Rishab Nithyanand

rishab nithyanand


Assistant Professor @ Department of Computer Science
The University of Iowa
Ring leader of the SPARTA Lab

email: firstname-lastname@uiowa.edu
office: 201L MacLean Hall | office hours (fall 2019): thursdays 1:45 - 4:00 pm
google scholar | dblp | curriculum vitae (last updated: august 2019)


bio

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Iowa. Here, I lead the Security, Privacy, and Anonymity Research Team (SPARTA Lab). Before joining the faculty at UIowa, I was a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute (2017-18). I obtained my Ph.D. from the Computer Science department at Stony Brook University where I was lucky to be co-advised by Rob Johnson and Phillipa Gill. My dissertation focused on building defenses for various attacks on theTor anonymity network. For a few months after graduating (July-September 2017), I was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A long long time ago (2008), I got my bachelors from SRM University (India) and my masters from the University of California at Irvine (2010) where I was advised by the amazing Gene Tsudik. Along the way I've also worked at ICSI (as a visiting researcher), Qualcomm Research (as a research intern), Computer Associates (as a software engineer), and Sandia National Labs (as a contractor).


research interests

My research interests are in the areas of security, privacy, and Internet measurement. More specifically, I enjoy research geared towards defending anonymity, understanding Internet censorship, measuring aspects of the advertising and tracking ecosystem, and generally understanding the impact of the Internet on the sociopolitical realities of today. In the past, I dabbled in usable security and computer theory.


teaching

Fall 2019. Anonymity and Privacy (CS4980)
Spring 2019. Computer Security (CS4640)
Fall 2018. Introduction to Computer Networks and Their Applications (CS3640)


publications

2019
July
Inferring Tracker-Advertiser Relationships in the Online Advertising Ecosystem using Header Bidding (To appear in PETS 2020).
John Cook, Rishab Nithyanand, and Zubair Shafiq.
CoRR.
2018
July
Characterizing the Nature and Dynamics of Tor Exit Blocking.
Rachee Singh, Rishab Nithyanand, Sadia Afroz, Paul Pearce, Michael Carl Tschantz, Phillipa Gill, and Vern Paxson.
Proceedings of the Applied Networking Research Workshop, ANRW 2018, Montreal, QC, Canada, July 16-16, 2018.
2018
February
PDF Apps, Trackers, Privacy, and Regulators: A Global Study of the Mobile Tracking Ecosystem.
Abbas Razaghpanah, Rishab Nithyanand, Narseo Vallina{-}Rodriguez, Srikanth Sundaresan, Mark Allman, Christian Kreibich, and Phillipa Gill.
25th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2018, San Diego, California, USA, February 18-21, 2018.
2017
December
PDF A Churn for the Better: Localizing Censorship using Network-level Path Churn and Network Tomography.
Shinyoung Cho, Rishab Nithyanand, Abbas Razaghpanah, and Phillipa Gill.
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, CoNEXT 2017, Incheon, Republic of Korea, December 12 - 15, 2017.
2017
November
PDF Online Political Discourse in the Trump Era.
Rishab Nithyanand, Brian Schaffner, and Phillipa Gill.
CoRR.
2017
August
PDF Measuring Offensive Speech in Online Political Discourse.
Rishab Nithyanand, Brian Schaffner, and Phillipa Gill.
7th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet, FOCI 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 14, 2017..
2017
August
PDF Characterizing the Nature and Dynamics of Tor Exit Blocking.
Rachee Singh, Rishab Nithyanand, Sadia Afroz, Paul Pearce, Michael Carl Tschantz, Phillipa Gill, and Vern Paxson.
26th USENIX Security Symposium, USENIX Security 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 16-18, 2017..
2016
December
PDF The Adblocking Tug-of-War.
Hamed Haddadi, Rishab Nithyanand, Sheharbano Khattak, Mobin Javed, Narseo Vallina{-}Rodriguez, Marjan Falahrastegar, Julia E. Powles, Emiliano De Cristofaro, and Steven J. Murdoch.
;login: 41(4).
2016
August
PDF Adblocking and Counter Blocking: A Slice of the Arms Race.
Rishab Nithyanand, Sheharbano Khattak, Mobin Javed, Narseo Vallina{-}Rodriguez, Marjan Falahrastegar, Julia E. Powles, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Hamed Haddadi, and Steven J. Murdoch.
6th USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet, FOCI '16, Austin, TX, USA, August 8, 2016..
2016
June
PDF Exploring the Design Space of Longitudinal Censorship Measurement Platforms.
Abbas Razaghpanah, Anke Li, Arturo Filast{\`{o}}, Rishab Nithyanand, Vasilis Ververis, Will Scott, and Phillipa Gill.
CoRR.
2016
May
PDF Holding all the ASes: Identifying and Circumventing the Pitfalls of AS-aware Tor Client Design.
Rishab Nithyanand, Rachee Singh, Shinyoung Cho, and Phillipa Gill.
CoRR.
2016
February
PDF Games without Frontiers: Investigating Video Games as a Covert Channel.
Bridger Hahn, Rishab Nithyanand, Phillipa Gill, and Rob Johnson.
IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, EuroS\&P 2016, Saarbr\"ucken, Germany, March 21-24, 2016.
2016
February
PDF Measuring and Mitigating AS-level Adversaries Against Tor.
Rishab Nithyanand, Oleksii Starov, Phillipa Gill, Adva Zair, and Michael Schapira.
23rd Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2016, San Diego, California, USA, February 21-24, 2016.
2014
November
A Systematic Approach to Developing and Evaluating Website Fingerprinting Defenses.
Xiang Cai, Rishab Nithyanand, Tao Wang, Rob Johnson, and Ian Goldberg.
Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, November 3-7, 2014.
2014
November
PDF CS-BuFLO: A Congestion Sensitive Website Fingerprinting Defense.
Xiang Cai, Rishab Nithyanand, and Rob Johnson.
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, WPES 2014, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, November 3, 2014.
2014
November
PDF Glove: A Bespoke Website Fingerprinting Defense.
Rishab Nithyanand, Xiang Cai, and Rob Johnson.
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, WPES 2014, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, November 3, 2014.
2014
August
PDF Effective Attacks and Provable Defenses for Website Fingerprinting.
Tao Wang, Xiang Cai, Rishab Nithyanand, Rob Johnson, and Ian Goldberg.
Proceedings of the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium, San Diego, CA, USA, August 20-22, 2014..
2014
January
PDF How Best to Handle a Dicey Situation.
Rishab Nithyanand, Jonathan Toohill, and Rob Johnson.
CoRR.
2013
November
PDF The password allocation problem: strategies for reusing passwords effectively.
Rishab Nithyanand and Rob Johnson.
Proceedings of the 12th annual ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society, WPES 2013, Berlin, Germany, November 4, 2013.
2013
October
Can Jannie verify? Usability of display-equipped RFID tags for security purposes.
Alfred Kobsa, Rishab Nithyanand, Gene Tsudik, and Ersin Uzun.
Journal of Computer Security 21(3).
2012
May
PDF A Theoretical Analysis: Physical Unclonable Functions and the Software Protection Problem.
Rishab Nithyanand and John Solis.
2012 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops, San Francisco, CA, USA, May 24-25, 2012.
2011
December
User-aided reader revocation in PKI-based RFID systems.
Rishab Nithyanand, Gene Tsudik, and Ersin Uzun.
Journal of Computer Security 19(6).
2011
September
PDF Usability of Display-Equipped RFID Tags for Security Purposes.
Alfred Kobsa, Rishab Nithyanand, Gene Tsudik, and Ersin Uzun.
Computer Security - ESORICS 2011 - 16th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Leuven, Belgium, September 12-14, 2011. Proceedings.
2010
September
PDF Readers Behaving Badly - Reader Revocation in PKI-Based RFID Systems.
Rishab Nithyanand, Gene Tsudik, and Ersin Uzun.
Computer Security - ESORICS 2010, 15th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Athens, Greece, September 20-22, 2010. Proceedings.
2010
September
PDF Groupthink: usability of secure group association for wireless devices.
Rishab Nithyanand, Nitesh Saxena, Gene Tsudik, and Ersin Uzun.
UbiComp 2010: Ubiquitous Computing, 12th International Conference, UbiComp 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 26-29, 2010, Proceedings.