Amir Houmansadr
Assistant Professor
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Office: 206 CS Building
E-mail: amir (at)
Social: Twitter, LinkedIn

I am an assistant professor of computer science at UMass, where I joined in Fall 2014. My area of research is network security and privacy, which includes problems such as Internet censorship resistance, statistical traffic analysis, location privacy, and privacy in next-generation network architectures. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012, where I was advised by Nikita Borisov. I was a postdoctoral scholar for two years at the University of Texas at Austin, honored to work with Vitaly Shmatikov, before joining UMass in 2014. I also earned my M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the Electrical Engineering Department of Sharif University of Technology. I received a Google Faculty Research Award in 2015 and an NSF CAREER Award in 2016.


- 12/09/2016: I moderated a panel on Internet censorship at ACSAC 2016.
- 11/09/2016: I gave a keynote talk on Internet censorship at SBSeg 2016 in Niteroi, Brazil.
- 07/25/2016: Received a collaborative Medium NSF Award to investigate Covert Communications! Many thanks to the NSF!
- 07/23/2016: 2/2 papers accepted at CCS'16! Congrats to my students, Hadi and Milad!
- 04/25/2016: CovertCast is accepted at PETS'16!
- 02/25/2016: Our Book on Information Hiding is published!
- 01/27/2016: I received an NSF CAREER Award!
- 12/16/2015: I will co-chair the 2016 USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI)!
- 11/20/2015: Our CacheBrowser featured in MIT Technology Review article
- 08/05/2015: Paper accepted at ACM CCS 2015: "CacheBrowser: Bypassing Chinese Censorship without Proxies Using Cached Content."
- 07/24/2015: Received an NSF Award to investigate statistical traffic analysis. Many thanks to the NSF!
- 02/12/2015: I am awarded a Faculty Research Award from Google. Thanks Google for the generosity!


Organizer: Technical Program Committee:


   Spring'17: Advanced Information Assurance (CMPSCI 660)
   Fall'16: Introduction to Computer and Network Security (CMPSCI 460/597N)
   Fall'16: Seminar - CyberSecurity Lecture Series (CMPSCI 591CF)
   Fall'15: Introduction to Computer and Network Security (CMPSCI 460)
   Fall'15: Special Topics - Introduction to Computer and Network Security (CMPSCI 597N)
   Fall'15: Seminar - Cyber Security Faculty Lecture Series (CMPSCI 591CF)
   Spring'15: Advanced Information Assurance (CMPSCI 660)
   Fall'14: Hot Topics in Privacy Enhancing Technologies (CMPSCI 691PT)

Selected Publications [All Publications|Google Scholar|DBLP]

Information Hiding in Communication Networks: Fundamentals, Mechanisms, Applications, and Countermeasures
  Wojciech Mazurczyk, Steffen Wendzel, Sebastian Zander, Amir Houmansadr, and Krzysztof Szczypiorski
  Wiley-IEEE Press, February 2016
GAME OF DECOYS: Optimal Decoy Routing Through Game Theory
    Milad Nasr and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2016
Practical Censorship Evasion Leveraging Content Delivery Networks
    Hadi Zolfaghari and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2016
CacheBrowser: Bypassing Chinese Censorship without Proxies Using Cached Content
    John Holowczak and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2015
No Direction Home: The True Cost of Routing Around Decoys
    Amir Houmansadr, Edmund L Wong, and Vitaly Shmatikov
    NDSS 2014
Non-Blind Watermarking of Network Flows
    Amir Houmansadr, Negar Kiyavash, and Nikita Borisov
    IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, August 2014
The Need for Flow Fingerprints to Link Correlated Network Flows
    Amir Houmansadr and Nikita Borisov
    PETS 2013
The Parrot is Dead: Observing Unobservable Network Communications
    Amir Houmansadr, Chad Brubaker, and Vitaly Shmatikov
    IEEE S&P (Oakland) 2013
    (The Best Practical Paper Award)
I Want My Voice to Be Heard: IP Over Voice-over-IP for Unobservable Censorship Circumvention
    Amir Houmansadr, Thomas Riedl, Nikita Borisov, and Andrew Singer
    NDSS 2013
CensorSpoofer: Asymmetric Communication using IP Spoofing for Censorship-Resistant Web Browsing
    Qiyan Wang, Xun Gong, Giang Nguyen, Amir Houmansadr, and Nikita Borisov
    ACM CCS 2012
Cirripede: Circumvention Infrastructure using Router Redirection with Plausible Deniability
    Amir Houmansadr, Giang T. K. Nguyen, Matthew Caesar, and Nikita Borisov
    ACM CCS 2011
SWIRL: A Scalable Watermark to Detect Correlated Network Flows
    Amir Houmansadr and Nikita Borisov
    NDSS 2011
RAINBOW: A Robust And Invisible Non-Blind Watermark for Network Flows
    Amir Houmansadr, Negar Kiyavash, and Nikita Borisov
    NDSS 2009

Selected Awards

   • NSF CAREER Award, Jan 2016.
   • Google Faculty Research Award, Feb 2015.
   • The Best Practical Paper award at the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy (Oakland), 2013.
   • The ECE Computer Engineering Fellowship awarded by the ECE department of UIUC (sponsored by Intel), 2012.
   • The Outstanding Team Presentation award at UIUC's CS Grad Symposium, 2012.