Aanjhan Ranganathan
Associate Professor
Khoury College, Northeastern University
Boston, USA
Office #612 177 Huntington Avenue
+1 (617) 373 5701
[email protected]


Aanjhan is an associate professor (with tenure) in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, USA. He is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His current research revolves around the security and privacy of wireless networks with a strong focus on autonomous cyber-physical systems and smart ecosystems. He has worked on a wide variety of topics including physical-layer security of wireless systems, secure localization and proximity verification, trusted computing architectures, and side-channels. He is a recipient of several awards including the outstanding dissertation award from ETH Zurich, regional winner of European Space Agency’s Satellite Navigation competition and the Cyber Award from Armasuisse (Switzerland’s Department of Defense). Prior to joining Northeastern, he was a senior researcher in the System Security group at ETH Zurich and has over 3 years of industry research experience as a senior engineer at Robert Bosch GmbH’s Car Multimedia Division “Blaupunkt” where he was involved in the development of embedded modules for top automotive manufacturers including Audi and Volkswagen. He holds an M.Sc with specialization in Electronics and Microelectronics from EPFL, Switzerland and a Ph.D in Computer Science from ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


I am very fortunate to work with some talented and motivated students.

  • Jason Veara, PhD student (Sep 2024 - )
  • Evangelos (Vaggelis) Bitsikas, PhD student (Sep 2022 - )
  • Maryam Motallebighomi, PhD student (Sep 2020 - )
  • Narmeen Shafqat, PhD student (Sep 2019 - )
  • Ismael Sanchez, UG co-op (July 2024 - )
  • Kyle Moy, UG co-op (July 2024 - )
  • Bhavesh Matapathi, UG student researcher (Jan 2024 - )
  • Harry Rosenstein, UG student researcher (Jan 2024 - )
  • Adam Belfki, UG student researcher (Jan 2023 - )
  • Manav Jain, MS student researcher (Jan 2024 - )


  • Ayyappan Rajesh, UG student Researcher (May 2023 - Dec 2023)
  • Dr. Harshad Sathaye, PhD student (Jan 2019 - Apr 2023) -> ETH Zurich (post doc)
  • Dr. Domien Schepers, PhD student (Sep 2018 - Jan 2023) -> Qualcomm
  • Cathleen Zhang, BS (Jul 2020 - Jul 2021)
  • Nakul Ramesh, MS (Sep 2019 - Dec 2019)


Thanks to all the following organization for generously funding my research:

  • U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • armasuisse S+T (Dept of Defense in Switzerland)
  • U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR)
  • U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (ARL/DEVCOM)
  • U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL)


  • Jun 2024: Tenured and promoted to Associate Professor.
  • Mar 2024: Paper on “ASTRA-5G: Automated Over-the-Air Security Testing and Research Architecture for 5G SA Devices” accepted at ACM WiSec 2024. Congrats to all collaborators and group member Vaggelis!
  • Mar 2024: Paper on “Seamlessly Insecure: Uncovering Outsider Access Risks in AiDot-Controlled Matter Devices” accepted at IEEE/ACM Safethings 2024 (co-located with IEEE S&P 2024). Congrats Narmeen!
  • Mar 2024: Panelist for mentoring Khoury PhD students on “Navigating Troubles during one’s PhD” alongside Profs. Lawson Wong, Daniel Wichs, Amal Ahmed, and Alexandra To (moderator).
  • Jan 2024: Narmeen presented her paper on “ssessing the Feasibility of Virtual Smartphone Paradigm in Countering Zero-Click Attacks” at HICSS 2024 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
  • Sep 2023: Presented two papers from the group at ION GNSS+ 2023, Denver, Colorado, USA.
  • Sep 2023: Invited on a panel “Algorithms and Methods for GNSS Cyber Physical Security” at ION GNSS+ 2023, Denver, Colorado, USA.
  • Aug 2023: Gave an invited lecture on “From Skyjacking to Carjacking: Challenges and Opportunities in Securing Modern Navigation Technologies” at the summer school on system security 2023 at CISPA, Saarbrucken, Germany.
Archived News!
  • Jun 2023: Our paper demonstrating how SMS leaks location "Freaky Leaky SMS: Extracting User Locations by Analyzing SMS Timings" has been accepted at Usenix Security 2023! That's two papers from our group at Usenix this year. Congrats Vaggelis.
  • Jun 2023: Our paper on understanding the Airtags ecosystem "Track You: A Deep Dive into Safety Alerts for Apple AirTags" has been accepted at PETS 2023! Congrats Narmeen.
  • Jun 2023: Gave an invited lecture on "From Skyjacking to Carjacking: Challenges and Opportunities in Securing Modern Navigation Technologies" at the summer school on real-world crypto and privacy 2023 in Vodice, Croatia!
  • Apr 2023: Gave an invited lecture on "From Skyjacking to Carjacking: Challenges and Opportunities in Securing Modern Navigation Technologies" at UMASS, Dartmouth.
  • Apr 2023: Harshad defends his thesis "Towards Secure Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Navigation"! Congrats Dr. Harshad Sathaye.
  • Jan 2023: Domien defends his thesis "Towards Rapid Prototyping for Wi-Fi Security Research"! Congrats Dr. Domien Schepers.
  • Dec 2022: Our paper on implications of spoofing aviation data link applications got _Honorable Mention_ at ACSAC 2022!
  • Dec 2022: Paper on spoofing attacks on automotive FMCW radars using millimeter-wave reflect arrays accepted to S&P 2023!
  • Sep 2022: Paper on how security context in Wi-Fi frames are mishandled causing several critical vulnerabilities accepted at Usenix Security 2023. Congrats to Domien who is wrapping up his thesis with a bang!
  • Sep 2022: Paper on implications of spoofing aviation data link applications accepted to ACSAC 2022. Congrats Harshad!
  • Jul 2022: Awarded the NSF CAREER grant for developing security paradigms for next-generation wireless networks. Thank you NSF!
  • Jun 2022: Our paper on Zigbee information leaks was awarded the Best Student Paper award at ACNS 2022. Congrats Narmeen!
  • May 2022: Paper on an experimental study of GPS spoofing and takeover attacks on UAVs accepted at Usenix Security 2022! Congrats Harshad!
  • May 2022: Won the top prize of $50k at sandpit challenge organized by INCS-COE in collaboration with Prof. Alessio Lomuscio at Imperial College, London.
  • Mar 2022: Paper on the robustness of WiFi De-authentication countermeasures accepted at WiSec 2022! Congrats Domien!
  • Nov 2021: Paper on information leakage in Zigbee home networks accepted at ACNS 2022!
  • Nov 2021: Paper on privacy-preserving positioning in 802.11 mc WiFi standard _conditionally_ accepted at PETS 2022!
  • Oct 2021: Two papers accepted at NDSS 2022! V-Range is a secure positioning system design for 5G-NR. Semper-Fi is an anti-spoofing GPS receiver specifically designed for UAVs.
  • Jun 2021: Invited talk at the Armasuisse Annual Cyber-alp retreat in Gstaad, Switzerland.
  • May 2021: Two papers accepted for publication at ACM WiSec 2021! Special congrats to [Domien Schepers] who led both the efforts.
  • Jul 2019: Harshad Sathaye will present our work on aircraft landing system security at the Aviation Village, DEFCON.
  • May 2019: We got the best poster/demo award at WiSec 2019 for our ILS spoofing demo.
  • May 2019: Lots of media coverage on our ILS attack [Ars Technica, The Register, Slashdot]
  • Apr 2019: Paper on new side-channel attacks on WPA-TKIP accepted at AsiaCCS 2019.
  • Mar 2019: Paper on wireless attacks on aircraft instrument landing systems accepted at Usenix Security 2019.
  • Mar 2019: Invited to serve on the program committee of Usenix Security 2020.
  • Feb 2019: Awarded the NSF CRII grant to build next-gen secure localization technologies.
  • Jan 2019: Paper on the security of GPS/INS based road navigation systems accepted at IEEE S&P 2019.
  • Jan 2019: Harshad Sathaye joins the group as a PhD student. Welcome, Harshad!
  • Dec 2018: Invited to serve on the program committee of IEEE S&P 2020
  • Dec 2018: Invited to serve on the program committee of ACM Wisec 2019
  • Nov 2018: Invited to serve on the program committee of Safethings 2019
  • Sep 2018: Domien Schepers joins the group as a PhD student. Welcome, Domien!
  • Jun 2018: Invited to serve on the program committee of NDSS 2019
  • May 2018: Invited talk at armasuisse (Swiss Department of Defense, Research and Technology wing) in Thun, Switzerland
  • Apr 2018: Paper on information leakage in low-power wide area networks (conditionally) accepted at ACM WiSec 2018!
  • Feb 2018: Invited to serve as co-chair of the Poster/Demo session at ACM WiSec 2018
  • Feb 2018: Invited to serve on the technical program committee of ACM WiSec 2018
  • Jan 2018: Started as tenure-track assistant professor at Northeastern University, Boston, USA