Cybersecurity X Lab

Current Projects:

  • Measurable Security – We build models of correct operation for network components and test these models with regular and attack traces for a variety of security configurations. Our goal is to find deviations from the models that will lead to repeatable and reproducible, objective security metrics. You can check this presentation with the most recent projects in X Lab.
  • CyberPaths – Broadening the Path to the STEM Profession through Cybersecurity Learning: This is an NSF funded project with goal to teach Cybersecurity experientially in the liberal arts setting. The first goal of the project is to develop learning modules that will be used in general education courses, with goal to expose a diverse population of students to the field. Second, this project will create paths for students to follow Cybersecurity, through a concentration with targeted courses and a capstone that will be developed on the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) cloud infrastructure.

Past Projects:

  • Detection and Mitigation of Computer Network attacks using Software Defined Networks: We have developed a solution for robust and fast detection and mitigation of DDoS attacks using the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI).
  • Covert Channel Communication: First we explore Covert Storage Channel (CSC) and how to make covert communication robust by using split-join network techniques. Then we devise a method to detect CSC using SDN. Second, we explore Covert Timing Channel in (CTC) order to make it more robust and undetectable. We are currently experimenting with different encoding schemes for CTC.

Prospective students:

The qualities that I am looking in a student are: strong programming skills, communication skills, passion for learning, and professionalism. You are strongly encouraged to apply no matter your experience in CS. I have worked with freshmen, sophomores, and upper level CS students with equal success. Fundamental programing experience is essential though (CS 220 or equivalent self learning experience).

Topics that you may work on:

  • Software Defined Networks (SDN) & security: SDN is a new networking paradigm where the data and control plane are separated, opening new horizons to program networks using a logically centralized controller. However, the controller can also be a security liability for SDNs. Exploring the vulnerabilities of SDN and how to overcome these will be one of the goals of this project. Abusing Software Defined Networks is a good video to watch from Blackhat conference if you are interested in this project.
  • Models and metrics for security: 
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Currently a hot topic in computer networks security, the Internet of Things is defined by all the “things”, i.e., devices, that are connected to the Internet. New protocols have been created to make communication fast and lightweight. An exciting and unexplored area is to find new vulnerabilities of these devices. Believe it or not, there is a way to search these devices, like a google search for IoT. This is an exciting and widely unexplored area where you may hack devices, mine data from IoT, and connect to the most unusual “things” such as wind turbines and webcameras to mine their data.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: DDoS attacks although they have been around for a while, have no seized to disturb legitimate services and access. The simplicity and ease of creating a DDoS attack is quite fascinating. According to Darkreading, half of the words enterprises were hit by DDoS. Recently attacks have been dramatically increasing in volume. Finding the source of a DDoS attack and detecting it accurately is an interesting problem that remains widely unsolved.

You may also propose your own project within the area of computer network security, network forensics, and the Internet of Things.

If you are interested in working with me on Cybersecurity research, do not hesitate to contact me at: mountrouidoux <at> Please include:

  1. A paragraph explaining why you would like to work with me, what you would be interested in working on and why,
  2. Your resume that includes classes that you have taken.

I have limited paid positions for research assistants that are extremely motivated and may also work with me in summer.

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