I am a second year PhD student at The University of Iowa. My advisor is Prof. Zubair Shafiq.
I conduct research on web security and privacy with an emphasis on privacy enhancing technologies and malware detection.

Live. Laugh. Love. : )



Resume | Linkedin



Our work on adblocking got accepted at IMC 2017.
Shadow program committee member for IMC 2017 [ Shadow PC member ].
Internship at Microsoft.
Attended IEEE CNS 2016 in Philadelphia. Had a good learning experience.
Started my PhD at University of Iowa.
Attended USENIX Security conference, and got to hear some interesting ideas.
Published my first paper on malware propogation [ Malware Slums ] in IEEE/IFIP DSN 2016.
Left research assistantship at Lahore University of Management Sciences.




Umar Iqbal, Zubair Shafiq, Zhiyun Qian
17th Annual ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), United Kingdom, 2017.



Salman Yousaf, Umar Iqbal, Shehroze Farooqi, Raza Ahmad, Zubair Shafiq, Fareed Zaffar
46th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN), France, 2016.




Adblocking has become a concern for services that rely on advertising revenues. Unfortunately, due to the economic magnetism, online advertisement is an attractive target for various type of abuses, such as online tracking. Adblockers serve as a tool that protect user privacy by blocking these advertisements.
Advertising industry sees adblockers as a threat to their business and they've strated fighting back with anti-adblockers. These anti-adblockers can detect the presence of adblockers and they refuse to serve users who use ad-blockers. My current research is focused toward studying adblocking and anti-adblocking.





Auto-surf and manual-surf traffic exchanges are an increasingly popular way of artificially generating website traffic. We analyzed the role of traffic exchanges as a vector for malware propagation. We conducted a measurement study of nine autosurf and manual-surf traffic exchanges over several months.
We presented a first of its kind analysis of the different types of malware that are propagated through these traffic exchanges. We found that more than 26% of the URLs surfed on traffic exchanges contained malicious content. We further analyzed different categories of malware encountered on traffic exchanges, including blacklisted domains, malicious JavaScript, malicious Flash, and malicious shortened URLs.




From 2013 to 2016, I worked as a Solution Analyst at LMKT Corporation. I primarily worked on smarter cities, data analytics and software development projects. One of the prominent project was PTCL Smartlink, it was a mobile application developed for region's largest telecom operator.

During this span, I was also involved as an R&D Consultant with a startup, MRKS Media. It's a digital design, development and marketing agency, specializing in user experience design, responsive websites and mobile applications for businesses.




- First game I ever made, Myluck.
- Occasionally I get involved in peace building activities. I as a technologist, along with my team FATE, secured funding from PeaceTech Lab to build a game that will induce empathy in school kids.
- Exercise and Cricket enthusiast.