PhD Candidate in EECS @ MIT
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Specter [at] MIT [dot] EDU
I am a first-year computer science PhD student at MIT working at the intersection of systems security, cryptography, economics, and public policy.
My overall goal is to make evil more expensive by developing new secure systems, crafting regulation, or otherwise imposing economic pressures on the bad guys.
My research advisors are David Clark and Danny Weitzner, but I also hang around with Gerry Sussman, Hal Abelson, and Jeff Schiller in MIT CSAIL’s Internet Policy Research Initiative.
Prior to joining MIT as a graduate student, I worked as research staff in MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory’s Cyber Security and Information Sciences division. There I worked on research projects relating to operating systems security, malware analysis, reverse engineering, distributed systems, and vulnerability discovery.
- Keys Under Doormats: Mandating Insecurity by Requiring Government Access to All Data and Communications, Harold Abelson, Ross Anderson, Steven M. Bellovin, Josh Benaloh, Matt Blaze, Whitfield Diffie, John Gilmore, Matthew Green, Susan Landau, Peter G. Neumann, Ronald L. Rivest, Jeffrey I. Schiller, Bruce Schneier, Michael Specter, and Daniel J. Weitzner (Published in CACM, the Oxford Journal of Cybersecurity, and presented at Usenix Enigma)
- The Economics of Cryptographic Trust: Understanding Certificate Authorities, Michael Specter, MIT Master’s Thesis
Awards and Scholarships
- 2016 EFF Pioneer Award for the Keys Under Doormats paper
- M3AAWG J.D. Falk Award also for the Keys Under Doormats paper
- MIT’s Lincoln Scholars full scholarship and stipend for graduate work
- NSF Cybercorps SFS full academic scholarship and stipend for undergraduate work
- Bad news and [Hopefully] Good Advice: Unsolicited Advice on Your Careers — Keynote at GWU’s NSF Scholarship Graduation Ceremony
- What could go wrong? An Argument for Lawful Hacking — Rightscon 2016
- Harvard Kennedy School: A Mostly Non-Technical Introduction to Computer Security for “International Cybersecurity: Public and Private Sector Challenges”