School of Computing

Secure and Resilient Systems

Secure and Resilient Systems


Our research directly contributes to creating modern information systems, networks and infrastructures that are dependable and secure. 

We are a group of around 40 people, and our research focuses on cyber security and computer systems resilience. The group is the core of NU’s NCSC/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in cyber security research.

Cyber security depends on people, as well as systems, so our work spans many fields. We work with psychologists, engineers, mathematicians, industry partners, standardisation bodies, and users of systems. We discover new attacks, invent technologies and investigate human factors. We receive funding from UK Research Councils, NCSC, EU and various research and industry partners such as PETRAS, ARM, Siemens, W3C, and Atom Bank.

Our research is of interest to a wider audience and has gained substantial media coverage. Examples include our work on credit card fraud featured on the BBC website, our paper fingerprinting research in the Economist, and the Wall Street Journal, our sensor security work in the BBC, the Guardian, and our Blockchain research on Coindesk.

We teach an MSc in Computer Security and Resilience and a BSc in Computer Science (Cyber Security and Resilience).

Research Highlights

FINTRUST - Trust Engineering for the Financial Industry

A major new project exploring how to regain the public's trust in digital technology.

Project Leaders: Aad Van Moorsel (PI), Kovila Coopamotoo (Co-I), Karen Elliott (Business School Co-I)

Other Staff: Ehsan Toreini, Mhairi Aitken (Business School), Magdalene Ng, Jon Warwick

Sponsor: EPSRC

Partner: Atom Bank

The FinTrust project is researching the issue of trust in FinTech, one of the major growth industries in the United Kingdom.

Our project aims to:

  • Develop a trust model for Fintech services, particularly for algorithm–based automated services
  • Develop deep evidence–based understanding and quantitative assessment of the psychological and user interaction elements of human (consumer) trust
  • Develop an approach for systematic augmentation of algorithm–based automated services to enhance trust and deal with technology breakdowns
  • Design and implement a Fintrust Trust Engineering Toolkit which translates our understanding and techniques into reusable methods and software tools

Research results as derived in FinTrust will be made available as a Trust Engineering Tool Kit, allowing service provider, regulators and consumer organisations to:

  • assess levels of trust
  • quantify the extent to which trust matters to consumers and trust attitude differentiates consumers
  • assess bias in automated advice
  • establish whether algorithms may lead to financial exclusion or financial distress and protect services from erroneous algorithmic results

Read more in our press release.

Research on Smart Infrastructure Security

Creating solutions for managing access to data relating to shared spaces found within smart buildings.

Project Leaders: Dr Charles Morisset (PI on MaCSS and CoI on PETRAS); Dr John Mace; Dr Luke Smith (Engineering).

Partners: Creative Space Management

We are involved in the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, leading the Catalyser project Markets for Connected Shared Spaces (MaCSS).

Our project aims to:

  • Work closely with stakeholders to understand the social, technical and legal aspects of data privacy, security and management in the area of IoT and smart infrastructure
  • Design and implement a user-facing smart building data management platform, which will adapt data anonymisation and visualisation techniques for smart buildings

Active Building Centre

Investigating the security and privacy issues raised by Active Buildings.

Project Lead: Dr Sara Walker (Engineering)

Other Staff: Dr Charles Morisset, Professor Aad van Moorsel, and Dr Ricardo Czekster (Research Associate)

We are part of the newly created Active Building Centre (ABC), which aims to revolutionise the way the UK designs, constructs and operates buildings.

Active Buildings incorporate and integrate energy generation, storage, and release technologies, thus enabling energy resilient communities that are powered by the sun, share energy with transport and other buildings.

These dynamic and flexible features make them more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, especially in an hyper-connected environment.

Our project aims to:

  • Investigate the security and privacy issues raised by Active Buildings, from multiple perspectives (builder, user, power network, etc)
  • Interact with the different partners in the Centre to create attack trees, and to design cyber-incident response plans


Investigating the security and privacy issues raised by the usage of V2G chargers.

Project Lead: Dr Myriam Neaimeh (Engineering).

Other Staff: Dr Charles Morisset and Roberto Metere (Research Assistant).

Newcastle University is a partner on the £9.8m e4Future project led by Nissan and in collaboration with National Grid, UK Power Networks, Northern Powergrid, E.ON and Imperial College London.

The research at Newcastle is led by the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI).

We are investigating the security and privacy issues raised by the usage of V2G chargers, from multiple perspectives (user, aggregator, power network, etc), and plan to create attack trees, and to design cyber-incident response plans.

Practical Data-intensive Secure Computation: a Data Structural Approach

Looking at ways to reshape the cybersecurity landscape with secure computation.

Project Lead: Dr Changyu Dong

Other Staff: Changhui Hu

In the past a few year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the scale and financial damage caused by cyber-attacks. A survey commissioned by the government's Department for Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS) found that 93% of large businesses and 87% of smaller businesses suffered security breaches during 2013.

Secure computation has the potential to completely reshape the cybersecurity landscape, but this will happen only if we can make it practical.

Recently, we have found ample evidence in our own and also others' research that data structures can be a key efficiency and scalability booster of secure computation.

Our project aims to:

  • Design concrete data structures that enable practical secure computation over large data with sound security guarantees
  • Lay down the theoretical foundation of this data structural approach. Establish design principles to guide the future development of new data structures
  • Provide tool support for developers or other researchers who want to use our data structures as building blocks in their secure computation schemes
 launching the FinTrust project at the USB


Find out which staff members are involved in our research.


Dr Gagangeet Aujla
Research Associate

Telephone: +44 743 806 7059

Dr Kovila Coopamootoo
Research Fellow


Dr Changyu Dong
Senior Lecturer in Security


Dr Thomas Gross
Reader Security, Privacy and Trust. Director of the Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security

Telephone: +44 191 208 8987

Dr Alexei Iliasov
Senior Research Associate

Telephone: +44 191 208 5993

Professor Cliff Jones
Senior Research Investigator

Telephone: +44 191 208 8183

Dr John Mace
Lecturer in Security


Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad
Research Fellow


Dr Ricardo Melo Czekster
Research Associate


Dr Charles Morisset
Director of Postgraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer in Security


Dr Ashur Rafiev
Research Associate


Professor Brian Randell
Emeritus Professor, and Senior Research Investigator

Telephone: +44 191 208 7923

Dr Stephen Riddle
Director of Education

Telephone: +44 191 208 5156

Dr Ioannis Sfyrakis
Research Associate


Dr Syh Yuan Tan
Research Associate

Ehsan Toreini
Research Assistant

Professor Aad van Moorsel
Prof of Distributed Systems

Telephone: +44 191 208 7711

Janette Wynn
Operations Assistant

Telephone: 0191 208 7997

Tong Xin
Lecturer (Institute of Coding)


PhD Students

Maher Alharby 

Mario Parreño Centeno

Luca Arnaboldi

Amjad Aldweesh

Naoom Abu Abah

Maha Badah M Alajmi

Mazy Haif S Alfagham

Donte Gray

Mousa Jari

Ricky Lim

Isaac Matthews

Uchechi Nwadike

David Sanchez

Paulius Stankaitis

Rawan Taher


Publications from our group can be found here.