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Pindrop Co-Founder, CEO and CTO, Vijay Balasubramaniyan Receives ‘Test of Time’ Award at ACM CCS 2020

Atlanta, GA — NOV. 13, 2020 — Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Co-Founder, CEO and CTO of Pindrop, the pioneer in fraud detection and authentication, received the 2020 Test of Time Award at the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), alongside Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) colleagues and alumni, Aamir Poonawalla, Mustaque Ahamad, Michael T. Hunter and Patrick Traynor. The team receives this honor in recognition of their 2010 research, “PinDr0p: Using Single-Ended Audio Features To Determine Call Provenance.”

“Having put my heart and soul into my research on telecommunications security while at Georgia Institute of Technology, this recognition is one of the biggest honors I could receive,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Co-Founder, CEO and CTO of Pindrop. “This was truly a team effort, and I could not have done it without the help of my brilliant friends and colleagues, Aamir, Mustaque, Michael and Patrick.”

In the paper, Balasubramaniyan and his team examine PinDr0p, a mechanism to assist users in determining call provenance — the source and the path taken by a call. The team’s techniques detect and measure single-ended audio features to identify all of the applied voice codecs, calculate packet loss and noise profiles, while remaining agnostic to characteristics of the speaker’s voice. In the absence of verifiable call metadata, these features in combination with machine learning determines the traversal of

a call through as many as three different providers with 91.6% accuracy. Moreover, the research shows that once the networks traversed are identified and characterized, the team is able to create detailed fingerprints for a call source, which can be used to distinguish between calls made using specific PSTN, cellular, Vonage, Skype and other hard and soft phones from locations across the world with over 90% accuracy – providing a first step in accurately determining the provenance of a call.

The Test of Time Award is an award given annually by the ACM Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC). The award recognizes papers from CCS ten years prior that have had the greatest impact on security research and practice over the past decade.

Under Balasubramaniyan’s leadership, Pindrop has grown to service eight of the ten largest banks and five of the seven largest insurance companies in the US. He’s held various engineering and research roles with Google, Siemens, IBM Research and Intel, and holds patents in VoIP security and scalability. Balasubramaniyan earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology. 

About Pindrop

Pindrop solutions are leading the way to the future of voice by establishing the standard for identity, security and trust for every voice interaction. Pindrop solutions protect some of the biggest banks, insurers, and retailers in the world using patented technology that extracts an unrivaled amount of intelligence from every call and voice encountered. Pindrop solutions help detect fraudsters and authenticate genuine customers, reducing fraud and operational costs, while improving customer experience and protecting brand reputation. Pindrop, a privately held company, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, was founded in 2011 by Dr. Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Dr. Paul Judge and Dr. Mustaque Ahamad and is venture-backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures, Felicis Ventures, CapitalG, GV, IVP and Vitruvian Partners. For more information, please visit


Willa Hahn 

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