Michael Specter

I am now an Assistant professor at Georgia Tech!
See mikespecter.com for more updates, or check out my CV

I’m an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech with a joint appointment in both Computer Science and Cybersecurity & Privacy. I’m also a Senior Research Scientist at Google, where I work with the Android Security and Privacy team.

My focus is on systems security and applied cryptography, particularly in areas relevant to public policy. Check out my publications page, or the course I designed to learn more.

I am looking for graduate students, postdocs, & others to join my lab! To work with me, please apply to the Computer Science PhD program and list me as an advisor. If you are a current Georgia Tech student, or have interest in joining as a postdoc, please fill out this form.

I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, where I was lucky to be advised by Gerry Sussman and Danny Weitzner. My thesis committee included Ron Rivest, Matthew D. Green, and Joan Feigenbaum. Prior to becoming graduate student, I was research staff in MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Cyber Security and Information Sciences division.


press, awards, & other work

My research on elections security has been featured in the New York Times (twice), the New Yorker, CNN, Vice, Bloomberg, Fortune, The Economist, and others. I earned a research award from the Elections Verification Network, and an EFF Pioneer Award for my joint work on encryption policy, which has been used in congressional testimony on surveillance and law enforcement.

Outside of my academic work, I’ve written for Lawfare, and contributed to the EFF’s Brief to the Supreme Court on the need to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. I enjoy finding bugs in my spare time, and am a contributor to Google’s Linux kernel fuzzer Syzkaller.


Sep 16, 2020 :email: Our work on deniability in email “Keyforge: Mitigating Email Breaches with Forward-Forgeable Signatures” was accepted to Usenix Security ‘21 (Blogpost, Paper)
Sep 15, 2020 :ballot_box: Our security analysis of OmniBallot was accepted to Usenix Security ‘21 (Blogpost, Paper)
Aug 10, 2020 :boom: I presented our security analysis of Voatz at Defcon! (Presentation, Usenix Paper) :boom:
Jul 20, 2020 ⚖ I joined as an amicus to an EFF-led amicus brief to SCOTUS on the need to reform the CFAA (Press Release, Brief)
Jul 14, 2020 Our security analysis of Voatz was accepted to Usenix Security 2020!