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, 2020 and 2023. 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.

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”.

His main research focus is applied cryptography, digital privacy/trust, and digital identity. Bill’s work has led to many UK/World-wide patents, and three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox (; Symphonic (; Cyacomb ( He has an i-10 index of 125 and supported a recent spin-out (MemCrypt) and which focuses on the discovery of encryption keys in running memory. This work is the first in the world to recover ChaCha20 encryption keys and salt values from running memory and is progressing towards VC funding.

Within the Blockpass ID Lab, Bill leads a team which focuses of areas of digital identity and cryptography and which hosts a number of research projects, including two EU projects (GLASS and TRUSTEE), and two KTP projects (MIRACL and Democracy Counts). Current work includes the integration of homomorphic encryption and ZKP (Zero Knowledge Proofs) into privacy-aware systems and with a special focus on the rights of citizens to privacy. A key focus of Bill’s work around industry collaborations, and which now included four co-funded PhD studentship collaborations with an industrial partner.

Bill has one of the most extensive cryptography/cybersecurity-related academic sites in the World ( and is involved in many areas of novel research and teaching, especially related to cryptography and cybersecurity. He was also included in the FutureScot “50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World". In 2017, he received the "Cyber Evangelist of the Year" award at the Scottish Cybersecurity Awards and with several awards for excellence in innovation. He has supervised 39 PhD and MPhil students to completion.

In Unit of Assessment 11 (Computer Science and Informatics) within REF 2021, Bill led two research impact case studies: "Enabling Sensitive Personal Data to be Shared with Trust using Novel Digital Security Methods", and "Protecting Employees, Children and Sensitive Data using Innovative Approaches to Cyber Security". Both of these impact case studies were graded as 4*.

His lectures are online at, with over 1,000 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 online environments for schools in Scotland, and which has over 120K registered users ( and over one million test questions taken.




Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Professor Presents Evidence to Investigatory Powers Bill Select Committee


Conference Organising Activity

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


Editorial Activity

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


Fellowships and Awards

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


Invited Speaker

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


Media Activity

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


Research Degree External Examining

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


Spin-outs and Licences

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



366 results

Exploring the Need For an Updated Mixed File Research Data Set

Conference Proceeding
Davies, S. R., Macfarlane, R., & Buchanan, W. J. (2022)
Exploring the Need For an Updated Mixed File Research Data Set. In 2021 International Conference on Engineering and Emerging Technologies (ICEET) (426-430).
Mixed file data sets are used in a variety of research areas, including Digital Forensics, Malware analysis and Ransomware detection. Researchers recently seem to either have ...

Review of Current Ransomware Detection Techniques

Conference Proceeding
Davies, S. R., Macfarlane, R., & Buchanan, W. J. (2022)
Review of Current Ransomware Detection Techniques. In 2021 International Conference on Engineering and Emerging Technologies (ICEET) (696-701).
A review of proposed ransomware detection tools and techniques. The tools are described, compared and contrasted and possible short comings in their approaches are discussed.

Decentralised Privacy: A Distributed Ledger Approach

Book Chapter
Papadopoulos, P., Pitropakis, N., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
Decentralised Privacy: A Distributed Ledger Approach. In C. Mustansar Hussain, & P. Di Sia (Eds.), Handbook of Smart Materials, Technologies, and Devices (1-26). Cham: Springer.
Our world due to the technological progress became fast-paced and is constantly evolving, thus changing every single day. Consequently, the most valuable asset on earth is not...

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 ...

Blockchain-Based Authentication and Registration Mechanism for SIP-Based VoIP Systems

Conference Proceeding
Abubakar, M., Jaroucheh, Z., Al Dubai, A., & Buchanan, W. (2021)
Blockchain-Based Authentication and Registration Mechanism for SIP-Based VoIP Systems. In 2021 5th Cyber Security in Networking Conference (CSNet).
The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the principal signalling protocol in Voice over IP (VoIP) systems, responsible for initialising, terminating, and maintaining sessions...

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 ...

A Blockchain Framework in Post-Quantum Decentralization

Journal Article
Saha, R., Kumar, G., Devgun, T., Buchanan, W., Thomas, R., Alazab, M., …Rodrigues, J. (in press)
A Blockchain Framework in Post-Quantum Decentralization. IEEE Transactions on Services Computing,
The decentralization and transparency have provided wide acceptance of blockchain technology in various sectors through numerous applications. The claimed security services by...

A Decentralised Authentication and Access Control Mechanism for Medical Wearable Sensors Data

Conference Proceeding
Abubakar, M., Jaroucheh, Z., Al Dubai, A., & Buchanan, W. J. (2021)
A Decentralised Authentication and Access Control Mechanism for Medical Wearable Sensors Data. In 2021 IEEE International Conference on Omni-Layer Intelligent Systems (COINS).
Recent years have seen an increase in medical big data, which can be attributed to a paradigm shift experienced in medical data sharing induced by the growth of medical techno...

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 ...

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