Research AgendaOur 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 Topicssoftware security, system security, sanitization, software testing, fuzzing mitigation, fault isolation, compartmentalization.
Frequently Asked QuestionsInterested in joining HexHive? Read the advice for prospective students and send Mathias an email.
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Meet the members of the HexHive
Graduated PhD students
Purdue PhD summer '20
First job: asst prof at UNIST
Purdue PhD spring '20
(co-advised by Saurabh Bagchi)
First job: asst prof at KSU
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)
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