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

Emiliano De Cristofaro


Associate Professor in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies
Head of the Information Security Research Group
Department of Computer Science, University College London
Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
6.21A Malet Place Engineering Building (map)



Short Bio

I am an Associate Professor ("Reader" until recently) in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL)'s Computer Science Department, where I head the Information Security Research Group. I am also a Faculty Fellow at the Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI. 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

  • Several PhD and post-doc positions available! See https://emilianodc.com/positions.html
  • PhD position funded through Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship Program to work on security and privacy in machine learning
  • Paper accepted in the ACM Transactions of Privacy and Security (TOPS): "MaMaDroid: Detecting Android Malware by Building Markov Chains of Behavioral Models (Extended Version)" – congrats Lucky and Enrico!
  • $100,000 grant awarded from Amazon (Amazon Research Award) for studying and mitigating attacks on collaborative learning
  • Paper accepted at WWW: "Privacy-Preserving Crowd-Sourcing of Web Searches with Private Data Donor" – congrats Vincent et al.!
  • Joined the PC of Oakland 2020 and ACM CCS 2019
  • Our paper "On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities" (PDF) won distinguished paper award at IMC – congrats Savvas et al.!
  • Paper accepted at IEEE S&P ("Oakland"): "Exploiting Unintended Feature Leakage in Collaborative Learning" (PDF) – congrats Luca et al.!
  • Two papers accepted at PETS 2019: "LOGAN: Membership Inference Attacks Against Generative Models" (PDF) and "Systematizing Genome Privacy Research: A Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Perspective" (PDF) – congrats Alexandros, Luca, and Jamie!

Research Group

I have also been lucky to collaborate with a number of other students at UCL and elsewhere, including Savvas Zannettou, Enrico Mariconti, Despoina Chatzakou, Jamie Hayes, and Andrea Cerulli.

Teaching (2018-19)


I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy on the green hills of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its landscapes, medieval castles, hazelnuts, black truffles, torrone, and some great wines like Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo (which I know of thanks to my brother Paolo who is a top 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 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, most of the times) trouble in German, Spanish, and Farsi.