Qi Alfred Chen

PhD Candidate

Computer Science & Engineering,

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Office: 2260 Hayward Street

Phone: 734-834-2916

Email: alfchen at umich dot edu

CV  Google Scholar (cite: 400+, h-index: 9)

I am on the faculty job market this year! Please check out my application package if you are interested.

[News] (1/28/2018) Please check out the project webpage and the attack video demo for our NDSS'18 work! This website will keep documenting our research progress in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Security.

[News] (1/10/2018) First time attending the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in D.C.! Got in touch with the Connected Vehicle Pilot Program team in Tampa, FL, and will collaborate with them to address the security vulnerabilities discovered in our NDSS'18 paper.

[News] (11/03/2017) I gave a short talk on our recent work on emerging smart transportation system security in ACM FEAST workshop. The slides can be accessed here.

[News] (10/26/2017) Our paper on the first security analysis of the emerging Connected Vehicle (CV) based traffic signal control got into NDSS'18! We find that due to several newly-discovered vulnerabilties, even one single attack vehicle can greatly manipulate the intelligent traffic control algorithm, causing severe traffic jams.

[News] (08/02/2017) Our paper on the first systematic study of client-side name collision vulnerability got into CCS'17! We find that the name collision problem broadly breaks common security assumptions in internal network services today, causing widespread vulnerability exposure.

[News] (06/28/2017) Our Euro S&P'17 are receiving widespread news coverage! Please checkout My interview at WXYZ-TV (ABC afflicated), and other coverage in Wired, TechRepublic, Bleeping Computer, and more!

[News] (03/08/2017) I am awarded the prestigious Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship to support my security research in smart systems and IoT! Check out the news coverage here. Thanks, Rackham!

[News] More...




I'm currently a final year Ph.D. student in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, working with Professor Z. Morley Mao. Before coming to Michigan, I received my B.S. from Computer Science and Technology department of Nanjing University in 2012.

My research generally focuses on network and systems security. More specifically, my research interest includes software security, network protocol security, DNS system security, smartphone system security, CPS/IoT system security, access control system security, vulnerability discovery and analysis, side channel attack and defense. Most recently, my research focuses mainly on security problems in smart systems and IoT, e.g., smart home systems, smart transportation systems, and autonomous vehicle systems.

The major theme of my research is to proactively address security challenges through systematic problem analysis and design, leveraging techniques such as static/dynamic program analysis, software testing, and network measurement. My research has developed such approaches to systematically discover, analyze, detect, and fix vulnerabilities in a wide range of important computer systems and components such as smartphone OSes, network protocols, DNS, GUI systems, access control systems, and very recently intelligent traffic signal control systems.


Selected Publications (Full list)


Selected first-author publications (Security*5, Networking*1)
Selected co-authored publications (Security*3, Transportation/Automobile*2)


Research Impact


Selected Media Coverage (more)
Selected Vulnerability Disclosures (more)
Selected Industry Discussions & Responses (more)


Awards & Honors


Academic Services



My attack videos on YouTube attracted over 60,000 views (as of 09/07/2014) from all over the world, with a daily peak of over 17,000 views.

I am a Distinguished Active member of Tau Beta Pi Michigan Gamma (MI-G) Chapter.

I am the founder and was the first leader of the tennis team in the CS dept. in Nanjing University.

I initialized the first Flyer Book for the CS dept. of Nanjing University, guiding students to apply for graduate schools outside China.

In spare time, I like to play tennis/basketball/badminton, watch movies, and travel.