• 202 West Village H
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, Massachusetts 02115

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  • 617.373.7484

Research Focus

Malware analysis and detection; web security; social network security; reverse engineering; intrusion detection


Professor Kirda is director of the Information Assurance Program, a joint PhD offered by the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the College of Engineering. Professor Kirda was previously awarded the inaugural Sy and Laurie Sternberg Interdisciplinary Chaired Professorship.  Previously he was on the faculty of the Networking and Security Department at Institute Eurecom in France, and computer science faculty at Technical University of Vienna.

Professor Kirda’s research focuses on security issues with the potential to affect a large number of people. He is the co-founder and co-director of the International Secure Systems Lab, a collaborative effort of European and U.S. researchers focused on Web security, malware and vulnerability analysis, intrusion detection, and other computer security issues. The lab is well known in industry and academia for developing tools such as Anubis, which analyzes malware; FIRE (FInding RoguE Networks), which determines whether an Internet service provider has been hacked; and Pixy, which conducts vulnerability assessments for web pages.


  • PhD, Technical University of Vienna, 2002

Research Overview

Malware analysis and detection; web security; social network security; reverse engineering; intrusion detection

Selected Research Projects

  • Continuum: Finding Space and Time Vulnerabilities in Java Programs
    • – Co-Principal Investigator, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • DarkDroid: Exposing the Dark Side of Android Marketplaces
    • – Principal Investigator, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Firmalice: Modeling and Identifying Malice in Firmware
    • – Principal Investigator, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Collaborative: Automated Reverse Engineering of Commodity Software
    • – Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation

Research Centers and Institutes

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • M. Weissbacher, W. Robertson, E. Kirda, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna, ZigZag: Automatically Hardening Web Applications Against Client-side Validation Vulnerabilities, In USENIX Security Symposium, Washington DC, 2015
  • C. Mulliner, W. Robertson, E. Kirda, Hidden GEMs: Automated Discovery of Access Control Vulnerabilities in Graphical User Interfaces, In IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P), San Jose, CA, 2014
  • S. Le Blonde, A. Uritesc, C. Gilbert, Z. Leong Chua, P. Saxena, E. Kirda, Look at Targeted Attacks through the Lense of an NGO, In USENIX Security Symposium, San Diego, CA, 2014
  • K. Onarlioglu, C. Mulliner, W. Robertson, E. Kirda, PrivExec: Private Execution as an Operating System Service, In IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P), San Francisco, CA, 2013
  • L. Bilge, E. Kirda, C. Kruegel, M. Balduzzi, EXPOSURE: Finding Malicious Domains Using Passive DNS Analysis, In Network and Distributed Systems Security Symposium (NDSS) San Diego, CA, 2011
abstract cybersecurity graphic

Mar 12, 2020

Cybersecurity: Your Secrets Are Safe With Us

Northeastern researchers are at the forefront of cybersecurity research, protecting everything from the phone in your pocket to the city of the future.


Feb 15, 2017

Are Self-Driving Cars Hackable?

CCIS/ECE Professor Engin Kirda assessed the cyber-security risks associated with self-driving cars.

man in white shirt standing outside facing camera with arms folded

Aug 13, 2014

Thwarting Cyber-espionage

ECE & Khoury College Associate Professor Engin Kirda is developing advanced malware detection software to analyze and protect against the growing number of targeted cyberattacks. When it comes to Internet attacks, hackers have tra­di­tion­ally taken a blanket approach, sending out mal­ware to large, random groups of people and hoping that some­thing would stick. But in […]

Aug 08, 2014

Detecting Vulnerabilities

ECE & CCIS Associate Professor Engin Kirda & Assistant Professor Wil Robertson won a $500K NSF grant to build an analysis tool which automates, engineers, & summarizes closed source binary software

May 20, 2013

Stopping Cyber Criminals

To stop cybercrime, you need to think like a criminal. That's what Northeastern is teaching information assurance students to do. – See more at:

Aug 23, 2012

Separating the Good & Bad

ECE & CCS Associate Professor Engin Kirda has developed a new software tool called PubCrawl to detect and contain malicious web crawlers without effecting normal browsing capacities. Source: News @ Northeastern

May 15, 2012

Fighting Cyber Threats

ECE & CCS Associate Professor Engin Kirda was selected as the inaugural Sy and Laurie Sternberg Interdisciplinary Associate Professor for Information Assurance for his work in cybersecurity. Source: News @ Northeastern Our rising depen­dence on net­worked sys­tems makes it increas­ingly ben­e­fi­cial for hackers to exploit it, Engin Kirda said on Monday after­noon in a lec­ture enti­tled “Taming […]


Apr 04, 2012

FY13 TIER 1 Award Recipients

27 COE faculty and affiliates were recipients of FY13 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 21 different research projects.

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