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Wil Robertson

260 West Village H
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Professor Robertson is an interdisciplinary faculty member affiliated with the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the College of Engineering at Northeastern. Interested in protecting systems from attacks, he has focused his research on Web security, anomaly detection, program analysis, and electronic voting security. Professor Robertson is part of the International Secure Systems Lab, a European and U.S. computer security research effort co-directed by his Northeastern faculty colleague Engin Kirda.

Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, Professor Robertson was a postdoctoral researcher in the computer security research group at UC Berkeley and a research assistant with the UC Santa Barbara SecLab.

He also co-founded and served as chief technology officer for WebWise Security, Inc., where he was involved in developing weblock, a high-speed anomaly-based Web application firewall.


  • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research & Scholarship Interests

Trustworthy computing architectures, web security, statistical machine learning for anomaly detection, malware analysis using adversarial program analysis, reverse engineering, intrusion detection.
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

  • A. Ozcan, C. Mulliner, W. Robertson, E. Kirda, et al. "BabelCrypt: The Universal Encryption Layer for Mobile Messaging Applications", Proceedings of the International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC), Isla Verde, PR, 2015, 1-15
  • M. Weissbacher, W. Robertson, E. Kirda, C. Kruegel, G. Vigna "ZigZag: Automatically Hardening Web Applications Against Client-side Validation Vulnerabilities", Proceedings of the USENIX Security Symposium, Washington DC, 2015, 737-752 
  • C. Mulliner, W. Robertson, E. Kirda "Hidden GEMs: Automated Discovery of Access Control Vulnerabilities in Graphical User Interfaces", Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland), San Jose, CA, 2014, 1-14 
  • M. Weissbacher, T. Lauinger, W. Robertson "Why is CSP Failing? Trends and Challenges in CSP Adoption", Proceedings of the International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses (RAID), Gothenburg, 2014, 1-22 
  • K. Onarlioglu, C. Mulliner, W. Robertson, E. Kirda "PrivExec: Private Execution as an Operating System Service", Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland), San Francisco, CA, 2013, 1-16

Related News

September 8, 2014

ECE & CCIS Assistant Professor William Robertson discusses recent celebrity hacks and how users should protect their privacy and online data against hackers.

August 8, 2014

ECE & CCIS Associate Professor Engin Kirda & Assistant Professor Wil Robertson won a $500K NSF grant to build an analysis tool which automates, engineers, & summarizes closed source binary software

January 30, 2014

William Robertson , assistant professor of computer and information science and electrical and computer engineering Among researchers focused on cleaning up the world’s black market of Internet...

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