Qi Alfred Chen

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science,

University of California, Irvine

Office: 3204 Bren Hall

Phone: 949-824-7865

Email: alfchen at uci dot edu

CV  Google Scholar (cite: 1400+, h-index: 17)

AutoSec'21@NDSS Program is out! 17 regular/short papers on latest advances in security of in-vehicle network, auto-driving, V2X, EV, OTA, etc., and 10 demos on practical attacks/defenses/tools, all on Feb 25!

I am serving as the general chair for 5th Internet of Safe Things Workshop (SafeThings'21) co-locate with IEEE S&P'21!
Paper due: Jan 25, 2021 --- Save the date for your awesome work on IoT/CPS security!

Research positions available for self-motivated students interested in computer security, especially in exciting IoT/CPS systems such as self-driving cars (link1, link2), intelligent transportation (link1, link2), and smart homes (link1, link2).

BS/MS students: Please fill out this form if looking for research experience in my group.

I am teaching the graduate-level systems security course at Spring'21: CS 205: Computer and Systems Security

[News] (04/2021) [Award] Our undergrad cyberseucrity team Cyber@UCI finished 5st place nation-wide at National CCDC, out of 168+ university/college teams in US! Absolutely a huge achievement for the first time at National. Can't wait for next year :)
>> News coverage: UCI Finishes in Top 5 at National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

[News] (04/2021) [Award] Our undergrad cyberseucrity team Cyber@UCI won the 1st place (Gold Medal) at CCDC Western Regional, and advanced to National CCDC for the first time! We beat many strong rivals such as Stanford, UCSD, ASU, and UCR. Super proud of the team!
>> News coverage: UCI advances to national cyber defense competition following “historic” regionals win


[News] (09/2020) [Award] My research group ASGuard (Autonomous Systems Guard) won the champion (1st place) at the world's first Autonomous Driving Security CTF organized by Baidu Security! Was quite a close game, and we were able to beat 20+ teams! Congratulations to my students Junjie Shen (Captain), Ningfei Wang, Takami Sato, Ziwen Wan, Yunpeng Luo, and BS Alumni Zeyuan Chen (now at CMU)!
>> News coverage: ICS Team Takes 1st Place at Baidu’s AutoDriving Capture the Flag Competition


[News] (06/2020) [Usenix Security'20 (3)] Our paper on the first security analysis of Multi-Sensor Fusion (MSF) based localization in autonomous driving got into Usenix Security'20! Discovered a novel & general attack, FusionRipper, that can fundamenally defeat MSF design principle! Attack demos are in our project website. Earlier version of this work also won NDSS'19 Distinguished Poster Presentation Award.

[News] (06/2020) [Usenix Security'20 (2)] Our paper on the first general adversarial sensor attack & defense for LiDAR-based perception in autonomous driving got into Usenix Security'20! Discovered a general black-box attack based on LiDAR spoofing, and designed novel physical invariants based defense at both system & DNN model levels! More details are in our project website.

[News] (02/2020) [Award] Our poster "Security of Deep Learning based Lane Keeping Assistance System under Physical-World Adversarial Attack" wins the NDSS'20 Best Technical Poster Award (top 1/30)! Congratulations to my students Takami, Junjie, and Ningfei! Junjie has been winning NDSS Best Poster Award for 2 consecutive years, bravo!


[News] (02/2020) [EuroS&P'20] Our paper on the first study of publish-subscribe overprivilege vulnerability in autonomous driving software got into EuroS&P'20! It's the first to discover this new class of domain-specific vulnerability, and contributes not only a novel static detection method but also an efficient & module-transparent defense solution! Website & attack demos coming soon.

[News] (02/2020) [EuroSys'20] Our paper on the first study of real-world challenges in deploying ML-based smartphone malware detection at market scale got into EuroSys'20 (top-tier conference in computer systems)!

[News] (01/2020) CTF team from Cyber@UCI placed 4th out of 18 teams in National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) Qualifiers, and moved on to the Western Region Final! So proud!

[News] (01/2020) [NDSS'20] Our paper on reverse engineering CAN bus commands using mobile apps got into NDSS'20! It's the first cost-effective (no real car needed) & automatic (no human intervention required) approach for reverse engineering CAN bus commands!

[News] (12/2019) [ICLR'20] Our paper on the first adversarial physical-world attack against object tracking in autonomous driving got into ICLR'20 (top-tier conference in machine learning)!

[News] (12/2019) [ICSE'20] Our paper on the first comprehensive study of autonomous driving software bugs got into ICSE'20 (top-tier conference in software engineering)!

[News] (11/2019) [Usenix Security'20 (1)] Our paper on the first security analysis of car IoT dongles got into Usenix Security'20! Identified 5 types of security vulnerabilities that can cause safety threat and car theft, with 4 CVEs newly generated (and more to come)!

[News] (11/2019) [News Coverage] Our ACM CCS'19 work on attacking LiDAR-based perception in self-driving cars is recognized by Forbes: Five Components Of Autonomous Car Security

[News] (09/2019) [CCS'19] Our paper on the first effective & light-weight PowerShell deobfuscation and attack detection got into ACM CCS'19!

[News] (08/2019) [Award] My HotSec'19 talk on self-driving and smart transportation security won 2 out of 4 awards (Most Amusing & Most Engaging)! More details: Professor Chen’s Talk on Self-Driving Security Wins HotSec Awards.

[News] (07/2019) Please check out the project website and attack demo for our new ACM CCS'19 work on autonomous driving systems security! A collection of our recent research progress in this space is here: Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Systems Security.

[News] (04/2019) [CCS'19] Our paper on the first security analysis of LiDAR-based perception in autonomous driving got into ACM CCS'19!

[News] (03/2019) [MobiSys'19*2] Two papers accepted by MobiSys'19! One is about capturing and characterizing emerging fileless IoT malware, and the other is about market-scale detection of UI-based Android malware.

[News] (03/2019) I am co-chairing the first ACM Workshop on Automotive Cybersecurity (AutoSec) in conjuction with ACM CODASPY 2019, and will give a tutorial on "The Dawn of Systems Security Research in Connected and Automated Vehicles". Please join us on March 27 to build a community on automotive and transportation systems security together!

[News] (02/2019) [Award] Our poster "Security Analysis of Multi-Sensor Fusion based Localization in Autonomous Vehicles" wins the NDSS 2019 Distinguished Poster Presentation! Congratulations, Junjie!


[News] (02/2019) [Award] Thrilled to learn that my Ph.D. dissertation is selected to receive the 2018 ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award! It recognizes top 10 dissertations across all graduate schools in U of Michigan ranging from science and engineering to archaeology and history.

[News] (02/2019) My NSF proposal about automated security analysis of emerging smart transportation software is awarded! Excited to keep exploring security problems in emerging Connected and Autonomous Vehicle technology.

[News] (07/2018) Joined CS@UC-Irvine as a tenure-track assistant professor!

[News] (03/2018) [News Coverage] Our NDSS'18 paper on next generation smart transportation systems security is receiving widespread news coverage: my article in The Conversation, The Register, Trend Micro, Naked Security, Slashdot, Bleeping Computer, Smart Cities Dive, Boing Boing, PriusChat, ...

[News] (01/2018) 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] More...




I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. Before coming to UCI, I received my Ph.D. degree from Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2018.

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.


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