I am a Research Scientist in Facebook Novi based in London. I am also a Visiting Researcher at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Univeristy of Cambridge. My research interests centre on networked and distributed systems, particularly in the context of security and measurement. My key areas of research include blockchains, information control, Internet measurement, and malware and intrusion detection. I 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 was a co-founder and senior researcher at Chainspace, a scalable smart contracts platform. I worked on the security, performance and applications of blockchains as a postdoc with George Danezis and Sarah Meiklejohn as part of the EU DECODE and EPSRC Glass Houses projects. 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 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 people working on information security (academia & industry) in London (and our friends/collaborators elsewhere in the UK, and all over the world). 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, yoga and good music.