Vasilis Kemerlis

Critical Challenge Project Advisor, Assistant Professor of Computer Science


Vasileios (Vasilis) Kemerlis is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. His research interests are in the areas of systems, software security and hardware security, with a focus on OS kernel protection, automated software hardening, and information-flow tracking. His work on kernel security has been profiled by press and social media outlets, including, the Linux Journal, Dark Reading, and Hacker News, won the first prize in the Applied Security Research Paper competition, at the Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) 2014, and led to the adoption of kernel hardening techniques from OpenBSD and Qualcomm’s MSM Android. In addition, Vasilis has contributed to the design and implementation of Microsoft’s primary solution for automatically triaging crash dumps, which is now part of the Windows Error Reporting Platform, analyzing millions of crash reports. In the past, he was a member of the Solaris Core Kernel team at Oracle, where he also worked on adding support for full Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) in the Solaris OS. Lastly, Vasilis has co-invented the first cache-based side channel attack that can be entirely executed from JavaScript context, which resulted in Apple and Mozilla limiting the time resolution of JavaScript’s performance API (as a mitigation to the proposed attack), and the Tor Project decreasing the time precision of JavaScript entirely. Vasilis holds a PhD (2015), MPhil (2013), and MS (2010) in Computer Science from Columbia University, and a BS (2006) in Computer Science from Athens University of Economics and Business.