Willard Rafnsson

Research Interests

My research focuses on proving that software preserves the confidentiality of data. I am building tools for this task, that scale to real programming languages and platforms.

My interests are in computer security, programming languages, and formal methods. In particular, all means of guaranteeing that software is secure, safe and reliable, especially if this is achieved through analysis, verification, and transformation, of programs.


I am an Assistant Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU). I am a member of the Center for Information Security and Trust (CIST) and the Programming, Logic and Semantics (PLS) group.

I was a Postdoc at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS), hosted by Deepak Garg, and at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) CyLab, hosted by Limin Jia and Lujo Bauer. I did my PhD at Chalmers in the security lab, supervised by Andrei Sabelfeld.

Professional Activities

39th International Conference on Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems (FORTE 2019) (PC member)

5th International Conference on Principles of Security and Trust (POST 2016) (PC member)

Workshop on Foundations of Computer Security (FCS 2015) (PC member)

19th Nordic Conference on Secure IT Systems (NordSec 2014), poster session (PC member)


Timing-Sensitive Noninterference through Composition
Willard Rafnsson, Limin Jia, Lujo Bauer.
POST 2017. (appendix).

Type Systems for Information-Flow Control: The Question of Granularity
Vineet Rajani, Iulia Bastys, Willard Rafnsson, Deepak Garg.
ACM SIGLOG News (vol. 4, nr. 1) 2017

Progress-Sensitive Security for SPARK
Willard Rafnsson, Deepak Garg, Andrei Sabelfeld.
ESSoS 2016. (appendix).

Secure Multi-Execution: Fine-grained, Declassification-aware, and Transparent
Willard Rafnsson, Andrei Sabelfeld.
JCS (vol. 24, no. 1) 2016 (special issue of CSF 2012-2013).

Compositional Information-flow Security for Interactive Systems
Willard Rafnsson, Andrei Sabelfeld.
CSF 2014.

Secure Multi-Execution: Fine-grained, Declassification-aware, and Transparent
Willard Rafnsson, Andrei Sabelfeld.
CSF 2013.

Securing Class Initialization in Java-like Languages
Willard Rafnsson, Keiko Nakata, Andrei Sabelfeld.
TDSC (vol. 10, no. 1) 2013. (appendix).

Securing Interactive Programs
Willard Rafnsson, Daniel Hedin, Andrei Sabelfeld.
CSF 2012.

Limiting Information Leakage in Event-based Communication
Willard Rafnsson, Andrei Sabelfeld.
PLAS 2011. (appendix)


Securing Interactive Systems
Thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering,
Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University,
ISBN 978-91-7385-989-9, April 2014.


Currently, I am teaching the following at ITU.

Introductory Programming

During my PhD at Chalmers, I worked 20% as a teaching assistant, in the following courses.

Cryptography (TDA352)
Concurrent Programming (TDA383)
Finite Automata Theory and Formal Languages (TMV027)
Algorithms (TIN093)

While employed at Reykjavik University (RU) as a full-time teacher for one year, I created and taught two courses.

Information Theory
Functional Programming

In addition, while studying and while at RU, I have been a teaching assistant in courses on: Discrete Mathematics, Computer Organization, Computability and Complexity, Testing & Verification, and Object-Oriented Programming.

Public Outreach

Securing Web Applications - Chalmers University of Technology (actor, 2013-12-18)

WhatsApp hack - Radio24syv, Datolinjen (interview, 2019-05-14)


E-mail: wilr@itu.dk

Mail / Visit (office 4C16) :

Willard Rafnsson
IT University of Copenhagen
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark