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Combining Concolic Testing with Machine Learning to Find Software Vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Concolic testing is a software verification technique that has been successfully applied to find subtle bugs in embedded software. In particular, it relies on efficient symbolic execution engines to produce program inputs that can be used to concretely execute the program under analysis with the goal to achieve high code coverage. Machine learning techniques have also merged as an efficient approach to predict properties of the program or to identify regions of the state-space to be explored for some particular property. Given that Internet of Things (IoT) is now present in all technology sections, allowing different systems to connect and exchange data, the identification of software vulnerabilities in IoT devices has become a major concern in large IT organisations. This PhD research is concerned with identifying software vulnerabilities by combining concolic testing with machine learning techniques in order to prevent unauthorised access to the IoT devices. In particular, the main objectives of this PhD research are: (1) analyse and develop a deeper understanding of software security as a whole to capture main properties of interest to a secure network in IoT; (2) understand all possible cyber threats/attacks that IoT devices can face in order to shield the network from malicious attacks, thus protecting the data flowing through the network; (3) propose an efficient method to identify software vulnerabilities using concolic testing and machine learning techniques, in order to make IoT devices less susceptible to the cyber threats/attacks; (4) apply this verification method to a large number of open source applications that can benefit from a rigorous software security analysis.

Funding Notes

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Manchester in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.86

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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