Muhammad Ahmad Bashir
Doctoral Student

Northeastern University
College of Computer & Information Science
660 ISEC
805 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA, 02120

ahmad (at) ccs (dot) neu (dot) edu
[CV] [GPG]


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at College of Computer & Information Science, Northeastern University, where I am being advised by Christo Wilson. I completed my undergradute in Computer Science from School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan.

My research revolves around understanding the security and privacy implications of large-scale online systems. Currently, I am focused on studying the online advertising ecosystem on the web to understand how it impacts user privacy. My goal is to make the online advertising ecosystem more transparent to enable users make informed decisions regarding their personal information. I am also interested in the research surrounding Threat Exchange data. I have previosuly worked on projects aimed at limiting abuse on online services such as Facebook and Twitter.


  • College of Computer & Information Science, Northeastern University (September 2014 - Present)
    Ph.D. Candidate

  • School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore, Pakistan (October 2008 - June 2012)
    BS, Computer Science


  • Diffusion of User Tracking Data in the Online Advertising Ecosystem
    Muhammad Ahmad Bashir and Christo Wilson
    In Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETS 2018), Barcelona, Spain, July, 2018.

  • How Tracking Companies Circumvent Ad Blockers Using WebSockets
    Muhammad Ahmad Bashir and Sajjad Arshad and Engin Kirda and William Robertson and Christo Wilson
    In IEEE S&P Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection (ConPro 2018), San Francisco, CA, USA, May 2018.
    [PDF] [BibTeX]

  • "Recommended For You": A First Look at Content Recommendation Networks
    Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Sajjad Arshad and Christo Wilson
    In Proceedings of ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC'16), Santa Monica, CA, USA, November 2016.
    [PDF] [BibTeX] [Slides] [Dataset]

  • Tracing Information Flows Between Ad Exchanges Using Retargeted Ads
    Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Sajjad Arshad, William Robertson, and Christo Wilson
    In Proceedings of the 25th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'16), Austin, TX, USA, August 2016.
    [PDF] [BibTeX] [Slides] [Dataset]

  • Strength in Numbers: Robust Tamper Detection in Crowd Computations
    Bimal Viswanath, Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Muhammad Bilal Zafar, Simon Bouget, Saikat Guha, Krishna P. Gummadi, Aniket Kate, and Alan Mislove
    In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Conference on Online Social Networks (COSN'15), Palo Alto, CA, USA, November 2015.
    [PDF] [BibTeX] (Best Paper Award)

  • Preserving Privacy in Collaborative Business Process Composition
    Hassaan Irshad, Basit Shafiq, Jaideep Vaidya, Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Shafay Shamail, and Nabil Adam
    In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Security and Cryptography (SECRYPT '15), Colmar, France, July 2015.
    [PDF] [BibTeX] (Best Paper Award)

  • Towards Detecting Anomalous User Behavior in Online Social Networks
    Bimal Viswanath, Muhammad Ahmad Bashir, Mark Crovella, Saikat Guha, Krishna Gummadi, Balachander Krishnamurthy, and Alan Mislove
    In Proceedings of the 23rd USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security'14), San Diego, CA, USA, August 2014.
    [PDF] [BibTeX] [Slides]

Work Experience

  • International Computer Science Institute ( ICSI )
    Research Intern
    Advisor : Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez
    Summer 2018

  • Facebook
    Security Engineering Intern (Threat Infrastructure)
    Summer 2017

  • Facebook
    Security Engineering Intern (Online Safety)
    Summer 2016

  • Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Germany
    Research Intern
    Advisor : Dr. Krishna Gummadi

  • School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Pakistan
    Research Assistant
    Advisor : Dr. Basit Shafiq