[CE2012-8] IBM (NL) - Detection of Security Vulnerabilities in Network Communication

IBM NL is a subsidiary of IBM based in the Netherlands, providing a diverse portfolio of computing solutions, services and products for large as well as small businesses in the fields of infrastructure, management, security, etc. This project is carried out in IBM Delft and focusses on research into the possibilities for improving the automated detection of security vulnerabilities in network communications setup of zSeries systems running z/OS, and sometimes z/VM with zLinux. Since these systems are often used in industries where information and its accuracy are of high value, attacks from legitimate users trying to exceed their authority as well as from outside can be expected.

 Customers are worried about increased vulnerability as the knowledge and number of exploits available on the Internet increases. Concretely, under z/OS there exist a Policy Agent that can be used to define protection (like the type of encryption of authentication required) for network resources. There is however a need to verify the actual coverage of the policy over the network links that are really active. The network links are of two types: those implemented by (multiple) TCP/IP stacks, and those of SNA (Systems Network Architecture), with the added complexity of IP over SNA and SNA over IP being both possible. One of the troubles with analysing security is the limited understanding of the sensitivity of available resources. Some research into determining that to some extent in an automated way is warranted.

Company Name: IBM
Location: Delft, NL
Start date: Winter 2012
Duration: 9 months
Position type: MSc project

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