Dr. Lanier Watkins

Computer Science

Current Courses

Personal Bio

Dr. Watkins’ research presently encompasses the areas of critical infrastructure and network security. He is also developing expertise in the area of bio-inspired cyber security. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia State University where he was advised by Raheem Beyah, three M.S. degrees in Biotechnology (Johns Hopkins University), Computer Science and Physics (Both from Clark Atlanta University), and a B.S. degree in Physics (Clark Atlanta University).

Dr. Watkins is currently a Senior Professional Staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). Prior to joining APL, he worked for over 10 years in industry. He first worked at the Ford Motor Company and then later at AT&T where he held roles such as systems engineer, network engineer, product development manager, and product manager.

Education History

  • BS Physics, Clark Atlanta University
  • MS Physics, Clark Atlanta University
  • MS Computer Science, Clark Atlanta University
  • PhD Computer Science, Georgia State University

Work Experience

Adjunct Faculty, Johns Hopkins University

Publications

Journals

• Lanier Watkins and John Hurley, “Enhancing Cybersecurity by Defeating the Attack Lifecycle: Using Mobile Device Resource Usage Patterns to Detect Unauthentic Mobile Applications”, In the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW), December 2016.

• Lanier Watkins and John Hurley, " The Next Generation of Scientific-Based Risk Metrics: Measuring Cyber Maturity", In the International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), July 2016.

• Lanier Watkins and John Hurley, “Cyber Maturity as Measured by Scientific-based Risk Metrics”, In the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW), October 2015.

• Lanier Watkins, William H. Robinson, Raheem Beyah, "Using Network Traffic to Infer Hardware State: A Kernel-Level", In ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems (TECS), April 2015.

• Lanier Watkins, William H. Robinson, Raheem Beyah, “A Passive Solution to the CPU Resource Discovery Problem in Cluster Grid Networks.” In IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS), December 2011.

• Lanier Watkins, William H. Robinson, Raheem Beyah, “A Passive Solution to the Memory Resource Discovery Problem in Grid Computing.” In IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management (TNSM), December 2010.

• Lanier Watkins, Cherita Corbett, and Raheem Beyah, “Using Link RTT to Passively Detect Unauthorized Wireless Nodes.” In the International Journal of Security and Networks, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2009.

Book Chapters
• Rahul Nair, Chinmohan Nayak, Kashif Memon, Lanier Watkins, Kevin Fairbanks, and William H. Robinson, “The Resource Usage Viewpoint of Industrial Control System Security: An Inference-based Intrusion Detection System”, To Appear In Cybersecurity for Industry 4.0 Analysis for Design and Manufacturing, A Springer book edited by Lane Thames (Tripwire, Inc., USA) and Dirk Schaefer (University of Bath, UK), 2017.

Conferences

• Nikunj Malik, Jayanarayan Chandramouli, Prahlad Suresh, Kevin D. Fairbanks, Lanier Watkins, and William H. Robinson, “Using Network Traffic To Verify Mobile Device Forensic Artifacts,” To Appear in the IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference, January 2017.

• Jayanarayan Chandramouli, Juan Ramos, Lakshmi Srinivasan, Prahlad Suresh, Garth V. Crosby, and Lanier Watkins, “Using Network Traffic to Infer Compromised Neighbors in Wireless Sensor Nodes,” To Appear in the IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference Workshop, January 2017.

• Lanier Watkins, Sean Beck, Jared Zook, Anna Buczak, Jeffery Chavis, William H. Robinson, Jose A. Morales, and Sameul Mishra, “Using Semi-supervised Machine Learning to Address the Big Data Problem in DNS Networks,” To Appear in IEEE Computing and Communication Workshop and Conference, January 2017.

• Michael Hooper , Yifan Tian, Runzuan Zhou, Bin Cao, Adrian P. Lauf, Lanier Watkins, William H. Robinson, and Wlajimir Alexis, “Securing Commercial WiFi-Based UAVs From Common Security Attacks,” To Appear in IEEE MILCOM 2016, Baltimore, MD, November 2016.

• Anna Buczak, Paul Hanke, George Cancro, Michael Toma, Lanier Watkins, and Jeffery Chavis, "Detection of DNS Tunnels in PCAP Data by Random Forests Trees", In the Proceedings of ACM Cyber and Information Security Research Conference, January 2016.

• Lanier Watkins, Kurt Silberberg, Jose A Morales, and William H. Robinson, “Using Inherent Command and Control Vulnerabilities To Halt DDoS Attacks” In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software (MALCON), October 2015.

• Georgios Lontorfos, Kevin D Fairbanks, Lanier Watkins, and William H. Robinson, “Remotely Inferring Device Manipulation of Industrial Control Systems Via Network Behavior”, In the Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Network Measurements (WNM), October 2015.

• Lanier Watkins and John Hurley, “Cyber Maturity as Measured by Scientific Risk-Based Metrics”, In the Proceedings of the International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (ICCWS), March 2015.

• Lanier Watkins, Christina Kawka, Cherita Corbett, and William Robinson, "Fighting Banking Botnets By Exploiting Inherent Command and Control Vulnerabilities", In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software (MALCON), October 2014.

• Mengchao Yue, William H. Robinson, Lanier Watkins and Chertia Corbett, "Constructing Timing-Based Covert Channels in Mobile Networks by Adjusting CPU Frequency", In the Proceedings of ACM International Workshop on Hardware and Architectural Support for Security and Privacy (HASP), June 2014.

• Lanier Watkins, Garth V. Crosby and Afsana Sharmin, “'Using Network Traffic to Infer Power Levels in Wireless Sensor Nodes”, In the Proceedings of IEEE the International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC), CNC Workshop, February 2014.

• Lanier Watkins, Cherita Corbett, Benjamin Salazar, Kevin Fairbanks and William H. Robinson, “Using Network Traffic to Remotely Identify the Type of Applications Executing on Mobile Devices” In Proceedings of the IEEE Mobile Security Technologies (MoST), May 2013.

• Lanier Watkins, Raheem Beyah, and Cherita Corbett, “Passive Identification of Under Utilized CPUs in High Performance Cluster Grid Netwoks” In the Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), May 2008.

• Lanier Watkins, Raheem Beyah, and Cherita Corbett, “A Passive Approach to Rogue Access Point Detection.” In the Proceedings of the IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), December 2007.

• Lanier Watkins, Raheem Beyah, and Cherita Corbett, “Using Network Traffic to Passively Detect Under Utilized Resources in High-Performance Cluster Grid Computing Environments.” In the Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Networks for Grid Applications (GRIDNETS), October 2007.

• Alfred Msezane, Zineb Felfli, Dmitri Sokolovski, Lanier Watkins, et al, “Regge-Pole Calculation of the Resonance Contribution to Electron-Atom Cross Sections”, In the International Conference on Neural, Parallel and Scientific Computations, August 2006.

• Lanier Watkins, Kenneth R. Perry, John S. Hurley, B. Olson, and B. Pain, “Wavelet Transform Image Compression Prototype.” In the Proceedings of the International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems, 1999.

Invited Talks and Presentations

Malware Technical Exchange Meeting 2016,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 6/16
Conference Presentation: “An Inference-Based Industrial Control System Intrusion Detection Prototype”

Meyerhoff Scholars Program 2016
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore MD 4/16
Invited Talk: “A Critical Infrastructure Protection Research Program In Support Of the U.S. Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative”

IEEE WNM 2015, Clearwater, Florida 10/15
Conference Presentation: “Remotely Inferring Device Manipulation of Industrial Control Systems Via Network Behavior”

IEEE MALCON 2015, Fajardo, Puerto Rico 10/15
Conference Presentation: “Using Inherent Command and Control Vulnerabilities To Halt DDoS Attacks”

IEEE MALCON 2014, Fajardo, Puerto Rico 10/14
Conference Presentation: "Fighting Banking Botnets By Exploiting Inherent Command and Control Vulnerabilities"

Morgan State University, Computer Science Department, Baltimore, MD 9/14
Invited Talk: "Fighting Banking Botnets By Exploiting Inherent Command and Control Vulnerabilities"

Malware Technical Exchange Meeting 2014, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM 7/14
Conference Presentation: “A Tunable Attribution Framework”

Malware Technical Exchange Meeting 2014, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, NM 7/14
Conference Presentation: “Fighting Banking Trojans: The Offensive Tactical
Reconnaissance Platform”

IEEE MoST 2013, San Francisco, CA 5/13
Conference Presentation: “Using Network Traffic to Remotely Identify the Type of Applications Executing on Mobile Devices”

University of Delaware, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Newark, DE 3/13
Invited Talk: “Using Network Traffic to Infer Hardware State”

IEEE ICC 2008, Beijing, China 5/08
Conference Presentation: “Passive Identification of Under Utilized CPUs in High Performance Cluster Grid Networks”

ACM Gridnets 2007, Lyon, France 10/07
Conference Presentation: “Using Network Traffic to Passively Detect Under Utilized Resources in High-Performance Cluster Grid Computing Environments.”

Patents

• Patent #3598-SPL Filed 9/14
A Network-Based Mobile Device Application Monitor for Android Mobile Devices

• Provisional Patent #3659-SPL 11/13
A Network-Based Mobile Device Malware Monitor for Android Mobile Devices

Honors and Awards

  • Lawrence R. Hafstad APL Fellowship (2016)
  • Modern-Day Technology Leader Award, Black Engineer of the Year Award Association (2015)

Professional Organizations

IEEE