Amir Houmansadr Associate Professor
College of Information and Computer Sciences
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Office: 206 CS Building
E-mail: amir (at) [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 received my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 (advised by Nikita Borisov) and I was a postdoctoral scholar for two years at the University of Texas at Austin, honored to work with Vitaly Shmatikov. I also earned my M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the Electrical Engineering Department of Sharif University of Technology. I received an NSF CAREER Award in 2016 and a Google Faculty Research Award in 2015.


- 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!


Technical Program Committee: Organizer:


   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)

Selected Publications [All Publications]

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
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 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.