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Department of Computer Science

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Systems and software security

Our researchers

We develop state-of-the-art algorithms, methods and protocols to address security and privacy in networked and distributed system environments, and tools to build verifiable, trustworthy software systems. Our expertise covers a broad span of topics, including digital trust, security, and privacy.

The systems and software security members have research interests, which include:

  • Developing security algorithms, methods, protocols, and architecture to protect data and information-based resources to ensure trustworthiness and privacy.
  • Developing the mathematics of software and system computational behaviour through the study and development of system design, verification and validation methods.
  • Developing privacy protection mechanisms for secure computation (homomorphic encryption and multiparty computation), anonymisation, differential privacy, obfuscation, anonymous credentials and zero-knowledge proofs.

Trustworthy software systems

We have strengths in the automation of reasoning to formally build verifiable, trustworthy software systems. Members of our research group have a world-leading reputation in malware and attack technologies, adversarial behaviour, security operations and incident management, cryptography, software, hardware and network security, privacy-enhancing technologies, software quality assurance, and how these are applied to the governance, risk management and compliance in cyber-security. Other areas of interest include distributed and cyber-physical systems security.

Award-winning software

We have developed award-winning software verification and testing tools, including ESBMC (Efficient SMT-based Bounded Model Checker) and JBMC (Java Bounded Model Checker). Over the last ten years, these tools have consistently won international competitions in software verification and testing, focusing on security. We have made significant contributions to software and systems verification and security: theory and implementation techniques.

Collaboration

We collaborate with other research groups in the Department of Computer Science, including the Formal Methods (FM), Information Management (IMG), Machine Learning and Robotics (MLR) and Advanced Processor Technology (APT) groups. Our members are also affiliated with the Research Centre for Digital Trust and Society.

We have also collaborated with industry partners such as Intel, ARM and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Research focus

Our research is focused on the following specialist areas:

  • cryptographic protocol
  • networked and distributed system security
  • Data and identity privacy
  • systems and software verification
  • systemic view of governance in cyber resilience