Thomas S. Benjamin

Security & Privacy | Research & Development

3257981954_62d866d65a_o-300x244Thomas S. Benjamin is a Senior Research Scientist at Applied Communication Sciences (dba Vencore Labs) where he researches and develops cybersecurity technology. Thomas has a broad background in security and privacy. In 2007 he participated in investigation of new contactless smart credit cards used in the United States, in which the team discovered serious flaws which they ethically disclosed through the New York Times. In 2008 he and colleagues examined security and privacy properties of pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators, determining that some aspects of existing designs may present dangerous security vulnerabilities which was again disclosed responsibly through the New York Times. As a member of the security and cryptography team at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory from 2008 to 2009, Thomas worked with ZRL’s anonymous credentials systems, helping to invent several extensions to anonymous credentials. From 2010 to 2011 he worked on anonymity protocols and from 2013 to 2016 he was responsible for R&D on voice biometrics.

Thomas started hacking and exploring computer security systems at age 6 when first exposed to assembler programming on the IBM PC. This early interest lead to formal study of computer science during high school through the Science Honors Program at Columbia University. Informal study within the NYC hacker community and internship at panix, NYC’s first commercial internet service provider, led to Thomas’ focus on making technology work in the real world for real people.

Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Yale University, and a Master of Science in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Thomas commenced Ph. D. studies first at UMASS Amherst, then at ETH Zürich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).