Sean Peisert

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Photograph of me lecturing at the blackboard (credit: R. Benjamin Shapiro, 2002).

Activities and upcoming events that I'm involved with:

IEEE Security & Privacy (ongoing)

NSA SoS Best Paper Competition (annually, deadlines in April)

IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Practice (annually)

NSF Cybersecurity Summit (Oct. 18-20, 2022)

NSPW 2022 (October 24–27, 2022)

IEEE S&P (Oakland) 2023 (May 22–26, 2023)

CSET 2023 (August 2023)

Image of Sean Peisert  
Senior Scientist,
Computing Sciences Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Adjunct Professor,
Dept. of Computer Science, University of California, Davis

Adjunct Professor,
Div. of Health Informatics, University of California, Davis School of Medicine

Dr. Sean Peisert is a senior scientist Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he leads applied research and development in computer security. He is also a full adjunct professor at the University of California, Davis; is also Deputy Director and Co-PI of Trusted CI, the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence; editor-in-chief of IEEE Security & Privacy; a member of the Distinguished Expert Review Panel for the NSA Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition; a member of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) Study Group; an ACSA Senior Fellow; past chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Security & Privacy, and is a steering committee member and past general chair of the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy ("Oakland").

His current focus is research and development of techniques that enable secure and privacy-preserving analysis of scientific data. His current projects focus on improving security in high-performance computing (HPC), and other scientific computing environments, and power grid control systems. In the past, he has worked in areas including intrusion detection, computer forensics, insider threats, fault tolerance, vulnerability analysis and elections and electronic voting.

He also teaches and advises graduate students. He occasionally consults.

He was previously chief cybersecurity strategist for CENIC.

He received his Ph.D., Masters and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

A full professional bio is here and a slightly outdated one is in the Berkeley Lab Expert's Guide.

Selected News and Press Coverage:

July 15, 2022: Findings of the 2022 Trusted CI Study on the Security of Operational Technology in NSF Scientific Research

June 28, 2022: Berkeley Lab’s Sean Peisert Tapped to Take on Deputy Director Role

June 27, 2022: Announcement of Trusted CI Director Transition

May 13, 2022: Better Scientific Software (BSSw) Helps Promote Trusted CI Guide to Securing Scientific Software

Jan. 5, 2022: Announcing the 2022 Trusted CI Annual Challenge on Scientific OT/CPS Security (Trusted CI Blog)

Dec. 14, 2021: Publication of the Trusted CI Guide to Securing Scientific Software (Trusted CI Blog)

Sept. 29, 2021: Findings Report of the 2021 Trusted CI Annual Challenge on Software Assurance Published (Trusted CI Blog)

Aug. 3, 2021: Trusted CI new co-PIs: Peisert and Shute (Trusted CI Blog)

Jun. 16, 2021: Sean Peisert Named to DARPA ISAT Study Group

Jun. 7, 2021: CIGAR 'Smokes Out' Attacks on Solar Electrical Power Equipment

Jul. 10, 2020: Sean Peisert named editor-in-chief of IEEE Security and Privacy (IEEE CS | LBNL | UC Davis)



Selected Publications:


Sean Peisert, "Unsafe at Any Clock Speed: the Insecurity of Computer System Design, Implementation, and Operation [From the Editors]," IEEE Security & Privacy, 20(1), pp.4–9, Jan./Feb. 2022.

Sean Peisert, "Reflections on the Past, Perspectives on the Future [From the Editors]," IEEE Security & Privacy, 19(1), pp.4–7, Jan./Feb, 2021.

Sean Peisert, "Isolating Insecurely: A Call to Arms for the Security and Privacy Community During the Time of COVID-19 [From the Editors]," IEEE Security & Privacy, 18(4), pp.4–7, July./Aug. 2020.

Sean Peisert, "Some Experiences in Developing Security Technology That Actually Get Used [From the Editors]," IEEE Security & Privacy, 17(2), pp.4–7, Mar./Apr. 2019.

Security for High-Performance Computing / High-Throughput Networking

"SoK: Limitations of Confidential Computing via TEEs for High-Performance Compute Systems," Ayaz Akram, Venkatesh Akella, Sean Peisert, and Jason Lowe-Power, Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE International Symposium on Secure and Private Execution Environment Design, Sept. 26– 27 2022.

Trustworthy Scientific Computing," Sean Peisert, Communications of the ACM (CACM), 64(5):18–21, May 2021.

"Performance Analysis of Scientific Computing Workloads on General Purpose TEEs," Ayaz Akram, Anna Giannakou, Venkatesh Akella, Jason Lowe-Power, and Sean Peisert, Proceedings of the 35th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), May 17–21, 2021. [arXiv version]

"The Medical Science DMZ: An Network Design Pattern for Data-Intensive Medical Science," Sean Peisert, Eli Dart, William K. Barnett, James Cuff, Robert L. Grossman, Edward Balas, Ari Berman, Anurag Shankar, and Brian Tierney, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), 25(3), pp. 267–274, March 2018.

"Security in High-Performance Computing Environments," Sean Peisert, Communications of the ACM (CACM), 60(9):72–80, September 2017.

Operational Technology / Control System / Power Grid Cybersecurity

"Findings of the 2022 Trusted CI Study on the Security of Operational Technology in NSF Scientific Research," Emily K. Adams, Daniel Gunter, Ryan Kiser, Mark Krenz, Sean Peisert, Susan Sons, and John Zage, Trusted CI Report, July 13, 2022.

"Differentially Private K-means Clustering Applied to Meter Data Analysis and Synthesis," Nikhil Ravi, Anna Scaglione, Sachin Kadam, Reinhard Gentz, Sean Peisert, Brent Lunghino, Emmanuel Levijarvi, Aram Shumavon, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, accepted 4 Jun 2022.

Adaptive Control of Distributed Energy Resources for Distribution Grid Voltage Stability," Daniel Arnold, Shammya Saha, Sy-Toan Ngo, Ciaran Roberts, Anna Scaglione, Nathan Johnson, Sean Peisert, and David Pinney, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, accepted 21 Feb, 2022.

Detecting Manipulation of Power Distribution System Control Devices,” Ciaran Roberts, Daniel Arnold, Mahdi Jamei, Anna Scaglione, Reinhard Gentz, Sean Peisert, Emma M. Stewart, Chuck McParland, and Alex McEachern, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, 11(1), pp. 749–761, 19 August, 2019.

Anomaly Detection Using μPMU Measurements in Distribution Grids,” Mahdi Jamei, Anna Scaglione, Ciaran Roberts, Emma Stewart, Sean Peisert, Chuck McParland, and Alex McEachern, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, October 25, 2017.

"Monitoring Security of Networked Control Systems: It's the Physics," Chuck McParland, Sean Peisert, and Anna Scaglione, IEEE Security and Privacy,12(6):32–39, November/December 2014.

Software Assurance

"Guide to Securing Scientific Software," Andrew Adams, Kay Avila, Elisa Heymann, Mark Krenz, Jason R. Lee, Barton Miller, and Sean Peisert," Trusted CI Report, December 14, 2021.

"The State of the Scientific Software World: Findings of the 2021 Trusted CI Software Assurance Annual Challenge Interviews," Andrew Adams, Kay Avila, Elisa Heymann, Mark Krenz, Jason R. Lee, Barton Miller, and Sean Peisert," Trusted CI Report, September 29, 2021.


Contact Info

Dept. of Computer Science
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616-8562

Email: (PGP/GPG Key)

Phone: (530) 746-8717