My research interests centre on networked systems, particularly in the context of security and measurement. Currently, I am working on the design, scalability and applications of blockchains with George Danezis and Sarah Meiklejohn as part of the EU DECODE and EPSRC Glass Houses projects. I am a member of IC3 (Initiative for cryptocurrency and Contract) and The UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT). I also work on measurement and characterization of various forms of information control such as censorship, discrimination and misinformation.

I received my Ph.D. degree (Characterization of Internet Censorship from Multiple Perspectives) from the University of Cambridge in 2017 under the supervision of Jon Crowcroft (and co-supervised by Steven Murdoch, Vern Paxson, and Ross Anderson) where I was an Honorary Cambridge Trust Scholar, and was awarded the Mary Bradburn Scholarship by the British Federation of Women Graduates for my research work. I maintain ties with ICSI (UC Berkeley), where I interned in 2012 and 2013, and made research contributions to NSF projects on developing empirical basis for censorship and socio-economic perspectives on Internet security. Previously I worked on Intrusion Detection Systems (Bro), and wrote an open-source software for botnet detection (BotFlex). I received my Master's degree in Computer and Communication Security from National University of Science and Technology, Pakistan in 2013 for which I was awarded the President's Gold Medal.

I help run the amazing Lonfon Infosec group -- a consortium of academics in London (and our friends/collaborators elsewhere in UK, and all over the world) working on Infosec. If you fit the description, we would love to have you join us!


  • Our paper "Scanning the Internet for Liveness" has been accepted to SIGCOMM CCR 2018.
  • I'll serve in the PC of ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2018.
  • The preprint of our new paper "Coconut: Threshold Issuance Selective Disclosure Credentials with Applications to Distributed Ledgers" is now up!.
  • Our paper "Illuminating the Ecosystem of Partisan Websites" has been accepted to WWW 2018.
  • I'll serve in the PC of Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2019.
  • This week our scalable smart contracts blockchain platform, Chainspace and SoK study on blockchain consensus have been featured in The Morning Paper.
  • I'll serve in the PC of the Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime) 2018.
  • Our article The Road to Scalable Blockchain Designs appeared in USENIX ;login Magazine.
  • The preprint of our SoK on blockchain consensus protocols is now up! Here's the blog post.
  • Excited to co-chair IEEE Security & Privacy on the Blockchain (IEEE S&B) 2018!
  • Chainspace, A Sharded Smart Contracts Platform has been accepted to NDSS 2018.
  • I'll serve in the PC of IEEE workshop on Blockchain Technologies and Applications (BTA) 2018.
  • The preprint of Chainspace, our sharded, smart contracts platform is now up! Here's the blog post.
  • I'll serve in the PC of The Web Conference (WWW) 2018.
  • I'll serve in the PC of Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2018.

Selected Publications

The complete list is here.


The complete list is here.

Blockchain Scalability

Internet Censorship


  • My name is pronounced as Shahrbānū (شهربانو‎‎) (Meaning: "Lady of the Land", or "The Princess"). This name has appeared in various historic and folklorish contexts, and there are many songs (e.g., this, this, and this) named after me! :)  
  • I can speak English, Pashto (three dialects), Urdu (Native or Bilingual Proficiency), Punjabi (Limited Working Proficiency), Arabic and Persian (Elementary Proficiency).
  • In my free time, I like to read about psychology philosophy and literature, and watching movies and long walks with my son. I enjoy running and good music.