Amin Kharraz was recently awarded a Microsoft collaborative research grant, which will allow him to serve as a lead collaborator in the tech giant’s M365 Security & Compliance Research Division.
Kharraz—assistant professor at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences within FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing—will receive $150,000 in grant funding to conduct innovative research in cybersecurity as part of the Microsoft Security AI (MSecAI) Research Program (RFP).
“All of us in the College of Engineering and Computing congratulate Dr. Kharraz on this prestigious award,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the college. It’s great to see Microsoft awarding our talent, right here in Miami, where we are endeavoring to make South Florida the new Silicon Valley.”
The MSecAI RFP is a new collaborative research program that began in 2020. The goal of the Microsoft research project is to spark new artificial intelligence (AI) research endeavors in different areas of “phish” protection to better understand emerging social engineering threats, their underlying landscape and provide improved consumer security assets in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks. Kharraz’s proposal titled WEBHASH: A Spatio-Temporal Deep Learning Approach for Detecting Social Engineering Attacks was one of two winning submissions.
“The goals outlined in Kharraz’s impressive proposal are highly innovative and promise to be impactful to the protection against the social engineering attacks we are seeing today,” said Jugal Parikh, the applied research manager at Microsoft. “We are excited to work with him on what we are sure will be a very successful collaboration that will garner significant solutions to persisting vulnerabilities.”
Kharraz joined the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences as an assistant professor in the fall of 2020 and is already making a big impact in cybersecurity education and research. He leads the Systems Security Lab (SecLab), where he focuses on building systems to study security problems, including evasive malware attacks, applications and web attacks, social engineering and cybercrime.
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