Federico Maggi

About me

I am a Senior Threat Researcher with Trend Micro’s Forward-Looking Threat Research (FTR) team. The FTR team is an elite team of researchers whose mission is to scout the future of emerging technologies, striving to predict and prevent emerging security risks and threats. On top of bleeding-edge research, the FTR team constantly collaborates with law-enforcement agencies in cybercrime investigations. For example, the FTR team assisted the FBI in investigating and prosecuting the SpyEye malware creator, which is believed to have infected an estimated 1.4 million computers in the United States and abroad.

I have been involved in the computer security “circus” since 2005. Although I enjoy doing research in really any area of computer security, looking back at my research track it seems that my main interests revolve around various topics under the “cyber security” and “cyber crime” umbrella terms, such as threat analysis and intelligence, malware analysis, mobile security, fraud analysis and detection, web- and social-network security and data visualization. A distinctive aspect of my work is that I always strive to follow data-driven or learning-based approaches. Indeed, I enjoy doing large-scale measurements.

Before joining Trend Micro, until Summer 2016 I was an Assistant Professor at Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB), Politecnico di Milano in Italy, where I co-directed the system-security group at the NECST Laboratory, and led several projects with my colleague and advisor Stefano Zanero. During my PhD (obtained Cum Laude at Politecnico di Milano), I made contributions in the field of anomaly detection: I developed and tested anomaly-based tools to mitigate Internet threats by (1) avoiding their spread via vulnerable web applications, (2) detecting unexpected activities in the operating system’s kernel (sing of malware infections or compromised processes), and (3) dealing with high number of alerts using alert correlation.

I had extensive collaboration with the academic security community (e.g., UCSB, FORTH, NEU, Stony Brook, KU Leven, and RHUL), and with the security industry, as consultant. I have given several lectures and talks as an invited speaker at international venues and research schools. When time permits, I occasionally play CTFs with the Tower of Hanoi team. Honestly, I haven’t been playing for a looong long time: I think 2004 or something, when we played one of the very first editions of the UCSB iCTF. With the same team, in 2015 I have led the organization of the successful PoliCTF contest. I served in the review boards or organizing committees of well-known conferences. To name a few, I have been the General Chair of DIMVA 2015, PC chair of EUC 2014 and PC member of several conferences and workshops including ACSAC, AsiaCCS, TRUST, MALCON, DIMVA, CSS, SecureComm, WISTP. Moreover, I have been actively involved in 3 successful EU projects under the FP7, and 1 national project under the prestigious FIR program.