Nick Pitropakis
nick pitropakis

Dr Nick Pitropakis

Associate Professor


Dr Nick Pitropakis is an Associate Professor of cybersecurity at the School of Computing of Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the HEA. He is also a core member of the Blockpass Identity Lab. Dr Pitropakis has a strong research background in attacks against machine learning. His current research interests include adversarial machine learning, trust and privacy using distributed ledger technology, advanced cyber attack attribution, and data science applied to cyber security and IoT device security. Dr Pitropakis is leading the integrated apprenticeship scheme BSc Cyber Security, which is the first in the UK to receive full NCSC accreditation. He is teaching Cyber-related graduate apprenticeship degrees, both running in Scotland and England. He is also the external examiner of The American College in Greece (ACG), covering the BSc (Hons) Information Technology and BSc (Hons) Cyber Security and Networking programmes provided by The Open University, and the Lead External Examiner for MSc Cyber Security (Newcastle and London campuses) of Northumbria University.
Dr Pitropakis is currently leading the Horizon Europe project Trust and Privacy-Preserving Computing Platform for Crossborder Federation of Personal Data (TRUSTEE). Prior to joining ENU in 2016, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was involved in a U.S. Department of Defense project (Methods for producing standardized and transparent attribution) worth 17.3 million dollars aiming at advanced attribution of malicious parties. His work has impacted major trademark holders and especially average users, whose awareness was increased against combosquatting abuse.
His recent work has included £310,843 for the EU TRUSTEE project and over £300,000 through Edinburgh Napier’s latest spinout TRUEDEPLOY. Dr Pitropakis has established synergies around the UK with other centres of excellence in cyber security like Royal Holloway and the University of Lancaster. Additionally, he has been working with leading European and international partners such as Fraunhofer, Panasonic, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Ericsson Nikola Tesla to name a few.
Based on the outcomes of these projects, Dr Pitropakis has published 60 quality scholarly articles. His research has been awarded multiple times and recently one of his projects as well as his last PhD graduate won the Scottish Cyber Awards. Dr Pitropakis has also been invited to serve as an organizing and program committee member of major international conferences and as an editor for prestigious journals. In addition, Dr Pitropakis has been involved in supervising Research MSc and PhD students since he accomplished his PhD in 2015. Currently, Dr Pitropakis is supervising 2 PhD students, and their research activities are being disseminated in high-quality conferences and journals. His latest PhD graduate Dr Pavlos Papadopoulos is leading the ENU spinout TRUEDEPLOY.

Research Areas



Conference Organising Activity

  • International Conference on Information and Communications Security (ICICS )
  • IEEE World Forum on Public Safety Technology (WF-PST)
  • International Workshop on AI-driven Trustworthy, Secure, and Privacy-Preserving Computing (INFOCOM 2023 AidTSP)
  • MSN, International Conference on Mobility, Sensing and Networking
  • IEEE DSC 2022, 2022 IEEE Conference on Dependable and Secure Computing (Local Arrangements Co-chair)
  • SecureComm, International Conference on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks
  • UbiSec, International Conference on Ubiquitous Security
  • ISPEC, International Conference on Information Security Practice and Experience
  • ISC, International Conference on Information Security
  • STM, International Workshop on Security and Trust Management
  • ICISSP, The International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy
  • CyberICPS, International Workshop On The Security Of Industrial Control Systems & Of Cyber- Physical Systems
  • CRYPIS, International Conference on Cryptography and Information Securit
  • DPSC, Digital Privacy and Security Conference
  • TrustBus, International Conference on Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business
  • TrustCom, The IEEE International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications
  • SECURWARE, The International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies


Editorial Activity

  • Guest Editor in Frontiers in Sociology
  • Editor of Cybersecurity and Privacy (specialty section of Frontiers in Big Data)
  • MDPI SENSORS Guest Editor of Special Issue "Cyber Situational Awareness in Computer Networks"
  • MDPI SENSORS - Journal Topical Advisory Panel Member


External Examining/Validations

  • Lead examiner for MSc Cyber Security (Newcastle and London campuses)
  • External Examiner for Open University


Fellowships and Awards

  • Best Paper award at ICEET 2023
  • CyberFirst won the LLeading Education Programme Award at Scottish Cyber Awards 2023
  • Truedeploy was nominated for the Leading Light Innovation Award at Scottish Cyber Awards 2022
  • Pavlos Papadopoulos won Outstanding Young Person in Cyber at Scottish Cyber Awards 2022
  • GLASS won the Leading Light Innovation Award at Scottish Cyber Awards 2022
  • MDPI SENSORS Editor’s Choice Article: Stamatellis, C., Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., Katsikas, S., & Buchanan, W. J. (2020). A Privacy-Preserving Healthcare Framework Using Hyperledger Fabric. Sensors, 20(22), 6587.
  • MDPI Computers Journal Cover: Hughes K, Papadopoulos P, Pitropakis N, Smales A, Ahmad J, Buchanan WJ. Browsers Private Mode: Is It What We Were Promised? Computers. 2021; 10(12):165.
  • SINCONF 2021, Best Paper Award: Abramson, W., Buchanan, W. J., Sayeed, S., Pitropakis, N., & Lo, O. (2021). PAN-DOMAIN: Privacy-preserving Sharing and Auditing of Infection Identifier Matching.
  • MDPI Computers Journal Cover: Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., Buchanan, W. J., Lo, O., & Katsikas, S. (2020). Privacy-Preserving Passive DNS. Computers, 9(3), 64.


Grant Reviewer

  • Reviewer of Greek General Secretariat for Research and Innovation
  • Israel Science Foundation (ISF)
  • European Research Council Starting Grant


Invited Speaker

  • Cyber Scotland Week 2024: Domain Name Abuse: Can I trust that URL?
  • Invited Lecture at ATHENA Talks
  • Truth or Dare? Attacking the AI
  • Connect Week 2022
  • Man Versus The Machine: The Adversarial Era
  • Attacks against machine learning: Influencing cybersecurity and our everyday life
  • “Man Against The Machine: Losing My Perception”
  • SANCUS: Redefining security and Privacy in Modern ICT Infrastructures
  • 5G and the Pathway to Privacy-Preserving Infection Tracking and Contact Tracing in SANCUS Project
  • NTNU CISaR Workshop
  • Domain Name System abuse


Media Activity

  • Interview/Discussion about Computer Science studies (YouTube)
  • Discussion at Radio Forth


Research Degree External Examining

  • Security and Privacy Enhancing Mechanisms for The Android Operating System



  • Artificial Intelligence Review (Springer)
  • Ad Hoc Networks (Elsevier)
  • Artificial Intelligence Review - Springer
  • IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (J-SAC)
  • Sustainability - MDPI
  • Elsevier Journal of Information Security And Applications
  • PeerJ Computer Science
  • International Journal of Medical Informatics
  • Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Springer
  • Personal and Ubiquitous Computing - Springer
  • Security and Communication Networks - Hindawi
  • IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
  • Algorithms MDPI
  • IEEE Access
  • Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Elsevier
  • IET Information Security
  • Information Sciences - Elsevier
  • Machine Learning and Knowledge Extraction (MAKE) - MDPI
  • Future Internet - MDPI
  • Computers - MDPI
  • Computers and Security (COSE)
  • Open Journal of Information Systems (OJIS), RonPub
  • Electronics - MDPI
  • The Computer Journal - Oxford University Press
  • Information - MDPI
  • Cybersecurity - Springer
  • Computer Communications - Elsevier
  • Sensors - MDPI
  • Applied Sciences - MDPI
  • Applied Computing and Informatics - Emerald
  • Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing - Hindawi
  • Technologies - MDPI
  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
  • International Journal of Machine Learning and Cybernetics
  • Symmetry - MDPI
  • European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS)
  • Journal of Cyber Security Technology - Taylor & Francis
  • Journal Of Cloud Computing (JOCCASA), Springer
  • Systems - MDPI


Spin-outs and Licences

  • TrueDeploy


Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Researcher



59 results

Browsers’ Private Mode: Is It What We Were Promised?

Journal Article
Hughes, K., Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., Smales, A., Ahmad, J., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
Browsers’ Private Mode: Is It What We Were Promised?. Computers, 10(12), Article 165.
Web browsers are one of the most used applications on every computational device in our days. Hence, they play a pivotal role in any forensic investigation and help determine ...

Evaluating Tooling and Methodology when Analysing Bitcoin Mixing Services After Forensic Seizure

Presentation / Conference
Young, E. H., Chrysoulas, C., Pitropakis, N., Papadopoulos, P., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021, October)
Evaluating Tooling and Methodology when Analysing Bitcoin Mixing Services After Forensic Seizure. Paper presented at International Conference on Data Analytics for Business and Industry (ICDABI) 2021 - (DATA'21), Online
Little or no research has been directed to analysis and researching forensic analysis of the Bitcoin mixing or 'tumbling' service themselves. This work is intended to examine ...

A Deep Learning-Based Intrusion Detection System for MQTT Enabled IoT

Journal Article
Almas Khan, M., Khan, M. A., Ullah Jan, S., Ahmad, J., Jamal, S. S., Shah, A. A., …Markakis, E. K. (2021)
A Deep Learning-Based Intrusion Detection System for MQTT Enabled IoT. Sensors, 21(21), Article 7016.
A large number of smart devices in Internet of Things (IoT) environments communicate via different messaging protocols. Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a widely ...

Launching Adversarial Label Contamination Attacks Against Malicious URL Detection

Conference Proceeding
Marchand, B., Pitropakis, N., Buchanan, W. J., & Lambrinoudakis, C. (2021)
Launching Adversarial Label Contamination Attacks Against Malicious URL Detection. In Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business: 18th International Conference, TrustBus 2021, Virtual Event, September 27–30, 2021, Proceedings (69-82).
Web addresses, or Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), represent a vector by which attackers are able to deliver a multitude of unwanted and potentially harmful effects to users ...

PyDentity: A playground for education and experimentation with the hyperledger verifiable information exchange platform

Journal Article
Abramson, W., Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
PyDentity: A playground for education and experimentation with the hyperledger verifiable information exchange platform. Software Impacts, 9,
PyDentity lowers the entry barrier for parties interested in experimenting with the Hyperledger’s verifiable information exchange platform. It enables educators, developers an...

Towards Lightweight URL-Based Phishing Detection

Journal Article
Butnaru, A., Mylonas, A., & Pitropakis, N. (2021)
Towards Lightweight URL-Based Phishing Detection. Future Internet, 13(6),
Nowadays, the majority of everyday computing devices, irrespective of their size and operating system, allow access to information and online services through web browsers. Ho...

SANCUS–Towards Unifying the Analysis and Control of Security, Privacy and Service Reliability

Presentation / Conference
Zarakovitis, C., Pitropakis, N., Klonidis, D., & Khalife, H. (2021, June)
SANCUS–Towards Unifying the Analysis and Control of Security, Privacy and Service Reliability. Poster presented at EuCNC & 6G Summit, Grenoble, France
The arrival of new technologies change the global digital landscape in many ways. In the past years, for example, network virtualization and cloud computing have given raise t...

Towards An SDN Assisted IDS

Conference Proceeding
Sutton, R., Ludwiniak, R., Pitropakis, N., Chrysoulas, C., & Dagiuklas, T. (2021)
Towards An SDN Assisted IDS. In 2021 11th IFIP International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security (NTMS)
Modern Intrusion Detection Systems are able to identify and check all traffic crossing the network segments that they are only set to monitor. Traditional network infrastructu...

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...

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 ...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • SECANT (European Commission)

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects