Bill Buchanan

bill buchanan

Prof Bill Buchanan



William (Bill) J Buchanan OBE is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and Principal Fellow of the HEA. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cybersecurity. He has won student-voted awards for teaching excellence in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020. One of his most recent achievements is the creation of a Blockpass Identify Lab and which is one of the first of its type in the world, and has significant industry funding.

Bill lives and works in Edinburgh, and is a believer in fairness, justice, and freedom. His social media tagline reflects his strong belief in changing the world for the better: "A Serial Innovator. An Old World Breaker. A New World Creator."

He also has a strong belief in the power of education, and in supporting innovation from every angle. Bill currently leads the Blockpass ID Lab and the Centre for Cybersystems and Cryptography. He works in the areas of blockchain, cryptography, trust and digital identity. He has one of the most extensive cryptography sites in the World (, and is involved in many areas of novel research and teaching.

His lectures are online at, with over 800 on-line lectures, and which has around 10K subscribers, with more than four million minutes watched. Along with this he created one of the most extensive on-line environments for schools in Scotland, and which has over 120K registered users ( and over one million test questions taken.

Bill has published over 30 academic books, and over 300 academic research papers. Along with this, Bill’s work has led to many areas of impact, including three highly successful spin-out companies (Zonefox, Symphonic Software and Cyan Forensics), along with awards for excellence in knowledge transfer, and for teaching. Bill recently received an ”Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange” award, and was included in the FutureScot "Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World”.




Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Professor Presents Evidence to Investigatory Powers Bill Select Committee


Conference Activity

  • 2i Testing and Farrpoint to co-host Cyber Risk Symposium
  • SICSA SCONE Event hosted by the CDCS group
  • Symposium in Security and Cybercrime
  • Symposium on Security and Cybercrime is a major success
  • Symposium on Security and Cybercrime
  • International Conference of Big Data in Cyber Security 10 May 2016, Craiglockhart
  • New Year Cyber Security Symposium aims to showcase opportunties in the Cyber Age
  • New Year Cyber Symposium Announced
  • Leading Harvard Researcher to Present at the Future of e-Health Event
  • We Want To Build A Better World ... And You're Part of It!
  • Workshop on Next Generation Patient-Centric Systems
  • University organises a major security event for industry
  • University to Host Major Cloud Conference (Scot-Cloud)
  • Cloud Security Congress Event to cover Cybercrime in the Cloud
  • Crypto Conference Goes Quantum around High Performance Computing


Editorial Activity

  • Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief of High-impact Cyber Security Journal for World-leading research
  • Professor Appointed Editor-in-Chief for New - High Impact - Journal of Cyber Security Technology
  • Security and Network Forensics book hot off the press


Fellowships and Awards

  • Award of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
  • Mat Miehling wins best final year PhD presention at Faculity Conference
  • Major New Research Project in Triage for the Detection of Digital Contraband
  • Spin-out Company are Finalists in the Global Cyber Challenge event
  • Steve Cordiner awarded an Honorary Doctorate
  • Bright Red Publishing Collaboration receives Highly Commended Award for Interface's Innovation of the Year
  • Bright Red Publishing and Edinburgh Napier University finalists for Innovation of the Year
  • IIDI spin-out Inquisitive Systems Ltd wins place in Academic Enterprise Awards Final
  • IIDI Professor launches Scottish Cipher Excellence Award 2011
  • IIDI Research team up for IET Innovation Award
  • IIDI Professor is a finalist for an award for outstanding leadership in ICT
  • Guardian Toolkit project through to the final round of the Convergence Challenge
  • ENU Student wins in World-wide Capture The Flag competition
  • Ex-Napier Research Graduate wins 2010 Edinburgh Napier Alumnus of the Year
  • Frank Greig wins award for Most Innovative Practice at Edinburgh Napier University
  • PhD Student (Owen Lo) awarded Lumison Prize (£1,000) at the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award 2010
  • Owen Lo (our new PhD student) is a finalist for the Young Software Engineer of the Year.
  • Jamie Graves is up for Young Innovator of the Year at the John Logiebaird Awards.
  • Research team finalists in BCS/Computing Technology Excellence Award
  • Research group win "Highly Commended" Innovation Award for e-Health Platform
  • Research team launches Scottish Cyber/Cipher Student of the Year Award
  • Professor Makes It Onto Top 50 List of UK Higher Education Social Media Influencers
  • Professor Makes It Onto The Tech 100 in Scotland
  • Prof John Howie awarded an Honorary Doctorate
  • School of Computing becomes Academic Partner for Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP)
  • Three PhD Computing Graduations at Summer Ceromany
  • Edinburgh Napier Team Wins University Cipher Cracking Award
  • Edinburgh Napier MSc student wins Scottish Cipher Excellence 2011 Award
  • University aims to attract the finest Cyber minds to its GCHQ certified MSc
  • University Cyber Security Spin-out (Zonefox) Raises Another £650,000 in Investment
  • University Spin-out Finalist in European Spin-out Award
  • Cloud4Health wins 2nd prize for Best IT Project at Digital Innovation Awards
  • Cloud4Health is a finalist at the Scottish Digital Technology Awards 2012
  • Charley Celice wins Edinburgh Napier Student of the Year
  • Collaboration with Bright Red Publishing shortlisted for Innovation of the Year award
  • Code cracking students best in Britain
  • Digital Forensics Research Wins Principal’s Research Excellence Award for Information Society
  • Edinburgh Napier University shortlisted in Prospects Postgraduate Awards 2014
  • Edinburgh Napier University has gained GCHQ certification for MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
  • Cyber Security Teaching Team is a Finalist for Best Teaching Teaching in Postgraduate Awards
  • Cryptography Research Work Wins Innovation of the Year at Principal’s Research Excellence Awards
  • Cryptography Research Work Awarded Innovation of the Year


Invited Speaker

  • Bill Buchanan gives keynote at health care event for the Cloud-based e-Health Platform
  • IIDI Professor to present invited talk at Cloud Computing 2012
  • IIDI Professor presents on the future of technology at the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Reseach Group to present the Innovative e-Health Platform at a health care event
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give invited talk at ARAB Health 2012
  • Professor Bill Buchanan invited to present at the Data Handling in Health and Social Care conference
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give a keynote talk at CFET 2011
  • Professor to Present Session Keynote at CAS Scotland Annual Conference 2015 on Bright Red Digital Zone
  • Professor to give end note talk at Cyber event
  • Professor to give opening keynote at Cyber Security Conference on the future of The Cyber Academy
  • Professor to give keynote on the Complete Anatomy of Heartbleed, TrueCrypt and Large-scale Vulnerabilities at Security Conference
  • Professor to deliver Cyber Skills Keynote at Computing, ICT and Digital Media Conference
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give invited end-note presentation on Cloud in the Public Sector at major London event
  • Professor Bill Buchanan presents keynote speech at international seminar in the Netherlands
  • Professor Bill Buchanan to give BCS Talk on Patient Centric Care using Secure Cloud infrastractures


Media Activity

  • Location, Location, Location
  • 4 days ... 60 presentations ... 4 cities ... over 3,000 kids .. and great fun!
  • 3,000th registration for the Bright Red Publishing Digital Zone
  • Academic Team Identify Key Risks in Mobile Device Security at KPMG Seminar
  • Smartphones track the spread of flu
  • Support for young Scottish software company
  • BBC Click Item on Cybercrime on Mobile Phones
  • Bright Red Digital Zone Keeps Expanding
  • Bright Red Publishing Digital Zone passes 5,000 registration target, with Biology out in-front
  • Big Data Collaboration Aims to Improve Health and Social Care
  • Boffins to build safer patient systems
  • IIDI selects miiCard as identity provider for information sharing governance
  • IIDI research contributes to miiCard white paper on trusted data governance
  • IIDI Lead in Search for Cybercrime Specialists of the Future
  • IIDI Professor says that Scotland could lead world in cyber crime fight
  • IIDI Professor gives evidence on new Bill
  • Interface Profiles An Exemplar for University/SME Collobration
  • Innovation Collaboration Leads to Major Cryptography Work with Payfont
  • Innovative Software puts a price on Cybercrime
  • Institute Trains Advanced Digital Investigation Skills of Police Scotland
  • Head of School and IIDI Professor make Top 100 ICT List
  • Hutchinson Networks Showcase Collaboration Work Around Innovation and Dissemination
  • FarrPoint appoints award-winning graduate for research colloboration
  • Napier researchers track infection spread with a smartphone
  • New Innovation Collaboration aims to Secure Remote Working using Patent Pending Technology (IMP)
  • Mobile application uses predictive analytics to identify patients at risk and reduce hospital admissions
  • Payfont secures £100k Scottish Enterprise funding with University Cyber Collaboration
  • Payfont secures world leading innovation support from Scottish Enterprise in collaboration with Crypto specialists at Edinburgh Napier
  • Over 3,000 pupils from 50 schools sign up for Christmas Cyber Lecture
  • Let the Cracking Begin... Sunderland, Portsmouth, Royal Holloway, Plymouth, Bristol and us!
  • John Howie Awarded a Visiting Professorship
  • Proof-of-Concept project reaches the final of the Converge Challenge
  • Research Team Contribute To BBC Panorama Programme on Cyber Security
  • Research Team Presents to Sold-out Audience in Glasgow
  • Research Team Analyse New Apple Mac Privileged Access Exploit
  • Research Team Confirm Major Flaw within Internet of Things' Security
  • Research team outline a traffic light hack that could bring down a city
  • Research Team outlines the Strange Mystery of Truecrypt - the Mary Celeste of IT
  • Research Team Outline SQL Injection Attack Which Gathered 1.2 Billion Usernames/Passwords
  • Research group innovates in health and social care integration
  • Research Team Propose that Digitising Health Records Could Cut Child Abuse
  • Reseachers Investigate Skeleton Key Attacks on User Passwords
  • Professor outlines DarkHotel and Advanced Persistent Threat
  • Professor Outlines that the Sony Hack could be one of the Largest Data Breaches Ever
  • Professor outlines Malware install for ATM compromise
  • Professor outlines that Shellshock is not as much of a risk than Heartbleed
  • Professor outlines vulnerabilities on Apple Mac with iWorm and Shell Shock
  • Professor outlines case to BBC for Security in Cyber Space around the Scottish Independence debate
  • Professor Outlines Bitcoin Risks to The Scotsman
  • Professor Outlines Ransomware Attack on BBC
  • Professor outlines the need for Corroboration in Digital Evidence
  • Professor outlines the details of Ashley Madison breach and on the rise of the moralist hacker
  • Professor Outlines Issues in Banning Encryption in the UK on BBC Newsnight
  • Professor outlines Yahoo's fine for PRISM breach
  • Professor Named in FutureScot Top 50 Tech People Who Are Changing The World
  • Professor warns against media hype on security threats on GameOver Zeus
  • Professor to Outline Opportunities in Education at Kickstart Summer School
  • Professor's Web site hits a million accesses mark
  • Professor's On-line Lectures Pass One Million Minutes Mark on YouTube
  • Professor's Analysis of Scottish Independence Vote for Pre-vote trends
  • Professor outlines IBM's track back to its roots
  • Professor Outlines The Areas of Change in Cyber Security
  • Professor outlines Tor attack methods
  • Professor outlines the Boleto fraud and that you don't need a fast car to rob a bank anymore
  • Professor outlines some of the dangers in using digital data as evidence
  • Professor Analyses Trends in Scottish Independence Vote using Bookmarker Odds
  • Prof Bill Buchanan appears on Newsnight Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise Profile IIDI Security Professor
  • Security Team Discover New Distributed Denial of Service Amplification Attack
  • Sally Smith appointed Dean of School for the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier
  • Sally Smith and Bill Buchanan make it into the Top 100 Tech Influencers in Scotland
  • The Herald reports that an Edinburgh Napier Expert warns of ‘growing threat’ from cyber crime
  • The Ghost of John Napier: Edinburgh Napier team focuses on University Cipher Challenges
  • Edinburgh Napier Spin-out ZoneFox signs deal with major Security Firm
  • The Cyber Academy Hosts Two New PhD Studentships in Cloud Security
  • The Cyber Academy recruit their first two fully funded PhD studentships ... and more to follow
  • We're looking for the smartest around to build world-leading infrastructures
  • YouTube lecture channel to support GCHQ-certified MSc hits 2,000+ subscribers.
  • ZoneFox Presents at Apache Cassandra Meetup on Big Data Integration
  • UK scientists track disease spread with smartphones (Electronics Weekly)
  • University Research Team Outlines TweetDeck Hack
  • University Research Team Analyse Heartbleed Part 2
  • Christmas Lecture for Schools starts in Glasgow
  • Collaboration Reaches a Higher Level for Educational Platforms
  • Collaboration with Sitekit around Federated Identity, Trust and Governance
  • Centre of Excellence in Digital Forensics award for Edinburgh Napier
  • Edinburgh Napier designed e-Health Platform goes live, with coverage in The Guardian, BMJ, ZDNet and The Financial Times
  • Edinburgh Napier University computing students participate in Cyber Security UK's University Challenge
  • Cyber Christmas Lecture for Schools (first event sold-out)
  • Cyber crime expert warns for cyber threat


Research Degree External Examining

  • PhD Examination, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • PhD Examination, University of Bedfordshire
  • PhD Examination, Crainfield University
  • Bill Buchanan completes PhD External Examiner duties at the University of the West of Scotland
  • Bill to serve as a PhD examiner at the University of Essex
  • Bill Buchanan to serve as an external examiner at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • External Examiner PhD at the University of Plymouth
  • New External Examiner post at Dublin City University
  • Professor to examine PhD on the Authentication of Mobile Computing Devices in a Heterogeneous Environment
  • Professor set for PhD Examination at Dublin City University in Network Intrusion Detection and Prevention
  • Prof William Buchanan starts external examiner duties at Dublin City University
  • Prof William Buchanan completes PhD Viva at the University of Essex
  • Prof Bill Buchanan completes PhD Viva on Intrusion Detection Systems at the University of Plymouth


Spin-outs and Licences

  • IIDI team files patent on improved information sharing using Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs)
  • Inquisitive Systems spin-out receives an over subscription of investors.
  • New spin-out aims to make a major impact in Trust and Governance
  • University Spin-out (ZoneFox) raises over £1 million for Cybersecurity Software



320 results

A Lightweight Chaos-Based Medical Image Encryption Scheme Using Random Shuffling and XOR Operations

Journal Article
Masood, F., Driss, M., Boulila, W., Ahmad, J., ur Rehman, S., Jan, S. U., …Buchanan, W. J. (in press)
A Lightweight Chaos-Based Medical Image Encryption Scheme Using Random Shuffling and XOR Operations. Wireless Personal Communications,
Medical images possess significant importance in diagnostics when it comes to healthcare systems. These images contain confidential and sensitive information such as patients’...

Launching Adversarial Attacks against Network Intrusion Detection Systems for IoT

Journal Article
Papadopoulos, P., Thornewill Von Essen, O., Pitropakis, N., Chrysoulas, C., Mylonas, A., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
Launching Adversarial Attacks against Network Intrusion Detection Systems for IoT. Journal of Cybersecurity and Privacy, 1(2), 252-273.
As the internet continues to be populated with new devices and emerging technologies, the attack surface grows exponentially. Technology is shifting towards a profit-driven In...

Electromagnetic Analysis of an Ultra-Lightweight Cipher: PRESENT

Conference Proceeding
Gunathilake, N. A., Al-Dubai, A., Buchanan, W. J., & Lo, O. (in press)
Electromagnetic Analysis of an Ultra-Lightweight Cipher: PRESENT
Side-channel attacks are an unpredictable risk factor in cryptography. Therefore, continuous observations of physical leakages are essential to minimise vulnerabilities associ...

A Comparative Analysis of Honeypots on Different Cloud Platforms

Journal Article
Kelly, C., Pitropakis, N., Mylonas, A., McKeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
A Comparative Analysis of Honeypots on Different Cloud Platforms. Sensors, 21(7),
In 2019, the majority of companies used at least one cloud computing service and it is expected that by the end of 2021, cloud data centres will process 94% of workloads. The ...

Privacy and Trust Redefined in Federated Machine Learning

Journal Article
Papadopoulos, P., Abramson, W., Hall, A. J., Pitropakis, N., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
Privacy and Trust Redefined in Federated Machine Learning. Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction, 3(2), 333-356.
A common privacy issue in traditional machine learning is that data needs to be disclosed for the training procedures. In situations with highly sensitive data such as healthc...

Privacy-preserving Surveillance Methods using Homomorphic Encryption

Conference Proceeding
Bowditch, W., Abramson, W., Buchanan, W. J., Pitropakis, N., & Hall, A. J. (2020)
Privacy-preserving Surveillance Methods using Homomorphic Encryption. In ICISSP: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy. , (240-248).
Data analysis and machine learning methods often involve the processing of cleartext data, and where this could breach the rights to privacy. Increasingly, we must use encrypt...

Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach

Conference Proceeding
Christou, O., Pitropakis, N., Papadopoulos, P., Mckeown, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020)
Phishing URL Detection Through Top-Level Domain Analysis: A Descriptive Approach. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy. , (289-298).
Phishing is considered to be one of the most prevalent cyber-attacks because of its immense flexibility and alarmingly high success rate. Even with adequate training and high ...

Internet of Things: Concept, Implementation and Challenges

Conference Proceeding
Gunathilake, N. A., Al-Dubai, A., & Buchanan, W. J. (in press)
Internet of Things: Concept, Implementation and Challenges. In International Conference on IoT and its Applications (ICIA) 2020
Through the technical advancements over five generations, today's digital communication has become much smarter, more intelligent and punctual. This causes a massive amount of...

Review and Critical Analysis of Privacy-preserving Infection Tracking and Contact Tracing

Journal Article
Buchanan, W. J., Imran, M. A., Ur-Rehman, M., Zhang, L., Abbasi, Q. H., Chrysoulas, C., …Papadopoulos, P. (2020)
Review and Critical Analysis of Privacy-preserving Infection Tracking and Contact Tracing. Frontiers in Communications and Networks,
The outbreak of viruses have necessitated contact tracing and infection tracking methods. Despite various efforts, there is currently no standard scheme for the tracing and tr...

PoNW: A Secure and Scalable Proof-of-Notarized-Work Based Consensus Mechanism

Conference Proceeding
Abubakar, M., Jaroucheh, Z., Al-Dubai, A., & Buchanan, W. (2020)
PoNW: A Secure and Scalable Proof-of-Notarized-Work Based Consensus Mechanism. In ICVISP 2020: Proceedings of the 2020 4th International Conference on Vision, Image and Signal Processing.
The original consensus algorithm-Proof of Work (PoW) has been widely utilized in the blockchain systems and is been adopted by many cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether...

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