CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy

This speaker series is made possible by an anonymous charitable donation in memory of cypherpunks and privacy advocates Len Sassaman, Hugh Daniel, Hal Finney, and Caspar Bowden.

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Chasing Telephony Security: Where the Wild Things... Are?

Patrick Traynor, Georgia Institute of Technology

[Download (MP4)] [View on Youtube]

October 9, 2013 1:30pm, in DC 1302


Mobile phones are now used by over five billion people, making them the dominant computing platform around the world. This shift has not gone unnoticed — malicious behavior targeting mobile devices has recently been one of the most popular security topics in both academic circles and the popular press. However, the extent to which such threats are actually present in user devices is not well understood. This talk begins with the first study trying to establish ground truth of mobile malware in a major US cellular provider and offers insight into the reality of such threats. I also put such malware into context against another commonly discussed mobile threats — apps exfiltrating private information to advertising networks. Finally, I focus on the recent surge in Caller-ID spoofing and associated attacks, and discuss a mechanism to detect such attacks.


Patrick Traynor is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. His research focuses on the security of mobile systems, with a concentration on telecommunications infrastructure and mobile devices. His research has uncovered critical vulnerabilities in cellular networks, made the first characterization of mobile malware in provider networks and offers a robust approach to detecting and combatting Caller-ID scams. He is also interested in Internet security and the systems challenges of applied cryptography.

Professor Traynor earned his Ph.D and M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 and 2004, respectively, and his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Richmond in 2002. He is currently a member of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and a co-director of the Converging Infrastructure Security Laboratory (CISEC). He is also a co-founder of Pindrop Security.