Portrait of Weidong Cui

Weidong Cui

Partner Research Manager


I am a partner research manager managing the Security Research Group (opens in new tab) in Microsoft Research Redmond. My research interests lie in the areas of systems and software security and reliability. Since I joined MSR, I have worked on a few topics: confidential computing (opens in new tab), hypervisor fuzzing (opens in new tab), reverse debugging of production failures (opens in new tab), crash dump triaging (opens in new tab), typing dynamic data for memory analysis (opens in new tab), and automatic protocol reverse engineering (opens in new tab). In addition to writing papers, I enjoy developing security and software tools that are useful in the real world. For instance, the RETracer (opens in new tab) tool of which I led the design and development has been running inside Microsoft as the primary triaging tool for access violations since March 2015. Lately, I led the design and development of a reverse debugging system called REPT (opens in new tab).  REPT was deployed in the error reporting ecosystem of Windows (currently only for Microsoft developers). Our OSDI ’18 paper (opens in new tab) about REPT won the Jay Lepreau Best Paper Award! My recent focus is on securing confidential cloud services. Our work (opens in new tab) on AMD SEV-SNP helped enable confidential containers (opens in new tab) on Azure. We built a practical append-only ledger system (opens in new tab) to protect confidential services from rollback attacks. Our recent work on building a fully verified security module (opens in new tab) for confidential VMs received the Jay Lepreau Best Paper Award from OSDI ’24.

I earned my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (opens in new tab) and M.S. in Computer Science (opens in new tab) from the University of California, Berkeley (opens in new tab), and my M.E. and B.E. in Electronic Engineering (opens in new tab) from Tsinghua University (opens in new tab).