Nikolay (Nick) Ivanov, PhD

Nikolay "Nick" Ivanov, PhD

Assistant Professor at Rowan University

Network Security | Cybersecurity | Applied Cryptography | Usable Security | Blockchain & Smart Contract Security

Office phone: 856-256-4500 ext. 53548

Download my CV

  Outstanding Graduate Achievement in Computer Science Award
  Othmer Exceptional Scholar Fellowship
  Certified College Teacher (CCT)
  Summa Cum Laude


I am an incoming tenure-track Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rowan University, starting September 2023. My research interest is centered on network and information security. Particularly, I specialize in distributed systems security, applied cryptography, blockchain, smart contracts, and digital equity. I received my PhD from Michigan State University.

In 2018-2019, I developed the first fully-decentralized Wi-Fi roaming network protocol. In the course of my 2020-2021 Cloud Computing Fellowship, I have created the first distributed framework for smart contracts on the cloud (patent pending, U.S. application 63/219273). In 2020-2021, I discovered six zero-day vulnerabilities in Ethereum smart contracts. In 2021, I revealed a new attack against the most trusted blockchain authentication method — hardware crypto wallets. In the same year, I discovered that users of nearly 9 out of 10 ERC-20 tokens are at risk of losing their money. In 2022, I finished the work on the first framework for self-service systems that formally guarantees attack resilience. Currently, I am working on the systematization of my knowledge and the new generation of defenses against security threats in distributed computation.

Although research is the primary focus of my academic career, I strongly believe in the importance of pedagogy, leadership, communication, and community service. I am the founder and first president of Spartan State Security Team — a registered student organization devoted to promoting cybersecurity and ethical hacking. In 2021, I received the Leadership Development Fellowship, extended until 2023, in which I am working on creating a safe online community for MSU graduate students. In 2022, I received the Scholarship of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning (SUTL) Fellowship, in which I study the perception of relevance of computer coding among undergraduate students. In Fall 2022, I serve as the primary instructor for CSE 450 "Translation of Programming Languages". By the time of my PhD graduation in Spring 2023, I will complete my Certification in College Teaching (CCT) recongized in the official academic transcript.



  • [8/14/2023] I will serve as a TPC Member at the Seventeenth International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies (SECUREWARE 2023), which will be held September 25, 2023 to September 29, 2023.
  • [7/21/2023] Our paper "Investigating Perceptions of Relevance Towards Computation in an Introductory Physics for Life Science Course", which culminates my teaching SUTL Fellowship, is accepted at Physics Education Research Conference (PERC 2023).
  • [6/1/2023] Our paper "DynamicFL: Balancing Communication Dynamics and Client Manipulation for Federated Learning" is accepted at IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication, and Networking (IEEE SECON 2023).
  • [5/15/2023] I have received my Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University and will continue my career as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rowan University starting Fall 2023!
  • [2/16/2023] My first-author survey paper "Security Threat Mitigation For Smart Contracts: A Comprehensive Survey" is accepted at ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR).
  • [1/10/2023] My first-author paper "TxT: Real-time Transaction Encapsulation for Ethereum Smart Contracts" is accepted at IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security (TIFS).


  • [11/30/2023] Our paper "Graph Learning for Interaction Analysis in Smart Home Rule Data" is accepted at ACM International Conference on Management of Data (ACM SIGMOD 2023).
  • [9/23/2022] I have been chosen as a Replit Reps for EDU Ambassador for innovative use of online coding repositories in my lectures.
  • [8/31/2022] It is my pleasure to announce that I will be the primary instructor of 450 "Translation of Programming Languages" in Fall 2022 at MSU.
  • [7/25/2022] Our paper "SpecPatch: Human-In-The-Loop Adversarial Audio Spectrogram Patch Attack on Speech Recognition" has been accepted at ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2022)
  • [6/13/2022] My first-author paper "AutoThing: A Secure Transaction Framework for Self-Service Things" is accepted at IEEE Transactions on Services Computing (TSC).
  • [5/10/2022] I have been elevated to the grade of ACM Professional Member.
  • [4/27/2022] I have been awarded the 2022-2023 Scholarship of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning (SUTL) by Lyman Briggs College and the MSU Graduate School.
  • [4/14/2022] I have been awarded the 2022-2023 (second year) Leadership Development Scholarship by MSU Graduate School.
  • [3/15/2022] I have been selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student in Computer Science 2021-2022 by MSU College of Engineering.
  • [2/7/2022] Our paper "SUPERVOICE: Text-Independent Speaker Verification Using Ultrasound Energy in Human Speech" has been accepted at ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS 2021). Acceptance rate: 18.4%.


  • [9/24/2021] I have passed my Comprehensive Examination and was conferred the status of PhD Candidate.
  • [8/9/2021] My first-author paper "EthClipper: A Clipboard Meddling Attack on Hardware Wallets with Address Verification Evasion" is accepted at IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS 2021). Acceptance rate: 28.3%.
  • [7/1/2021] My first-author paper "System-Wide Security for Offline Payment Terminals" is accepted at 17th EAI International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (SecureComm 2021).
  • [6/29/2021] My first-author paper "Rectifying Administrated ERC20 Tokens" is accepted at 23rd International Conference on Information and Communications Security (ICICS 2021). Acceptance rate: 24.3%.
  • [4/9/2021] I have been awarded the 2021-2022 Leadership Development Fellowship by MSU Graduate School.
  • [3/17/2021] My first-author paper "Blockumulus: A Scalable Framework for Smart Contracts on the Cloud" is accepted at 41st IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2021). Acceptance rate: 19.8%.
  • [2/15/2021] My first-author paper "Targeting the Weakest Link: Social Engineering Attacks in Ethereum Smart Contracts" is accepted at ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS 2021). Acceptance rate: 18.9%.


  • [10/24/2020] I have been awarded the 2020-2022 Cloud Computing Fellowship by MSU Institute for Cyber Enabled Research.
  • [6/26/2020] My first-author paper "SmartWiFi: Universal and Secure Smart Contract-Enabled WiFi Hotspot" is accepted at The 16th EAI International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (SecureComm 2020).


  • [8/15/2019] I transferred to Michigan State University, following my advisor, Dr. Yan. I will continue my PhD program as a Research Assistant of Dr. Yan's new lab called Secure and Intelligent Things Lab (SEIT Lab).


  • [8/20/2018] I started my PhD Computer Engineering program at University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and joined Dr. Qiben Yan's Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence (THINK) Lab as a Research Assistant.
  • [5/11/2018] I graduated with Summa Cum Laude BSc. in Computer Science.
  • [4/27/2018] I am offered a prestigious Othmer Fellowship in addition to Research Assistantship from University of Nebraska—Lincoln, which I am joining in the Fall as a doctoral student.


Conference Papers:

Journal Papers:


Posters and Preprints



Media Coverage

  • M. David, "Combining the best of blockchain and cloud computing"
    MSU Today, February 2022.
  • "Ph.D. student Nick Ivanov creates Blockumulus"
    Engineering News, February 2022.
  • C. Boodoo and D. Puentes, "The Sci-Files: Nick Ivanov — Fixing the Internet Inequality with Blockchain"
    WDBM Impact 88.9FM, Spotify, July 2021.
  • C. Boodoo and D. Puentes, "The Sci-Files: Nick Ivanov — Blockchain Beyond Cryptocurrencies"
    WDBM Impact 88.9FM, May 2020.