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Assignment Description for IT Security Research Paper

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes 

This assignment addresses the following learning outcomes: 
• Evaluate approaches to the management of IT Security 
• Investigate, summarise and review contemporary topics in IT security
• Apply ideas from research and current practices to address problems of IT system security 

Assignment Description 

This assignment is individual, You have to write a paper with a total size of 2400 words in the ACM SIG template (excluding references). Please check the Section 5 for more info on the template.  

Research Paper Structure

The paper should contain at least the following sections. Note that you may add sections and subsections to improve the paper and its structure; for example, you may want to organise the literature review in sub-sections. 
1. An abstract provides a compact summary of the report, which hightlight what you have done, and usually include the major findings and their significance. It is very important that based on the abstract a reader should be able to tell whether your paper will be useful to them. 

2. An introduction summarizes your research question and its context/ background (such as trends, statistics, recent developments in the field), the practical relevance of this question, the initial goal of your paper (how you expected to answer your research question), the relevance of the question for practitioners or researchers, how you did answer your question, and how the paper is structured. 

3. A critical analysis of existing literature relevant to your research question. Identify any interesting results, insights, how effective are the proposed methods, and their limitations. Where applicable, also review relevant practices from high quality sources. Additionally, consider the extent to which methods proposed in research papers have been tested in industry. Due to the constraint on page number, only consider the most relevant, recent papers in the field.

4. Based on the drawbacks and limitation identified in this field, propose and discuss a possible (future) direction to improve or overcome some of these drawbacks. You may also discuss the mitigations or counter measures collected from research and/or current practices that minimise or avoid issues identified by the literature review.  

• Note that you do not have to develop a method (since it is out of scope of this assignment), but only provide some interesting thoughts and discussion on a possible direction (i.e., mainly expressing your idea). 

5. A conclusion drawing conclusions about what you have achieved, reflecting on your initial goal, and summarize the main findings.

Assignment Description

Selecting a Research Topic 

The following research questions are provided to give you an idea of the type of question that you are expected to answer. Before you start, you should locate a paper that will help you to find other papers.

Web Security 
• Phishing attack
• SQL injection
• Cross site scripting (XSS) 
• Cross site request forgery (CSRF)
• Browser security
• Certificate vulnerabilities (e.g., Heartbleed bug)
• Typosquatting

 Coping with Internal Attackers/Threats
• Based on honeynet/honeypot/honeytokens
• Based on trap documents
• Based on intrusion detection system (IDS)

Authentication Methods 
• Multi-factor authentication
• Biometric authentication 
• Graphical Passwords
• Shoulder Surfing
• Single Sign On (SSO)

Security and Privacy of Cloud services
• Client-side/end-to-end encryption vs. server side encrytion scheme
• Privacy and accountability of cloud services
o from the data subjects (user), data controller (service provider), and legal perspective.
• Big data problem in cloud computing and storage
• Data theft in cloud (e.g., Fog computing)
• Automated malware analysis in the cloud
Health-care management in the cloud

Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) 
• Zero-day type attacks and their detection
ocoping with attacks based on zero-day or unknown vulnerabilities

• Detecting and mitigating botnets
• Online social networks based command and control (C&C) methods and detection

Smart City Security  (IoT) 
• Secure vehicular communications
Security of smart road traffic control systems  

Security and Privacy in Social Networks 
• Centralized and decentralized (peer 2 peer) social networks
• Privacy and accountability of social networks
o from the data subjects (user), data controller (service provider), and legal perspective.
• Protecting children in online social networks 
• Crowdturfing activities in online social networks and detection 
• Sybil (fake) account problem in online social networks and detection  

Mobile Security
• Privilege escalation attacks
• Android security problems
• IOS security problems

Firewall, IDS Security 
• Firewall/IDS misconfiguration problems
oInconsistency/Anomaly in firewall and IDS rulesets 
Conformation between high-level firewall/IDS policy and low-level firewall/IDS configuration 

• Security of Banking Hardware Security Modules 
Security HSM API analysis

Shilling attacks against recommender systems
• How effective are recommender systems against shilling attack
• E.g., Amazon, Netflix

You may browse the websites of the following top conferences and journal for the most relevant related works. Note that each conference and journal have a different version each year, e.g., CCS 2014, CCS 2015, etc., therefore you can Google based on the conference name + year + keywords. Also, keep in mind that these are only recommendation, you are allowed to work with papers from other places.

• ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS)
• USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX)
• IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 
• Network & Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS)
• European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS)
• ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (WISEC)
• ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS)
• Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS) 
• Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES)
• Annual Privacy Forum (APF)
• Black Hat
• IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security Journal
• IEEE Security & Privacy Journal
• TDSC - IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing Journal
• TISSEC - ACM Transactions on Information and System Security Journal
• IEEE Communications Magazine
• ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)

Unfair Means to Enhance Performance

The University operates an electronic plagiarism detection service (Turnitin) where your work will be automatically uploaded, stored and cross-referenced against other material. You should be aware that the software searches the World Wide Web, extensive databases of reference material and work submitted by members of the same class to identify duplication. 

To avoid accusations of plagiarism, give an in-text citation and provide bibliographic details of any source used in the references list. Remember that you can reuse ideas from different sources but not literal text. 

Reassessed Work 

Reassessment in written examinations and coursework is at the discretion of the Course Assessment Board and is dealt with strictly in accordance with University policy and procedures. Revision classes for referrals will take place during ’reassessment revision, appeals and guidance week’ as marked on the academic calendar. 

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