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Matt Smith

Personal photo - Matthew Smith

Dr Matthew Smith

Research Associate

Junior Research Fellow, Kellogg College

Leaving date: 14th December 2023



My research takes a data-driven approach to investigating the security of air-to-ground communications systems and protocols in use for aviation.  It takes a long time to develop technologies used in civil aviation; once a product is built and tested, it has to be certified and integrated before it makes its way onto an aircraft. Since most of the systems in use today were not designed with security in mind - or before attacks became feasible - they have a wide install base but rarely have any security provision in place. Rolling out patches or upgrades is equally as difficult as deploying new systems, which means that security solutions have to avoid replacing the original system whilst still trying to fix the problem. 

Currently, I am investigating how we can use deep learning speech transcription methods to improve security on VHF voice communications, and have recently looked at using modelling and simulation to understand the effect of wireless attacks on modern collision avoidance systems.

You can find some of my code on Github (though note that it isn't always possible to release research code!) and publications either below or on Google Scholar.

I am part of the System Security Lab under Ivan Martinovic, which looks at a range of topics from biometric authentication to wireless security. Outside of my research, I am a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College.

Recent Conference Talks

  • Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) Winter School (2020) - Fly Before You Buy: Using Simulation to Test Avionic Attacks.
  • Aviation Village at DEF CON 28 (2020) - Exploring Pilot Reactions to Attacks on Avionic Systems [YouTube]
  • NDSS 2020 - A View from the Cockpit: Exploring Pilot Reactions to Attacks on Avionic Systems [YouTube][Paper]
  • Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (Barcelona) (2019) - July 23-27 - Undermining Privacy in the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) [YouTube] [Paper]
  • Real World Crypto (Zurich) (2019) - January 10-12 - Modern jets, retro ciphers: how monoalphabetic substitution ciphers are still in use [YouTube] [Slides]


Under the supervision of Prof. Ivan Martinovic, I completed my DPhil in 2019. My thesis title is "Measuring Operational Realities of Security and Privacy for Deployed Avionics", which you can find here. During my DPhil, I was a member of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security, which is within the Computer Science Department.

Before starting at Oxford, I did an Undergraduate Masters in Computer Science at the University of Warwick.


Selected Publications

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