Reverse Engineer and Vulnerability Research Specialist

Date: May 19, 2024

Location: Lexington, MA, US

Company: MIT Lincoln Laboratory


Internet of Things devices, critical infrastructure, traditional IT systems, and sensor and communication systems all have one thing in common: they interface the digital and physical domains. The Cyber-Physical Systems Group conducts research to understand the cybersecurity implications of these physical interfaces and develop prototypes that intersect both domains.



The Cyber Physical Systems Group tackles key problems in the convergence of cybersecurity and the physical world in an interdisciplinary research and development environment. We focus on developing new capabilities in the areas of cyber-physical techniques for the DoD, intelligence community, and federal agencies.  Key technology development thrusts include unconventional methods of system exploitation, testbed development and introspection, and gaining cyber intelligence from novel sensors and signal analysis techniques.


Position Description


The successful candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team as a Reverse Engineer and Vulnerability Research Specialist.  You will engage with government sponsors to identify national needs, and lead smart and innovative teams to deliver new technologies and capabilities to address those needs.  The successful candidate should be interested in the inter-disciplinary nature of the cyber-physical problem space and be willing to develop new expertise in the pursuit of solving unconventional problems.


As a Reverse Engineer and Vulnerability Research Specialist, you will develop novel capabilities against cyber-physical systems.  The scope of your work in cyber-physical research and development will include demonstrating and assessing unexpected attack vectors, emulating potential attacker behaviors and capabilities, and developing novel defensive techniques for DoD and other government organizations. The operational convergence of cyber and RF domains, known as Cyber-RF, in particular offers exciting opportunities to innovate and create new cyber-physical technologies at the seam between computer security and electromagnetics.


Degree and requirements for this role:


  • No degree required, but must have 6+ years of relevant vulnerability research experience.
  • Proficiency in hardware and/or software reverse-engineering and exploitation techniques, including common tools such as IDA Pro or Ghidra, dynamic analysis tools, and proficiency in high-level scripting languages such as Python
  • Ability to lead a project or team and interface with government program sponsors
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to conduct limited domestic travel to Government and cleared defense contractor sites (post-Covid)


Demonstrated capabilities in the following areas, while not required, are highly desired:


  • Proficiency with low-level embedded system programming language such as C
  • Experience with uncommon architectures and embedded systems
  • Thorough understanding of cybersecurity technical challenges especially as they relate to sensors, emitters, and controllers
  • Experience with dynamic analysis and fuzzing
  • Proficiency with software defined radios (SDRs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and Linux development environments
  • Familiarity with radio-frequency (RF) phenomenology, electronics, and unintended RF emissions
  • Proficiency in Machine learning techniques/AI
  • Experience in advancing the state-of-the-art in reverse-engineering and vulnerability assessment techniques
  • Proficiency with side-channel or glitching attacks and similar techniques



At MIT Lincoln Laboratory, our exceptional career opportunities include many outstanding benefits to help you stay healthy, feel supported, and enjoy a fulfilling work-life balance. Benefits offered to employees include: 


  • Comprehensive health, dental, and vision plans
  • MIT-funded pension
  • Matching 401K
  • Paid leave (including vacation, sick, parental, military, etc.)
  • Tuition reimbursement and continuing education programs
  • Mentorship programs
  • A range of work-life balance options
  • ... and much more!  


Please visit our Benefits page for more information. As an employee of MIT, you can also take advantage of other voluntary benefits, discounts and perks.


Selected candidate will be subject to a pre-employment background investigation and must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret level DoD security clearance.


MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information; U.S. citizenship is required.


Requisition ID: 38626  


Nearest Major Market: Boston

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