Rising Stars 2020:

Cecilia Testart

PhD Candidate

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas of Interest

  • Operating Systems and Networking
  • Security


Towards data-driven Internet routing security


The Internet ecosystem is critical for the reliability of online daily life. However, key Internet protocols, such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), were not designed to cope with untrustworthy parties, making them vulnerable to misconfigurations and attacks from anywhere in the network. In this talk, I will present an evidence-based data-driven approach to improve routing infrastructure security, which I use to identify and characterize BGP serial hijackers, networks that persistently hijack IP address blocks in BGP. I’ll also show how similar approaches can quantify the benefits of the RPKI security framework against prefix hijacks, and identify route leaks. This work improves our understanding about how our Internet actually works and has been used by industry and researchers for network reputation and monitoring changes in operational security practices.


Cecilia Testart is a PhD candidate in EECS at MIT, working with David D. Clark. Her doctoral research focuses on securing the Internet’s core routing protocols leveraging empirical data-driven approaches to understand the impact of protocol design in security, and taking a comprehensive perspective, considering both technical and policy challenges, to improve the current state-of-the-art. Cecilia holds Engineering Degrees from Universidad de Chile and Ecole Centrale Paris and a dual-master degree in Technology and Policy and EECS from MIT. Prior to joining MIT, she helped set up the Chilean office of Inria (the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology) and worked for the research lab of the .CL, the Chilean top-level domain. She has interned at Akamai, MSR and the OECD. Cecilia's work was awarded with a Distinguished paper award at the ACM Internet Measurement Conference in 2019.

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