(Michael) Joe DeBlasio

 

As of Sept. 2018, I work on Chrome's usable security team, working to make the web safe for average users.

Reach out to me at web.com.

I finished my PhD in July 2018 from the sysnet and cryptosec groups in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego.

My graduate work focused on e-crime (fraud and abuse) and security/privacy measurement on the web. My interests are widespread across security and privacy, but I'm particularly interested in the WebPKI and making security something everyone can benefit from, not just experts.

I was ably advised by Alex Snoeren, and wouldn't have made it without the advice and support of Geoff Voelker and Stefan Savage. I was a proud member of the Center for Evidence-based Security Research (CESR). Before grad school, I received my Bachelor's in CS from the wonderful Harvey Mudd College.

Publications

Hack for Hire: Exploring the Emerging Market for Account Hijacking
Ariana Mirian, Joe DeBlasio, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker, Alex C. Snoeren, and Kurt Thomas,
The Web Conference, May 2019

While phishing detection, risk analysis, and two-factor authentication help stem large-scale hijackings, targeted attacks remain a potent threat not fully addressed by current account protections. "Hack for hire" services make targeted attacks against anyone available for a few hundred dollars. Posing as buyers, we hired several of these services to attack synthetic (though realistic) identities we controlled. We categorize their methods and the state of the market in general.

An Empirical Analysis of the Commercial VPN Ecosystem
Mohammad Taha Khan*, Joe DeBlasio*, Chris Kanich, Geoffrey M. Voelker, Alex C. Snoeren, and Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez ,
Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference, October 2018

Though users increasingly rely on commercial VPN services to preserve online privacy, circumvent censorship, and access geo-filtered content, they lack a strong method for evaluating the privacy and security claims made by VPN providers. We designed an active measurement system to test many of security and privacy properties, analyzed 62 commercial providers and find deceptive practices in at least 10\% of the providers studied.

* Co-authors Khan and DeBlasio contributed equally to the work.

Tripwire: Inferring Internet Site Compromise (Press: Gizmodo, The Register),
Joe DeBlasio, Stefan Savage, Geoffrey M. Voelker, and Alex C. Snoeren,
Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference, November 2017

Tripwire is a method for detecting website compromises as an unprivileged third-party using externally-visible side effects. Our proof-of-concept implementation exposed previously-unknown compromises impacting more than 100 million users.

Exploring the Dynamics of Search Advertiser Fraud,
Joe DeBlasio, Saikat Guha, Geoffrey M. Voelker, and Alex C. Snoeren,
Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference, November 2017.

This work explored search advertiser fraud on Microsoft's Bing search engine, characterizing the scale of fraud, the targeting and bidding behavior of fraudsters, and how those fraudsters impact legitimate advertisers in the ecosystem.

Other stuff

In summer 2017, I co-designed and taught CSE 80, covering essential Linux/UNIX command line skills for all computer scientists and software engineers. The course is highly interactive, taking place entirely at a traditional Bash command prompt.

You know what else is cool? Chez Bob is cool.