Landon Cox | Duke University


YouProve video

A quick demo of our YouProve prototype. More info is available in our SenSys ’11 paper.

TaintDroid for Android 2.3.4!

Now with Nexus S and JIT support! This is a major update that required a significant investment of time and effort. Many thanks to Peter Gilbert, Seungyeop Han, and Will Enck for a job well done.

To quote
Peter’s announcement to the TaintDroid Google Group:

We are happy to announce an updated source code release of TaintDroid based on Android 2.3.4. Please visit for instructions on how to download and build the code. Major changes include:

  • support for Nexus S in addition to Nexus One
  • support for Dalvik JIT compiler
  • taint propagation for native inline functions
  • SSL socket taint sink
  • and other minor bug-fixes

Please post any questions or problems to this discussion group.
Thanks for your interest in TaintDroid!

YouProve at SenSys

We were really happy when we learned that our paper on YouProve had been accepted to SenSys 2011. YouProve is follow-up work to our HotMobile ’10 position paper on using trusted hardware (i.e., TPMs) to help participatory sensing services verify the authenticity of audio and photos collected from anonymous mobile devices. In other words, if you are building a service that uses photos and other media captured by anonymous mobile phone users, how can you know that the data you receive is authentic? How do you know that it hasn’t been invented or spoofed?

Even if you have secure hardware, there are a number of thorny issues that make these questions hard to answer, including user privacy, developer flexibility, legacy apps, users’ app choice, and devices’ limited bandwidth and battery power. YouProve is not a silver bullet, but we think it is a good start and hope that more people will work on this very important problem. Please drop me an email if you have any feedback.

I would also like to mention that one of the best things about this paper is that it has three undergraduate co-authors: Kyungmin (Jason) Lee, Henry Qin, and DJ Sharkey. We have excellent CS students at Duke, and you should definitely be trying to recruit them to your company or grad school.

In any case, the rest of the SenSys program looks great too, and I hope to see you in Seattle in November.

Updated genealogy

I updated my academic genealogy last night. The lineage now traces back 23 advisors to Tartaglia, with a few Nobel Laureates, Newton, and Galileo along the way. Many thanks to Rajesh Balan, Mark Corner, Jason Flinn, and Dushyanth Narayanan for doing all of the legwork.

As Nikita Borisov observed on G+, there is a shocking lack of institutional diversity in my line relative to others, with a remarkable run of 14 straight Cambridge-trained researchers. After the Cambridge run, things head to Italy, where the line terminates with Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia. Apparently he was self-taught.

I’m sure there are social-network researchers who look at such things, but it would be fascinating to know if there are any least-common ancestors from different branches within computer systems or sub-fields within computer science. It would also be amazing if someone were able to detect common intellectual or stylistic DNA within the line. My work certainly shares traits with the work of my academic siblings, cousins, and aunts/uncles, but who knows if less obvious similarities are present further up the line.

New webpage

Welcome to my new webpage. I upgraded because my hand-written HTML from the late 90s had become too hard to maintain. And it was ugly.

My plan is to use this newer, bloggier space to post updates on what is going on with my lab and our research. Hopefully, I’ll have something exciting to post soon!