that gives students experience working on group research projects in the area of computer and network security.
Breakerspace is always looking for more students. We have many projects centered around network security and systems security, such as combatting nation-state censorship, securing the web, and more. If you're interested in learning more and getting involved, then
Congrats to Richard Roberts, Daniela Lulli, Abolee Raut, and Kelsey Fulton for their work on "Mental Models of Domain Names and URLs" being accepted as a poster to SOUPS 2020 (Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security)! This work involves performing user interviews to understand their (mis)conceptions about domain names, and why they fall for things like irs.gov-login.pw (don't worry, that's our project website!).
Our work on "Detecting and Evading Censorship-in-Depth: A Case Study of Iran's Protocol Whitelister" has been accepted to the USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI 2020)! This paper explores what we call "censorship-in-depth": when nation-states use multiple, concurrent forms of censorship to thwart communication. We apply our tool Geneva to understand it and circumvent it in Iran. More information here. Congrats Kevin Bock, Yair Fax, Kyle Reese, and Jasraj Singh!
Breakerspace just got its first paper accepted to ACM SIGCOMM! The paper presents the first techniques to circumvent nation-state censorship without requiring clients to download anything (it's all server-side). This will help users evade censorship, even if they don't know they're being censored. Congrats to Breakerspace students Kevin Bock, George Hughey, Louis-Henri Merino, Tania Arya, Daniel Liscinsky, and Regina Pogosian!
Louis-Henri Merino has accepted an offer to join the PhD program at EPFL in Switzerland, to be advised by Bryan Ford. Congratulations, Louis-Henri!
Breakerspace student Yaelle Goldschlag has received a Goldwater Scholarship. Congratulations, Yaelle!
Breakerspace student Louis-Henri Merino was awarded a Fulbright US Research Grant to study in Switzerland at EPFL with Bryan Ford! Congratulations, Louis-Henri! (story)
Computer Science is not only the largest major on UMD's campus; it's one of the largest CS majors in the country. Research advising tends to look more like an apprenticeship than a traditional class, which makes it difficult to scale. The hope is that, through group projects, we can not only make research in UMD CS scale, but also foster a vibrant undergraduate CS research community.
Breakerspace will focus on research in computer and network security. Projects will span a wide variety of topics, including: measuring and securing the Internet of Things (IoT), resisting online censorship, analyzing and detecting malware, and more.
More information will come, but to get a flavor of the kinds of work we'll be doing, see Dave's research.