Carnegie Mellon University

Nicolas Christin

Nicolas Christin

Associate Research Professor, School of Computer Science, Engineering & Public Policy

Address Carnegie Mellon CyLab
Robert Mehrabian Collaborative Innovation Center
4720 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 2016-present
  • Assistant Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013-2016
  • Senior Systems Scientist, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011-2013
  • Systems Scientist, Carnegie Mellon University, 2005-2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2003-2005
Nicolas Christin is an Associate Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed in the School of Computer Science and in Engineering & Public Policy. He is affiliated with the Institute for Software Research, and a core faculty in CyLab, the university-wide information security institute. He also has courtesy appointments in the Information Networking Institute and the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He holds a Diplôme d'Ingénieur from École Centrale Lille, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. He was a researcher in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to joining Carnegie Mellon in 2005. His group's research won several awards including Honorable Mention at ACM CHI 2011 and 2016, Best Student Paper Award at USENIX Security 2014, and Best Paper Award at USENIX Security 2016 and ACM CHI 2017.


  • Ph.D. (Computer Science), University of Virginia, 2003
  • Master's in Computer Science, University of Virginia, 2000
  • Diplôme d'Ingénieur, École Centrale Lille, France 1999


My research interests are in computer and information systems security. Most of my work is at the boundary of systems, networks and policy research. I have most recently focused on security analytics, online crime modeling, and economics and human aspects of computer security. I equally enjoy field measurements and mathematical modeling.

Selected Publications

Blase Ur, Felicia Alfieri, Maung Aung, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin, Jessica Colnago, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Harold Dixon, Pardis Emami Naeini, Hana Habib, Noah Johnson, and William Melicher. Design and Evaluation of a Data-Driven Password Meter. In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017), pages 3775-3786. Denver, CO. May 2017.

William Melicher, Blase Ur, Sean Segreti, Saranga Komanduri, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin, and Lorrie Faith Cranor. Fast, lean, and accurate: modeling password guessability using neural networks. In Proceedings of the 25th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'16). Austin, TX. August 2016.

Kyle Soska and Nicolas Christin. Measuring the Longitudinal Evolution of the Online Anonymous Marketplace Ecosystem. In Proceedings of the 24th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'15), pages 33-48. Washington, DC. August 2015.

Luís Brandão, Nicolas Christin, George Danezis, and Anonymous. Toward Mending Two Nation-Scale Brokered Identification Systems. In Proceedings of the Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium (PETS 2015). Philadelphia, PA. June 2015.

Kyle Soska and Nicolas Christin. Automatically Detecting Vulnerable Websites Before They Turn Malicious. In Proceedings of the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'14), pages 625-640. San Diego, CA. August 2014.

Michelle Mazurek, Saranga Komanduri, Timothy Vidas, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Patrick Gage Kelley, Richard Shay, and Blase Ur. Measuring Password Guessability for an Entire University. In Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2013). Berlin, Germany. November 2013.

Nicolas Christin. Traveling the Silk Road: A measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace. In Proceedings of the 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW'13), pages 213-224. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. May 2013.

Nektarios Leontiadis, Tyler Moore, and Nicolas Christin. Measuring and Analyzing Search-Redirection Attacks in the Illicit Online Prescription Drug Trade. In Proceedings of the 20th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'11). San Francisco, CA. August 2011.

Saranga Komanduri, Richard Shay, Patrick Gage Kelley, Michelle Mazurek, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin, Lorrie Cranor and Serge Egelman. Of Passwords and People: Measuring the Effect of Password-Composition Policies. In Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2011), pages 2595-2604. Vancouver, BC, Canada. May 2011.

Jens Grossklags, Nicolas Christin, and John Chuang. Secure or Insure? A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Information Security Games. In Proceedings of the 17th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW'08), pages 209-218. Beijing, China. April 2008.

Nicolas Christin, Andreas S. Weigend, and John Chuang. Content Availability, Pollution and Poisoning in Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Networks. In Proceedings of the Sixth ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (EC'05), pages 68-77. Vancouver, BC, Canada. June 2005.