Faculty Directory

Cukier, Michel

Cukier, Michel

Professor of Reliability Engineering
Director, Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students
Mechanical Engineering
Center for Risk and Reliability
Maryland Cybersecurity Center
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Computer Science
4311F John S. Toll Physics Building


Ph.D., Computer Science, National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France, 1996

B.S. Physics Engineering, Free University of Brussels, Belgium, 1991


Michel Cukier is a professor of reliability engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

From 1996 to 2001, Cukier was a researcher at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He joined the University of Maryland in 2001 as assistant professor. His research covers dependability and security issues. Cukier has published more than 90 papers in journals and refereed conference proceedings in those areas.

He received his doctorate in computer science from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France. 

Honors and Awards

  • Member of the State of Maryland Cybersecurity Council (2019)
  • SANS Difference Makers Award (2018)
  • University of Maryland Corporate Connector of the Year Award (2018)
  • Distinguished Papers Session, European Dependable Computing Conference (2017)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2003)
  • Best Paper Award, Pacific Rim International Symposium on Dependable Computing (2002)

Professional Memberships

  • Member, IEEE

  • Fault tolerance
  • Intrusion tolerance
  • Dependability and security evaluation

Current Students

Alex Parisi (PhD, RE)

Paul Watrobski (PhD, RE)

Ciro Pinto-Coelho (PhD, RE)

Tom Roltsch (PhD, RE)

Former Students

John McGahagan (PhD, RE)

Margaret Gratian (PhD, RE)

Yazdan Movahedi (PhD, RE)

Bertrand Sobesto (PhD, RE)

Ed Condon (PhD, RE)

Robin Berthier (PhD, RE)

Danielle Chrun (PhD, RE)

Aria Khoshkhou (PhD, RE)

Jesus Molina (PhD, ECE)

Anil Sharma (MS, RE)

Melody Djam (MS, RE)

Shalom Rosenfeld (MS, ECE)

Hari Sivaramakrishnan (MS, ECE)

Merine Zinsou (MS, RE)

Frank Hemingway (MS, ECE)

Benjamin Klimkowski (MS, CS)

Risk Assessment of User Behavior
Michel Cukier (PI)

Sponsor: Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences

Abstract: It has been claimed many times that the human is the weakest link in cybersecurity. The goal of this research is to improve the overall security of an organization by better understanding user behavior. More specifically, we will assess how users currently assess risks and how to educate them to better understand some of the risks of their online behavior. We will design and implement various experiments on the user population at the University of Maryland. In addition, we will build upon research conducted on risk perception in the physical world and identify approaches used to modify some perceptions with the goal of translating some of these approaches in cyberspace.


Designing a Videogame to Improve the Diversity of the Cybersecurity Pipeline
Michel Cukier (PI), Jandelyn Plane (Co-PI), David Weintrop (Co-PI), Diane Ketelhut (Co-PI)

Sponsor: Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences

Abstract: The focus of this project is to diversify the cybersecurity pipeline by creating a video game designed to attract a broad range of youth (ages 11-14) to the field. The primary goal is to design the game such that after playing it, youth will have an increased knowledge of what cybersecurity is and an increased interest in engaging in future cybersecurity-related activities. We are in our second year of the project and are working on finalizing the game narrative, developing and evaluating cybersecurity-related puzzles to be embedded within the game, and deepening our knowledge about the current state of the art in cybersecurity education for young learners and game-based learning environments related to cybersecurity. As such, this report is broken down into these high-level efforts related to the project.


Michel Cukier (PI), Lawrence Gordon (Co-PI), Charles Harry (Co-PI), Jandelyn Plane (Co-PI), David Levin (Co-PI)

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Abstract: National and personal security have become major concerns as we continue to increase our reliance on technological advancements. The growth of innovation must mirror the expansion of trained professionals. The University of Maryland (UMD), a National Security Agency - Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R), proposes to lead the challenge of educating the next cyber workforce through the creation of the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) Program, the first undergraduate honors program in cybersecurity in the United States. The CyberCorps(R): Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at UMD will provide a unique opportunity for 36 ACES students earn their Bachelor's degree with an ACES Minor in cybersecurity, and prepare them to join the cadre of cybersecurity professionals in the government.

The ACES program aims to provide a unique, multidisciplinary education for a diverse group of undergraduate students of all majors. The curriculum will allow students to live together, use embedded, state-of-the-art laboratories, and work collaboratively inside and outside the classroom. In addition to fulfilling rigorous, required coursework in topics such as Cyber Policy, Psychology, and Reverse Engineering, ACES strongly emphasizes experiential learning by providing opportunities for individual and group research projects, as well as academic term and summer internships. In local middle and high schools, students will have an opportunity to work in CyberPatriot teams and participate in CyberSTEM summer camps (day and residential) and cybersecurity awareness workshops. The SFS program will enhance the university's goal of training a workforce with a range of talents, backgrounds, and expertise that can meet the cybersecurity needs of the government.


Summer Cyber and Telecommunications Research
Michel Cukier (PI)

Sponsor: Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences

Abstract: The SMART Internship program offers ACES students a summer research internship experience at the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences.


Collaborative Outreach Research - CyberSTEM Camp
Michel Cukier (PI), Jandelyn Plane (Co-PI)

Sponsor: Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences

Abstract: The subject of intense research at the University of Maryland’s Maryland Center for Women in Computing [MCWIC] and Maryland Cybersecurity Center [MC2] is to understand how best to validate, catalyze, and achieve the creation of a pipeline from STEM education to STEM careers. Two entities - the MCWIC and MC2 - have partnered to conduct foundational studies to inform, define, and create the best solutions to closing the STEM-articulate, graduate gap, with a specific emphasis on significantly reversing national trends in gender-diversity and underrepresented population in computer science.

Fall 2020
ENME 442/ENRE 684: Information Security
HACS 200: Applied Cybersecurity Foundations II
HACS 100: Foundations in Cybersecurity I

Spring 2020
ENME 392: Statistical Methods for Product and Processes Development

Fall 2019
ENME 442/ENRE 684: Information Security
HACS 200: Applied Cybersecurity Foundations II

Spring 2019
ENME 392: Statistical Methods for Product and Processes Development

Fall 2018
ENME 442/ENRE 684: Information Security
HACS 200: Applied Cybersecurity Foundations II

Spring 2018
ENME 392: Statistical Methods for Product and Processes Development

Fall 2017
ENME 442/ENRE 684: Information Security

Spring 2017
ENME 442/ENRE 684: Information Security

Vulnerability Prediction Capability: A Comparison between Vulnerability Discovery Models and Neural Network Models
Y. Mohavedi, M. Cukier, and I. Gashi
Computers & Security, August 2019
(Impact Factor: 2.650)

Perspective: Risk and the Five Hard Problems of Cybersecurity
N. M. Scala, A. C. Reilly, P. L. Goethals, and M. Cukier
Risk Analysis, March 2019
(Impact Factor: 2.898)

Cluster-based vulnerability assessment of operating systems and web browsers
Y. Movahedi, M. Cukier, A. Andongabo, and I. Gashi
Computing, vol. 101, no. 2, February 2019, pp. 139-160.
(Impact Factor: 1.654)

Identifying infected users via network traffic
M. Gratian, D. Bhansali, M. Cukier, and J. Dykstra
Computers & Security, vol. 80, January 2019, pp 306-316.

A Comprehensive Evaluation of HTTP Header Features for Detecting Malicious Websites
J. McGahagan, D. Bhansali, M. Gratian and M. Cukier
in Proc. 15th European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC), 2019.
(54% acceptance rate)

"Help, I've Been Hacked!": Insights from a Corpus of User-Reported Cyber Victimization Cases on Twitter
M. Gratian, D. Bhansali, M. Cukier, and J. Dykstra
in Proc. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's 2019 International Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA, Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2019.
(64% acceptance rate)

Process Mining and Hierarchical Clustering to Help Intrusion Alert Visualization
S. Carlisto de Alvarenga, S. Barbon Junior, R. Sanches Miani, M. Cukier, and B. Bogaz Zarpelão
Computers & Security, vol. 73, March 2018, pp 474-491.
(Impact Factor: 2.650)

Correlating Human Traits and Cyber Security Behavior Intentions
M. Gratian, S. Bandi, M. Cukier, J. Dykstra, and A. Ginther
Computers & Security, vol. 73, March 2018, pp 345–358.
(Impact Factor: 2.650)

Illegal Roaming and File Manipulation on Target Computers
A. Testa, D. Maimon, B. Sobesto, and M. Cukier
Criminology & Public Policy, vol. 16, issue 3, August 2017, pp 689–726
(Impact Factor: 2.216)

Discovering Attackers Past Behavior to Generate Online Hyper-Alerts
CT. Kawakani, S. Barbon, RS. Miani, M. Cukier, and BB. Zarpelão
iSys-Revista Brasileira de Sistemas de Informação, vol.10, issue 1, 2017, pp 122-147.

AVAMAT: AntiVirus and Malware Analysis Tool
P. Shahegh, T. Dietz, M. Cukier, A. Algaith, A. Brozik, and I. Gashi
in Proc. 16th IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications, Boston, USA, 30 Oct - 1 Nov 2017.
(26% acceptance rate)

Cluster-based Vulnerability Assessment Applied to Operating Systems
Y. Movahedi, M. Cukier, A. Andongabo, and I. Gashi
in Proc. 13th European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC), 2017.
(26% acceptance rate) 

Application of Routine Activity Theory to Cyber Intrusion Location and Time
K Bock, S Shannon, Y Movahedi, and M Cukier
in Proc. 13th European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC), 2017.
(26% acceptance rate)

NSF Awards Grant to Support Supply Chain Security Research

Michel Cukier will be the UMD co-PI on a $9 million, multi-institutional project led by NC State.

MC2 Kicks Off Third Year of Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The fellowships offer an opportunity to work closely with MC2 faculty in multiple areas of cybersecurity.

UMD Joins U.S. Cyber Command’s Academic Engagement Network

The initiative's goal is to create a robust and accessible pool of qualified cyber professionals. 

MC2 Welcomes Undergraduates For Nine-Week Research Experience

Nine undergraduates from across the country are collaborating this summer.

Annual Cyber Symposium Brings Large Crowd, Interesting Discussion

UMD symposium on cybersecurity research and education draws large crowd

UMD Hosts NSF-Funded Cybersecurity Undergraduate Research Program

Undergraduate scholars gain research experience through summer program at the Maryland Cybersecurity Center.

Researchers Expose the Human Side of Cybercrime

UMD's Michel Cukier and David Maimon collaborate to explore hacker behavior.

Cyber Safety Workshop Empowers Middle School Girls

Maryland Cybersecurity Center brings in over 60 students for hands-on, interactive activities.

Cukier Named Inaugural Director of Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students

Reliability engineering associate professor to direct nation’s first undergraduate honors program in cybersecurity.

Researchers Explore How Cyber-Attackers Think Like Regular Crooks

In unique collaboration, engineer and criminologist apply criminological concepts and research methods to study of cybercrime.

Apply for Summer Cybersecurity Program

Clark School and NSF offer unique undergraduate research experience, with stipend.

UM Receives NSA Designation

OIT IT director and ECE/ME/ISR faculty honored for work in information assurance research.

Cukier Advises on Wireless Security

ME professor: password protecting your network is not enough.

Study: Hackers Attack Every 39 Seconds

Clark School's Cukier stresses strong passwords as defense against harm.

$50K Business Plan Competition Semifinalists Announced

The 16 semifinalist teams include university faculty, students, and young alumni.

Clark School's Cukier Provides IT Security Warning

Clark School researchers have released data on hackers that could change the way system administrators secure their computer systems.