Derrick McKee

Derrick Arden Paul McKee is a member of the technical staff in the Secure Resilient Systems and Technology Group. He delights in combining ideas from different areas in novel ways to improve the state of the art in software security. Currently, his work is in compartmentalizing computer system software from the operating system and up by combining new architecture features and large-scale static and dynamic analysis of the target system. He believes that principled design is key to achieving any security goal.

McKee joined Lincoln Laboratory in 2022, after a two-year research internship with this group at Lincoln Laboratory while attending graduate school at Purdue University. Prior to working at Lincoln Laboratory, he interned at Northrop Grumman at their independent research group and worked with researchers at Microsoft Research India on compiler-based compartment enforcement.

McKee received his PhD degree in computer science from Purdue University in 2022 under Mathias Payer in the HexHive Group. His dissertation focused on novel reverse engineering and compartmentalization techniques, and is largely based on his work with the Secure Resilient Systems and Technology Group. In addition to developing a semantic binary function identification framework, McKee designed and implemented the Hardware-Assisted Kernel Compartmentalization (HAKC) system that efficiently enforces arbitrary compartmentalization policies in commercial-off-the-shelf operating system kernels. The paper describing HAKC was awarded the sole Best Paper Award at the top-tier Network and Distributed System Security 2022 security conference. McKee also holds a BS degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon (2009), and a BS degree in computer science from Purdue University (2015).

Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.