Campus & Community

Dr. Sven Dietrich Appointed Chair of IEEE Computer Society Technical Activities Committee

Dr. Sven Dietrich, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has been appointed IEEE Acting Technical Activities Committee (TAC) Chair. Dr. Dietrich will play a key role in bringing together internationally renowned researchers at workshops, conferences, and initiatives in order to foster innovation and collaboration for the benefit of computing technologies worldwide.

“The IEEE has a tremendous impact on development of technologies and practices that affect numerous aspects of modern life,” says Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science. “Dr. Dietrich’s exceptional leadership abilities and his dedicated contributions to the field are evidenced by this well-merited appointment.”

Dr. Dietrich is a specialist in computer and network security who is noted for conducting ground-breaking research in secure sockets layer protocol (SSL), intrusion detection, analysis of distributed denial-of-service tools, and the security of IP communications in space. As Acting TAC Chair, he oversees the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Committees, Technical Councils, Task Forces, Special Technical Communities, and also has a position of Vice Chair on the IEEE CS T&C Activities Board. The TAC Chair position supplements his role as Technical Committee Chair for the IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Committee on Security and Privacy (TCSP). The TCSP oversees the organization of flagship conferences such as the IEEE CS Security and Privacy Symposium, the IEEE CS Security and Privacy Workshops, Computer Security Foundations Symposium, and partially the Hardware-Oriented Security and Trust Symposium.

In addition to his active roles in the IEEE Computer Society, he was president of the International Financial Cryptography Association (IFCA) from March 2011 to May 2013. In his IFCA role, he recently organized the 2013 Financial Cryptography and Data Security Conference in Okinawa, Japan, where he also presented prototypical code for his latest research, titled AdLeaks, an information submission system that allows for secure and confidential online propagation of information.

Adleaks surreptitiously transfers information and bypasses surveillance even from eavesdroppers who have a complete view of a network. Crucially, the system also eliminates the need for an individual to visit submission sites that attract monitoring. Instead, the submission platform is distributed across partner media sites in the form of ads that secretly pick up messages from a browser and send it back to the AdLeaks server. Even someone eavesdropping on all network communication cannot distinguish Adleaks transmissions from those of regular browsers. This is important in the context of whistleblowers or informants supplying sensitive leads to journalists.

“Dr. Dietrich is one of our most active and prolific computer and network security and privacy researchers,” says Computer Science Department Director Dr. Daniel Duchamp. “His groundbreaking work is driving advancement in this universally critical field.”

Dr. Dietrich plays an integral role at the Center for the Advancement of Secure Systems and Information Assurance which has earned Stevens its designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency. Dietrich is also associate editor of the IEEE Computer Society‘s Technical Committee on Security and Privacy electronic newsletter, Cipher, where he curates breaking news, conference reviews, and insightful commentary on current events and issues in computer security and privacy.

His publications include the book Internet Denial of Service: Attack and Defense Mechanisms (Prentice Hall, 2004), which, as one reviewer states, is “everything one needs to know about DDoS.” Dr. Dietrich was also a guest expert on American Public Media’s Marketplace Tech Report, covering the DDoS attacks on

Dr. Dietrich previously served as Senior Member of the Technical Staff at CERT Research at Carnegie Mellon University and also held an appointment at the Carnegie Mellon University CyLab, a university-wide cybersecurity research and education initiative. Before entering academia, Dr. Dietrich was a Senior Security Architect at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The IEEE Computer Society Technical Activities Committee is composed of professionals with common interests in computer hardware, software, applications, and interdisciplinary fields. The Technical Activities Committee oversees the many task forces, technical committees, and technical councils of the Society. It provides a hands-on approach for professionals to become involved in the technical community and collaborate with others to advance their respective fields.

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