Posted: March 26th, 2021

COS80013 Research Assignment Internet Security

Internet Security
Research Assignment
This research assignment is worth 40% of the subject assessment.
Due Date: Research project due Tuesday 16th March 2021 11:59 pm.
Delays caused by computer downtime cannot be accepted as a valid reason for late submission
without penalty. Students must plan their work to allow for both scheduled and uns
Any IT graduate involved in Internet security will need to be able to adapt an
unfamiliar and changing security threats, technologies and systems. To be capable
profession, graduates need to be able to discover and analyse these new technolo
security systems and to evaluate their effectiveness, practicality and impact.
Objectives :
– to understand the critical security and privacy issues in computer software.
– to understand the possible solutions for the critical security issues in computer software.
– to demonstrate the ability to research and apply proper techniques to address a given
security threat / vulnerability.
– to gain experience in writing a proper essay for a specific topic.
The assignment:
Due Date: Tuesday 16th March 2021 11:59 pm
Nowadays, computer software is a crucial part of the modern world. The software makes the world
become smart than before. However, cyber threats using the computer software are becoming
more and more of a threat in today’s smart world. The global cost of cybercrime will reach $6
trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. One of major causes of the cyber threats can be
attributed to vulnerabilities in computer software. Therefore, these vulnerabilities/bugs should be
ideally identified and fixed before deployment.
Software vulnerability has been a hot topic in both academia and industry. Many techniques such
as static analysis (i.e., taint analysis, binary instrumentation, supervised/unsupervised machine
learning, data mining etc.), and dynamic analysis (i.e., fuzzing, symbolic execution, dynamic taint
analysis etc.). There many publications that you can gain access through Swinburne Library.
In this assignment, you are required to complete an essay regarding the software vulnerability
detection, consisting of 2500-4000 words (at least 6 pages, single spaced, 12pt fonts, on a normal
A4 paper) on one of the following topics. No more than 10 students will be permitted to work on
the same topic. The process for nominating a topic will be announced on Canvas.
COS80013 Assignment
The research report can cover the following big topics:
• Static analysis: static analysis techniques do not execute the programbeing analyzed;
• Dynamic analysis: dynamic techniques involve the program ex-ecution;
• Source code-level software vulnerability detection;
• Binary code-level software vulnerability detection;
• The comparison of effectiveness of different tools for software vulnerability detection.
Or, one can focus on one of the following specific techniques:
• Lexical Analysis
• Data Flow Analysis
• Abstract Interpretation
• Model checking
• Taint analysis;
• Fuzzing;
• Symbolic execution;
• Binary instrumentation;
• Binary-centric approach;
• Signature-based bug analysis;
• Data mining (unsupervised learning) techniques;
• Machine learning techniques;
• Deep learning techniques;
• Hybrid Method.
Amount of work:
Each student should spend at least 30 hours working on the assignment.
Marks will be allocated depending on the amount of original work submitted. Marks will
be deducted for plagarised and/or un-attributed work. eForensic examination of the assignment
may be carried out to verify its authenticity.
This assignment will be graded as Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction. The detailed
marking criteria can be seen from the end of this document.
Submissions must be made through Canvas ( before the due
date. Reports should be in a commonly-used format (.pdf, .docx or .rtf ) and should not exceed
15 pages in length.
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they understand the
submission instructions. If you have ANY difficulties, ask the Tutor for assistance
(prior to the submission date).
Submission requirements.
• The first page should be a filled-in copy of the cover sheet on the next page.
• The second page must be a title page indicating:
o the unit code and title,
o title of the assignment,
o the topic,
o the authors (by name and student ID),
o the submission date/time,
o the due date/time.
o your expected grade for the assignment, based on the grading criteria explained
o your expression of interest regarding a public presentation in week 12.
Pages must be numbered starting with the first page AFTER the cover sheet and title page.
A table of contents is not to be used.
Appendices and a list of references will not be included in the page count.
All externally sourced information (i.e. not common knowledge or course material) must be cited
using Harvard or Vancouver styles. Vancouver style (IEEE style) is preferred:
Each citation must have a corresponding reference at the back of the report. ALL REFERENCES
Copying, Plagiarism:
This is an individual assignment. You are not permitted to work as a part of a group when writing
this assignment.
Plagiarism is the use of other people’s words, ideas, research findings or information without
acknowledgement, that is, without indicating the source. Plagiarism is regarded as a very serious
offence in Western academic institutions and Swinburne University of Technology has procedures
and penalties to deal with instances of plagiarism.
In order not to plagiarise, all material from all sources must be correctly referenced. It is necessary
to reference direct quotes, paraphrases and summaries of sources, statistics, diagrams, images,
experiment results and laboratory data – anything taken from sources.
When plagiarism is detected, penalties are strictly imposed. The University’s policy on plagiarism
can be viewed, online, at
COS80013 Assignment
Marking criteria for the Essay
The essay will be marked using the following marking criteria:
Internet Security
Assignment 1 Essay (100%)
Marking Scheme

Student ID
1. The rationale and background of your essay is clearly specified (15%).
a. Choose the correct topic: 2%
b. Correct definitions of the security problem and key terms: 3%
c. Adequate background: 3%
d. Convincible rationale: 3%
e. Brief description of the essay (eg. Abstract, introduction, or summary, etc.): 4%
2. An adequate literature review (in particular, you have read and properly cited at least
5references) is conducted and such review is clearly shown in the essay (15%)
a. Adequate description of major issues/challenges: 5%
b. Major existing systems, methods, strategies, mechanisms, solutions, etc.: 5%
c. At least 10 references and proper citation of them: 5%
3. Adequate analysis, investigation, and/or research have been conducted and the result is clearly
shown in the essay (50%).
a. Proper example/case and the analysis of it: 10%
b. Proper arguments (positive and negative): 10%
c. Originality of the essay (own ideas, views, analysis, etc.): 10%
c. Clarity: 10%
e. Proper description of result / conclusion: 10%
4. The essay must have title, author’s details, abstract, introduction / literature review,main body,
conclusions, and references. Clearly structured and nicely presented (20%)
a. Declaration and clearly marked student info:5%
b. Properly structured: 5%
c. Adequate length (main text at least 4 pages single-spaced range): 5%
d. Correct use of language: 5%


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