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Niels Provos

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Niels Provos

Niels Provos is a researcher in the areas of secure systems, malware[1] and cryptography. He is a Distinguished Engineer at Google.[2] He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.[3]

He is the author of numerous software packages, including the libevent event driven programming system, the Systrace access control system, the honeyd honeypot system, the StegDetect steganography detector, the SpyBye malware detector, and many others. He is also the creator of the bcrypt adaptive cryptographic hash function, and was for many years a contributor to the OpenBSD project.

Provos has been an outspoken critic of the effect of the DMCA and similar laws on security researchers, arguing that they threaten to make criminals of people conducting legitimate security research.[4]

Dr. Provos has also served as the Program Chair of the Usenix Security Symposium, on the program committees of the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, ACM SIGCOMM, and numerous other conferences, and served on the board of directors of Usenix from 2006 to 2010.

Dr. Provos's hobbies include swordsmithing, and he has forged swords in both Japanese and Viking styles. He routinely posts videos of his blacksmithing activities online.[5][6]


  • Ph.D., Computer Science & Engineering, August 2003, University of Michigan (Dissertation: "Statistical Steganalysis")
  • Diplom in Mathematics, August 1998, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. (Masters in Mathematics). (Thesis: "Cryptography, especially the RSA algorithm on elliptic curves and Z/nZ")
  • Vordiplom in Mathematics, March 1995,Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Vordiplom in Physics, March 1995, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Selected Publications

  • All Your iFrames Point to Us Niels Provos, Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Moheeb Rajab and Fabian Monrose, 17th USENIX Security Symposium, August 2008.
  • The Ghost in the Browser: Analysis of Web-based Malware Niels Provos, Dean McNamee, Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Ke Wang, and Nagendra Modadugu, USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Understanding Botnets, April 2007.
  • Detecting Steganographic Content on the Internet Niels Provos and Peter Honeyman, ISOC NDSS'02, San Diego, CA, February 2002
  • Provos, Niels; Holz, Thorsten (July 2007). Virtual Honeypots: From Botnet Tracking to Intrusion Detection. Addison-Wesley Professional.  


  1. ^ Mills, Elinor. "Google's Niels Provos battles malware on the Web". CNET. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Google Research Page on Provos". Google. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Provos, Niels. "Provos' official web page". Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Poulsen, Kevin. Super-DMCA' fears suppress security research"'". SecurityFocus. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Provos' Youtube channel for his swordsmithing videos". Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  6. ^ McMillan, Robert. "World's Most Wired Swordsmith". Wired. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 

External links

  • Provos' CV
  • Wired Profile of Provos

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