Cal Cybersecurity Research Fellows

Since 2019 CLTC has provided a Cal Cybersecurity Research Fellowship, made possible through the generous support of a Cal alumnus. 

The outsized results of these awards on both student recipients and research outcomes inspired CLTC to formalize a Cal Cybersecurity Research Fellowship Fund, inviting the broader community to directly support talented students like those profiled below:

Caseysimone Ballestas

2024 Fellow, PhD Student, Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley

This research addresses a significant gap in cybersecurity knowledge among manufacturing design engineering professionals tasked with designing Industry 4.0’s manufacturing environments. It aims to understand how design decisions in the early design phases can minimize the attack surface area of dynamic manufacturing environments (DMEs) — factories with cyber-physical and IoT technologies. By extending our collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and with the support of this funding, we aim to provide insights critical for enhancing cybersecurity in Industry 4.0. Our central research question guiding this work is: How do early-stage design decisions influence the emergence of vulnerabilities and expansion of attack surfaces within the context of remote monitoring and control of subtractive machining at ORNL

Gowri Swamy

2023-24 Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Information

With the advent of AI-generated media, it is now easier, faster, and cheaper to spread misinformation to a larger audience. However, policies and regulations for online governance are oftentime restricted due to the chance of not abiding by the constitutional right to freedom of speech. This empirical study aims to investigate the ongoing and turbulent partnership between social media platforms and content moderation, specifically taking a look at human perceptions of free speech and how they may (or may not) change when considering whether the perpetrator of misinformation is or is not human.

Sarah Barrington

2023 Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Information

The weaponization of deep-fake technologies has emerged as a prevalent threat to modern online safety, challenging society’s ability to verify trusted information. Building upon the limitations of prior work, our proposed research will use combined features in order to develop a multimodal AI pipeline that can serve as a deepfake ’Captcha’, trained upon seconds of audio-visual content for an individual, rather than hours of historic footage, and agnostic of what generative models may be used. 

Marsalis Gibson

2023 Fellow, UC Berkeley Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) 

Studying ML-based intrusion detection and analysis against common attacks in autonomous driving.

Team Kohana

2022-23 Fellows, UC Berkeley School of Information 

Kohana is a distributed deception technology focused on protecting cloud assets through adversary engagement. It is designed to help customers operationalize their MITRE Engage™ playbooks, operating with the adversary engagement premise that the adversary only needs to be wrong once for us to detect and deny cyber threats.

Emma Lurie

Emma Lurie

2022 Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Information 

How policy choices of platforms and government agencies shape the online election information infrastructure, and how related misinformation is linked to voter disenfranchisement — particularly among marginalized communities that already have historical distrust in the election process.

Conor Gilsenan

2022 Fellow, UC Berkeley Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Improving usability and account recovery mechanisms in adoption and acceptance of multi-factor authentication.

Tanu Kaushik

2021 Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Information

Understanding threats posed by adversarial machine learning and the detection, protection, response, and recovery mechanisms for known attack techniques.

Ji Su Yoo

2021 Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Information

How the message and identity of the messenger impacts reception of misinformation corrections.

Nathan Malkin

2020 Fellow, UC Berkeley Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

Making the Internet of Things technology more private — and privacy controls more equitable — for marginalized groups.

Matt Olfat

2019 Fellow, UC Berkeley Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Detecting attacks on cyber-physical systems interacting with 5G.