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Ponnurangam Kumaraguru ("PK")

Qualifications: Ph.D. from School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University

Title: Assistant Professor, Hemant Bharat Ram Faculty Research Fellow

Affiliation: Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi

Contact Details:

Short CV:
Ponnurangam Kumaraguru ("PK") Assistant Professor, is currently the Hemant Bharat Ram Faculty Research Fellow at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, India. He is the Founding Head of Cybersecurity Education and Research Centre (CERC). He received his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). His research interests include Privacy, e-Crime, Online Social Media, and Usable Security, in particular, these days he has been dabbling with complex networked systems (e.g. social web systems like Twitter, Facebook, and telephone logs). He is also very passionate about issues related to human computer interaction. As Principal Investigator, PK is currently managing research projects of about 2 Crores INR. PK is a Co-Principal Investigator in a project approved at the Europe Union FP7 which is about 5.3 million Euros. PK has received research funds from Government of India, National Science Foundation (NSF), USA, industry bodies in India, and International Development Research Centre. He is serving as a PC member in prestigious conferences like WWW, AsiaCCS and he is also serving as a reviewer for the International Journal of Information Security and ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT). PK's Ph.D. thesis work on anti-phishing research at Carnegie Mellon University has contributed in creating an award winning startup Wombat Security Technologies. He also founded and manages PreCog in a research group at IIIT-Delhi. PK is actively working with budding entrepreneurs to convert their technological ideas into products and services, a few examples: Wizters and backpack.

Title of Talk 1: Privacy and Security in Online Social Media (PSOSM)
Synopsis: With increase in usage of the Internet, there has been an exponential increase in the use of online social media on the Internet. Websites like Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Orkut, Twitter and Flickr have changed the way Internet is being used. There is a dire need to investigate, study and characterize privacy and security on online social media from various perspectives (computational, cultural, psychological). Real world scalable systems need to be built to detect and defend security and privacy issues on online social media. I will describe briefly some cool ongoing projects that we have: Twit-Digest, MultiOSN, Finding Nemo, OCEAN, Privacy in India, and Call Me MayBe. Many of our research work is made available for public use through tools or online services. Our work derives techniques from Data Mining, Text Mining, Statistics, Network Science, Public Policy, Complex networks, Human Computer Interaction, and Psychology. In particular, in this talk, I will focus on the following: (1) Twit-Digest is a tool to extract intelligence from Twitter which can be useful to security analysts. Twit-Digest is backed by award-winning research publications in international and national venues. (2) MultiOSN is a platform to analyze multiple OSM services to gain intelligence on a given topic/event of interest (3) OCEAN: Open source Collation of eGovernment data and Networks. Here, we show how publicly available information on Government services can be used to profile citizens in India. This work obtained the Best Poster Award at Security and Privacy Symposium at IIT Kanpur, 2013 and it has gained a lot of traction in Indian media. (4) In Finding Nemo, given an identity in one online social media, we are interested in finding the digital foot print of the user in other social media services, this is also called digital identity stitching problem. This work is also backed by award-winning research publication. I will be more than happy to clarify, discuss, any of our work in detail, as required, after the talk.

Title of Talk 2: Designing Human-Centered Systems
Synopsis: Why are things so hard to use these days? Why doesn't this thing I just bought work? Why is this web site so hard to use? Why are users not liking my design? Why is my app not getting popular? These are frustrations that we have all faced from systems not designed with people in mind. The question this talk will focus on is: how can we design human-centered systems that people find useful and usable? I will briefly describe some of the fascinating work done on this space around the world and in particular, Iwill focus on building Usable Security and Privacy Solutions. In particular, in this talk, I will focus on the following: (1) PhishGuru: A System to Train Users About Phishing Attacks. PhishGuru was developed using various Human Computer Interaction techniques like Think Aloud session, Contextual Inquiry, etc. The design is driven by users and we used iterative design process in developing the system. I will go through the design process followed in developing PhishGuru which helped in creating an award winning start-up Wombat Security Technologies, a business enterprise launched in 2008. (2) Anti-Phishing Phil, is a fun game that we developed to engage users in a series of challenges that test their ability to identify phishing URLs. Phil is also currently being commercialized by Wombat. Through various research studies we showed that Phil was very effective in training users to identify phishing URLs; I will describe the research methodologies and results. (3) Privacy in India is the largest ever privacy study done in India. This has been in media recently; if you are interested search for #privacyindia12 on Twitter. This work obtained the third Best Poster Award at Security and Privacy Symposium at IIT Kanpur, 2013. Throughout the talk, I will emphasize on why building systems by keeping users-in-loop is very effective. I will also briefly discuss the impacts of Human-Centered research on solutions that are developed and deployed in real world. I will be more than happy to clarify, discuss, any of our work in detail, as required, once I am done with the talk.

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