Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks (SUSMaN) Lab


    The Secure Usable Social Media & Networks (SUSMaN) Lab, led by Dr. Mohd Anwar, conducts research on a diverse set of topics related to usable security and privacy in online social media, Cloud, & mobile platforms, health information management, and mHealth. The interdisciplinary research approach of SUSMaN Lab provides rich and diverse learning experience to both graduate and undergraduate researchers. Our research is funded by grants from several agencies including National Science Foundation and Air Force Research Lab.


  • [Service] Dr. Anwar is the program co-chair of WICSOC 2014: Social Media, Crowd Sourcing & Public Health.

  • [Research Grant] Dr. Anwar received a prestigious research grant from NSF's Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Program!!!

  • [Research Grant] Dr. Anwar received a research grant from Air Force Research Lab to work on Cloud Security!!!

  • [Media Coverage] Dr. Anwar and his colleague Prof. Joshi of the University of Pittsburgh show how Facebook's mutual-friend feature creates security risks and privacy concerns :When Friends Create Enemies.


  • Usable Security and Privacy Controls in Software Systems
    Research Question: How do we measure and improve the efficacy of security and privacy controls in Software Systems?

  • Trust & Reciprocity in Online Social Media
    Research Question: How can trust and reciprocity be modeled and measured in Online Social Media?

  • Smart Health and Wellbeing Systems
    Research Question: How can personal computing technologies be used for ubiquitous health and wellness magagement?

  • Intelligent Tutoring and Learning Systems

  • Location-aware Services
    Research Question: How can personal computing technologies be used for ubiquitous personalized location-aware services?

  • Auditing & Provenance in Cloud


Mohd Anwar, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Director, Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks Lab


Mohd Anwar is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, and Director of Secure and Usable Social Media & Networks Lab. Dr.Anwar has experience and interest in designing usable secure, privacy-preserving, and trusted infrastructures, systems, and applications in different online contexts, specifically in Online Social Networks (OSN), e-Learning, and e-Health domains. His recent publication includes topology-based access control model for social network systems, trust-based approach to mitigate attacks on IP networks, access control policy models, visualization of access control policies for end-users in social network systems, and a privacy-enhancing identity management models for e-Learning.

Dr. Anwar’s research incorporates usability and human factor issues in the design and development of security and privacy solutions. His multidisciplinary research approach integrates computer science concepts with theories from social sciences (such as Goffman’s impression management theory, Roger’s protection motivation theory, communication-human information processing theory, Cognitive Behavioral Theory). Dr. Anwar serves as program chair in the IEEE International Workshop on Issues and Challenges in Social Computing and is an editorial board member of the Journal of Privacy & Health Information Management.

Recent Teaching:

  • Usable Security
  • Secure Social Computing
  • Senior Project
  • Network Security

Research Assistants:

James Brown
Research Area: Smart Location-Based Services

James is an undergraduate research assistant, as well as a tutor and teaching assistant for the computer science department. He has programming skills in the languages of Java, C++, and HTML. He has experience with Windows, Linux, and Android platforms. James has aided in varius graduate research studies on the topics of Google+, security and development of operating systems, and social media search algorithms.

Edward Hill
Research Area: Trustworthy Mobile & Cloud Computing

Edward is a first year graduate student studying computer science with a concentration in information assurance. His research area is privacy in identity in cloud computing and mobile devices. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in computer science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Edward has one proceeding publication "Kalico: A Smartphone Application for Health-Smart Menu Selection within a Budget."

Jamone Kelly
Research Area: Smart & Connected Health

Jamone is from Salisbury, North Carolina. He is well rounded in Java, C++, Python, Ruby and he is currently learning Objective-C. His research area is focused in mobile health applications for Android and iOS.

Dejanae White
Research Area: Identity Protection & Access Control

Dejanae is a second semester sophomore computer science student. She is proficient in the languages of: Java, C++, C#, and Visual Basic.

Ashiq Imran
Research Area: Evolutionary Computing Approach to Cloud Security

Ashiq holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology. He is currently a graduate research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Anwar at the Department of Computer Science, and a member of the SUSMaN Lab. His research interests lie in Cloud auditing and mobile health.

Prospective Students

A PhD/master's student position is immediately available!!!

"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard" - Kevin Durant. Apply only if you are talented and hardworking.

Minimum Requirements:
  • Ability to think critically and read and write well (a somewhat reasonable metric is GRE score)
  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited Computer Science or related program
  • 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale

If you are interested to join SUSMaN Lab, please e-mail Dr. Anwar a 1-page persuasive essay on your suitability for doing research in any of the aforementioned projects.

Recent Publications

2013 Publications:
  • Pelechrinis, K., Zadorozhny, V., Kounev, V., Oleshchuk, V., Anwar, M., and Lin, Y.: Automatic Evaluation of Information Provider Reliability and Expertise. Springer World Wide Web Journal, 2013.
  • Jin, L., Joshi, J., and Anwar, M.: Mutual Friend-based Attacks on Online Social Networks. Elsevier Computers & Security Journal, 2013.
  • Anwar, M., Masoumzadeh, A., and Joshi, J.B.D.: Privacy and Security in Location-Based Services. In Hassan A. Karimi, ed. Advances in Location-Based Computing and Services. Taylor & Francis, 2013.
  • Anwar, M., Hill, E., Skujins, J., Huynh, K., and Doss, C.: Kalico: A Smartphone Application for Health-smart Menu Selection within a Budget. International Conference for Smart Health, Springer LNCS, 2013.


  • LERSAIS Lab, University of Pittsburgh
  • GeoInformtics Lab, University of Pittsburgh
  • Center for Cyber Defense, NC A&T State University
  • Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences, NC A&T State University
  • Old Dominion University

Contact Us

    Email: | Phone: (336)285-2457 | Twitter: @susman_lab