Research Agenda

Our research focuses on software and systems security. Despite efforts and improvements in bug discovery techniques, some exploitable vulnerabilities will remain. We target techniques that both enable developers to discover and remove bugs and make programs resilient against the exploitation of unknown or unpatched vulnerabilities.

To discover bugs we propose (i) sanitization techniques that enforce a security property such as memory or type safety; given concrete program input, our sanitizers then flag any property violations and (ii) fuzzing techniques that leverage static and dynamic analysis to create program inputs to explore program areas that are not yet covered through existing test cases. To protect against exploitable vulnerabilities, we focus on control-flow integrity using specific language semantics, enforcing type integrity, and protecting selective data. Under this premise, we focus on compiler-based, runtime-based, and language-based protection mechanisms and security policies that increase the resilience of applications against attacks (in the presence of software vulnerabilities). All prototypes are released as open-source.

Key Topics

software security, system security, sanitization, software testing, fuzzing mitigation, fault isolation, compartmentalization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in joining HexHive? Read the advice for prospective students and send Mathias an email.
If you are an EPFL student and looking for a BSc, MSc, or PhD semester project, check out the project page.
Interested in Capture the Flag? Come play with the (EPFL) polygl0ts.

Meet the members of the HexHive


Mathias Payer
Associate Professor
         

Manuel Egele
Visiting Faculty, EPFL
     

Marcel Busch
Post Doc, EPFL
       

Derrick McKee
PhD Candidate, Purdue
         

Prashast Srivastava
PhD Candidate, Purdue
         

Bader AlBassam
PhD Student, Purdue
         

Adrian Herrera
PhD Student, ANU
       

Atri Bhattacharyya
PhD Candidate, EPFL
       

Ahmad Hazimeh
PhD Candidate, EPFL
   

Nicolas Badoux
PhD Candidate, EPFL
       

Zhiyuan Jiang
PhD Student, NUDT
 

Ergys Dona
PhD Student, EPFL
   

Lucio Romerio
PhD Student
 

Luca Di Bartolomeo
PhD student, EPFL
     

Florian Hofhammer
PhD Student, EPFL
 

Andrés Sanchez
PhD Student, EPFL
         

Tao Lyu
PhD student, EPFL
     

Zhiyao Feng
PhD Student, EPFL
   

Antony Vennard
Research Scientist, EPFL
 

Hossein Moghaddas
MSc Scholar, EPFL
 

Duo Xu
MSc Scholar, EPFL
 

Graduated students

Past visiting researchers, students, research scientists, and post docs:

  • Jelena Jankovic (EDIC project student, spring '20 to spring '21)
  • Daniele Antonioli (post doc, spring '20 to summer '21, first job: assistant professor at EURECOM)
  • Jean-Michel Crepel (research scientist, '20 to '21)
  • Uroš Tešić (research scientist and PhD student, fall '19 to fall '20, first job: NVIDIA)
  • Anil Kurmus (visiting researcher, fall '19)
  • Alessandro Di Federico (visiting PhD student, fall '16)

A selection of undergraduate and graduate student projects

  • Luca DiBartolomeo (MSc thesis, fall '20)
  • Matteo Rizzo (MSc thesis, fall '19)
  • Sushant Dinesh (PhD student/MSc thesis, graduated spring '19)
  • Ammar Askar (undergraduate term project, spring '16)

Contact

Address:  EPFL IC IINFCOM HEXHIVE   
B√Ętiment BC 160
Station 14
CH-1015 Lausanne
Office:BC 160 (Mathias)
Lab:BC 159


Directions: You can reach the BC building by metro m1 (stop "EPFL") or bus 701 (stop "Parc scientifique").
There is (very) limited parking next to BC. The HexHive offices are on the first floor of BC in the east.