The Organizers - NYU Tandon

nektarios-tsoutsos.pngNektarios Tsoutsos: Challenge CO-Lead

For two years, Nektarios Georgios Tsoutsos worked as an adviser in the computer security industry. He designed security policies and conducted gap analyses and security assessments to ensure regulatory compliance for financial institutions and telecommunication providers. Four years ago, he left the industry to return to academia. He is currently a fourth-year computer science doctoral candidate at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and a researcher at NYU Abu Dhabi. Tsoutsos brings his wealth of experience to this year’s CSAW as a student challenge leader in the same competition he won three years ago: the Embedded Security Challenge.

Today we store less of our data on physical devices and upload more to cloud services such as Amazon and Dropbox. With his advisor, Professor Michail Maniatakos at NYU Abu Dhabi, Tsoutsos filed a patent for a novel cloud computing framework called Homomorphically Encrypted One Instruction Computation Systems and Methods (HEROIC), his answer to the recent attacks on cloud services. HEROIC eliminates the need for cloud computing processors to decrypt data prior to processing it. By keeping data encrypted, HEROIC keeps programs and data more secure and eliminates the need for shared cryptographic keys.

Tsoutsos was born in Athens, Greece. His father is a professional violinist and a former concertmaster at the national opera and state orchestra. His mother is a political scientist. When he was six, Nektarios learned how to write computer programs and hasn’t stopped coding since. In addition to being a member of IEEE and MENSA, Nektarios is a recipient of the Deborah Rosenthal, MD Award, given annually by the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering to a single graduate student for outstanding performance on the Ph.D. qualifying examination.


Tasos Keliris: Challenge Co-Lead

Tasos is a PhD candidate at the Tandon School of Engineering of New York University. He is working on embedded systems security, focusing on industrial control systems and critical infrastructure, or as he puts it "things that matter."

michail-maniatakos.pngMichail Maniatakos: Faculty Guide

Mihalis Maniatakos is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYU Abu Dhabi. He does NOT enjoy long walks on the beach, due to the poor distance-covered to time ratio. His favorite means of transportation is teleportation.


Indian Institute of Technology, KaNpur


Rohit Negi: Challenge Lead

An adaptable, organized and responsible graduate with 4+ years of experience specializing in industrial automation and operational technologies. My past experience, current work and interest are in the field of cyber security and cyber defense of protection and control system used in critical infrastructure. Core work is to finding security vulnerabilities in automated critical infrastructures, finding ways to circumvent the threats that will be associated with such vulnerabilities and its mitigation techniques.


See the finalists of the ESC competition.