Undergraduate research at scale

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 located in 3270 A.V. Williams: just down the hall from the sky bridge to CSIC. Come by, check it out, and if you're interested in getting involved, read more below.

Breakerspace is looking for students

If you're interested in learning more and getting involved, then

Drop Dave a line

Get involved

If you are interested in sponsoring Breakerspace, or would like to otherwise get involved, then

Drop Dave a line



Breakerspace student Yaelle Goldschlag has received a Goldwater Scholarship. Congratulations, Yaelle!


Breakerspace student George Hughey's honors thesis on unCaptcha has been selected to win a Winston Family Honors Thesis Award. Congratulations, George!


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)


Breakerspace students' study into whether or not home Internet-of-Things devices are safely collecting and transmitting data (they're not) was featured in a WUSA9 article.


Google's reCaptcha (v2) is broken again. As a follow-on work to our WOOT'17 unCaptcha paper, George Hughey broke the updated reCaptcha with even higher accuracy. (unCaptcha v2 code | Project page)


George Hughey's paper on measuring and analyzing Hajime, a peer-to-peer IoT Botnet, has been accepted to NDSS 2019. This is joint work with graduate students Stephen Herwig, Katura Harvey, and Richard Roberts. Congrats all!


Breakerspace students took first place at patriotCTF. Congrats to George, Josh, Michael, and Peter!


Three posters from Breakerspace students have been accepted to the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC) poster session. Congrats to George, Rachel, and Yaelle!


Kevin Bock presented a talk at USENIX HotSec'18 explaining that mobile apps fail to check for certificate revocations.


Kevin Bock and George Hughey's paper about a novel security competition, "King of the Hill," was accepted to ASE 2018. Congrats!


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.

What research?

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.