Student Projects

On this page you can find some topics for project work (including bachelor and master projects). Some projects are listed explicitly, but sometimes we also just mention the broader context. In that case, there may be several student projects possible within this context. In case of interest, send me an email, or come see me (P4.16).

Open master projects

We have a bunch of new projects available. Briefly, they include:

  • Paranoid Android: Fast, decoupled smart-phone protection.

    Smartphones are becoming like PCs in the scope and number of applications and also in the sensitivity of the data stored on (or handled by) them (credit card details, pictures, privacy-related info, email, etc.). Unfortunately, they are very unlike PCs in other respects. Resources are constrained. Battery life is particularly precious, so much so that we cannot hope to run very expensive security checks on the phone. We have an exciting project in which we try to offload such checks to an external security server (e.g., in the cloud). Basically, we run an exact replica of the phone on the security server and since we don't have the same resource constraints here, we are able to apply expensive security checks here. Moreover, we can run security checks in parallel and even apply truly heavy-weight checks that could not even be applied on desktop PCs. Finally, when we lose our phone, or when the phone gets destroyed, we still have the full state of the phone in the security server. It should be possible to restore the state to a new phone, so no data gets lost ever. We have several msc projects in this larger project. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Reverse engineering.

    We want to develop tools to automate reverse engineering. For instance, by automatic detection of data structures in running apps.

  • The next-generation computer worm.

    For evaluating intrusion detection and prevention system we would like to develop a new, highly sophisticated attack that applies very new techniques to avoid being detected.

    Bachelor projects and/or individual programming assignments

  • Urgent: Pan-European intrusion detection.

    Adapt an existing intrusion detection system in such a way that it becomes part of a Pan-European system for information gathering that will be used by security researchers world wide.

  • ngOS.

    The basic idea is to create a new GNU/Linux distribution that targets NGOs and focuses on reducing computer energy consumption. ngOS is supposed to substitute Microsoft Windows in small organizations by providing a cheaper and more efficient operating system with fully customized features. This new operating system is a community driven software solution as opposed to a costly corporate provided one. ngOS would be something that small organizations will be interested in adopting since it would reduce their software costs (no licensing fees) while providing a greener, more stable system with increased security.

    The idea is to base ngOS on an existing mainstream GNU/Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Fedora. One can then customize such distribution into one that is focused towards lowering energy consumption. Initial ideas of how to do this are for example: clocking down processor when not in use; defaulting web browser into a black homepage such as www.blackle.com; defaulting screensavers into optimum mode; Perhaps use âMotionâ, a program for motion detection through webcams to automatically turn off the screen when there is no human presence in front of the computer, etc. One can also use existing Linux home automation software such as âMister Houseâ to control energy consumption beyond the computer itself, in this way one can manage the whole office energy usage. These are some specific ideas but they are just a starting point since what is intended is that the project becomes open to the community so anyone can contribute to the software development.

  • Anonymous Internet access.

    In some countries it is difficult to access the Internet freely. Examples in the past included Iran and China. To solve this problem people have proposed onion routing (Tor), but Tor is cumbersome and has several real disadvantages (such as blacklisting). In this project, we aim to create a simpler, more scalable solution to the problem.