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Sajjad Arshad is a PhD student in the Information Assurance program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professors William Robertson and Engin Kirda. Sajjad’s research involves computer system security through applications of secure design principles and defensive techniques in areas such as web and systems security, privacy in online advertising, and malware detection.
So far at Northeastern, Sajjad works as a research assistant at the Systems Security Lab, and contributed to published research, discussing topics such as cyberspace safety and security, web security, and malware detection. He is interested in security engineering and how cyber security impacts and affects the industry as well as web-based malware and how he can remedy vulnerabilities in browsers and detect websites that distribute malware.
Before joining the PhD program at Northeastern, Sajjad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Software Engineering at the University of Tehran as well as his Master of Science degree in Software Engineering at Shahid Beheshti University.
- MS, Shahid Beheshti University – Iran
- BS, University of Tehran – Iran
- Hometown: Yazd, Iran
- Field of Study: Information Assurance
- PhD Advisors: William Robertson and Engin Kirda
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
Our Information Assurance program prepares us with a variety of backgrounds in reliability and security to address global threats to cyberspace.
What are your research interests?
My research is concerned with improving the security of computer systems through application of secure design principles and integration of defensive techniques such as attack detection, prevention, and recovery. Some particular domains that I am active in include Web and browser security, privacy in online advertising, and Malware detection. Specifically, my research focuses on large-scale measurement and detection of web malware, primarily using browser instrumentation and distributed crawling. I also contributed to multiple web security measurement studies.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
Nowadays, web browsers play an important role on the Internet since most applications are web-based. Therefore, maintaining browser security is critical. Web-based malware is very prevalent today and thousands of users are victims to this malware everyday, so I am trying to address these two problems by fixing vulnerabilities in browsers and detecting websites that distribute malware.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
The fact that even today, many of Internet users are exposed to malwares without being aware of it.
What are your research or career goals, going forward?
I think that cyber security research in academia has a direct impact on industry as well. In other words, whatever research you are doing in security will be helpful in the industry, so my goal is to work in the industry as a security engineer.
Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?
I was born in Yazd, Iran and I was there until the end of high school. After that, I moved to Tehran to go to undergrad and grad schools.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
I went to University of Tehran for my undergrad degree which is a prestigious university in Iran. In high school I was very passionate about computer programming and University of Tehran has one of the best software engineering programs in country.