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 Post subject: Research Topic
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:55 pm 
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I'm going for my Master's in Computer Engineering, but I'm having trouble picking my Thesis topic. I would like to do something related to computer/network/etc security (preferably the defense side), but I do not want to do something in the penetrate/patch cycle (i.e. find a bug, patch it, rinse and repeat).

Some areas that interest me some are homomorphic encryption, contributing a major component to an open source project (ex: work on one of these), or working on something to make writing secure code easier/more straight forward/etc.

So if anyone has any ideas, I'd very much like to hear them.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Hmm... On the security side you could do something on social engineering, log analysis, SIEM monitoring, APT detection (recent RSA hack), spear phishing, Zues/SpyEye and even the encryption they use (I hear you can get a sample of some of the source code for decent). The list could go on, I hope i may have sparked an idea but if not post again and I will try to help out a bit more.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:19 am 
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The social engineering/spear phishing, log analysis/SIEM may be interesting, but they don't catch my eye (so to speak). As for the others, they seem to be in the realm of penetrate and patch, which I don't want to do. Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:39 pm 
Malware specialist
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How about something on intrusion detection systems (or intrusion prevention systems)? It might be a little too patch/penetrate though.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:50 pm 
Java Junkie
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Was providing a sphere of research not part of the application process for your Masters? Or the selection process for your graduate school?


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:35 pm 
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I think something on APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) would be interesting. When it all comes down to it, an APT will most likely succeed. The more some group/person tries, they are more likely to get at what they want. This does all depend on time spent on the group or person, as well as the monitoring of the company, in order to detect such threats.

You could even go lower tech with a security approach and address physical security and lock picking? There is an awesome video from Deviant Ollam who has given talks at Defcon and Blackhat here on lock picking http://safecomputing.umich.edu/events/sumit10/ . This was pretty interesting, for those interested in security check out the vids from some well respected people in the field, especially Whitfield Diffie.


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 Post subject: Re: Research Topic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:22 pm 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Was providing a sphere of research not part of the application process for your Masters? Or the selection process for your graduate school?

Beyond my major of computer engineering, no. Some people do have their area confined when they apply, but I had the fortune/misfortune of have my research area open.


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