My research interests centre on networked systems, particularly in the context of security and measurement. Currently, I am working on scalability of blockchain technologies as part of the DECODE project, and characterization of Internet censorship: how it’s done, how it can be stopped, what its effects are, and the evolving shape of the ecosystem of government/policy-based censorship.

I received my Ph.D. degree ("Characterization of Internet Censorship from Multiple Perspectives") from the University of Cambridge in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Jon Crowcroft (and co-supervised by Dr. Steven Murdoch, Prof. Vern Paxson, and Prof. 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. Previously I worked on Intrusion Detection Systems (Bro), and wrote an open-source software for botnet detection (BotFlex). I interned twice at ICSI, UC Berkeley in 2012 and 2013. 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.


  • Invited to serve in the PC of USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI) 2017.
  • Invited to serve in the PC of Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 2018.
  • Our adblock detection work The Adblocking Tug-of-War appeared in USENIX ;login Magazine.
  • My Ph.D. dissertation "Characterization of Internet censorship from multiple perspectives" is now available online.
  • Our work on characterizing Internet censorship is featured on University of Cambridge Research.
  • I talked about Internet censorship on Cambridge TV.

Selected Publications

The complete list is here.


The complete list is here.

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 songs named after this too!  
  • 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 I enjoy watching movies and long walks with my son.