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Katie Paxton-Fear

PhD Student, Occassional Bug Bounty Hunter and Educational YouTuber
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About Me

I'm a PhD Student and Early Career Researcher at Cranfield University, studying natural language processing and insider threat. In my free time I am an occasional bug bounty hunter, and make educational cyber security YouTube videos for an audience of almost 10,000 people! Although I am a data scientist/engineer at heart security is really growing on me and it's been great to leverage my data brain to help make the internet more secure. I've now found myself knee deep in cyber security, having reported security vulnerabilities to large organisations such as Verizon Media and the US Department of Defense.

I finish my PhD in Feb 2021 and I'm open to new roles from that date!

I'm interested, primarily, in the application of machine learning, data science and natural language processing in Cyber Security.

My Research

I'm interested in applying Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing in Cyber Security. Leveraging my domain knowledge to create tools which supports the complex decision making often needed in Cyber Security. I'm also interested in applying ML/NLP in pentesting and Bug Bounty hunting and I'm working on some new projects in that domain!

My PhD involves the use of NLP techniques to understand an insider threat incident. Using a large amount of reports to explore, visualise and finally understand an attack, without needing to read each report individually. Answering questions like: What was the insiders motivation? What technical approach did they use? What was the outcome of the attack? Providing valuable insights allowing organisational changes which will prevent the next.

Before my PhD my UG dissertation involved the decipherment of an ancient language, automatically using computational techniques. You can watch that here.

Speaking

Want me to speak at something? I'd love to! Contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn

  • BugCrowd LevelUp0x07 - Panellist, Women in Security and Privacy Panel
  • BugCrowd LevelUp0x07 - Introduction to AI and Machine Learning (for bug bounty hunters)
  • Hackclub - CTF opening, keynote speaker
  • HackerOne H@cktivityCon - Panellist, Women in Security Panel
  • Bugcrowd - Panellist, Insider the mind of a Hacker
  • HackerOne - Panellist, Beyond the Bounty – The Real Value for Hackers and Organizations
  • WoSEC San Francisco: Women of Security - Bug Bounty 101: How to Choose Your First Bug Bounty Target and Stay Motivated Watch on YouTube
  • WomenHackerzCon - Bug Bounty 101 Workshop
  • BugCrowd LevelUp0x06 – Sticking With It: How to Choose a Target and Stay Motivated Watch on YouTube
  • OWASP DevSlop – API Hacking for the Actually Pretty Inexperienced Hacker Watch on YouTube
  • WomenHackerz – How to Find Your First IDOR Vulnerability
  • HackerOne Community Day – Panellist, Hacker Panel
  • DefendCon – Panellist, HackerOne Presents: Bug Bounty Panel
  • HackerOne - Hacker Interviews: Katie (InsiderPhD) Watch on YouTube

Publications

Journal Articles
  • Paxton-Fear, K., Hodges, D. and Buckley, O. (2019) ‘Using Topic Distribution to Classify Fuzzy Topics’, Human-centric Computing and Information Science, In Review.
  • Hodges, D. and Paxton-Fear, K. (2019) ‘An analysis of the writing of cult members’, In Review Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, In Review
Conference Papers
  • Paxton-Fear, K., Hodges, D. and Buckley, O. (2020) ‘Understanding Insider Threat Attacks using Natural Language Processing: Automatically mapping organic narrative reports to existing insider threat frameworks’, In A. Moallem, editor HCI-CPT: 2nd International Conference on HCI For Cybersecurity, Privacy And Trust Held as Part of HCI International 2020.
  • Paxton-Fear, K., (2019): Increasing the accessibility of NLP techniques for Defence and Security using a web-based tool. Defence and Security Doctoral Symposium 2019 Available at: Cranfield Online Research Data (CORD). Poster. https://doi.org/10.17862/cranfield.rd.10066229.v1 (Poster)
  • Paxton-Fear, K., Hodges, D. and Buckley, O. (2018) ‘Connected events and malicious insiders: Investigating patterns of insider threat using natural language processing’, Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security. (Poster)
  • Paxton-Fear, K. (2018) ‘A Computational Decipherment of Linear B.’, Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology.