Top-Cited Security Paper for CS Professor Pandey


Computer security continues to be the focus for leading researchers around the world, raising the bar in terms of the depth of the research, the quality and the competitiveness.  Research quality or scholarly impact is commonly measured through the number of citations a particular publication receives. 

With one of the top-cited security papers from 1981 to 2017, Professor Omkant Pandey in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook is enjoying the recognition that comes with co-authoring the fifth most cited security research publication in the world.

The paper in such demand, is Pandey’s 2006 work with Vipul Goyal, Amit Sahai, and Brent Waters, Attribute-based Encryption for Fine-Grained Access Control of Encrypted Data. It first appeared at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in 2006 and to date has received 3,653 cites according to Google Scholar.  

The rankings examined papers published at the four-tier-1 security conferences or “system security circus” as some lovingly refer to it as. In addition to CCS, in total eight conferences were analyzed to determine the winners, and they include the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, USENIX Security Symposium, and Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS).

Pandey co-authored the paper before joining Stony Brook University and while at earning his PhD at UCLA alongside Goyal and Sahai. In this work Pandey and his fellow researchers discuss the development of a “new cryptosystem for fine-grained sharing of encrypted data” which they named KP-ABE or Key-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption. KP-ABE is reminiscent of secret sharing schemes but while secret-sharing schemes allow for cooperation between different parties, in their system it is strictly forbidden.

Before being named a top cited security publication, the ACM paper was awarded the 2016 ACM CCS Test=of-Time Award. In fact, in addition to being the top-cited security research from 1981-2017, the paper is 1st in the category “top cited papers normalized by age.”

According to Pandey’s colleague in the National Security Institute at Stony Brook, Michalis Polychronakis, “The creativity and hard work on the research is clearly reflected in the number of times security researchers cited the publication. Pandey and the team that he worked with should be immensely proud.”

Pandey joined the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook in 2016. In the spring of 2018 he is teaching the undergraduate course, Introduction to Cryptography, and a graduate seminar in data privacy. His recent co-authored publications include A New Approach to Black-Box Concurrent Secure Computation which will be presented at EUROCRYPT 2018 and Incremental Program Obfuscation which was presented at CRYPTO 2017.