The Center for Assurance Research and Engineering (CARE) is staffed by a team of cybersecurity experts with unmatched experience in cyber threats: four full-time and one part-time faculty researchers are assisted by a large group of PhD students who bring fresh, forward-looking ideas to every project.

Supporting this core staff is frequent collaboration with some of the more than 40 faculty members in Mason's Computer Science Department and, additionally, professors from the Electrical Engineering Department. A budget of approximately $2 million annually in research funding fuels continuing success.

We are solidly positioned with staff and resources to rapidly build breakthrough security solutions and to quickly transition those solutions from the test phase to deployment.


Meet the director:

Director, CARE

    Telephone number: 703-993-3772
    Office: 437 Research Hall


Angelos Stavrou is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department and the director of the Center for Assurance Research and Engineering (CARE) at George Mason University.

He is also the founder of Kryptowire, which provides provides mobile application software assurance tools, anti-piracy tools, marketplace security analytics, and mobile brand protection. Since its inception in 2011, Kryptowire has grown organically with a customer base ranging from major financial institutions to national telecommunications companies.

Research: Dr. Stavrou's research interests include mobile device security, network security and intrusion detection, and his work is funded by several organizations including NSF, DARPA, ARO, DHS, AFOSR, IARPA and NIST. Dr. Stavrou received the Computer Science Department Young Faculty Research Award in 2010.

Publications: Dr. Stavrou has published over 40 papers on large systems security & survivability in major international journals and conferences.

Education: PhD (with distinction), Computer Science, Columbia University; MPhil, Computer Science, Columbia University; MSc, Electrical Engineering, Columbia University; MSc, theoretical Computer Science, University of Athens; and BS, Physics, University of Patras, Greece. 


Meet our team (alphabetical order):

Jean-Pierre Auffret

   Associate Director, CARE

   Telephone number: 703-993-5641
   Office: 049 Enterprise Hall

J.P. Auffret is director of the Research Partnerships and Grants Initiatives in the School of Business and associate director of the Center for Assurance Research and Engineering (CARE) in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University.  

He was previously director of the business school's executive degree programs, including the MS in Technology Management; the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems, which is jointly offered by Mason's School of Management, Volgenau School of Engineering and School of Public Policy; and the Executive MBA.

Dr. Auffret is also co-founder and vice president of the International Academy of CIO and has served on several recent Commonwealth of Virginia commissions including the Commonwealth of Virginia Health Information Technology Advisory Commission (HITAC) and the Electronic Medical Records Advisory Committee of the Virginia General Assembly's Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS).

Research: Dr. Auffret's current research includes the NSF "Bridging the Cybersecurity Leadership Gap: Assessment, Competencies and Capacity Building" grant and an IBM Strategic University Research Award, "Old and New:  Cross-Industry Considerations for Securing Industrial Control Systems".   Previous related initiatives include co-project lead on the 2007 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation – Telecommunications (APECTEL) project "Deployment of APECTEL GCIO Training Model" and advisor to the APECTEL 2005 project "Developing a GCIO Training Model" and to the APECTEL 2006 project "Developing Model GCIO Councils".   

Background: Dr. Auffret 30 years of technology industry and academic experience including management and executive positions with MCI and its joint venture with British Telecom, Concert.

Education: PhD, Physics, American University; MBA, University of Virginia; and BS degree, Duke University (A.B. Duke Scholar).


    Telephone number: 703-993-1627
    Office: 4420 Engineering Building


Daniel Barbará has been researching and applying machine learning and data mining for over 20 years. While teaching in Mason's Department of Informaton and Software Engineering since 1997, he has lead many research teams as a government contractor (ARMY, DoD, NSF) years.

Background: Before joining academia, Dr. Barbará was a senior scientist in Panasonic Labs, where he led a group of researchers and programmers in several industrial projects, resulting in a number of patented technologies. He also worked for several years as a senior scientist at the Matsushita Information Technology Laboratory. He has previously taught at Princeton University and the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela.

Dr. Barbará's deep machine learning background and body of work is well-known and respected through the computer science community.

Education:  PhD, Computer Science, Princeton University; MSE, Computer Science, Princeton University; and BS, Electrical Engineering, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela.


Lab Director, CARE

    Telephone number: 703-993-1543
    Office: 435 Research Hall


As part of the Center for Assurance Research and Engineering (CARE), Dan Fleck has lead multiple research programs encompassing network intrusion detection, malware analysis and network attack resilience. He is also a research professor in Computer Science, teaching  a variety of courses at including computer programming, software engineering and computer security. Dr. Fleck is a veteran of government contracting, teaching, and research.

Background: In industry, Dr. Fleck spent more than 10 years at SRA International, culminating his time there as the technical lead for the research and development division. He has been the technical lead and project manager for successful DARPA programs including TIGR and Transformative Apps (TransApps). He has experience leading teams of 5 to 50 people.

Education: PhD, Computer Science, George Mason University; MS, Software Engineering, George Mason University; and BS, Electrical Engineering, University of Texas.


Co-Director, CARE

    Telephone number: 703-993-1578
    Office: 436 Research Hall


Duminda Wijesekera is a professor in Mason's Department of Computer Science, a visiting research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and co-director of the Center for Assurance Research and Engineering (CARE). In addition, he leads the Laboratory of Radio and RADAR Engineering (RARE), a collaboration between academia, industry and government agencies.  

Research: Dr. Wijesekera's current research addresses three main areas.

    1) Security and safety of cyber physical systems. Research in this area includes safety and security of trains, aircraft, ships and automobiles, creating secure cognitive radio networks that ensure mandated safety guarantees. He also collaborates on systems and communication security of power grids.  
    2) Electronic support for medical procedures. These include formulating, validating and verification of safety of medical workflows (now called Careflows), privacy and security medical data.
    3) Digital forensics. Research in digital forensics include creating potential scenarios from evidence and creating frameworks for argumentations, error management of forensic data and add odds ratio between different scenarios that fit evidence.

Background: Prior to joining Mason as an assistant professor in 1999, Dr. Wijesekera was a senior systems engineer at Honeywell Space Systems in Clearwater, Florida. He has been a visiting post-doctoral fellow at the Army High Performance Research Center at the University of Minnesota.

Education: PhD, Mathematical Logic, Cornell University; PhD, Computer Science, University of Minnesota; and BSc in Mathematics, University of Colombo in Sri Lanka.