Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Cyber Vulnerability Scientist (PhD)

3 weeks agoLaurel, MD

Are you passionate about making impactful technical contributions to critical national security cyber challenges?

Do you love researching the toughest problems and want to work for an employer who prioritizes continual innovation and personal development?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our innovative team at APL!

We are seeking a creative researcher to imagine new and innovative ways to rapidly and systematically exploit embedded systems before our adversaries do. We have world-class facilities uniquely tailored to analyzing communications systems, transportation systems, and critical infrastructure. We strive to foster an innovative and collaborative team environment where breakthroughs in research can be applied to real-world problems.

As a member of our team, you will...

  • Partner with leadership to develop a strategic vision for rapidly and systematically analyzing large quantities of software binaries
  • Research, design, and develop algorithms, techniques, and tools for rapid and scalable reverse engineering
  • Propose new ideas to internal and external funding opportunities and devise ways to incorporate research concepts into ongoing programs
  • Circulate knowledge by clearly articulating ideas through papers and presentations to team members, APL management, and government decision makers


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you have...

  • A PhD in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a related field
  • Experience in software binary or source code analysis
  • Technical knowledge of computer architectures, compiler design, and operating system internals
  • Experience reading or writing assembly (x86/x64, Arm, PowerPC, MIPS, or others),
  • Expertise with one or more programming languages including C/C++ and Python
  • An ability to obtain an Interim Secret security clearance by your start date and ultimately obtain a TS/SCI with polygraph clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you have ...

  • Experience applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to software analysis
  • Proficiency with software debuggers, static analysis tools (IDA Pro, Binary Ninja, Ghidra, etc.), and symbolic execution tools
  • Experience writing published papers and proposals
  • 5 or more years of relevant professional experience, particularly working with Government agencies
  • A current TS/SCI clearance with full scope polygraph

Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates.

At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at