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Doctor Leonardo Aniello

Dr Leonardo Aniello

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Blockchain-based Systems
  • Distributed Systems
  • Machine Learning applied to Cyber Security

More research


Address: B59, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ


Dr Leonardo Aniello is an Associate Professor in Cyber Security in the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. He is also

  • member of the GCHQ/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) Southampton
  • AI & Security champion of the GCHQ/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE) Southampton
  • member of the management group of the ECS Centre for Internet of Things and Pervasive Systems (C-IoT)

Dr Aniello obtained a Ph.D. in Engineering in Computer Science in 2014 from "La Sapienza" University of Rome, with a thesis about techniques for efficient processing Big Data in large-scale collaborative environments. His research is currently focused on distributed systems and cyber security, including adaptive resource allocation strategies, automatic scaling of distributed systems, blockchain-based systems and IoT security. He is author of more than 30 papers (h-index 16, 1759 citations, source Google Scholar), published on international conferences, journals, and books.

He started working on portscan detection and collaborative distributed computations aimed at early detection of cyber threats (106 citations in total), then focused on the distributed system aspect of computations by investigating novel techniques to enhance performance in stream and batch processing (310 citations) and to integrate elastic proactive scalability in distributed systems (47 citations). He later moved to researching on machine learning for malware analysis (158 citations) and on blockchain-based systems (351 citations).

Dr Aniello investigated the integration of blockchain technology to improve IoT security within the context of peer-to-peer energy trading. This research was carried out as part of the EPSRC project Blockchain-empowered Infrastructure for IoT (BlockIT, £195K), where he worked as Co-I. He also investigated the opportunities and challenges of using blockchain to establish and manage federations of Cloud services and resources, as part of the H2020 EU project SecUre iNFormatIon SHaring in federated heterogeneous private clouds (SUNFISH, €4.5M).

Dr Aniello was also involved as Co-I in the Cyber Predictive Intelligence for Asset-based Analytics (CyPrIAAn, £96K) project funded by the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) as part of Phase 1 of the Predictive Cyber Analytics competition. Furthermore, he is currently acting as PI for UoS in the Operational CyberspaCe Attack Modelling – Real-Time (OCCAM-RT, £180K) project, in partnership with Bristol-based company Riskaware. OCCAM-RT is funded as part of Phase 2 of the same competition. Within the OCCAM-RT project, Dr Aniello is overseeing two PDRAs. He is also supervising 9 PGR students (3 as primary supervisor and 6 as secondary). Furthermore, Dr Aniello oversaw two undergraduate students for their summer internship: one in 2018, funded by ECS and focused on generating a dataset for cyber-attacks against IoT networks; the other in 2020, funded by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), around the topic of IoT fingerprinting using machine learning techniques.

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