TJ O'Connor

Assistant Professor | Computer Engineering and Sciences

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Dr. O’Connor’s research has centered on computer security with an emphasis on information security education, wireless security, software-defined networking, internet-of-things security, and machine learning approaches for security. He has authored a book in the area and published his research in the proceedings of several academic conferences. Dr. O’Connor served 20 years as an US Army Officer, retiring in 2019 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His service included an academic appointment to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the US Military Academy and four assignments in support of the Special Forces, from the tactical level in Afghanistan and culminated as the Chief Information Officer for the 1st Special Forces Command Headquarters. Dr. O’Connor is active in cyber security competitions, and is the current coach for the FITSec Cybersecurity Team.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Computer Science, NC State University, 2019
  • M.S., Computer Science, NC State University, 2008
  • M.S., Information Security Engineering, SANS Technology Institute, 2012
  • B.S., Computer Science, US Military Academy at West Point, 1999

Current Courses

  • CSE 3801: Introduction to Cybersecurity 
  • CSE 3810: Cyber Defense Fundamentals​ 
  • CSE 4820: Mobile/Wireless Security 
  • CSE 4840: Cyber Offense Fundamentals
  • CSE 5401: Independent Study
  • CYB 5998: Capstone Research

Courses Previously Taught at US Military Academy, West Point NY

  • CS485F: Digital Forensics
  • CS482: Information Assurance
  • IT485E: Computer Exploitation
  • IT305: Theory and Practice of Military Information Technology Systems
  • IT105/155: Introduction to Computing and Information Technology

Selected Publications

TJ OConnor, Chris Stricklan. Teaching a Hands-On Mobile and Wireless Cybersecurity Course. ACM Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE). June 2021. (acceptance rate=31%) [pdf]

Chris Stricklan, TJ OConnor. Towards Binary Diversified Challenges For A Hands-On Reverse Engineering Course. ACM Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE). June 2021. (acceptance rate=31%) [pdf]

Blake Janes, Heather Crawford, and TJ OConnor. Never Ending Story: Authentication and Access Control Design Flaws in Shared IoT Devices. IEEE Security and Privacy SafeThings Workshop (SafeThings). May, 2020. [pdf]

TJ OConnor, William Enck, and Bradley Reaves. Blinded and Confused: Uncovering Systemic Flaws in Device Telemetry for Smart-Home Internet of Things, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (WiSec), May, 2019. (acceptance rate=25.6%, Best Paper) 

TJ OConnor, Reham Mohamed, Markus Miettinen, William Enck, Bradley Reaves, and Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi. HomeSnitch: Behavior Transparency and Control for Smart Home IoT Devices, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (WiSec), May, 2019.  (acceptance rate=25.6%)

TJ OConnor, Wiliam Enck, W.M. Petullo, and Akash Verma. PivotWall: SDN-Based Information Flow Control. Symposium on SDN Research (SoSR). March 2018. (acceptance rate=28.6%)

Recognition & Awards

  • Co-P.I., Office of Naval Research: Multidisciplinary Approach to Internet-of-Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Research $249,946.

Research