Julien Gamba, predoctoral researcher at IMDEA Networks Institute, has been awarded with one of the 2020 NortonLifeLock Research Group Graduate Fellowship. This is one of the most selective world Fellowships in the area of cybersecurity. As in previous editions (the first one was in 2007), there have been three winning candidates, including Gamba. Each of them will be bestowed with a prize which consists of 20,000 US dollars.
"My proposal was centered around the Android supply chain and its challenges in terms of attribution, privacy and security. The objective is to design reliable ways to attribute software to developers and to build tools to perform static and dynamic analysis on pre-installed Android applications", explains Gamba.
To receive fund of one of this fellowships, PhD Students have to be working on innovative research that "not only has real-world value but aligns well with key areas within our business", as is highlighted in the call. The topics of interest included are the following: privacy and identity, security, Machine Learning and Data Mining, and Human Factors (usable security, use of technology for social good, effective privacy, security, and identity theft notifications, and both human-assisted AI and AI-assisted humans).
Julien Gamba says that win this prize is "a great honor", because "the award is very competitive with only three fellowships awarded every year. To have been selected among all the candidates is a great recognition of my work". Besides, the predoctoral researcher admits that this grant will enable him to grow professionally given that it will help him continue his work on the Android supply chain. "This is a confirmation that my research can have a real impact on users, which shows that we are working in the right direction", concludes Gamba.
About Julien Gamba
Julien Gamba is a PhD student in the Internet Analytics Group at IMDEA Networks Institute. He graduated from the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in computer science. After that, Julien went on to obtain a Master's degree in computer networks and embedded systems with honors at the same university in 2017. His Master's thesis focused on finding conception rules for iBGP networks to ensure BGP correctness. During the Master's studies, Julien also did an internship at Internet Initiative Japan (Tokyo) where he researched the fragmentation of the BGP routing table.
Furthermore, he was recently awarded, together with other researchers, with the Emilio Aced Personal Data Protection Research" prize and CNIL-Inria Privacy Award for the paper "An Analysis of Pre-installed Android Software". The study has huge social impact as it reveals the privacy and security issues associated with pre-installed software on Android devices and their supply chain.