Research Fellows Of The APWG

Research Fellows

Bernhard Haslhofer, Senior Scientist & Thematic Coordinator, Data
Science & Artificial Intelligence
Austrian Institute of Technology
Center for Digital Safety & Security

Dr. Haslhofer is an APWG Research Fellow in Residence and Moderator of
the Crypto Currency Working Group

Dr. Haslhofer leads the CryptoFinance Research Group at the Complexity
Science Hub Vienna. and advises APWG on the development of the Crypto
Currency Working Group and development of its data assets for its
members, most recently advancing the scope of sourcing for the CCWG’s
wallet address database.

Dr. Haslhofer’s research interests are focused on finding and applying
quantitative methods for gaining new insights from large-scale,
connected datasets. Currently, Dr. Haslhofer is working on:

Cryptoasset Analytics: I lead the development of the GraphSense
Cryptoasset Analytics Platform, coordinate the KRYPTOMONITOR research
project, and teach a Cryptoasset Analytics course at TU Vienna.
Industrial Data Science: I coordinate the COGNITUS research project,
which aims at predicting outages in jewelry production and warehousing
Digital Humanities: in the TRAVELOGUES project, I am collaborating with
historians to gain insight into the perception of the Other (Fremdheit)
by analyzing travelogues in digitized corpus of the Austrian National

Ebrima N. Ceesay, Senior Distinguished Engineer
Capital One Financial

Dr. Ceesay is an APWG Research Fellow in Residence Without Portfolio

Before joining Capital One, Ebrima was a Principal Scientist, and Senior
Software and Security Engineer for Apple, IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton TASC,
Leidos and Noblis. He has many years of experience leading, designing,
and implementing national cybersecurity initiatives in collaboration
with several U.S. federal government agencies and departments, as well
as private industry stakeholders, to protect cyber infrastructures.

In addition to working at Capital One, Ebrima is also an instructor at
Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering, an adjunct
faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley’s Information
School, and an associate professor in the Department of Information
Sciences and Technology at George Mason University.

Ebrima holds a BS and MS from California State University, Chico and MS
and Ph.D in Computer Science, with an emphasis on security and applied
machine learning and a Diploma in Entrepreneurial Management from the
University of California, Davis.

Saeed Abu-Nimeh, CEO

Dr. Abu-Nimeh is an Advisor to APWG and a long-time member of the Organizing Committee of the APWG’s Annual Symposium on Electronic Crime Research

Dr. Abu-Nimeh is one of the leading thinkers on the intersection between machine learning and cybersecurity. Prior to founding SecLytics, he held the position of Distinguished Scientist at PayPal. Before that, he was Senior Scientist at Damballa and a Security Researcher at Websense.

Dr. Abu-Nimeh holds a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University and a Postdoc from Carnegie Mellon.

Dr. Abu-Nimeh has co-authored more than 19 papers and books on the applications of machine learning to cybersecurity.

Fun fact: When Dr. Abu-Nimeh isn’t busy predicting cyberattacks, he patrols the soccer pitch as a crafty right winger with a nose for goal.

Dr. Jesse Sowell, Assistant Professor of International Affairs

Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University.

Dr. Sowell is an APWG Research Fellow in Residence and Advisor to the APWG Applied Research Secretariat

Dr. Sowell is currently an Assistant Professor of International Affairs in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.  Dr. Sowell is also an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London.  He holds a PhD in Technology, Management, and Policy from the Engineering Systems Division at MIT.  Dr. Sowell’s research focuses on understanding the transnational, non-state institutions and governance mechanisms shaping the management of resources critical to Internet operations vis a vis conventional (state-based) domestic and international governance mechanisms.

Dr. Sowell’s research spans three levels of organizational and institutional analysis: governance, rule-making, and resource management within function-specific organizations; the collaborative challenges faced by these organizations; and how these function-specific organizations can engage with conventional governance and regulatory regimes as credible knowledge assessors.  In terms of the governance of the Internet’s infrastructure, Dr. Sowell has evaluated models of consensus-based decision making critical to the Internet’s day-to-day operations, the strengths and weaknesses of these models for coping with uncertainties endemic in managing a global Internet, and how these contribute to political authority within these often informal organizations and non-state institutions.  Complementing the institutional supply and demand of technical and operational capabilities and capacities necessary for coping with uncertainties endemic in complex engineering systems (the Internet in particular), Dr. Sowell’s work also evaluates the organizational capabilities and capacities necessary to bridge the knowledge, coordination, and collaboration gaps between these epistemic communities and state-based policy makers and regulators.  The third level of analysis focuses on how these kinds of coproduction of knowledge can be integrated into conventional policy and regulatory design, creating the feedback mechanisms necessary for the kinds of sustainably planned adaptive governance necessary to keep pace with technological changes and uncertainties that characterize modern digital platforms in the infrastructure and at the application layer.

Dr. Sowell’s work builds heavily on fieldwork with industry actors.  Dr. Sowell is a Senior Advisor at the Messaging, Malware, and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), co-chairing the Internet of Things Special Interest Group.  From 2015-2018 Dr. Sowell directed M3AAWG’s Outreach efforts developing cybersecurity capabilities and capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and Africa.  He also advises the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) on issues relating to the the impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Directive (GDPR), recently coordinating the “Symposium on Policy Impediments to eCrime Data Exchange” for APWG.EU.  He is also working with the APWG on the development of a consortium of academic researchers, industry experts, and policy makers to provide effective advice to government actors on the implications of emerging cybercrime threats.

Before his current appointment at the Bush School, Dr. Sowell was a Cybersecurity Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.

Greg Aaron, President
llumuntel, Inc.

Mr. Greg Aaron is Senior Research Fellow for the Anti-Phishing Working

Mr. Aaron is an internationally recognized authority on the abuse of
domain names for  cybercrime, and is an expert on domain name registry
operations, DNS policy, and related intellectual property issues. He
edits the APWG’s quarterly Phishing Activity Trends Reports. As a member
of ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), he advises
the international community regarding the domain name and numbering
system that makes the Internet function. Greg has been a member of
ICANN’s EPDP Working Groups, which have been creating registration data
access policies and examining the requirements of GDPR as they apply to
domain name data.   He works with industry, researchers, and law
enforcement to investigate and mitigate cybercrime, and is also a
licensed private detective. He was the senior industry expert on a team
that evaluated the policy and technical qualifications of more than one
thousand new TLD applications to ICANN in 2012-2013. He has managed
multiple top-level domains around the world, including .INFO, .ME, and
.IN. He is President of Illumintel, Inc., a consulting company
( Mr. Aaron is a magna cum laude graduate of the
University of Pennsylvania.