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 Research Scientist at Chainspace, and a member of IC3 (Initiative for cryptocurrency and Contract) and The UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT). I also have a long-standing research interest in characterizing various forms of information control (e.g., censorship, discrimination and misinformation) to enable transparency and accountability; for this work I was named to MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35.

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. Previously, I collaborated with ICSI (UC Berkeley), and made research contributions to NSF projects on developing empirical basis for censorship and socio-economic perspectives on Internet security. I also 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 London 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!


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), Hindi (Native or Bilingual Proficiency), Punjabi (Limited Working Proficiency), Arabic (Elementary Proficiency) and Farsi/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.