Dr. Danfeng (Daphne) Yao is a Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. She is an Elizabeth and James E. Turner Jr. '56 Faculty Fellow and CACI Faculty Fellow. Her research interests include building cyber defenses, as well as machine learning for digital health, with a shared focus on accuracy and deployment. She creates new models, algorithms, techniques, and deployment-quality tools for securing large-scale software and systems. Her tool CryptoGuard helps large software companies and Apache projects harden their cryptographic code. She systematized program anomaly detection in the book Anomaly Detection as a Service. Her patents on anomaly detection are extremely influential in the industry, cited by patents from major cybersecurity firms and technology companies, including FireEye, Symantec, Qualcomm, Cisco, IBM, SAP, Boeing, and Palo Alto Networks.

Dr. Yao is an IEEE Fellow for her contributions to enterprise data security and high-precision vulnerability screening. In 2021, she received the prestigious ACM CODASPY Lasting Research Award. She is also an ACM Distinguished Scientist. Previously, she received the NSF CAREER Award and ARO Young Investigator Award. Dr. Yao is the ACM SIGSAC Vice Chair and has been a member of the ACM SIGSAC executive committee since 2017. Daphne received her Ph.D. degree from Brown University (Computer Science), M.S. degrees from Princeton University (Chemistry) and Indiana University (Computer Science), Bloomington, B.S. degree from Peking University in China (Chemistry).

Please visit Yao Group Website to learn about our work on cybersecurity and AI digital health.

Daphne's short bio, CV, key publications, complete list, research, iMentor, CyberW

Research mentoring. Please check out my short article titled "Rebuttal How-to: Strategies, Tactics, and the Big Picture in Research". PDF available . I will give a long presentation about rebuttal and research at the iMentor Workshop at ACM CCS 2023.

AI methods for precision medicine. Video of my talk titled "One-model-predicts-all No More: Training Specialized Models for Minority Patient Groups", hosted by iTHRIV; Communications Medicine Paper; NPR Radio station interview.

My 2021 talk on "Data Breaches and Multiple Points to Stop Them" at the University of Waterloo CPI is on YouTube. (Slides are HERE.)

iMentor 2021 is honored to have Radia Perlman as a keynote speaker, who (an NAE member) made seminal contributions to the Internet. Her Q&A is here.

Daphne's Inscrypt 2020 keynote on "Being Software Developers' Friends" is available. (Slides are HERE; 2021中文版报告视频链接.)

Our ACM CCS 2020 work on quantifying ASLR security under code reuse attacks is available. (Slides are HERE.)

Please check out my recent Communications of the ACM article on research depth, persistence, and impostor syndrome HERE.

The Chinese version is published in The Intellectual 知识分子 (中文简体 HERE).

My talk on YouTube is HERE.

iMentor ACM CCS 2020 logo Also check out iMentor, Individualized Cybersecurity Research Mentoring Workshop, co-locating with ACM CCS since 2020.

Daphne's 2020 keynote on defense in depth for CPS is on YouTube. Slides are HERE. Abstract at IEEE CPS-Sec.

Our paper on data breach prevention was the No. 1 most downloaded in 2019 at WIREs Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery.

Daphne's keynotes on data breach prevention at Brown's Executive Master Program in Cybersecurity in Part 1 and Part 2, and IEEE SPS.

Daphne's ACM SACMAT '18 keynote slides on data breach are HERE.

Call for deployable and impactful security work at ACSAC.

Daphne's ACM CCS '16 tutorial on program anomaly detection . Slides are here.

Keynote slides on cloud data analytics at the ACM ASIACCS Cloud Security Workshop (SCC) are HERE.

ACM SIGSAC Women in Cybersecurity Research Workshop (CyberW) 2020 was a success!!
Check out the videos and slides and the inaugural CyberW Early Career Award winners!

Continue on to Yao Group Website to learn about our research and publications.

Key Publications

(* indicates Yao group members)

  • [Comms. Med.] Subpopulation-specific Machine Learning Prognosis for Underrepresented Patients with Double Prioritized Bias Correction.
    Sharmin Afrose*, Wenjia Song*, Charles B. Nemeroff, Chang Lu, Danfeng (Daphne) Yao. (*Contributed equally)
    Communications Medicine (Nature portfolio). 2 (111). 2022

  • [CACM] Depth and Persistence: What Researchers Need to Know About Imposter Syndrome.
    Danfeng (Daphne) Yao.
    Communications of the ACM. June 2021, Vol. 64 No. 6, Pages 39-42.

  • [BOOK] Anomaly Detection as a Service: Challenges, Advances, and Opportunities.
    Danfeng Yao, Xiaokui Shu*, Long Cheng*, and Salvatore J. Stolfo. In Information Security, Privacy, and Trust Series. Morgan & Claypool. Oct. 2017.

  • [ACM DTRAP 2021] Industrial Experience of Finding Cryptographic Vulnerabilities in Large-scale Codebases.
    Ya Xiao*, Yang Zhao, Nicholas Allen, Nathan Keynes, Danfeng (Daphne) Yao, Cristina Cifuentes.
    ACM Digital Threats: Research and Practice. January 2022.

  • [ACM TOPS 2021] Exploitation Techniques for Data-Oriented Attacks with Existing and Potential Defense Approaches.
    Long Cheng*, Salman Ahmed*, Hans Liljestrand, Thomas Nyman, Haipeng Cai, Trent Jaeger, N. Asokan, Danfeng (Daphne) Yao.
    ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS). April 2021.

  • [ACM Computing Surveys 2021] Deep Learning-Based Anomaly Detection in Cyber-Physical Systems: Progress and Opportunities.
    Yuan Luo*, Ya Xiao*, Long Cheng, Guojun Peng, and Danfeng (Daphne) Yao.
    ACM Computing Surveys. February 2021.

  • [ACM CCS 2020] Methodologies for Quantifying (Re-)randomization Security and Timing under JIT-ROP.
    Salman Ahmed*, Ya Xiao*, Kevin Z. Snow, Gang Tan, Fabian Monrose, and Danfeng (Daphne) Yao.
    In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS'20). November 9–13, 2020.

  • [ACM CCS 2019] CryptoGuard: High Precision Detection of Cryptographic Vulnerabilities in Massive-sized Java Projects.
    Sazzadur Rahaman*, Ya Xiao*, Sharmin Afrose*, Fahad Shaon, Ke Tian*, Miles Frantz*, Murat Kantarcioglu, and Danfeng (Daphne) Yao.
    ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). London, UK. Nov. 2019.

  • [arXiv 2020] Industrial Experience of Finding Cryptographic Vulnerabilities in Large-scale Codebases.
    Ya Xiao*, Yang Zhao, Nicholas Allen, Nathan Keynes, Danfeng (Daphne) Yao, and Cristina Cifuentes.
    arXiv:2007.06122. 2020.

  • [ACM CCS 2019] Security Certification in Payment Card Industry: Testbeds, Measurements, and Recommendations.
    Sazzadur Rahaman*, Gang Wang, and Daphne Yao.
    ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). London, UK. Nov. 2019.

  • [ICSE 2018] Secure Coding Practices in Java: Challenges and Vulnerabilities.
    Na Meng, Stefan Nagy*, Danfeng Yao, Wenjie Zhuang, and Gustavo Argoty.
    International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). Gothenburg, Sweden. May, 2018.

  • [ACM ASIACCS 2017] Collusive Data Leak and More: Large-scale Threat Analysis of Inter-app Communications.
    Amiangshu Bosu*, Fang Liu*, Danfeng Yao, and Gang Wang.
    In Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Information, Computer & Communication Security (ASIACCS) Apr. 2017.

  • [ACM TOPS 2017] Long-Span Program Behavior Modeling and Attack Detection.
    Xiaokui Shu*, Danfeng Yao, Naren Ramakrishnan, and Trent Jaeger
    ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS). May 2017.

  • [ACM CCS 2015] Unearthing Stealthy Program Attacks Buried in Extremely Long Execution Paths
    Xiaokui Shu*, Danfeng Yao, and Naren Ramakrishnan.
    In Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). Denver, Colorado. Oct. 2015.

  • [IEEE CSF 2015] Probabilistic Program Modeling for High-Precision Anomaly Classification.
    Kui Xu*, Danfeng Yao, Barbara Ryder, and Ke Tian*.
    In Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Computer Security Foundations Symposium (CSF). Verona, Italy. Jul. 2015.

  • [Computers & Security 2016] Causality Reasoning about Network Events for Detecting Stealthy Malware Activities.
    Hao Zhang*, Danfeng Yao, Naren Ramakrishnan, and Zhibin Zhang.
    Computers & Security (C&S). 58: 180-198. Elsevier. 2016.

  • [IEEE TIFS 2015] Privacy-Preserving Detection of Sensitive Data Exposure.
    Xiaokui Shu*, Danfeng Yao, and Elisa Bertino.
    IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics & Security (TIFS). 10(5). 1092-1103. May 2015.

  • [SECURECOMM 2012] Data Leak Detection As a Service.
    Xiaokui Shu* and Danfeng Yao.
    In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (SECURECOMM). Padua, Italy. Sep. 2012.

  • [IEEE TDSC 2020] Detection of Repackaged Android Malware with Code-Heterogeneity Features.
    Ke Tian*, Danfeng Yao, Barbara Ryder, Gang Tan, and Guojun Peng.
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC). 17(1), Jan/Feb 2020.

  • [ACM ASIACCS 2014] Detection of Stealthy Malware Activities with Traffic Causality and Scalable Triggering Relation Discovery.
    Hao Zhang*, Danfeng Yao and Naren Ramakrishnan.
    In Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS). Kyoto, Japan. Jun. 2014.

  • [IEEE TDSC 2012] Data-Provenance Verification For Secure Hosts.
    Kui Xu*, Huijun Xiong*, Chehai Wu*, Deian Stefan*, and Danfeng Yao.
    IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC). 9(2), 173-183. March/April 2012.

  • [ACM TISSEC 2008] Private Information: To Reveal or Not To Reveal.
    Danfeng Yao, Keith Frikken, Mike Atallah, Roberto Tamassia.
    ACM Transactions on Information and System Security (TISSEC). 12(1). Feb. 2008.

  • [ACM CCS 2004] ID-Based Encryption for Complex Hierarchies with Applications to Forward Security and Broadcast Encryption.
    Danfeng Yao, Nelly Fazio, Yevgeniy Dodis, and Anna Lysyanskaya.
    In Proceeding of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS). Washington DC, 2004.