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 and we release talks on YouTube.

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
         

Marcel Busch
Post Doc
       

Flavio Toffalini
Post Doc
         

Gwangmu Lee
Post Doc
       

Prashast Srivastava
PhD Candidate (Purdue)
       

Adrian Herrera
PhD Student (ANU)
       

Atri Bhattacharyya
PhD Candidate
       

Ahmad Hazimeh
PhD Candidate
   

Nicolas Badoux
PhD Candidate
       

Zhiyuan Jiang
PhD Student (NUDT)
 

Luca Di Bartolomeo
PhD Candidate
     

Florian Hofhammer
PhD Candidate
 

Andrés Sanchez
PhD Candidate
         

Tao Lyu
PhD Student
     

Zhiyao Feng
PhD Candidate
   

Chibin Zhang
PhD Student
   

Philipp Mao
PhD Student
   

Antony Vennard
Research Scientist
 

Duo Xu
MSc Scholar
 

Zurab Tsinadze
MSc Scholar
   

Graduated PhD students


Derrick McKee
Purdue PhD spring '22
First job: MIT LL

Hui Peng
Purdue PhD spring '21
First job: Baidu Research

Priyam Biswas
Purdue PhD fall '20
First job: Intel Research

Yuseok Jeon
Purdue PhD summer '20
First job: asst prof at UNIST

Naif Almakhdhub
Purdue PhD spring '20
(co-advised by Saurabh Bagchi)
First job: asst prof at KSU

Abe Clements
Purdue PhD spring '19
(co-advised by Saurabh Bagchi)
First job: Sandia National Labs

Kyriakos Ispoglou
Purdue PhD spring '19
First job: Google

Nathan Burow
Purdue PhD fall '18
First job: MIT LL

Terry Hsu
Purdue PhD spring '18
(co-advised by Patrick Eugster)
First job: Apple

Scott Carr
Purdue PhD spring '17
First job: Northrop Grumman

Ahmed Hussein
Purdue PhD fall '16
(co-advised by Tony Hosking)
First job: Huawei

Past visitors, researchers, and post docs:

  • Manuel Egele (visiting faculty during his sabbatical from BU, fall '21 and spring '22)
  • Hossein Moghaddas (MSc research scholar, fall '21 and spring '22)
  • Han Zheng (visiting PhD student from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, spring '22 and fall '22)
  • Qiang Liu (visiting PhD student from Zhejiang University, fall '21 and spring '22)
  • Majid Salehi (visiting PhD student from KU Leuven, fall '21)
  • Daniele Antonioli (post doc, spring '20 to summer '21, first job: assistant professor at EURECOM)
  • 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.