Email: e.decristofaro (at) ucl (dot) ac (dot) uk
Phone: +44 20 7679 0349 (email before calling)
GPG: 4099EA23ADE1F8BD, Signal: upon request
Twitter: @emilianoucl

Dr. Emiliano De Cristofaro


Reader (Associate Professor) in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies
University College London, Department of Computer Science
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
6.04 Malet Place Engineering Building (map)



Short Bio

I am a Reader (Associate Professor) in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL), where I am affiliated with the Computer Science Department and the Information Security Group. Before joining UCL in 2013, I was a research scientist at Xerox PARC. I received a summa-cum-laude Laurea degree in Computer Science from the University of Salerno, Italy (2005), then, in 2011, a PhD in Networked Systems from the University of California, Irvine, advised by Gene Tsudik. My dissertation, titled "Sharing Sensitive Information with Privacy," can be found here. During my PhD, I also spent a few months on research internships at NEC in Heidelberg (2008), INRIA in Grenoble (2009), and Nokia in Lausanne (2010).

Overall, I do research in security and privacy enhancing technologies. These days I work on understanding and countering security issues via measurement studies and data-driven analysis, as well as tackling problems at the intersection of machine learning and security/privacy.

Recent News

  • Our paper "AnoniMME: Bringing Anonymity to the Matchmaker Exchange Platform for Rare Disease Gene Discovery" (conditionally) accepted at ISMB'18 (pre-print here) – congrats Bristena!
  • Our NDSS 2018 paper on membership inference on aggregate locations won the NDSS Distinguished Paper award – congrats Apostolos!
  • Invited to teach at the Summer School on Real-World Crypto – Privacy in Sibenik, Croatia, June 2018
  • MaMaDroid, our NDSS'17 paper on Android malware detection based on behavioral models has won 2nd Place at the CSAW Europe Applied Research Award (out of 128 papers)

Selected Publications [all]

  • Apostolos Pyrgelis, Carmela Troncoso, Emiliano De Cristofaro
    Knock Knock, Who’s There? Membership Inference on Aggregate Location Data
    25th Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2018)
    Distinguished Paper Award
  • Gergely Acs, Luca Melis, Claude Castelluccia, Emiliano De Cristofaro
    Differentially Private Mixture of Generative Neural Networks
    17th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM 2017)
  • Savvas Zannettou, Tristan Caulfield, Emiliano De Cristofaro, N. Kourtellis, I. Leontiadis, M. Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini, Jeremy Blackburn
    The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources
    17th ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC 2017)
  • Gabriel Hine, Jeremiah Onaolapo, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Nicolas Kourtellis, Ilias Leontiadis, Gianluca Stringhini, Jeremy Blackburn
    Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan's Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web
    11th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2017)
    Best Paper Runner-Up
  • Enrico Mariconti, Lucky Onwuzurike, Panagiotis Andriotis, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Gordon Ross, Gianluca Stringhini
    MaMaDroid: Detecting Android Malware by Building Markov Chains of Behavioral Models
    24th Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2017)
    2nd Place at CSAW Europe Applied Research Award
  • Luca Melis, George Danezis, Emiliano De Cristofaro
    Efficient Private Statistics with Succinct Sketches
    23rd Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2016)
    5th Data Protection by Design Award by Catalan Data Protection Authority and the Parliament of Catalonia
  • Erman Ayday, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Jean-Pierre Hubaux, Gene Tsudik
    Whole Genome Sequencing: Revolutionary Medicine or Privacy Nightmare
    IEEE Computer Magazine, Vol. 48, No. 2, February 2015
  • Abdelberi Chaabane, Terence Chen, Mathieu Cunche, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Arik Friedman, Dali Kaafar
    Censorship in the Wild: Analyzing Web Filtering in Syria
    14th ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC 2014)
    Best Paper Runner-Up
  • Emiliano De Cristofaro, Arik Friedman, Guillaume Jourjon, Dali Kaafar, M. Zubair Shafiq
    Paying for Likes? Understanding Facebook Like Fraud Using Honeypots
    14th ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC 2014)
  • Emiliano De Cristofaro, Claudio Soriente, Gene Tsudik, Andrew Williams
    Hummingbird: Privacy at the time of Twitter
    33rd IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P 2012)
  • Pierre Baldi, Roberta Baronio, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Paolo Gasti, Gene Tsudik
    Countering GATTACA: Efficient and Secure Testing of Fully-Sequenced Human Genomes
    18th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2011)
  • Claude Castelluccia, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Aurelien Francillon, Dali Kaafar
    EphPub: Toward Robust Ephemeral Publishing
    19th IEEE Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP 2011)
  • Emiliano De Cristofaro, Anthony Durussel, Imad Aad
    Reclaiming Privacy for Smartphone Applications
    9th IEEE Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2011)
  • Emiliano De Cristofaro, Jihye Kim, Gene Tsudik
    Linear-Complexity Private Set Intersection Protocols Secure in Malicious Model
    16th IACR Conference on the Theory and Application of Cryptology (Asiacrypt 2010)
  • Emiliano De Cristofaro and Gene Tsudik
    Practical Private Set Intersection Protocols with Linear Complexity
    14th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security (FC 2010)

Research Group

I am extremely lucky to collaborate with a number of people at UCL and elsewhere, and proud to supervise:

Working with me

Please send me a short (and personal) email with your CV, the names of 2-3 references, and 2-3 paragraphs summarizing your research interests, whether you have funding, and whether you have already contacted someone in UCL's Information Security Group, if you are interested in:

  • Applying for a PhD or post-doc under my supervision. If I don't have specific openings announced, you could find information about scholarships for outstanding student on this page. We also have funding through the Security Science Doctoral Training Center and the Alan Turing Institute
  • Being hosted at UCL on research visits or fellowships. There are several opportunities for fellowships, including with the EPSRC, Royal Society, Marie Curie, Fulbright, etc.

Teaching and Project Supervision


I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy surrounded by the green hills of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its beautiful landscapes, medieval castles, hazelnuts, truffles, torrone, and some great wines like Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo (which I know of only thanks to my brother Paolo who is a terrific wine journalist). I have spent six awesome years in sunny California (4 in Irvine and 2 in Palo Alto), before moving to pre-Brexit London. I have also briefly lived in Venice, Rome, Portsmouth, Heidelberg, Singapore, Grenoble, Lausanne, and Barcelona. In my free time, I like acting as a coffee snob, pretending to be akin to a movie critic, remembering (not without melancholy) the times I used to surf in San Onofre, cooking (pasta and pizza of course), and planning trips with my better half, Darya. I speak English, Italian, and French, and can utter enough words to get out of (or in, depending on the situation) trouble in German, Spanish, and Farsi.