I am (Full) Professor of Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL). I am affiliated with the Computer Science Department and currently serve as Head of the Information Security Research Group and Director of the Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). Before joining UCL in 2013, I was a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC.

I am also a Faculty Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and AI, and on the Technology Advisory Panel at the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). And, I am a co-founder of the International Data-driven Research for Advanced Modeling and Analysis Lab (iDrama Lab).

Research

Overall, I do research in the broad information security area. Recently, I have been doing a lot of work at the intersection of machine learning and privacy, as well as on understanding and countering cybersafety issues using measurement studies and data science.

My research has been published at top-tier conferences such as IEEE S&P, NDSS, ACM CCS, WWW, ICWSM, ACM IMC. My co-authors and I have received best/distinguished paper awards from NDSS 2018, ACM IMC 2018, and CyberSafety 2019, as well as the Data Protection by Design Award from the Catalan Data Protection authority, and were runners-up for best paper at ACM IMC 2014 and ICWSM 2017.

Education

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

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).

News

  • Paper conditionally accepted at ACM SIGMETRICS 2020: Measuring Membership Privacy on Aggregate Location Time-Series – congrats Apostolos!
  • Paper accepted at IEEE SafeThings 2020: On the Feasibility of Acoustic Attacks Using Commodity Smart Devices (preprint) – congrats Matt!
  • Three papers accepted at ICWSM 2020: 1) “And We Will Fight For Our Race!” A Measurement Study of Genetic Testing Conversations on Reddit and 4chan, 2) Characterizing the Use of Images in State-Sponsored Information Warfare Operations by Russian Trolls on Twitter, 3) Raiders of the Lost Kek: 3.5 Years of Augmented 4chan Posts from the Politically Incorrect Board – congrats Alexandros, Antonis, and Savvas!
  • Joined the PC of S&P 2021
  • Paper accepted at ACM WPES: “How Much Does GenoGuard Really Guard? An Empirical Analysis of Long-Term Security for Genomic Data” – congrats Bristena!
  • Paper accepted at ACM CSCW: “You Know What to Do: Proactive Detection of YouTube Videos Targeted by Coordinated Hate Attacks” – congrats Enrico et al.!
  • Paper accepted at ACM IMC: “Challenges in the Decentralized Web: The Mastodon Case” – congrats Aravindh et al.!
  • Joined the PCs of ACM SIGMETRICS and WWW
  • Promoted to Full Professor with a Chair in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at UCL – congrats to everyone who made that possible!

Personal

I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy on the green hills of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its landscapesmedieval castles, hazelnuts, black trufflestorrone, 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 top wine journalist). I have spent six awesome years in California 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 and anti-pineapple pizza radical, remembering (with melancholy) the times I used to surf San Onofre, cooking (only pasta and pizza, obviously), and planning trips with my better half Darya and little one Maya. I am fluent in English, French, Italian, and can utter enough words to get out of (or in, most of the times) trouble in German, Spanish, and Farsi.