C.V. Wright staff photo

Charles V. Wright Associate Professor

Computer Science Department
Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207

Office: FAB 120-25
Phone: +1 (503) 725-4252
Email: cvwright cs pdx edu


I am an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Portland State University, specializing in security and privacy. Prior to joining Portland State, I was Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Communications and Cyber Security division from 2008 to 2012. There, I helped to lead our research efforts on the topics of cyber security testbeds and experimentation. I was the principal investigator on a handful of tests and evaluations of emerging technologies for various government sponsors.

Before that, I did my graduate work in the Department of Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins University. I worked in the Security and Privacy Applied Research Lab at the Hopkins Information Security Institute. I collaborated on some fun and exciting projects with fellow students Lucas Ballard and Scott Coull. My thesis advisor was Fabian Monrose.



I'm interested in how computer systems work and how they can be made to fail. For example: Why is it that attackers are so good at breaking our systems? and Why are system builders and designers so bad at predicting or preventing the attacks? I'm especially interested in empirical aspects of security, including applications of statistics and machine learning for developing new attacks and new defenses, as well as for quantitative measurement of effectiveness.

Lately I'm focusing on techniques that enable an untrusted server or cloud service to perform meaningful, efficient, and secure computations on encrypted data.

Selected Publications
  • K. Tajik, A. Gunasekaran, R. Dutta, B. Ellis, R.B. Bobba, M. Rosulek, C.V. Wright, and W. Feng. Balancing Image Privacy and Usability with Thumbnail-Preserving Encryption. In Proc. Network and Distributed Systems Security Symposium (NDSS'19), February 2019.
  • C.V. Wright and M. Varia. A Cryptographic Airbag for Metadata: Protecting Business Records Against Unlimited Search and Seizure. In Proc. 8th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI'18), August 2018.
  • C.V. Wright and M. Varia. Crypto Crumple Zones: Enabling Limited Access without Mass Surveillance. In Proc. IEEE European Symposium on Security & Privacy (EuroS&P), April 2018. [pdf]
  • B. Marohn, C.V. Wright, W. Feng, M. Rosulek, and R.B. Bobba. Approximate Thumbnail Preserving Encryption. In Proceedings of The 1st International Workshop on Multimedia Privacy and Security (CCS MPS), October 2017.
  • D. Pouliot and C.V. Wright. The Shadow Nemesis: Inference Attacks on Efficiently Deployable, Efficiently Searchable Encryption. In Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, October 2016. (ACM)
  • M. Naveed, S. Kamara, and C.V. Wright. Inference Attacks on Property-Preserving Encrypted Databases. In Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, October 2015. [pdf]
  • C.V. Wright, W. Feng, and F. Liu. Thumbnail-Preserving Encryption for JPEG. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Workshop on Information Hiding and Multimedia Security, June 2015. [pdf]
  • P. Donovan, J. McLamb, H. Okhravi, J. Riordan, and C. Wright. Quantitative Evaluation of Moving Target Technology. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security, April 2015.
  • C.V. Wright, C. Connelly, T. Braje, J.C. Rabek, L.M. Rossey, R.K. Cunningham. Generating Client Workloads and High-Fidelity Network Traffic for Controllable, Repeatable Experiments in Computer Security. In Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection (RAID 2010), September 2010. [pdf]
  • C.V. Wright, S.E. Coull, and F. Monrose. Traffic Morphing: An Efficient Defense Against Statistical Traffic Analysis. In Proceedings of the 16th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, February 2009. [pdf]
  • C.V. Wright, L. Ballard, S.E. Coull, F. Monrose, and G.M. Masson. Spot Me if You Can: Uncovering Spoken Phrases in Encrypted VoIP Conversations. In Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 2008. [pdf]
  • C.V. Wright, L. Ballard, F. Monrose, and G.M. Masson. Language Identification of Encrypted VoIP Traffic. In Proceedings of the 16th USENIX Security Symposium, August 2007. [pdf]


In Winter 2019, I'm teaching CS 496/596 Network Security. I also teach CS 491/591 Intro to Computer Security in the Fall and Spring.
In Spring 2019, I'll be co-teaching a new course on blockchain development and applications.


In my current and previous positions, I've been very fortunate to work with an excellent group of students, including:
  • David Pouliot, Portland State
  • Scott Griffy, Portland State
  • Steve Willoughby, Portland State
  • Alex Kelly, Portland State
  • Nathan Reed, Portland State
  • Terry Tower, Portland State
  • Shubham Vasaikar, Portland State
  • Byron Marohn, Portland State
  • Colleen Toth, Portland State
  • Ian Van Houdt, Portland State
  • Noah Zentzis, Portland State
  • Long Phan, Portland State
  • Minh Vu, Portland State
  • Nhan Ho, Portland State
  • Thang Tran, Portland State
  • Dang Le, Portland State
  • Jenny Mankin, Northeastern
  • Chad Spensky, UNC Chapel Hill / UCSB
  • Ryan Whelan, Northeastern
  • Ben Agre, MIT


I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve on program committees for the following conferences and workshops: