Amir Houmansadr Associate Professor
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Office: 206 CS Building
E-mail: amir (at) cs.umass.edu [PGP Key]
Online: Twitter, LinkedIn

I am an associate professor of computer science at UMass Amherst, where I joined in Fall 2014. My general area of research is network security and privacy, and I am in particular passionate about enhancing privacy on the Internet. To that end, I design and deploy privacy-enhancing technologies such as censorship circumvention systems, analyze network protocols and services (e.g., messaging apps and machine learning APIs) for privacy leakage, and perform theoretical analysis to derive bounds on privacy (e.g., using game theory and information theory). I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and I was a postdoctoral scholar for two years at the University of Texas at Austin. Earlier, I received my M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from Sharif University of Technology. I have received several awards including an NSF CAREER Award in 2016, a Google Faculty Research Award in 2015, and an IEEE S&P Best Practical Paper Award in 2013.

News!

- 01/23/2020: Three papers accepted at NDSS'20!
- 11/01/2019: DeepCorr is a finalist at the CSAW’19 Applied Research Competition!
- 10/01/2019: Received a 600K DARPA grant to investigate the privacy of messaging applications.
- 09/01/2019: Promoted to associate professor with tenure!
- 12/30/2018: Paper accepted at IEEE S&P'19!
- 11/06/2018: Paper accepted at NDSS'19!
- 07/24/2018: Two papers accepted at ACM CCS'18!
- 05/30/2018: I had a TV interview on Net Neutrality!
- 04/11/2018: We are excited to announce the beta release of MassBrowser censorship circumvention system. Please help us by running proxies, or use it to bypass censorship!

Service

Technical Program Committee: Organizer:

Courses

   Fall'19: Introduction to Computer and Network Security (CMPSCI 460)
   Fall'19: Seminar - CyberSecurity Lecture Series (CMPSCI 591CF)
   Spring'19: Advanced Information Assurance (CMPSCI 660)

Select Recent Papers [All Publications]

Heterogeneous Private Information Retrieval
    Hamid Mozaffari, Amir Houmansadr
    NDSS 2020
Practical Traffic Analysis Attacks on Secure Messaging Applications
    Alireza Bahramali, Amir Houmansadr, Ramin Soltani, Dennis Goeckel, and Don Towsley
    NDSS 2020
MassBrowser: Unblocking the Censored Web for the Masses, by the Masses
    Milad Nasr, Hadi Zolfaghari, Amir Houmansadr, and Amirhossein Ghafari
    NDSS 2020
Comprehensive Privacy Analysis of Deep Learning: Stand-alone and Federated Learning under Passive and Active White-box Inference Attacks
    Milad Nasr, Reza Shokri, Amir Houmansadr
    IEEE S&P 2019
Enemy At the Gateways: Censorship-Resilient Proxy Distribution Using Game Theory
    Milad Nasr, Sadegh Farhang, Amir Houmansadr, and Jens Grossklags
    NDSS 2019
DeepCorr: Strong Flow Correlation Attacks on Tor Using Deep Learning
    Milad Nasr, Alireza Bahramali, and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2018
    (CSAW’19 Applied Research Competition Finalist)
Machine Learning with Membership Privacy using Adversarial Regularization
    Milad Nasr, Reza Shokri, and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2018
Compressive Traffic Analysis: A New Paradigm for Scalable Traffic Analysis
    Milad Nasr, Amir Houmansadr, and Arya Mazumdar
    ACM CCS 2017
The Waterfall of Liberty: Decoy Routing Circumvention that Resists Routing Attacks
    Milad Nasr, Hadi Zolfaghari, and Amir Houmansadr
    ACM CCS 2017
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 Parrot is Dead: Observing Unobservable Network Communications
    Amir Houmansadr, Chad Brubaker, and Vitaly Shmatikov
    IEEE S&P (Oakland) 2013
    (The Best Practical Paper Award)