About Me

Shaanan is a graduating Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in Computer & Information Science. His research principally focuses on Security and Cryptography, with a secondary focus in law and public policy.

He recently served as a summer Technologist in the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), assisting in the development of technology strategy within the commission. He is the inaugural Geller Fellow of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative, awarded in support of his position at the FTC.

In 2018 he served as a Cybersecurity Fellow working on U.S Federal technology policy in the office of Senator Ron Wyden. Prior to that, he spent three months at Facebook headquarters, working to ensure secure deletion of user data.

Shaanan is also completing a Master In Law, in order to better understand the interplay between technology, policy and law.

His research has received recognition in the form of the Best Paper Award at ACM CCS, a 'Pwnie' Award for best Cryptographic Attack. He is also the recipient of the Excellence in Tutoring Award from the University of Melbourne.

Shaanan serves as a "Graduate Associate" at Riepe College House, living with and providing counseling to college freshmen.

Contact Information

Address Distribued Systems Lab
3300 Walnut St
Philadelphia PA,
Email shaanan[at]cohney.info

Research Interests

Applied Cryptography; Technology, Public Policy and Law; Computer Security

Recent Publications and Research

Invited Talks

Teaching, Tutoring & TAing

  • 2013 Spring Semester (UPenn) - Algorithms and Data Structures
  • 2013 Semester 2 (Unimelb) - Engineering Computation
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - Computer Systems
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - Foundations of Computing
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - TRICS Presenter (Theoretical Research in Computer Science), Cryptography
  • 2015, 2016, 2017f, 2017s (UPenn) - Computer and Network Security
  • 2015, 2016 Fall Semester (UPenn) - Operating Systems
  • 2016 Spring Semester (UPenn) - Technology and Policy

Research Group Members


Cryptography; Cyber Security; Distributed Systems; Golang; C; Python; HTML/CSS; Linux Systems Administration; Public Policy;


  • I sing in multiple different choirs, the most significant of them being the Penn Glee Club and the Penn Pipers.
  • I spend much of my free time playing piano, predominantly works from musical theatre.
  • I came second place in a safe cracking tournament, and am working to learn and teach lockpicking.
  • I have five years of experience as an informal educator in a community youth movement.
  • More here