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  • PhD Dissertation Defense - Nicolaas Weideman

    Thu, May 16, 2024 @ 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Student Activity

    PhD Dissertation Defense - Nicolaas Weideman

    Title: Improving Binary Program Analysis to Enhance the Security of Modern Software Systems

    Committee: Jelena Mirkovic (chair), Chao Wang and Paul Bogdan

    Abstract: With the ever-increasing reliance of the modern world on software systems, the frequency and impact of cyberattacks have greatly increased as well. Software must be analyzed thoroughly to evaluate its security, as vulnerabilities in software can have devastating consequences such as compromised privacy of users, shutdown of infrastructure, significant business losses, and even pose threat to human life. Unfortunately, manual analysis of the source code is insufficient to evaluate the security of software. This is firstly due to the quantity and size of modern software making this method impractical and secondly due to low-level vulnerabilities that are invisible in the source code. Conversely, binary program analysis focuses on automatically analyzing the machine code instructions of executables to reason about security-related properties. In this thesis we enhance automatic software security evaluation by leveraging and extending binary program analysis. We develop approaches to 1) automatically discover vulnerabilities and 2) automatically and safely patch vulnerabilities. We improve the reliability of binary data-flow analysis by 3) evaluating three state of the art binary analysis frameworks and 4) improving the state of the art. Each of these directions independently pushes the boundaries of what is possible in defending modern software, leading to a more secure digital environment.

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 213

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Nicolaas Weideman

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