Gianluca Stringhini

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)

University College London

7.02 Malet Place Engineering Building

g.stringhini (at)

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I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Departments of Computer Science and Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL). I am affiliated with the Information Security Group, the International Secure Systems Lab, and the iDrama Lab.

I received a PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014. During my PhD I worked in the Computer Security Lab, advised by Professors Christopher Kruegel and Giovanni Vigna.

I was awarded a UCL BEAMS Future Leaders in Engineering and Physical Sciences Award in 2016, a Google Research Award in 2015, the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Department of Computer Science at UCSB in 2014, and a Symantec Research Labs Graduate Fellowship in 2012.


In my research I apply a data-driven approach to better understand malicious activity on the Internet. Through the collection and analysis of large-scale datasets, I develop novel and robust mitigation techniques to make the Internet a safer place. My research involves a mix of quantitative analysis, (some) qualitative analysis, machine learning, crime science, and systems design.

As examples, recently I have been investigating the spread of alternative news on online social networks, raids organized by trolls against other Internet users, cyberbullying, ransomware, online dating scams, money laundering schemes linked to cybercrime, malware delivery networks, and online social network compromises.

My research is supported by the EPSRC, the EU Commission, Google, and GCHQ.


If you are already a UCL student, here are some examples of research papers resulting from successful final projects that I supervised. If you are interested in working with me, please write me an email.

Email Babel: Does Language Affect Criminal Activity in Compromised Webmail Accounts? - MSc in Crime Science, 2017
Understanding Online Carding Forums - MSc in Forensic Sciences, 2015


Movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Exploring Illegal Streaming Cyberlockers

Damilola Ibosiola, Benjamin Steer, Alvaro Garcia-Recuero, Gianluca Stringhini, Steve Uhlig, and Gareth Tyson. ICWSM, 2018.

Understanding Web Archiving Services and Their (Mis)Use on Social Media

Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, and Gianluca Stringhini. ICWSM, 2018.

Large Scale Crowdsourcing and Characterization of Twitter Abusive Behavior

Antigoni-Maria Founta, Constantinos Djouvas, Despoina Chatzakou, Ilias Leontiadis, Jeremy Blackburn, Gianluca Stringhini, Athena Vakali, Michael Sirivianos, and Nicolas Kourtellis. ICWSM, 2018.

You are your Metadata: Identification and Obfuscation of Social Media Users using Metadata Information

Beatrice Perez, Mirco Musolesi, and Gianluca Stringhini. ICWSM, 2018.

The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources

Savvas Zannettou, Tristan Caulfield, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Nicolas Kourtellis, Ilias Leontiadis, Michael Sirivianos, Gianuca Stringhini, and Jeremy Blackburn. ACM SIGCOMM IMC, 2017.

POISED: Spotting Twitter Spam Off the Beaten Paths

Shirin Nilizadeh, Francois Labreche, Alireza Sadighian, Jose Fernandez, Christopher Kruegel, Gianluca Stringhini, and Giovanni Vigna. ACM CCS, 2017.

Mean Birds: Detecting Aggression and Bullying on Twitter

Despoina Chatzakou, Nicolas Kourtellis, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Gianluca Stringhini, and Athena Vakali. ACM WebSci, 2017.

Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan's Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effects on the Web

Gabriel Emile Hine, Jeremiah Onaolapo, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Nicolas Kourtellis, Ilias Leontiadis, Riginos Samaras, Gianluca Stringhini, and Jeremy Blackburn. ICWSM, 2017.

PayBreak: Defense against cryptographic ransomware

Eugene Kolodenker, William Koch, Gianluca Stringhini, and Manuel Egele. ASIACCS, 2017.

What's in a Name? Understanding Profile Name Reuse on Twitter

Enrico Mariconti, Jeremiah Onaolapo, Syed Sharique Ahmad, Nicolas Nikiforou, Manuel Egele, Nick Nikiforakis, and Gianluca Stringhini. WWW, 2017.

MaMaDroid: Detecting Android Malware by Building Markov Chains of Behavioral Models

Enrico Mariconti, Lucky Onwuzurike, Panagiotis Andriotis, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Gordon Ross, and Gianluca Stringhini. NDSS, 2017.

What Happens After You Are Pwnd: Understanding The Use of Leaked Webmail Credentials In The Wild

Jeremiah Onaolapo, Enrico Mariconti, and Gianluca Stringhini. ACM SIGCOMM IMC, 2016.

Drops For Stuff: An Analysis Of Reshipping Mules Scams

Shuang Hao, Kevin Borgolte, Nick Nikiforakis, Gianluca Stringhini, Manuel Egele, Michael Eubanks, Brian Krebs, and Giovanni Vigna. ACM CCS, 2015.

EvilCohort: Detecting Communities of Malicious Accounts on Online Services

Gianluca Stringhini, Pierre Mourlanne, Gregoire Jacob, Manuel Egele, Christopher Kruegel, and Giovanni Vigna. USENIX Security Symposium, 2015.


I teach Computer Security 2 in the MSc in Information Security together with Emiliano De Cristofaro.

I teach a course on cybercrime, which is one of the few courses of its kind in the world. In the course we look at cybercriminal operations from an interdisciplinary angle, but focusing on the engineering elements that make them successful. The goal is to get a better understanding of cybercrime and develop better countermeasures to fight it.

I also organize the UCL Computer Science Hacking Seminar, in which UCL students can play with security challenges and gain a better understanding of computer vulnerabilities and how to prevent them.


During Term 2: 13:00-14:00 on Mondays in 7.02 MPEB.


I am serving as program co-chair for the APWG eCrime Symposium. I am currently serving on multiple program committees including the ones for USENIX Security, NDSS, IEEE Security and Privacy (Oakland), and CCS. You can find a complete list of my service here.