Pieter Robyns A photo of myself.
An information security and privacy researcher

Hi, I'm Pieter. I am a 25-year-old PhD student at Hasselt University (UHasselt) who is interested in wireless security, network security, privacy, machine learning, and cryptography. Besides my research, I enjoy playing the guitar, producing electronic music, and spending time on my secret hobby projects. I hope to be able to contribute something to a scientific discovery that would truly change the world someday.

pirobyns at gmail dot com

Selected projects

GNU Radio blocks for decoding LoRa signals

LoRa is a novel modulation scheme for low power, long range, and low bandwidth machine-to-machine communications that has recently gained popularity in the wireless community. The goal of the gr-lora project is to provide GNU Radio blocks that can decode these LoRa messages on the physical layer using Software Defined Radios (SDRs).

The Wi-Fi device capabilities database

Wicability is a web platform that analyzes the capabilities of Wi-Fi devices using publicly available datasets. These capabilities are included in 802.11 Information Elements (IEs), and can be used to find patterns in the adoption of wireless (security) standards.

A proof-of-concept for the A-MPDU PIP attack

Proof-of-concept of a remote frame injection vulnerability that was introduced in the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard and discussed in my paper. It is demonstrated how the A-MPDU aggregation mechanism can be exploited to perform a Packet-in-Packet (PIP) attack.


Pieter Robyns, Eduard Marin, Wim Lamotte, Peter Quax, Dave Singelée and Bart Preneel. Physical-Layer Fingerprinting of LoRa devices using Supervised and Zero-Shot Learning. Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. Boston, MA, USA. DOI: 10.1145/3098243.3098267. 2017. [pdf]
Pieter Robyns, Peter Quax, and Wim Lamotte. Opinion: PHY-Layer Security is no Alternative to Cryptography. Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. Boston, MA, USA. DOI: 10.1145/3098243.3098271. 2017. [pdf]
Pieter Robyns, Bram Bonné, Peter Quax and Wim Lamotte. Non-cooperative 802.11 MAC layer fingerprinting and tracking of mobile devices, Security and Communication Networks. Hindawi. DOI: 10.1155/2037. 2017. [pdf]
Pieter Robyns, Bram Bonné, Peter Quax and Wim Lamotte. Assessing the Impact of 802.11 Vulnerabilities using Wicability. Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. Darmstadt, Germany. 2016. [pdf] [poster]
Pieter Robyns, Peter Quax and Wim Lamotte. Injection Attacks on 802.11n MAC Frame Aggregation. Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Security & Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks. New York, NY, USA. 2015. [pdf]
Pieter Robyns, Bram Bonné, Peter Quax and Wim Lamotte. Short Paper: Exploiting WPA2-enterprise Vendor Implementation Weaknesses Through Challenge Response Oracles. Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless & Mobile Networks. Oxford, United Kingdom. 2014. [pdf]
Pieter Robyns. Master's Thesis: Wireless Network Privacy. Master's thesis at Hasselt University. Diepenbeek, Belgium. 2014. [pdf]


PhD fellow at Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and Hasselt University
Since January, 2016 (current)
  1. Performing research related to computer security and privacy with a focus on wireless security, machine learning, software defined radio, side channel attacks, and embedded security under the FWO Strategic Basic Research (SBO) grant.
  2. Assisting in guiding students during their course projects, lab assignments and thesis.
Hasselt University
PhD student at Hasselt University
September, 2014 - December, 2015
  1. Extended master thesis to look for vulnerabilities in 802.1X EAP methods (WPA2-Enterprise) and other authentication protocols, such as WPS.
  2. Researched privacy related weaknesses in the 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard, including amendments such as 802.11n, 802.11ac, 802.11u, and others.
  3. Participated in several Coursera courses, and performed a broad literature study of digital signal processing with SDRs (using GNU Radio), the GSM protocol, and machine learning.
  4. Assisted in guiding students during their course projects, lab assignments and thesis.
Hasselt University
Job student at Hasselt University
August, 2014

Performed an audit of the security of uhasselt.be for all publicly accessible pages and pages accessible by students. Topics covered include the discovery of hidden content, security of client side controls (SQLi, XSS, LDAP injection, ...), password and authentication security, random number generator entropy analysis, multi-stage form security, session management, access controls, and basic server application security.

Summer student at CERN
July, 2013 - September, 2013
  1. Developed manageability tools for EOS, a multi petabyte disk storage system used by physicists of all 4 LHC experiments.
  2. EOS quota visualization using Google Chart API and Python.
  3. EOS permission check: syntax checking of ACL attributes and correcting dangerous permissions by analyzing large metadata files (~5 GB).
  4. Hadoop file history view, 'grep-like' search and long term log file archival (~50 GB).

A report can be found here (pdf).


Hasselt University
Hasselt University
2012 - 2014

Master's degree, Computer Science: Multimedia, Magna Cum Laude

Master's thesis: Wireless Network Privacy

Hasselt University
Hasselt University
2009 - 2012

Bachelor's degree, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Cum Laude

Bachelor's thesis: Latency Hiding in Networked Virtual Environments (Dutch)


  • Advanced Topics in Network Security (3490)
    [study guide]
  • Basics of Network Security (3489)
    [study guide]
  • Security and computer networks (2178)
    [study guide]
  • Miscellaneous
    Thesis students:
    • Jef Timmermans, Locally Secured Cloud Backup, Bachelor's thesis, 2016
    • Rick Habets, Bots in the Beehive, Bachelor's thesis, 2015


  • Master Award for Computer Science (2013)
    A yearly award given by Hasselt University to a student with admirable achievements.
  • BELCLIV Award for best thesis in ICT security (2014)
    Award granted by BELCLIV for my Master's thesis 'Wireless Network Privacy'. BELCLIV is an organisation that promotes initiatives which aim to improve information and network security.



Natural languages


Programming languages

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  • In 2011 - 2012 I was president of the student fraternity 'Filii Lamberti', which organizes events for students such as the 'Intro TD', 'Filii Comedy Night', 'Jungle Love TD', and a debate at the university featuring speakers from IBM.
  • During my time as a student at Hasselt University, I was a member of the student council. It was our task to provide feedback to the university staff about the quality of courses, infrastructure, and exams.
  • I play the guitar in a band called 'I, The Current'. The name is a reference to other bands in the genre such as 'I, The Breather'. At the same time, 'I' is also the symbol for current intensity.