The Secure, Private Internet Research Group (SPIN)

Welcome to the SPIN research group! Our goal is to make Internet communications secure and private. Towards this, we analyze the security and privacy provided by existing network protocols, tools, and services, based on which we propose design adjustments to regain users' security and privacy, or devise clean-slate Internet communication tools. Our work combines the development of practical systems with rigorous theoretical analysis and incorporates techniques from various disciplines such as computer networking, cryptography, and statistics. Particular problems we have explored in the past include Internet censorship resistance, network traffic analysis, network situational awareness, social network malware, mobile security, and multimedia information hiding.

Active Research Projects

We always strive to explore emerging, impactful research problems in the area of security and privacy. The following are our active research topics:


PhD Students:

Selected Media Coverage


Research Grants

We are grateful to our generous sponsors for supporting our research efforts through the following research grants:

Investigating Privacy Attacks on Secure Instant Messaging Applications, ~$600k, 2019–2021

Furthering the development of MassBrowser, a volunteer-driven censorship circumvention tool, ~$92k, 2019–2020

NSF CPS: Medium: A Unified Framework for IoT Privacy (CPS-1739462), ~$1M, 2017–2020

NSF/Intel ICN-WEN: Collaborative Research: Light-Speed Networking (LSN) (CNS-1719386), ~$2.5M, 2017–2020

NSF TWC: Medium: Limits and Algorithms for Covert Communications (CNS-1564067), ~$1.2M, 2016–2019

NSF CAREER: Sustainable Censorship Resistance Systems for the Next Decade (CNS-1553301), ~$582K, 2016-2021

NSF TWC: Small: Linking the Unlinkable: Design, Analysis, and Implementation of Network Flow Fingerprints for Fine-grained Traffic Analysis (CNS-1525642), ~$500K, 2015-2019

Google Faculty Research Award, ~$51K, 2015-