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Alex Halderman

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J. Alex Halderman (born c. 1981) is professor of Computer Science in the University of Michigan College of Engineering, where he is also director of the Center for Computer Security & Society. Halderman's research focuses on computer security and privacy, with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy.

J. Alex Halderman
Born c. 1981 (age 36–37)
Nationality American
Alma mater Princeton University
Scientific career
Fields Computer science
Institutions University of Michigan
Doctoral advisor Edward Felten

Halderman was awarded the A.B. summa cum laude in June 2003, the M.A. in June 2005, and the Ph.D. in June 2009, all in Computer Science from Princeton University. His dissertation, Investigating Security Failures and their Causes: An Analytic Approach to Computer Security,[1] was prepared under the mentorship of Ed Felten.

At the University of Michigan, Halderman has been central to a number of projects including anticensorship in the network infrastructure, weak Diffie–Hellman and the Logjam attack, and the Let’s Encrypt HTTPS certificate authority.

In 2016, Halderman was profiled in Playboy.[2]

After the 2016 United States presidential election, computer scientists, including Halderman, urged the Clinton campaign to request an election recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (three swing states where Trump had won narrowly, while Clinton won New Hampshire and Maine narrowly) for the purpose of excluding the possibility that the hacking of electronic voting machines had influenced the recorded outcome.[3][4][5]

On 21 June 2017, Halderman testified before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.[6][7][8] The hearing, titled "Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election" focused on the federal government’s role in safeguarding U.S. elections from outside interference. Halderman discussed his own research in computer science and cybersecurity. He discussed one instance where he tampered with a voting machine and demonstrated the ability to change the outcome of an election. He also made three policy recommendations to safeguard U.S. elections: upgrading and replacing obsolete and vulnerable voting machines; consistently and routinely checking that our elections results are accurate; and applying cybersecurity best practices to the design of voting equipment and the management of elections. Halderman fielded questions from the Senators about his research and policy recommendations. At the end of the hearing, Chairman Burr praised Halderman for his work and noted how important his research is.


  1. ^ Halderman, J.Alex (June 2009). Investigating Security Failures and their Causes: An Analytic Approach to Computer Security (Thesis). Princeton University. OCLC 416111742.
  2. ^ Friess, Steve (29 September 2016). "Technology Will Destroy Democracy Unless This Man Stops It". Playboy. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  3. ^ CNN, Dan Merica. "Computer scientists to Clinton campaign: Challenge election results". CNN. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  4. ^ Gabriel, Trip; Sanger, David E. (2016-11-23). "Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  5. ^ Halderman, J. Alex (2016-11-24). "Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots". Medium. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  6. ^ Naylor, Brian (2017-06-21). "U.S. Elections Systems Vulnerable, Lawmakers Told In Dueling Hearings". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-06-26. My conclusion is that our highly computerized election infrastructure is vulnerable to sabotage, and even to cyberattacks that could change votes. These realities risk making our election results more difficult for the American people to trust. I know America's voting machines are vulnerable because my colleagues and I have hacked them.
  7. ^ "Hearings | Intelligence Committee". U.S. Senate. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  8. ^ "Expert Testimony by J. Alex Halderman" (PDF). U.S. Senate. 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2017-06-26.

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