Eugene H. Spafford - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content
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Eugene H. Spafford

Professor of Computer Science

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (courtesy)

Professor of Communication (courtesy)

Professor of Philosophy (courtesy)

Professor of Political Science (courtesy)

Executive Director Emeritus, Purdue CERIAS

Joined department: Fall 1987


BA, State University of New York at Brockport, Mathematics and Computer Science (1979)
MS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Information and Computer Science (1981)
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology, Information and Computer Science (1986)
DSc (honorary), State University of NY (SUNY), (2005)

Dr. Spafford's current research interests are focused on issues of computer and network security, cybercrime and ethics, technology policy, and the social impact of computing. He is the founder and executive director emeritus of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), a university-wide institute that draws on expertise and research across many of Purdue's academic disciplines.

Spaf (as he is widely known) has received recognition and many honors for his research, including being named a Fellow of the ACM, the AAAS, the IEEE, the (ISC)2, the AAA&S, and as a Distinguished Fellow of the ISSA; he is the only person ever to achieve all six designations. Dr. Spafford has also been honored with all of the most prestigious awards in cyber security: the NIST/NCSC National Computer Systems Security Award in 2000, named to the Cyber Security Hall of Fame, and as recipient of the (ISC)2 Harold F. Tipton Lifetime Achievement Award, both in 2013; and recipient of the 2017 IFIP TC-11 Kristian Beckman Award.

In 2012, Spaf was named one of Purdue's first Morrill Award winners for outstanding career achievements; the Morrill Award is Purdue's highest award for faculty. In 2016, he was awarded Indiana's highest civilian honor, being named as a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Among other honors for Professor Spafford are the 2004 ACM SIGCAS Making a Difference Award, a U.S. Air Force medal for "Meritorious Civilian Service" for his work with the USAF Scientific Advisory Board from 1999-2003, the 2005 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Award, the 2006 ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Contribution award, and the notable ACM Presidential Award in 2007. In 2009, he received the prestigious CRA Distinguished Service Award, and in 2011, he was presented with a SANS Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been named a member of the ISSA's Hall of Fame.

Professor Spafford has also been honored for his teaching, including receiving all three of Purdue's highest honors for education: the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in Memory of Charles B. Murphy, made a Fellow of the Purdue Teaching Academy, and listed in Purdue's Book of Great Teachers. In 2001, he was awarded the Founder's Award by the CISSE, and in 2003, he received the IEEE Computer Society's Taylor L. Booth medal for his accomplishments in infosec education. In 2009, he was awarded UPE's ABACUS award for contributions to excellence in education.

Among many professional activities, Dr. Spafford is a member of the board of the Computing Research Association (CRA), is the Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Computers & Security, and is the chair of Sandia National Laboratory's DAHCS Mission Campaign External Advisory Board.

Selected Publications

Mohammed Almeshekah and Eugene H. Spafford, Using Deceptive Information in Computer Security DefensesInternational Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism; IGI Global; 4(3); Jul/Sep 2014; pp. 46-58

Jeffrey Avery and Eugene H. Spafford; Ghost Patches: Fake Patches for Fake Vulnerabilities; Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection (IFIP SEC 2017); May 2017; Rome, Italy.

Eugene H. Spafford. Leigh Metcalf, and Josiah Dykstra; Cybersecurity Myths and Misperceptions; Pearson; 2023.

Christopher N. Gutierrez, Mohammed H. Almeshekah, Eugene H. Spafford, Mikhail J. Atallah, and Jeff Avery; Inhibiting and Detecting Offline Password Cracking Using Ersatz Passwords; ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS); ACM; Dec 2016; 19(3).

Josiah Dykstra and Eugene H. Spafford; The Case for Disappearing Cyber Security; Communications of the ACM; July 2018, 61(7), Pages 40-42.

Last Updated: Dec 4, 2020 1:55 PM

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