Nicolas Christin is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed in the School of Computer Science and the Department of Engineering & Public Policy. He is also an associate professor in the Institute for Software Research and a core faculty member 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. Christin holds a Diplôme d'Ingénieur from l'École centrale de 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.

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Studying Cybercrime for Prevention and Enforcement


2003 Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Virginia

2000 MS, Computer Science, University of Virginia

1999 Diplôme d'Ingénieur, École Centrale Lille, Franc


Media mentions

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Finally: a usable and secure password policy backed by science

After nearly a decade of studies, the passwords research group in Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute has developed a policy for creating passwords that maintains balance between security and usability—one backed by hard science.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Passwords research group awarded the 2020 Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence

A group of CyLab faculty and graduate students were just awarded the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence for their contributions from a decade of passwords research.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Edge computing, ad-blocking, and more: CyLab announces 2020 seed funding awardees

Over $500K in seed funding has been awarded to 10 different CyLab faculty in six different departments across three colleges at CMU.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

The curious case of OpenBazaar

This week, CyLab’s Nicolas Christin and graduate student James Arps are presenting the first in-depth look at the decentralized online anonymous market known as OpenBazaar.


Christin’s insight featured in Forbes’ “Best Stories of the Decade”

CyLab’s/EPP’s Nicolas Christin was one of the first researchers to take a deep dive into the size of the dark web economy, and his expertise on the matter was featured in a 2013 story that Forbes just named one of the “Best Stories of the Decade.”

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Why people (don’t) use password managers effectively

A recent study by a team of CyLab researchers, including Pearman, provides some insight into how ineffectively people may be using password managers, potentially nullifying the benefits the managers are meant to provide.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Security and privacy need to be easy

In 2005, Carnegie Mellon hosted a first-of-its-kind conference that brought together researchers from dozens of universities and companies around the world with one mission: make privacy and security tools easier to use. That conference, the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS), is holding its 15th annual meeting next month. SOUPS, as well as the entire usable privacy and security field, have deep roots at CMU.


Christin says dark-web ecosystem undented by law enforcement efforts

CyLab’s Nicolas Christin takes a look at law enforcement officials’ struggle to deter new dark-web marketplaces from growing in the wake of major law enforcement busts.

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute

Blame the tech, not the users

A recent study led by researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab found that when a personal device has fallen victim to some sort of cyberattack, users often misdiagnose what exactly is going on–but they’re not the ones to blame.

CMU Engineering

2019 Dean’s Early Career Fellows

Three young faculty members have been granted the 2019 Dean’s Early Career Fellowship to enable their continued contributions to their respective fields.

CMU Engineering

Preventing exposure to malicious websites

A team of CyLab researchers have developed a mechanism that detects when users may be about to visit a malicious website.

CMU Engineering

As advertised? Exposing lies about VPN locations

A strange observation led a CyLab researcher to figure out how to detect when VPN services are lying about their location.