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 & Announcements

  • Open PhD positions to work with us on security/privacy + data science/machine learning at the Turing Institute – see https://www.turing.ac.uk/opportunities/studentships/ (deadline Nov 30th)
  • MaMaDroid, our NDSS'17 paper on Android malware detection based on behavioral models has been selected as finalist for the European Cyber Security Awareness Week's best paper award (10 selected out 128)
  • Our paper on privacy-preserving generative networks accepted at IEEE ICDM 2017 – congrats Luca!
  • Our paper "The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources" accepted at ACM IMC 2017 – congrats Savvas & Tristan!
  • Hosting IEEE EuroSP in London, Apr 24-26, 2018; will be General Co-Chair (with George Danezis) and serve in the PC
  • Promoted to Reader in Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies (as Ben calls it, Associate Professor++ 😉) – thanks to everyone who made it possible! [The promotion will kick in on October 1st]
  • Our paper on "Measuring, Characterizing, and Detecting Facebook Like Farms" to be published in the ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS) – congrats Lucky!
  • Our NDSS 2016 paper on private statistics won the 5th Data Protection by Design Award, issued by the Catalan Data Protection authority and the Parliament of Catalonia – congrats Luca!
  • Excited to co-chair, with Vitaly Shmatikov, the Security & Privacy PC at WWW 2018
  • Apostolos's paper on evaluating aggregation-based location privacy accepted at PETS 2017, preliminary version available here – congrats Apostolos!

Research Group

I am extremely lucky to collaborate with a number of people at UCL and elsewhere, and am 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 1982 in Avellino, a town surrounded by the green hills of Irpinia (from the Latin hirpus, wolf), in the southern Italian region of Campania. Irpinia is known for its 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 the dark side – weather-wise, obviously – i.e., London. I have also briefly lived in Chioggia, Roma, 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 wife 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.