Personal life

Hi! In real life, my name is Simone Aonzo, online I’m known as “packmad”.

I’m Italian. I was born in 1988 in Savona [video].

But I studied, lived, and worked for many years in Genova. I have mixed feelings about Genova, but I consider it one of the most magical cities I’ve ever seen [video].

At the moment, I live in Nice, France, and work at Eurecom in the Sophia Antipolis technology park.

So, I always woke up with the scent of the sea!

I’m (proudly) father of twins, Francesco and Alessandro, they were born in 2010. I discovered a new world through their eyes.

I was a pro K1 kickboxing fighter until 2015. I won two belts: amateur European Champion and professional Italian Champion [video]. I am still training, but just for eating a lot of Italian food without getting fatter 🙂

Study / Work

I’ve been working since I was a teenager: waiter, lifeguard, bricklayer, salesperson, and system/network administrator!

After I’ve set aside enough money, I started again to study, and I achieved the Master of Science in Computer Science (cum laude) at the University of Genoa in 2015.

Then, I worked for one year as an Android Reverse Engineer at Talos until 2017. But it wasn’t my way. I felt the need for a new challenge.

So, I started a PhD Computer Science and Systems Engineering at University of Genoa and (finally) I’ve realized that my future will be in academic research.

Listen, Morty, I hate to break it to you, but what people call “love” is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard, Morty, then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Break the cycle, Morty. Rise above. Focus on science. [Rick and Morty]

I’ve finished my PhD in January 2020, and it has been a challenging journey!

After that I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher and then as Research Engineer at Eurecom under the supervision of Davide Balzarotti.

Finally, it seems that after many adventures I have found my way: in April 2022, I was hired as an assistant professor at Eurecom, and I plan to continue my career here for several years!

My main line of research is Security & Privacy. More precisely, over the years I have devoted myself to working on (in chronological order):

  1. Mobile (Android) system security
  2. Malware Analysis (Android and Windows)
  3. Humans in the Cybersecurity Loop
  4. Perimeter security

Personal interests

I have a lot of hobbies, depending on the season (and sometimes I sleep):