No computing system is perfect; during the course of development issues are introduced which, under particular circumstances, can cause the system to enter an unanticipated state. Such failures can be the result of developers misusing programming language features or libraries, or not taking into account complex interactions between hardware, systems software, and the program they are developing. When a user of a system is able to exploit a failure in order to do harm, we term the issue a vulnerability. It is the goal of computer security research to develop mechanisms that mitigate such vulnerabilities, by detecting them, repairing them, or ensuring that they are not introduced in the first place.

Research in computer security at the University of Arizona has two main foci: analysis of malicious binary code [Debray] and the protection of systems from reverse engineering [Collberg]. Current research projects include code obfuscation using covert channels [Collberg and Debray], generic approaches to deobfuscation [Debray], and transformations to disrupt symbolic execution [Collberg] .

Security Faculty

Christian Collberg

Associate Department Head and Professor
Office: GS 758
Research Interests: Programming languages, compilers, intellectual property protection of software, domain-specific search engines.
(Ph.D., University of Lund, 1992)

Saumya Debray

Office: GS 735
Research Interests: Compilers, program analysis and optimization, programming language implementation.
(Ph.D., The State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1986)

Sazzadur Rahaman

Assistant Professor
Office: GS 734
Research Interests: System and software security, program analysis, applied cryptography, internet measurement

PhD Students

Muaz Ali

PhD Student
Office: GS 749
Interests: Security and Systems
Advisors: Dr. Sazzadur Rahman and Dr. Saumya Debray