Richard McPherson

(last updated: 9/16/2015)

Email: [my first name] (at)
Office: GDC 6.728E
Lab: GDC 6.710A
Currently I'm in New York City as a "Visiting Scholar" at Cornell Tech


I am a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin under Prof. Vitaly Shmatikov. My research focuses primarily on privacy, censorship resistance, and general computer security.

I graduated from the University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences in 2010 with a double major in Physics and Computer Science.

In my free time, I fence epee for the UT Fencing Club and I code various network proxies.


I currently do security research under Prof. Vitaly Shmatikov. My primary research is on developing new censorship resistant technology. I have also worked on mobile/web security.

Previously I worked for Prof. Brent Waters studying the security of two-way radios and their use of cryptography. We were able to break the security of ST-25 radio scrambling chips which were used by the NFL until 2012. We were also able to partially reverse the encryption schemes of some commercial two-way radios.

I have also worked for Prof. Michael Walfish in the LASR group on verified outsourced computations. Among other things, I worked on proofs of correctness, optimizing cryptographic primitives, and implementing and testing our protocols.


No Escape From Reality: Security and Privacy of Augmented Reality Browsers
Richard McPherson, Suman Jana, and Vitaly Shmatikov
WWW 2015

Making argument systems for outsourced computation practical (sometimes)
Srinath Setty, Richard McPherson, Andrew J. Blumberg, and Michael Walfish
NDSS 2012

Job Experience

During summer 2015, I worked for Praetorian Security in Austin, TX. While there I extended the KillerBee open source library to better handle wardriving of IoT devices. We stuck some hardware on a drone and got written up in a couple of places. On top of the IoT project, I worked on application security assessments for various mobile and web clients and assisted in security vulnerability hunting.

In 2012, I had an internship at eBay/PayPal in Austin. I worked in their X.Commerce section to help design and implement a business-to-business messaging infrastructure.


I TA-ed CS 346: Cryptography in Spring 2013.

I have also given a number of guest-lectures to various undergraduate and graduate security and cryptography classes.