Posts about security research and academia

Reversing a Roblox Cheat

Deobfuscating scripts for fun (but not profit)

As one aspect of educational outreach, I sometimes agree to mentor high school students in a security-related project. One of these turned out to require script deobfuscation to proceed with the project’s objective. Since dynamically unpacking an obfuscated script is a tall ask for a university-level student (let alone someone in high school), I spent some time doing just that and decided to write it up here.

A Short Introduction to Containers

How to build and run container images for Network Security

Containers are heavily used in my Network Security class as well as in industry for cloud workloads. This document serves as an incomplete but hopefully helpful quickstart for Network Security students that need to create and run containers for class labs and assignments.

Research Group Applicants

Information on joining the Diverge Lab

If you want to start a Ph.D. to solve open problems in security, I would love to talk to you! To get the ball rolling, here is some information about the group and what I look for in an applicant.

Advice to (Cybersecurity) Undergrads

Or, avoiding regrets along with that shiny new B.S. degree

Since I frequently get questions from people just setting out on the path (or even some ways along the path) to becoming future cybersecurity experts, here is some quick advice on making the best of your all-too-brief undergraduate years.

VolgaCTF 2017 Writeup: Transformer

Reversing an encrypter and discovering a whole new mode of encryption

VolgaCTF qualifiers were held last weekend, and this time around I sat in on 0xBU’s team. I managed to solve Transformer, a 400 point reverse engineering challenge, and so here is the requisite writeup.

iCTF 2017 Writeup: Turing Award

Passing the Turing Test

This year’s edition of the iCTF took place last Friday, and Northeastern fielded a team this year that placed respectably. (At least, we beat BU – sorry Manuel!) I spent most of the day helping out with turing_award, so – as is tradition – here is a writeup on our solution.

UNVEIL at USENIX Security 2016

Large-scale ransomware detection

Amin will be presenting his latest work on fighting ransomware at USENIX Security this summer. The system he’ll be talking about is called UNVEIL, which enhances dynamic sandboxes to accurately recognize ransomware-like behavior.