Ruba Abu-Salma

Ph.D. Student at University College London (UCL), UK

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I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL), supervised by Prof. M. Angela Sasse FREng and Dr. Sarah Meiklejohn. We are members of the Information Security Research Group. Broadly, my research focuses on taking a user-centered approach to the design of secure communications. I am supported by a SUDS Fellowship from the Open Technology Fund and Simply Secure. My research is also funded by Google.

I obtained an M.Sc. (with Distinction) in Information Security from UCL in 2014. Before joining UCL, I earned a B.Sc. (1st Hons) in Computer Engineering from the American University of Sharjah in 2013.

Outside of academia, I aspire to become a professional photographer. I have taken several photography courses at City Academy in the UK. I am also a member of the Photography Society at UCL. Personally, I <3 learning new languages and travelling.

Find me on Twitter: Ruba_AbuSalma.

Peer-reviewed Publications

Ruba Abu-Salma, Kat Krol, Simon Parkin, Victoria Koh, Kevin Kwan, Jazib Mahboob, Zahra Traboulsi, and M. Angela Sasse. The Security Blanket of the Chat World: A Usability Evaluation and User Study of Telegram. In Proceedings of the 2nd European Workshop on Usable Security (EuroUSEC), Paris, France, 2017. (To Appear)

Steve Dodier-Lazaro, Ruba Abu-Salma, Ingolf Becker, and M. Angela Sasse. From Paternalistic to User-Centred Security: Putting Users First with Value-Sensitive Design. In Proceedings of the 3rd CHI Workshop on Values in Computing, Denver, CO, USA, 2017. (To Appear)

Ruba Abu-Salma, M. Angela Sasse, Joseph Bonneau, Anastasia Danilova, Alena Naiakshina, and Matthew Smith. Obstacles to the Adoption of Secure Communication Tools. In Proceedings of the 38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (Oakland), San Jose, CA, USA, 2017. (To Appear)

Ingolf Becker, Alice Hutchings, Ruba Abu-Salma, Ross Anderson, Nicholas Bohm, Steven J. Murdoch, M. Angela Sasse, and Gianluca Stringhini. International Comparison of Bank Fraud Reimbursement: Customer Perceptions and Contractual Terms. In Proceedings of the 15th Annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS), Berkeley, CA, USA, 2016.

Steven J. Murdoch, Ingolf Becker, Ruba Abu-Salma, Ross Anderson, Nicholas Bohm, Alice Hutchings, M. Angela Sasse, and Gianluca Stringhini. Are Payment Banking Contracts Unfair? (Short Paper). In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security, Rockley, Christ Church, Barbados, 2016.


Ruba Abu-Salma, Jeremiah Onaolapo, Jonathan Bootle, and Lucky Onwuzurike. How to Get Owned by a Malicious Browser Extension. 1st ACM-W UK Inspire Celebration of Women in Computing, London, UK, 2015.

Jeremiah Onaolapo, Ruba Abu-Salma, Jonathan Bootle, and Lucky Onwuzurike. The Ordeals of Mr. Smith. Cyber Security Visualization Design Competition (The EU TREsPASS Project), The Hague, The Netherlands, 2015.

Ruba Abu-Salma, M. Angela Sasse, Joseph Bonneau, and Matthew Smith. POSTER: Secure Chat for the Masses? User-centered Security to the Rescue. In Proceedings of the 22nd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), Denver, CO, USA, 2015.

Ruba Abu-Salma, and M. Angela Sasse. PUP: Pretty Usable Privacy. 5th Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC) Symposium, London, UK, 2015.


Usable and Secure Group Chat. 2nd IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, Paris, France (Apr. 27, 2017).

Misconceptions of Secure Messaging. Women-in-Engineering Community Meeting, Facebook, London, UK (July 27, 2016).

Misconceptions of Secure Messaging. 6th International Workshop on Cryptography, Robustness, and Provably Secure Schemes for Female Young Researchers (CrossFyre), Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany (July 21, 2016).

Secure and Private Chat for Everyone. 10th International IFIP Summer School on Privacy and Identity Management (Time for a Revolution?), University of Edinburgh, UK (Aug. 19, 2015).

PUP: Pretty Usable Privacy. London Hopper Colloquium Research Competition, British Computer Society (BCS), London, UK (May 20, 2015) (Finalist Prize).

Differentially Private Statistics. Genetics, Evolution and Environmental (GEE) Departmental Seminar, University College London (UCL), UK (Dec. 9, 2014).


Theory I: Fall 2014.

Theory II: Spring 2015.

Operating Systems: Fall 2015.

Research in Information Security: Spring 2017.

Professional Activities


ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI): 2016.

European Workshop on Usable Security (EuroUSEC): 2016.

IEEE Security and Privacy Magazine: 2016.

International Conference on Financial Cryptography and Data Security: 2015.

USENIX Security Symposium: 2015.

Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES): 2016.

Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects in Security and Trust (STAST): 2016.


CrossFyre 2017.