Laurent Vanbever
Assistant Professor — ETH Zürich

I am an assistant professor at ETH Zürich since January 2015. At the moment, I do not have open PhD positions.

My research interests lie at the crossroads of theory and practice, with a focus on network programmability and Internet routing. Overall, I aim at making (large) computer networks more performant and easier to manage.

I completed my PhD in computer science in October 2012 at the University of Louvain under the guidance of Olivier Bonaventure. My thesis is entitled "Methods and Techniques for Disruption-Free Network Reconfiguration". After my PhD, I spent two years at Princeton University working with Jennifer Rexford as a postdoctoral researcher.

Prior to my PhD, I earned my master degree in computer science from the University of Louvain in 2008. I also earned a master degree in management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management in 2010.

You can find more details about my work in my resume, fact sheet and
list of selected publications (full list, Google Scholar).

To contact me, drop me an email at (preferred) or .

To ETH students: Our group offers both semester and master theses. Check some of them here or drop me an email for more projects.

Recent & selected papers (details, full list)

Recent news

Nov > Happy to serve on the technical program committee of USENIX NSDI 2020.
> "SABRE: Protecting Bitcoin against Routing Attacks" accepted at NDSS 2019!
Oct > Happy to serve on the technical program committee of ACM SIGCOMM 2019.
> The technical program of ACM CoNEXT 2018 is now online. Check it out and see you in Heraklion!
Sep > "Hardware-Accelerated Network Control Planes" accepted at HotNets 2018!
Aug > Happy to serve on the external technical program committee of PLDI 2019.
April > "NetHide: Secure and Practical Network Topology Obfuscation" accepted at Usenix Security 2018!
> We just released the Call for Papers for the upcoming CoNEXT 2018. Check it out here. Abstract registration deadline is on June 15; full paper submission deadline on June 22. Theo and I are looking forward to your submissions!
> The final version of our three NSDI 2018 papers are now available online. Check them out here!
Feb > Looking forward to start teaching Communication Networks this semester, for the third time already.
> "Bayonet: Probabilistic Inference for Networks" conditionally accepted at PLDI 2018!
> Participating to a NII Shonan Meeting on the theory and practice of data plane programming.
Jan > Martin Vechev and I just launched ICE, a new group initiative on programmable and dependable networked systems.
> The list of accepted paper for ACM SOSR 2018 (co-chaired with Dave Maltz) is now online! Detailed program coming soon.
> Happy to serve as program co-chair together with Theo Benson for ACM CoNEXT 2018!
> Maria Apostolaki receives one of the 2018 Applied Networking Research Prize for our IEEE S&P paper on Hijacking Bitcoin: Routing Attacks on Cryptocurrencies! See our website for more information on the project.

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Dec > We got three accepted papers at the upcoming NSDI!! Stay tuned to learn about: automated network captioning and network reasoning (with Net2Text), declarative traffic mirroring (with Stroboscope), and partial network configuration synthesis (with NetComplete).
Nov > Our research group finally has a dedicated webpage. Check it out at:!
Oct > Our institute is looking for a new colleague (professor or tenure-track assistant professor) in Embedded Information Systems. Come work with Roger, Lothar and I! The closing date for the application deadline is 15 December 2017.
> "Integrating Verification and Repair into the Control Plane" will appear at ACM HotNets 2017!
Sep > Happy to announce that my research proposal on Data-Driven Internet Routing has been accepted for funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)!
> The ACM SOSR 2018 website is now online. The submission deadline is November 10, 2017 (register your paper by November 3, 2017). Dave Maltz and I are looking forward to receive your submission(s)!
Aug > Dave Maltz and I just released the Call for Papers for ACM SOSR 2018.
> Our work on SDNRacer and BigBug got covered by OVS Orbit. Check out Ahmed's podcast and our project website.
> TPC member for ACM SIGCOMM 2018.
June > Our DIMVA paper "Unsupervised Detection of APT C&C Channels using Web Request Graphs" was covered by "Switzerland boosts cyber defences as attacks escalate".
> The camera-ready version of our upcoming SIGCOMM 2017 paper on predictive fast reroute is now online. Check it out to see how we can make BGP converge within few seconds!
> "Boosting the BGP convergence in SDXes with SWIFT" accepted as a demo at SIGCOMM 2017.
> I'll present our work on routing attacks on Bitcoin at EPFL's Summer Research Institute. My slides are available here.
> Our paper done in collaboration with armasuisse entitled "Unsupervised Detection of APT C&C Channels using Web Request Graphs" got covered by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense. Read the media report in English, German, French or Italian.
> Roland Meier (a student in our group) wins the CyCon Junior Scholar Award 2017 for his Master thesis which led to the iTap paper!
> Happy to serve as Program Chair (together with Dave Maltz) for ACM SOSR 2018!
May > SWIFT: Predictive Fast Reroute accepted at ACM SIGCOMM 2017!
April > Network-wide Configuration Synthesis accepted at CAV 2017. More info on the project (including a pre-print) can be found on
> Our Oakland paper Hijacking Bitcoin: Routing Attacks on Cryptocurrencies got covered by,, The Register, The Coin Telegraph and Naked Security and The Morning Paper. More info on the project can be found on Check also our guest post on Hacking, Distributed (Emin Gün Sirer's blog).
> Unsupervised Detection of APT C&C Channels using Web Request Graphs accepted at DIMVA 2017.
Feb > Hijacking Bitcoin: Routing Attacks on Cryptocurrencies accepted at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2017!
Jan > Four papers accepted at ACM SOSR 2017!
> TPC member for ACM CoNEXT 2017.


Dec > "Safe Update of Hybrid SDN Networks" to appear in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking.
Nov > I'm humbled to receive the Golden Owl award of the VSETH for our Communication Networks course. Looking forward to make the course better next semester!
> Check out SyNet, our new approach to automatically produce network-wide configurations (supporting multiple protocols) out of high-level objectives. Visit our website and read our technical report for more details.
Oct > Participating as a jury member in a series of calls for innovation put together by Swisscom, Telia, and Proximus. Looking forward to see interesting ideas! More information available here.
> "Sentinels: Guarding ISP Networks from Forwarding Anomalies" accepted at the ACM CoNEXT 2016 Student Workshop.
Sep > "Mille-Feuille: Putting ISP traffic under the scalpel" accepted at ACM HotNets 2016.
> TPC member (External Review Committee) for ACM PLDI 2017.
Aug > TPC member for ACM SIGCOMM 2017.
July > TPC member for ACM SOSR 2017. Please consider submitting your best SDN work!
> "Fibbing in action: On-demand load-balancing for better video delivery" accepted as a demo at SIGCOMM 2016.
June > Roland Meier (student in our group) wins an ETH Medal for his thesis on “SDN-based Network Obfuscation”!
May > Our new paper "Hijacking Bitcoin: Large-scale Network Attacks on Cryptocurrencies" is available online.
Mar > "iSDX: An Industrial-Scale Software Defined Internet Exchange Point" wins the NSDI'2016 Community Award! The paper was also selected by USENIX ATC in their Best of the Rest session.
Jan > "iRacer: Concurrency Analysis for Software-Defined Networks" accepted to PLDI 2016!
> "Scaling the Internet Routing System through Distributed Route Aggregation" accepted to IEEE TON!
> Chairing NSDI 2016 Poster Session together with Aruna Balasubramanian. Please consider submitting! Call for posters is available here.
> TPC member for ACM CoNEXT 2016.
> We organize an ETH-wide programming challenge. The best team will get a fully-paid trip to San Francisco! If you are an ETH student, please register yourself online here. A flyer for the event describing the event is available here.


Dec > Morpheus (disruption-free controller updates) and FLANC (network authorization logic) have been accepted to ACM SOSR 2016!
> Bernhard Plattner's farewell lecture and my inaugural lecture were covered in a newspaper article by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. An online version is available here.
> Fibbing has been awarded one of the 2016 IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize!
In 2013 and 2014, our papers on BGP reconfigurations and DRAGON were also awarded.
> iSDX: An Industrial-Scale Software Defined Internet Exchange Point has been accepted to NSDI 2016!
Nov > The slides of my Inaugural Lecture (an ETH tradition) entitled "Improving the Internet. From Fragility to Resilience." are available online. You can also check the video here.
Nov > I recently was interviewed by Ivan Pepelnjak on Fibbing and SDX. You can find the two podcasts here and here and more information about Fibbing and SDX here and here.
Oct > TPC member at the The Second ACM Symposium on SDN Research (SOSR 2016). Please submit your best SDN works!
Sep > "Destroying networks for fun (and profit)" accepted to ACM HotNets 2015!
Aug > Fibbing wins the best paper award at SIGCOMM 2015!
> TPC member for the ACM CoNEXT 2015 Student Workshop.
> I presented the SDN track at the SIGCOMM'15 Topic Preview Sessions. Hope to see you there!
July > "Quantifying interference between measurements on the RIPE Atlas platform" accepted to ACM IMC 2015!
June > The camera-ready version of Fibbing: "Central Control Over Distributed Routing" is online.
> "Fibbing: Central Control Over Distributed Routing" was selected to advance to the 2nd phase of the Bell Labs Prize competition! Less than 10% of the projects made it.
> "Chaos Monkey: Increasing SDN Reliability through Systematic Network Destruction" and "Supercharge me: Boost Router Convergence with SDN" respectively accepted as demo and poster at SIGCOMM'15. Please drop by!
May > "Supercharge me: Boost Router Convergence with SDN" technical report is online. Check out how to make IP routers converge almost 1000x faster upon link or node failure.
> Co-organizing the Summer School on Software-Defined Networks (SDNschool 2015) in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Consider joining us!
> I will participate to the Hebrew University Networking Summer.
> "RAPTOR: Routing Attacks on Privacy in Tor" accepted to USENIX Security 2015!
> TPC member at the 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2016).
April > "Fibbing: Central Control Over Distributed Routing" accepted to ACM SIGCOMM 2015!
> "SDNRacer: Detecting Concurrency Violations in Software-Defined Networks" and "Scalable Programmable Inbound Traffic Engineering" accepted to ACM SOSR 2015!
March > Our work "RAPTOR: Routing Attacks on Privacy in Tor" receives some media coverage in ACM TechNews, The Register, Computer Business Review and Help Net Security.
> Participated to a Dagstuhl seminar on Secure Routing for Future Communication Networks.
Feb > TPC member at the IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP 2015).
Jan > TPC member at the ACM SIGMETRICS Distributed Cloud Computing Workshop (DCC 2015).


Dec > DRAGON: Distributed Route Aggregation on the Global Network has been awarded one of the 2015 IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize! In 2013, our paper Improving Network Agility with Seamless BGP Reconfigurations was also awarded with the prize. Check out more about DRAGON on
Nov > On the Co-Existence of Distributed and Centralized Routing Control-Planes accepted to IEEE INFOCOM 2015.
Oct > Our website showcasing DRAGON,, is online! Check it out.
Sep > I am happy to announce that I have accepted an assistant professor position at ETH Zürich, starting from January 2015. My job talk is available here.
> "Anonymity on QuickSand: Using BGP to Compromise Tor" as well as "Sweet Little Lies: Fake Topologies for Flexible Routing" accepted to ACM HotNets 2014!!
Aug > "DRAGON: Distributed Route Aggregation on the Global Network" accepted to ACM CoNEXT'14!
July > TPC member at the ACM CoNEXT'14 Student Workshop. Please consider submitting your work!
> Chairing the Networking and Security session at the ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Distributed Cloud Computing (DCC 2014).
June > TPC member at the First Workshop on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization for Flexible Network Management (SDNFlex 2015). Consider submitting your SDN work!
> "In-Band Update for Network Routing Policy Migration" accepted to ICNP 2014.
> TPC member at the First Workshop on COntrol, Operation, and appLication in SDN protocols (CoolSDN 2014). Consider submitting your SDN work!
April > "SDX: A Software Defined Internet Exchange" accepted to ACM SIGCOMM 2014! We'll also have a demo. You can find more about the project here, and a video of me introducing the SDX at RIPE 67 here.
Feb > "Enabling SDN in old school networks with Software-Controlled Routing Protocols" accepted to ONS Research Track 2014
> "Opportunities and Research Challenges of Hybrid Software Defined Networks" will be presented at the SDN Working Group (SDNRG)
> "Opportunities and Research Challenges of Hybrid Software Defined Networks" accepted to ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review (Editorial Zone)

Teaching (Fall 2018)

> Advanced Topics in Communication Networks
> Discrete Event Systems

Show previous courses Hide previous courses

> Communication Networks (Spring 2018)
> Discrete Event Systems (Autumn 2017)
> Communication Networks (Spring 2017)
> Discrete Event Systems (Autumn 2016)
> Communication Networks (Spring 2016)
> Discrete Event Systems (Autumn 2015)