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I’m a (Full) Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. Until June 2023, I was with the University College London (UCL), where I served as Director of the Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) and the Head of the Information Security Research Group.

I head the Security and Privacy Advanced research Lab (SPALab), a distributed research group with members at UCR and UCL. I have a PhD from UC Irvine, advised by Gene Tsudik. During my PhD, I spent a few months on research internships at NEC in Heidelberg (2008), INRIA in Grenoble (2009), and Nokia in Lausanne (2010). After graduating, I worked as a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC from 2011 to 2013.


I do academic research in the broad information security area. Over the past few years, I have been working on trustworthy machine learning and on understanding and countering socio-technical issues on the Web.

My research has been published at all four top-tier conferences in security (IEEE S&P, NDSS, ACM CCS, Usenix Security) as well top-tier conferences in other fields, such as ICML, WWW, ACM IMC, ACM SIGMETRICS, ICWSM, CSCW. My co-authors and I have received best/distinguished paper awards from NDSS, ACM CCS, CSCW, ICWSM, and ACM IMC, the Data Protection by Design Award from the Catalan Data Protection authority, and were runners-up for the CSAW Applied Research Competition and the INRIA-CNIL Privacy Protection Award. In 2022, I completed the “security grand slam,” i.e., I had at least one paper in all four top-tier security conferences in the same calendar year.


  • PhD in Networked Systems, Sep 2011
    University of California, Irvine
    Advisor: Gene Tsudik
    Dissertation: Sharing Sensitive Information with Privacy
  • BSc in Computer Science, Jul 2005
    University of Salerno, Italy
    Summa cum Laude, top 1% in graduating class


I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy surrounded by the mountains of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its green landscapes and medieval castles, the soccer team, the hazelnuts, and the black truffles, as well as some great wines like Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo.

In my free time, I like acting as a coffee snob and a guerilla activist against pineapple on pizza, nostalgically remembering the times I used to surf, and cooking (only pasta and pizza, obviously).

I have always loved languages and I’m (kinda) fluent in English, French, and Italian, and can utter enough words in German, Spanish, and Persian to get into trouble.

Kind request: my name is ‘Emiliano’ (first name) + ‘De Cristofaro’ (last name). I.e., ‘De’ is not a middle name, so please please please don’t call me Emiliano Cristofaro – it’d be like using ‘Robert Niro’ to refer to ‘Robert De Niro’ (you talking to me???).