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William Robertson

Associate Professor

Interdisciplinary with College of Engineering

William Robertson


Office Location

805 Columbus Avenue
617 Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC)
Boston, MA 02120

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: William Robertson, 435 ISEC
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Research Interests

  • Systems security
  • Web security
  • Mobile security


  • PhD in computer science, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • BS in computer science, University of California, Santa Barbara


William Robertson is an associate professor of computer science at Northeastern University and co-directs the Northeastern Systems Security Lab. Robertson’s research revolves around improving the security of operating systems, mobile devices, and the web, as well as making use of techniques such as security by design, program analysis, and anomaly detection. Prior to joining Northeastern in 2011, he was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley (2009-2011).

Robertson was involved in both the California Top-to-Bottom-Review and the Ohio EVEREST projects as a Red Team member. In this capacity, he demonstrated that electronic voting systems were susceptible to large-scale attacks that could exploit numerous vulnerabilities in the firmware and physical security of the components of the voting system. His work lead to significant changes in public policy in both states with respect to electronic voting. He has extensive experience in organizing and participating in Capture-the-Flag exercises. With Shellphish, a team composed of UCSB-affiliated members, he won the 2005 edition of the DEFCON CTF competition. He was also instrumental in helping to organize the UCSB iCTF, the largest distributed CTF competition.

Additionally, he is the program co-chair of the Annual Computer Security Applications Conference for 2015-1016, was the co-chair of the 2013 USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies, co-located with USENIX Security, and was the chair of the 2012 Conference on the Detection of Intrusions and Malware & Vulnerability Assessment. He has participated on the program committees of a number of top-tier systems security venues, including IEEE Security and Privacy, USENIX Security, NDSS, ACSAC, and RAID. He has authored more than thirty peer-reviewed journal and conference papers in the area of systems and network security.