Ethical issues in Cybersecurity Research

Stefan Savage


Date: 2018-04-04
Time: 4:00pm
Location: CSE 1202, UC San Diego

Guest Speaker: Stefan Savage
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego


Computer security is a field that is fundamentally co-dependent — an interplay between the potential risk created by technology and the actual threats created by adversaries.  The dance between defenders, technologists and attackers is one that is rich and dynamic and fuels both a large active research community and a multi-billion dollar computer security industry.  Inevitably, ethical issues are exposed at multiple levels of this stack -- frequently at precisely those points where consequences are not well understood.  In this talk, I'll describe some of the ethical issues I've encountered in my own work -- ranging from measurement studies of cybercrime to identifying security vulnerabilities in automobiles -- and explore how these issues have challenged and focused us.  Expect more questions than answers.


Stefan Savage is a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Applied History from Carnegie Mellon University. Savage is a full-time empiricist, whose research interests lie at the intersection of computer security, distributed systems and networking.  He currently serves as co-director of UCSD's Center for Network Systems (CNS) and for the Center for Evidence based Security Research (CESR). Savage is a MacArthur Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, an ACM Fellow, and is a recipient of the ACM Prize in Computing and the ACM SIGOPS Weiser Award.  He currently holds the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair in Information and Computer Science, but is a fairly down-to-earth guy and only writes about himself in the third person when asked.