Student Profile: Mike Specter – Ph.D. Student

2017-02-28 - 1 minute read

What Are You Studying and what are you trying to accomplish?

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.

What Professors Are You Working With?

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.

What Did You Do Before Your PhD?

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.

Where Have You Been Published or Featured Lately? 

I am a Co-author on “Keys Under Doormats: Mandating Insecurity by Requiring Government Access to all Data and Communications,” which has been cited heavily by Congress on the Going Dark issue, and featured by The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Most recently, a blog post I wrote was featured on Bruce Schneier’s Security Blog.


Where Can We Find You Online?

Twitter: Mike’s Twitter Profile

Blog: Mike’s Blog