Cristina Nita-Rotaru

Professor of Computer Science
Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Northeastern University

office: ISEC 626 Directions
lab: Network and Distributed Systems Security [nds2]

Research: network security, resilient distributed systems, automated testing and verification; applications: critical infrastructure, connected cars, blockchains
``There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way.'' Christopher Morley

Cristina Nita-Rotaru

Research for MS Students

[How]   [When]   [What]  

This page is intended for MS students who would like to know how to get involved in research, the best time to do so, and the possible outcomes of such a research activity. If you are not convinced why you should do research, read this. For further information, direct your questions to

How you can do research as an MS student.

  • Take an independent study
  • Take an apprenticeship class
  • Take an advanced class
  • Do an internship
  • Do a co-op
  • Work on a project outside class
  • Do a thesis

When is the best time to do research as an MS student.

MS degrees typically take 2 years so the sooner you start, the better. A thesis will take a year, and sometimes requires a bit more exploration. You can start with a project in a class and continue pursuing it in depth afterwards. Plan early so you can take advantage of all learning and funding opportunities. Talking with a faculty can provide better guidance on choosing the best path for you.

What are the outcomes of an MS research project.

  • Code
  • Report
  • Thesis
  • Peer-reviewed published paper

As a faculty at Purdue University and Northeastern University I have worked with many MS students. Often this research resulted in peer-reviewed published papers and theses. Below are just some examples of papers from my group which have MS students as co-authors, or theses. If you want to get involved you can learn more about my projects [here].

Alternative Route-Based Attacks in Metropolitan Traffic Systems. Sidney La Fontaine, Naveen Muralidhar, Michael Clifford, Tina Eliassi-Rad, Cristina Nita-Rotaru. In the 8th Workshop on Safety and Security in Intelligent Vehicles (SSIV), with the 52nd IEEE/IFIP Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), 2022. [PDF]
Removing the Reliance on Perimeters for Security using Network Views. Iffat Anjum, Daniel Kostecki, Ethan Leba, Jessica Sokal, Rajit Bharambe, William Enck, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, and Bradley Reaves. ACM SACMAT 2022. [PDF] [code]
More than a Fair Share: Network Data Remanence Attacks against Secret Sharing-based Schemes. Leila Rashidi, Daniel Kostecki, Alexander James, Anthony Peterson, Majid Ghaderi, Samuel Jero, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Hamed Okhravi Reihaneh Safavi-Naini. NDSS 2021. [PDF]
Under the Hood of the Ethereum Gossip Protocol. Lucianna Kiffer, Asad Salman, Dave Levin, Alan Mislove, Cristina Nita-Rotaru. FC 2021. [PDF]
aBBRate: Automating BBR Attack Exploration Using a Model-Based Approach Anthony Peterson, Samuel Jero, Endadul Hoque, Dave Choffnes, Cristina Nita-Rotaru. RAID 2020. [PDF]
On the Practicality of Integrity Attacks on Document-Level Sentiment Analysis. A. Newell, R. Potharaju. L. Xiang, and C. Nita-Rotaru. In the Seventh ACM Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Security (AISec) with the 21st ACM Conference on Computer and Communications (CCS), Nov. 2014. [PDF]
Access Control in Social Enterprise Applications: An Empirical Evaluation. R. Bhatti, C. Gaspard and C. Nita-Rotaru. In the Fifth International Workshop on Hot Topics in Peer-to-peer computing and Online Social Networking, in conjunction with ICDCS 2013, July 2013. [PDF]
SINE: Cache-Friendly Integrity for the Web. C. Gaspard, S. Goldberg, W. Itani, E. Bertino, and C. Nita-Rotaru. In Proceedings of 4th Workshop on Secure Network Protocols (NPSec) in conjunction with ICNP 2009, July 2009. [PDF]
Enabling Confidentiality of Data Delivery in an Overlay Broadcasting System. R. Torres X. Sun, A. Walters, C. Nita-Rotaru and S. Rao. In INFOCOM 2007, Anchorage, Alaska. [PDF]
Mitigating Attacks Against Measurement-Based Adaptation Mechanisms in Unstructured Multicast Overlay Networks. AAron Walters, David Zage and Cristina Nita-Rotaru, The 14th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols November (ICNP) 12-15, 2006 Santa Barbara, California. [PDF]
Mitigating Attacks Against Adaptation Mechanisms in Overlay Networks, Master Thesis, Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, May 2006. AAron Walters. [PDF].

Send your comments and questions to Cristina Nita-Rotaru