Shaanan is a Lecturer (equivalent to a U.S. Assistant Professor) at the University of Melbourne where his research centers on the interplay between computer systems and the law, with particular focus on applications of cryptography.

In 2019, Shaanan was the inaugural Geller Fellow of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative, with a summer placement in the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he assisted in the development of technology strategy within the commission.

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 completed his Ph.D. and MSE at the University of Pennsylvania in Computer & Information Science. He obtained a Master in Law from Penn Law, and his BSc and DipMus (Vocal Performance) from the University and Conservatorium of Melbourne respectively.

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

Shaanan also retains a secondary affiliation Princeton University's Center for IT Policy, where he was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate.

Shaanan is particularly passionate about teaching undergraduate students and advocating for student welfare and mental health.

Research Interests

Applied Cryptography; Computer Security; Public Interest Technology; Contract Law;

Selected Publications and Research

  • Watching the watchers: bias and vulnerability in remote proctoring software USENIX Security (2022),Ben Burgess, Avi Ginsburg, Edward W. Felten, Shaanan Cohney
  • Time to consider age-based cybersecurity features, training, and interventions, In Submission (Preprint on Request), Ofir Turel, Shaanan Cohney, Reeva Lederman, Suelette Dreyfus
  • Virtual Classrooms and Real Harms, Symposium on Usable Security and Privacy (2021), Shaanan Cohney, Ross Teixeira, Anne Kohlbrenner, Arvind Narayanan, Mihir Kshirsagar, Yan Shvartzshnaider, Madelyn Sanfilippo
  • Pseudorandom Black Swans: Cache Attacks on CTR_DRBG, IEEE Security & Privacy (2020), Shaanan Cohney, Andrew Kwong, Shahar Paz, Daniel Genkin, Nadia Heninger, Eyal Ronen, Yuval Yarom
  • Coin-Operated Capitalism, Columbia Law Review (May 2019), Shaanan Cohney, David Hoffman, Jeremy Sklaroff, David Wishnick
  • A Systematic Analysis of the Juniper Dual EC Incident, ACM CCS (2016), Stephen Checkoway, Jacob Maskiewicz, Christina Garman, Joshua Fried, Shaanan Cohney, Matthew Green, Nadia Heninger, Ralf-Philipp Weinmann, Eric Rescorla, Hovav Shacham, Best Paper Award

Notable Talks


  • 2021, 2022 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - Foundations of Algorithms
  • 2021, 2022 Semester 2 (Unimelb) - Information Security and Privacy
  • Lead, Programming Fundamentals Subject Cluster (Unimelb)


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

Undergraduate Research Students


  • While at Princeton I was a Bass in Voices of Gotham, a competitive barbershop chorus. I spent my PhD 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