||Security Vulnerability Assessment
Authentication, Availability, Confidentiality, Integrity, Defense Principles, Intrusion Detection, Attack vectors, more
- There will not be a traditional paper midterm exam this semester.
Instead, students will identify, create, and complete some project
or get some results related to vulnerability assessment. Students
can choose to do anything that is exciting to them. This is intended
to be an opportunity for students to bring out their creative energy
that has been hiding for years. The more creativity displayed the
higher the grade. Some suggested paths to a project/results are
- This may be done in a group of two or three. However, in that
case the result/project should be significantly more ambitious than
that expected for a single person.
- Scoring of the project/results will be out of 30 points.
- There is no strict due date but students are encouraged to pace
themselves so they do not try to cram a submission into that last week
of the semester.
Some students have said they need some help in deciding on a midterm project.
This is too bad. I want you to 'own' your own project - that way the result
will be better, you will learn more, and you will feel a heightened sense of
accomplishment. The only way you can 'own' a project, though, is if you
come up with it yourself. So, the suggestions below are not actual projects
for you to take on but are just pathways to help you find a project that
will be interesting to you and one that you can 'own.' They are listed in
categories. I am starting out small but the list will get bigger, hopefully
||You like to destroy things|
- Develop some malware that aims to destroy my laptop. Create a means to
deploy the malware on my laptop. Be merciful - limit the damage so I will
not have to spend more than 2 hours to restore everything to normal.
Copying someone else's malware is not going to get you a high grade. I will
be especially interested in the way you are able to get the malware on
the laptop - perhaps via a vulnerability.
||You want to be a RAT|
- Develop a stealth communication mechanism for sending messages
between computers. It should be impossible or at least extremely
difficult for a system administrator to check whether such messages
are actually communicated - either while a message is being sent or
that a message had been sent earlier. It is OK to use steganography
or IP headers to hide messages but 1) I will be impressed with another
approach that has not reached popularity 2) remember that I do not care
what the messages actually are - I only care about detecting the existence
of a message - so checking header values and traffic levels should
create a challenge for both those approaches 3) I will be really impressed
if you use an OS or application vulnerability to create the covert
||You like to play games|
- Create an interactive multiplayer game where players shoot vulnerable
code at each other and hope that the targets execute the code. The game
must support very devious and clever ways to get the vulnerable code to
the target. Once vulnerable code is set, some exploit on that code
will be attempted. This will likely require the target to unwittingly
cooperate with the exploit. Vulnerable code could be designed to allow
some players to gang up on other players.
- Create an I-Wars game where players acquire wealth, then build armies,
then have wars. The result of wars is that the winners lose some of their
wealth but are able to plunder some of the loser's wealth. The game ends
when one player has all the wealth. Rules should be carefully designed
to encourage declarations of war (i.e. players cannot possibly win the
game with declaring some wars).
||You want to work for the NSA|
- Develop a mechanism that can detect dormant command-and-control
- Break the encryption on smartphone voice messages
- Analyze cell traffic to determine who is communicating with whom