Dr Suranga Seneviratne

Lecturer in Security
School of Information Technologies

J12 - The School of Information Technologies
The University of Sydney


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School of Information Technologies

Biographical details

Dr Suranga Seneviratne is a Lecturer in Security at the School of IT, The University of Sydney. He received his PhD from University of New South Wales, Australia in 2015. His current research interests include privacy and security in mobile systems, AI applications in security, and behaviour biometrics. Before moving into research, he worked nearly six years in the telecommunications industry in core network planning and operations. He received his bachelor degree from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2005.

Research interests

With billions of devices and users all over the world now connected to the internet, and this number increasing exponentially, protecting the security and privacy of internet users has never been more critical. This is the important area on which Dr Suranga Seneviratne’s research focuses.

“While the internet has made our lives easier in many ways, it also comes with some associated risks. In the past few years alone we’ve witnessed significant data breaches, botnets in operation, cyberterrorism activities and distributed denial of services at scales never seen before. Ongoing advances in artificial intelligence also equip attackers with increasingly sophisticated tools that can be leveraged to launch novel and resilient attacks.

“My research looks at how to secure networked systems and end-user devices from cyberattack. The main challenge in doing this is the trade-off between the usability and the level of security – it’s not practical to develop highly secure systems if they force additional usability overheads onto the user.

“Cybersecurity has always been an arms race between the attackers and the researchers. As security researchers, we need to identify vulnerabilities and potential threats before they are exploited, and come up with countermeasures when attackers change their strategies. I enjoy this continuous challenge of working in network security, and its very dynamic nature.

“Some of the applications of my research include more usable authentication systems. For example, I’m currently working on novel and ubiquitous behaviour biometrics that will enable intrusion-free sensing and thus allow users to authenticate without any password or security token.

“I’ve also developed an app for mobile devices that provides a five-star security rating for apps installed on the device and suggests secure alternatives to any riskier or more vulnerable apps that users have installed.

“I have been working in network security since 2011, and I joined the University of Sydney in 2017.
“I envision a future where we can use the internet seamlessly and pervasively without worrying about security and privacy.”

Awards and honours

  • Winner of ACM SIGMOBILE Mobicom 2015 App competition Gold Prize (Sep 2015)
  • Winner of NASSCOM (National Association of Software & Service Companies) IT Technical Innovation Award (May 2015)
  • Winner IESL NSW Engineering Excellence Award (Jun 2015)

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Gupta, K., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A deep dive into location-based communities in social discovery networks. Computer Communications, 100(3), 78-90. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Hu, Y., Nguyen, T., Lan, G., Khalifa, S., Thilakarathna, K., Hassan, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A Survey of Wearable Devices and Challenges [Forthcoming]. IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials. [More Information]
  • Surian, D., Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Chawla, S. (2017). App Miscategorization Detection: A Case Study on Google Play. IEEE Transactions On Knowledge And Data Engineering, 29(8), 1591-1604. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Mohapatra, P. (2017). Spam mobile apps: Characteristics, detection, and in the wild analysis. ACM Transactions on the Web, 11(1), 1-29. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Chauhan, J., Hu, Y., Seneviratne, S., Misra, A., Seneviratne, A., Lee, Y. (2017). BreathPrint: Breathing acoustics-based user authentication. 15th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2017, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Jahan, M., Seneviratne, S., Chu, B., Seneviratne, A., Jha, S. (2017). Privacy preserving data access scheme for IoT devices. IEEE 16th International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications (NCA 2017), Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Ikram, M., Vallina-Rodriguez, N., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Paxson, V. (2016). An Analysis of the Privacy and Security Risks of Android VPN Permission-enabled Apps. 2016 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2016, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Chauhan, J., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Seneviratne, A. (2016). Characterization of early smartwatch apps. 13th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication Workshops (PerCom Workshops 2016), Piscataway, New Jersey, USA: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Mohapatra, P. (2015). Early Detection of Spam Mobile Apps. 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Kolamunna, H., Seneviratne, A. (2015). Short: A Measurement Study of Tracking in Paid Mobile Applications. 8th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, WiSec 2015, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Jiang, F., Cunche, M., Seneviratne, A. (2015). SSIDs in the Wild: Extracting Semantic Information from WiFi SSIDs. 40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2015), Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P., Mahanti, A. (2014). Your Installed Apps Reveal Your Gender and More!. 2014 ACM MobiCom Workshop on Security and Privacy in Mobile Environments, SPME 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P., Tournoux, P. (2013). Characterizing WiFi Connection and Its Impact on Mobile Users: Practical Insights. 8th ACM International Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental Evaluation and Characterization, WiNTECH 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Personal Cloudlets for Privacy and Resource Efficiency in Mobile In-app Advertising. 1st International Workshop on Mobile Cloud Computing and Networking, MobileCloud 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Reconciling bitter rivals: Towards privacy-aware and bandwidth efficient mobile Ads delivery networks. 2013 5th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks, COMSNETS 2013, India: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

2017

  • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Gupta, K., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A deep dive into location-based communities in social discovery networks. Computer Communications, 100(3), 78-90. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Hu, Y., Nguyen, T., Lan, G., Khalifa, S., Thilakarathna, K., Hassan, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A Survey of Wearable Devices and Challenges [Forthcoming]. IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials. [More Information]
  • Surian, D., Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Chawla, S. (2017). App Miscategorization Detection: A Case Study on Google Play. IEEE Transactions On Knowledge And Data Engineering, 29(8), 1591-1604. [More Information]
  • Chauhan, J., Hu, Y., Seneviratne, S., Misra, A., Seneviratne, A., Lee, Y. (2017). BreathPrint: Breathing acoustics-based user authentication. 15th ACM International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2017, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Jahan, M., Seneviratne, S., Chu, B., Seneviratne, A., Jha, S. (2017). Privacy preserving data access scheme for IoT devices. IEEE 16th International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications (NCA 2017), Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Mohapatra, P. (2017). Spam mobile apps: Characteristics, detection, and in the wild analysis. ACM Transactions on the Web, 11(1), 1-29. [More Information]

2016

  • Ikram, M., Vallina-Rodriguez, N., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Paxson, V. (2016). An Analysis of the Privacy and Security Risks of Android VPN Permission-enabled Apps. 2016 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2016, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Chauhan, J., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Seneviratne, A. (2016). Characterization of early smartwatch apps. 13th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication Workshops (PerCom Workshops 2016), Piscataway, New Jersey, USA: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

2015

  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Kaafar, M., Mahanti, A., Mohapatra, P. (2015). Early Detection of Spam Mobile Apps. 24th International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2015. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Kolamunna, H., Seneviratne, A. (2015). Short: A Measurement Study of Tracking in Paid Mobile Applications. 8th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks, WiSec 2015, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Jiang, F., Cunche, M., Seneviratne, A. (2015). SSIDs in the Wild: Extracting Semantic Information from WiFi SSIDs. 40th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2015), Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

2014

  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P., Mahanti, A. (2014). Your Installed Apps Reveal Your Gender and More!. 2014 ACM MobiCom Workshop on Security and Privacy in Mobile Environments, SPME 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]

2013

  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P., Tournoux, P. (2013). Characterizing WiFi Connection and Its Impact on Mobile Users: Practical Insights. 8th ACM International Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental Evaluation and Characterization, WiNTECH 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, S., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Personal Cloudlets for Privacy and Resource Efficiency in Mobile In-app Advertising. 1st International Workshop on Mobile Cloud Computing and Networking, MobileCloud 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
  • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Reconciling bitter rivals: Towards privacy-aware and bandwidth efficient mobile Ads delivery networks. 2013 5th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks, COMSNETS 2013, India: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). [More Information]

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