Johannes Willbold is a doctoral student at the Ruhr University Bochum. In his doctoral thesis, he focuses on the security of space and satellite systems with a special emphasis on understanding real-world security issues.

During his Bachelor’s studies, he interned at the Mozilla Corporation in California, where he worked on the Firefox browser as part of the media team. He finished his Bachelor’s degree with a thesis on the analysis and deobfuscation of Google’s BotGuard, of which he presented the results at Google in Zurich. In 2020, he graduated his Master’s degree with a thesis on the efficient fuzzing of virtualization obfuscated code from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Now, he is working since 2021 as a Ph.D. student at the RUB

In 2022, he worked for six months as visiting researcher at the Cyber-Defence Campus in Zurich and Thun, Switzerland.


Upcoming Talk: An Experimental Security Analysis of LEO Satellites
CySat 2023, Paris, France
10:00-10:30, 26th April 2023, Johannes Willbold


I only started publishing in IT-Security after starting my Ph.D. Before that, I worked as software engineer in an assisting researcher position and co-authored eight papers on Alzheimer diagnostics. Refer to my Google Scholar for a full list of publications.


SGXFuzz: Efficiently Synthesizing Nested Structures for SGX Enclave Fuzzing
T. Cloosters, J. Willbold, T. Holz, L. Davi
31st USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 22)


Highlights of the NDSS Co-located Events - SpaceSec23 (Slides)
Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium, 2023, San Diego, California, US

Small Satellite SW Image Vulnerability Analsysis
ESA - ESTEC, 2022, Noordwijk, Netherlands

CYSAT ‘22 : Keynote “Academic projects related to on board security for smallsats”
CySat 2022, Paris, France

Analysis and Deobuscation of Google’s BotGuard
Google, 2018, Zurich, Switzerland

Professional Activities


Master Thesis
Efficient Fuzzing of VM-Obfuscated Code
21 Oct 2020
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Thorsten Holz, M.Sc. Moritz Contag

Bachelor Thesis
Analysis and Deobuscation of Google’s BotGuard
24 Sep 2018
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Thorsten Holz, Dr. Tim Blazytko