Salvatore J. Stolfo

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Salvatore Stolfo.

Salvatore J. Stolfo is an academic and professor of computer science at Columbia University, specializing in computer security.

Early life[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Stolfo received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brooklyn College in 1974. He received his Ph.D. from NYU Courant Institute in 1979 and has been on the faculty of Columbia ever since,[1] where he's taught courses in Artificial Intelligence, Intrusion and Anomaly Detection Systems, Introduction to Programming, Fundamental Algorithms, Data Structures, and Knowledge-Based Expert Systems.[2]

Academic research[edit]

While at Columbia, Stolfo has received close to $50M in funding [3] for research that has broadly focused on Security, Intrusion Detection, Anomaly Detection, Machine Learning and includes early work in parallel computing and artificial intelligence.[4] He has published or co-authored over 250 papers and has over 21,000 citations with an H-index of 67.[5] In 1996 he proposed a project with DARPA that applies machine learning to behavioral patterns to detect fraud or intrusion in networks.[6]

DADO, developed by in part by Stolfo, introduced the parallel computing primitive: “Broadcast, Resolve, Report”, a hardwire implemented mechanism that today is called MapReduce.[7][8]

Among his earliest work, Stolfo along with colleague Greg Vesonder of Bell Labs, developed a large-scale expert data analysis system, called ACE (Automated Cable Expertise) for the nation's phone system. AT&T Bell Labs distributed ACE to a number of telephone wire centers to improve the management and scheduling of repairs in the local loop.[9]

Stolfo coined the term FOG computing (not to be confused with fog computing) where technology is used “to launch disinformation attacks against malicious insiders, preventing them from distinguishing the real sensitive customer data from fake worthless data.”[10]

In 2005 Stolfo received funding from the Army Research Office to conduct a workshop to bring together a group of researchers to help identify a research program to focus on insider threats.[11]

He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 2018 "for his contributions to machine learning based cybersecurity." [12]

He was elected as an ACM Fellow in 2019 "for contributions to machine-learning-based cybersecurity and parallel hardware for database inference systems".[13]


Founded in 2011, Red Balloon Security (or RBS) is a cyber security company founded by Dr Sal Stolfo and Dr Ang Cui. A spinout from the IDS lab, RBS developed a symbiote technology called FRAK as a host defense for embedded systems under the sponsorship of DARPA's Cyber Fast Track program.[14]

Created based on their IDS lab research for the DARPA Active Authentication and the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales program, Dr Sal Stolfo and Dr. Angelos Keromytis founded Allure Security Technologies. Using active behavioral authentication and decoy technology Stolfo pioneered and patented in 1996.[15][16][17][18][19]

Founded in 2009, Allure Security Technology was created based on work done under DARPA sponsorship in Columbia's IDS lab based on DARPA prompts to research how to detect hackers once they are inside an organization's perimeter and how to continuously authenticate a user without a password.

Stolfo's company Electronic Digital Documents produced a “DataBlade” technology, which Informix marketed during their strategy of acquisition and development in the mid 80's.[20] Stolfo's patented merge/purge technology called EDD DataCleanser DataBlade was licensed by Informix.[21][22] Since its acquisition by IBM in 2005, IBM Informix is one of the world's most widely used database servers, with users ranging from the world's largest corporations to startups.

System Detection was one of the companies founded by Prof. Stolfo to commercialize the Anomaly Detection technology developed in the IDS lab. The company ultimately reorganized and was rebranded as Trusted Computer Solutions. That company was recently acquired by Raytheon.[23][24]


  1. ^ "Professor Salvatore J. Stolfo". 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  2. ^ "Recent Courses". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  3. ^ "Salvatore J. Stolfo CV" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  4. ^ "Salvatore Stolfo - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  5. ^ "Salvatore Stolfo - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  6. ^ "The JAM Project: Fraud and Intrusion Detection Using Meta-learning Agents". Archived from the original on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  7. ^ Strategic Computing: DARPA and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983-1993, By Alex Roland, Philip Shiman, Pages 173-175.
  8. ^ Stolfo, Salvatore; Miranker, Daniel P. (1984). "DADO: A Parallel Processor for Expert Systems - Academic Commons". Academic Commons. doi:10.7916/D8F196VH. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  9. ^ Waldes, Peter; Lustgarten, Janet; Stolfo, Salvatore (1985). "Are maintenance expert systems practical now? - Academic Commons". Academic Commons. doi:10.7916/D8WD481H. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  10. ^ Stolfo, Salvatore J. (2012-05-25). "Fog Computing: Mitigating Insider Data Theft Attacks in the Cloud - Academic Commons". doi:10.1109/SPW.2012.19. Retrieved 2015-07-01. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Stolfo, Salvatore J.; Stavrou, Angelos; Wright, Charles V. (2013-10-23). Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defenses: 16th International Symposium ... - Google Books. ISBN 9783642412844. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  12. ^ "IEEE Computer Society Members Elevated to Fellow for 2018 | IEEE Computer Society".
  13. ^ 2019 ACM Fellows Recognized for Far-Reaching Accomplishments that Define the Digital Age, Association for Computing Machinery, retrieved 2019-12-11
  14. ^ Mark Piesing. "Hacking attacks on printers still not being taken seriously | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  15. ^ "Patent US8528091 - Methods, systems, and media for detecting covert malware - Google Patents". Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  16. ^[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "DARPA - Open Catalog". Archived from the original on 2015-07-11. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  18. ^ Patent US8769684 - Methods, systems, and media for masquerade attack detection by monitoring ... - Google Patents
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-06-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Matching Records in Multiple Databases Using a Hybridization of Several ... - Google Books
  21. ^ "Salvatore Joseph Stolfo - Nomination and Bio". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  22. ^ Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery Handbook - Google Books
  23. ^ "CounterStorm, Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  24. ^ Raytheon Company : Investor Relations : News Release