Cyber Defence Operations

Semester 1 2022 has snuck up on me again. This semester as part of the UNSW and ADFA run Master of Cyber Security degree, I’m taking the blue team core unit ZEIT8026 Cyber Defence - Network Security Operations (SecOps) lectured by Dr Waqas Haider and Dr Nour Moustafa. Unlike its sister red team unit ZEIT8020 Cyber Offense - Cyber Network Operations (CNO) which I took in 2018, ZEIT8026 aims to lay the foundational knowledge of cyber defence operations:
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Binary Similarity Analysis Technical Paper

An academic paper I authored in May 2019, as part of studying Reverse Engineering at UNSW. Abstract Extracting meaningful semantic differences between software binaries without source code is difficult. This is a challenging problem due to the overwhelming amount of syntactic noise that small changes can result in at the assembly level. Curiously when it comes to program semantics the “signal from the noise” can be distilled in a manner that is both static and processor agnostic, through the application of control flow and graph isomorphism analysis, symbolic execution and theorem proving.
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Exploiting Heap Allocators Technical Paper

An academic paper I authored in October 2019, as part of studying Modern Exploit Development at UNSW. Abstract Heap oriented exploits continue to be an ongoing threat, and have gained popularity post the stack smashing frenzy of the 90’s and early 00’s. Even so called safe languages (e.g. JavaScript, Java) remain vulnerable due to their underlying C/C++ implementations. Heap allocator designs and implementations, of which there are many, struggle to strike the balance between performance and security, performance often winning out to keep programs running as fast as possible.
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