Skip to main content

PELAB Security Thesis Proposals

IMPORTANT NOTE: Given my limited amount of time, since December 2019 I cannot accept in general new thesis students. Nevertheless, I may take in consideration a thesis request in case of highly motivated autonomous students with a significant interest in practical computer security.

Here a list of currently available thesis proposals:

  • Development of a module for a modular framework used for Web Application Penetration Testing:
    • Study: Web Application Pentesting techniques and tools
    • Development: A set of scripts or burp suite/ZAP plugins to assist the web app pentester
    • Context: Web Applications are enerally the main entry point for attackers, studying their vulnerabilities and possible mitigations is of fundamental importance in the computer security domain
  • Operating systems Hardening Strategies (ref. Tanenbaum OS Book, SELinux, AppArmore)
    • Study: Operating Systems hardening techniques and scenarios in common OSes
    • Development: A script which implements or automates an OS hardening procedure
  • Network Reconnaissance
    • Study: Network reconnaissance and mapping techniques, basically the fyodor network mapping book
    • Development: A port scanner, inspired by nmap or masscan
  • Firewalls, Defense and Evasion/Pivoting Techniques (Network Security Assessment + Metasploit)
    • Study: Network Pentesting techniques and tools
    • Development: Automating scripts or scanning script from scratch
  • Automating Network Penetration Testing Techniques
    • Study: General networking security, mostly based on the blue book about network security assessment
    • Development: wrapper/helper for network pentesting activities
  • Antivirus Evasion Techniques (Various Publications + The Antivirus Hacker's Handbook)
    • Study: Basic Malware Analysis concepts and AV evasion strategies
    • Development: Collection of Snippets of code to bypass common AVs, the student is invited to install several virtual machines containing different AV solutions, and try to understand how signature based and heuristics based mechanisms work and how they can be eventually bypassed. In addition APTs can be studied to understand previous bypass mechanisms
  • Windows Security and Pentesting
    • Study: Basics of Windows OS Internals and security mechanisms (+ vulnerabilities)
    • Development: Methodology/software to attack AD/DC and in general Windows environments
  • High level traffic analyzer built on libpcap or scapy:
    1. Analyze domains
    2. Requests per domain
    3. Files downloaded per domain
    4. HTTP Request types per domain
    5. Time spent on a website
    6. Provide fancy plots
    7. Study: How traffic analyzers work, what could be interesting in various troubleshooting scenarios
    8. Development: Software to analyze .pcap or .pcapng files and provide higher level details
  • NoSQL Databases Security
    • Study: Most common NoSQL databases and their security implications
    • Development: An helper software for NoSQL attacks
  • Anonimity Networks: Study of the Onion Routing Protocol and I2P and Related Services
    • Study: Onion and I2P services, What?, Why?, How?, When?, Who?
    • Development: Tools to aid in onion routing service deployment
  • P2P Systems: A security Perspective
    • Study: P2P systems, an overview, how they work, where are they used
    • Development: Of a P2P client/server architecture/tools to exploit vulnerabilities on P2P networks
  • Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems
    • Study: Different Open Source IDS and IPS solutions, how they work and how they can be used
    • Development: a wrapper/helper for a famous IDS solution such as Snort
  • Pentesting in Windows Enterprise infrastructure environments
    • Study: Penetration testing techniques on Windows systems
    • Development: framework for automating pentesting techniques
  • Automating Mobile Applications Security Assessment
    • Study: Android internals and applications
    • Development: a software or framework to automate security assessments on android and its applications
  • Network simulations
    • Study: GNS3 and other network emulators such as mininet
    • Development: programs to ease the development and deployment of virtual networks
  • VoIP Security
    • Study: VoIP networks and protocols
    • Development: software to automate VoIP infrastructure security assessment
  • Blue Teaming and Network Infrastructures Defense
    • Study: IDS/IPS, firewalls (e.g., pfsense, iptables) and their proper setup
    • Development: helper software which automates the securing of endpoints
  • Convolutional Neural Networks in web reconnaissance
    • Study: Machine Learning fundamentals and in particular CNNs
    • Development: A classifier of "interesting" web applications in large-scope security assessment activities, something similar to "eyeballer"
  • Radio Security with Software Defined Radio
    • Study: Assessment techniques for radio security
    • Development: Software to work with SDRs, e.g., rtl-sdr
  • Development of a software to analyze big databases from the Sonar project by RAPID7, examples are here project sonar guide
    • Study: Reconnaissance in information security
    • Development: Toolkit to work with RAPID7 databases