Jingjing Ren

PhD candidate, CCIS @ Northeastern University

Lead contributor of ReCon

Key researcher of the Mon(IoT)r Research Group

Advisor: Professor David Choffnes

Research interests

  • Network security and privacy
  • Applied machine learning
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobile computing

My current research area is security and privacy in mobile and IoT devices. I created a system called ReCon, which exploits machine learning to detect personally identifiable information(PII) leaks in network traffic. Thus far, ReCon has received great public attention and attracted thousands of users. The project is currently funded by a Data Transparency Lab grant. Given the success of ReCon, we extend it to IoT devices and receive a new grant from DHS working on privacy in IoT.

The goal of my work is to enable any network user to understand and control the personal information exposed by mobile and IoT devices over the Internet. I believe that my work opens a new avenue for research on online privacy, and provide opportunities to improve privacy for average users.

Before I joined the networking research community, I did research in Human Computer Interaction for over two years, and also spent one year working on machine learning problems. I have extensive experience in writing software systems, including various engineering and research areas such as network trace analysis, human computer interaction, health informatics, behavior change theory and machine learning.

Check out my projects and publications for more details.

Note: ReCon/Mon(IoT)r is actively looking for participants and collaborations.

News & Activities

Feb. 2018 I presented our work on mobile privacy leaks over time at NDSS 2018 and PrivacyCon 2018, more detail here.

Oct. 2017 Attending CCS 2017 and first CyberW workshop.

Oct. 2017 Our paper "Bug Fixes, Improvements, ... and Privacy Leaks - A Longitudinal Study of PII Leaks Across Android App Versions." was accepted to NDSS 2018! Congrats to all co-authors.

Oct. 2017 Grand opening of Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, where ReCon is one of the featured research projects.

Sep. 2017 Presenting AppVersions at New England Security Day.

Aug. 2017 The Harvest documentary film, which is based on data gathered from the ReCon Project, is now available online for free! Find out how much your phone knows about you.

Jul. 2017 We are having an interactive demo in RoofTop Film Festival, come to enjoy free movies, music and it gets better -- free WiFi + privacy.

May. 2017 Harvest in Seattle International Film Festival!

Apr. 2017 The film Harvest, featuring ReCon, is premiering at Aspen Film Festival and HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto.

Mar. 2017 ReCon is mentioned in the Danish news site Version2.

Jan. 2017 My advisor presents ReCon in PrivacyCon 2017 and here is the video.

Nov. 2016 Chris is presenting appvsweb at IMC on Tuesday, and I am presenting at DAT Workshop this Saturday.

Jul. 2016 The paper "app vs web" got accepted by IMC 2016 and congrats to other 6 papers from NEU!

Jun. 2016 I am presenting a poster, a demo and a talk on ReCon in MobiSys, come and listen.

May. 2016 I am starting my internship at Telefonica Research, Barcelona. Let's talk if you are nearby.

Apr. 2016 In CRA-W Grad Cohort and presenting poster #103, San Diego.

Feb. 2016 Our paper on ReCon gets accepted by Mobisys 2016! Congrats to my co-authors(David Choffnes, Ashwin Rao, Martina Lindorfer, and Arnaud Legout)!

Feb. 2016 ReCon finds millions of users' passwords potentially exposed

Jan. 2016 Want to know what information your mobile apps are leaking about you? Check out our per-app results

Nov. 2015 Our work on ReCon, presented at the DTL conference, was covered by the Boston Globe and CS Monitor!

Oct. 2015 Demo for ReCon is available NOW! [demo]