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Mary Bispham

Personal photo - Mary Bispham

Mary K. Bispham

Doctoral Student




DPhil project title: The Security of Human-Computer Interaction by Speech

I am currently a doctoral student in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford (since October 2015). My DPhil research focusses on the security of human-computer interaction through voice-controlled interfaces, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. I am funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

My initial proof-of-concept work is described in a technical report entitled ‘Security Vulnerabilities in Speech Recognition Systems’ which is available here . Experimental results from my project to date are detailed in an arXiv paper entitled “Nonsense Attacks on Google Assistant” which is available here .

Aside from my research, I am also taking the opportunity during my doctoral studies to learn practical cyber security skills. I have participated in several Capture the Flag competitions as a member of the Oxford Competitive Computer Security Society. I have also completed a short internship in penetration testing at Modux Ltd.

Prior to commencing my current doctoral studies, I spent ten years working in research administration in the University sector, being employed most recently for five years as Intellectual Property Rights Officer at the University of Oxford. In my early career I worked in London in a number of different sectors, including publishing, business intelligence and logistics. During 1997/98 I taught English language to trainee teachers at Hebei Teachers’ University in the city of Shijiazhuang in China.

I have a highly interdisciplinary academic background, holding a first degree in Latin Language and Literature (MA Hons St Andrews University 1997), and also several Master degrees (MA Asia-Pacific Studies, Leeds University 1999, MA UK, EU and US Law of Copyright and Related Rights, King’s College London 2007 (by distance learning), MSc Bioinformatics, University of Manchester 2012 (by distance learning)).

I am fluent in German and Swiss-German as a result of being educated in German in the Swiss education system to age 16. At school I also studied French for several years, as well as some Italian. As an adult I have periodically persisted with learning Mandarin Chinese, most recently in attending an intermediate level course at the Oxford University Language Centre during 2016/17.

Outside of my work I train regularly in martial arts. I have been training in Wing Chun for over ten years and have for the last three years additionally been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am also a keen swimmer, with some experience of open water swimming.