AIDRC Seminar Series - Christina Pöpper

Jan 17, 2023
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Christina Pöpper

Christina Pöpper

Assistant Professor of Computer Science; Global Network Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU

17th January 2023, 4:00pm - 5:00pm (GST)



Security of Real-world Distributed Systems – or Network Security revisited: from 5G Networks to Aviation and Messengers


Real-world communication systems span a wide range of technologies and application scenarios – but security is of importance to all of them. In this talk, I will give an overview of selected research results of the NYUAD Cyber Security & Privacy (CSP) lab. I will first talk about cellular/mobile network security and discuss attacks that are mitigated or prevented by the current 5G security architecture. We will look into examples from various network generations (2G-5G) where attacks on security and/or privacy were possible and successfully realized. I will include results from our group’s research work (such as aLTEr & IMP4GT, SUPI/SUCI catching, and attacks on the public warning) that demonstrate impersonation attacks, user localization, or the insertion of fake information. Second, I will address security contributions we made in the context of aviation security and GPS spoofing and present a technique for GPS spoofing detection and mitigation for drones based on visual information. Third, I will talk about our investigations of a timing side channel on messenger applications (like Whatsapp, Signal, Threema) that allows a user to derive information about the physical locations of a communication partner based on messenger delivery status notifications that indicate whether a sent message has reached its destination.


Christina Pöpper is a tenure-track faculty of Computer Science at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) where she is heading the Cyber Security & Privacy (CSP-) Lab. She is Deputy Program Head of Computer Science and Director of Research at the Center for Cyber Security (CCSAD) at NYUAD as well as a Global Network Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. Christina’s research interest is cyber security and privacy. Focus areas are wireless and communication security, including cellular network security, secure localization, and aviation security, as well as privacy and anonymity in communication networks. Christina has been a member of the steering committee of ACM WiSec, the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, since 2018, and was TPC Co-Chair in 2018 and General Chair in 2021. The research work of her group has been recognized by the Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program of GSMA, the GSM Association. Since 2021, she has been a member of the Executive Committee of ACM SIGSAC. In an earlier life, Christina worked at the European Space Agency in Paris; space rocks. Christina holds Ph.D. and graduate degrees in Computer Science from ETH Zurich.