SBA Research is a research center for Information Security funded partly by the national initiative for COMET Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies. Within a network of more than 70 companies, 15 Austrian and international universities and research institutions, and many additional international research partners we jointly work on research challenges ranging from organizational to technical security to strengthen Europe’s Cybersecurity capabilities.
ISIS @ TU Wien IAIK @ TU Graz DKE @ Uni Wien NM @ WU Wien FH St. Pölten AIT


SBA Research at RECODIS meetings

Artemios G. Voyiatzis from SBA Research represents Austria in the Management Committee (MC) and the Working Group (WG) meetings of the COST Action RECODIS on February 13-14, 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland.

The objective of the COST Action “Resilient Communication Services Protecting End-user Applications from Disaster-based Failures” (RECODIS) is to introduce the set of techniques of resilient communications, as well as recommendations on how to deploy/update topologies of communication networks to make them resistant to disruptions that can be applied in practice by network equipment operators and national/international network providers at the European level.

We will also present our research on “Algorithms and techniques for resilient routing involving edge devices” in the context of Working Group 4 “Malicious human activities”.

Network-Based Secret Communication in Clouds: A Survey

Our journal article “Network-Based Secret Communication in Clouds: A Survey” from Johanna Ullrich, Tanja Zseby, Joachim Fabini and Edgar Weippl has been published in the high-impact journal IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials. It is now available online.

You can find a preprint here.

Project TRUC started

Last week, project TRUC was officially started, with the first lectures happening at SBA. Focus of this FFG “Qualifizierungsnetz” will be to teach partner companies the state-of-the-art regarding cybersecurity, and defense-in-depth, to enable them towards developing secure software for e.g. Industrie 4.0 or cyber-physical systems.

German abstract: Trusted Code (TRUC) umfasst die Planung und Umsetzung hochspezialisierter Module und Wissensaustausch zum Thema “Sichere Softwareentwicklung”. Ziel ist es, benötigtes Spezialwissen aus relevanten Informationssicherheitsbereichen zu kombinieren, um damit das Detailwissen der beteiligten MitarbeiterInnen der Partnerfirmen auf ein – im internationalen Vergleich – Spitzenniveau zu heben. Dafür kombiniert TRUC neuste Erkenntnisse aus verschiedenen Bereichen, z.B. sprach-basierte Sicherheit, maximale Laufzeit-Analyse und formale Verifikation, um den Partnerfirmen ein umfassendes Wissen zu vermitteln. Damit sollen sie verschiedene neuer artige Sicherheitsprobleme und Aufgabenstellungen in unterschiedlichen Themengebieten – von Cyber-Physical Systems bis hin zu Sicherheit von neuen Produktionsmethoden in Industrie 4.0 – kompetent meistern können.

Martin Schmiedecker at HackPra, Bochum

Today, Martin Schmiedecker presents at the HackPra lecture at RUB, Bochum. He joins an impressive list of previous speakers, among others Mario Heiderich, Stefan Esser, Ange Albertini or Felix ‘FX’ Lindner.

Title: Turning Incident Response to Eleven
Abstract: We’ve all been there – this one course at university where they tell you to actually read the log files, do proper incident response, and document everything. And its all fun and games, until you get hit by reality and have to analyze a possible security incident with a laterally moving attacker, and possibly more than 100 affected systems. Or 1000. Or even more … Next thing you remember is waking up in a room without windows, packed with hard drives that are labeled obscurely, and a hardware write blocker that only does USB 2.0.

In this talk I’ll show which analysis techniques and tools that work at scale, namely for many systems in parallel. And central logging is just a tiny piece in the puzzle. In particular I will present the new open-source tools GRR, bulk_extractor/fiwalk and peekaTorrent.

You can find the video of the talk here.

Talk about “Improving the Quality Assurance of Secure Software through Combinatorial Methods”

Dimitris Simos highlight the great need to ensure an attack-free environment of software implementations by giving a talk about “Improving the Quality Assurance of Secure Software through Combinatorial Methods” at the Faculty of Informatics at TU Wien.

The Abstract can be found here.

Katharina Krombholz defended her PhD

Better late than never: late last year already, Katharina defended her PhD thesis and graduated with distinction. Her thesis is substantial for the field of usable security and privacy. It spans user-centric research on a variety of topics such as smartphone authentication, Bitcoin and its user expectations, and TLS deployments. Kudos from all of us!

A full list of her published papers can be found here or on her Google Scholar Profile.

ERCIM News No.108

The ERCIM News No. 108 has just been published at with a special theme “Machine Learning” (The issue is available in PDF here).

SBA Research contributed the article “Forensics using Internal Database Structures” by Peter Kieseberg, Edgar Weippl, and Sebastian Schrittwieser.

Adrian Dabrowski im Standard-Interview

“Wir untersuchen das ganz genau”, betont Dabrowski, der zu den führenden IT-Sicherheitsexperten Österreichs zählt. – (mehr)

Talk at 33C3

Numerous members of SBA are at the CCC Congress in Hamburg. 33C3 takes place from December 27 – 30, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany and is the biggest non-commercial hacker conference worldwide with more than 11.000 people attending ever year. You can find the full schedule here.

Martin Schmiedecker gives a talk on “Everything you always wanted to know about Certificate Transparency (but were afraid to ask)”. The recordings are already available on and on Youtube.

Frohe Weihnachten!

SBA Research wünscht Ihnen im Namen aller Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter frohe Weihnachten, einen guten Rutsch ins Jahr 2017 und erholsame Feiertage!

Events Overview 2017:
In unserer Event-Roadmap 2017 finden Sie auf einen Blick alle SBA Konferenzen, Kurse und weitere Event-Termine. Die Roadmap wird laufend ergänzt.

Advanced Trainings 2017:
SBA Research startet 2017 mit drei neuen Kursen zu den Themen Incident Response, Schutz vor Ransomware und Wireshark Scipting mit Lua. Die Kurstermine für 2017 stehen bereits  fest, diese können Sie hier finden.


Security Rockstars – Final Pitching

@ European Cybersecurity Talks – boosting the Cybersecurity Industry – October 24, 2016 | Hofburg Vienna
hosted by BM.I, KSÖ & SBA Research

Guest talk: “Exact Algorithms for Stochastic Games and Polynomial System Solving”

Elias Tsigaridas, POLSYS team, INRIA Paris, France, gave a guest talk about “Exact Algorithms for Stochastic Games and Polynomial System Solving”. Abstract

This event is hosted by the IEEE CS/SMCS Austria Chapter.


SCOTT project proposal favorably evaluated under the H2020-ECSEL-2016-2 call

ecsel-logoThe results for the H2020-ECSEL-2016-2-IA call of ECSEL JU are now out and we are glad that the project proposal “SCOTT: Secure Connected Trustable Things” is ranked the second best among all submitted and is retained for co-funding by the EU H2020 program.

The SCOTT consortium brings together 57 partners from 12 countries (Europe and Brazil), including SBA Research.

The project will be coordinated by VIRTUAL VEHICLE, an international research and development center located in Austria and supported by the COMET K2 research program “K2-Mobility – Sustainable Vehicle Technologies”, which is active in the field of application-oriented vehicle development.

More information:

  • ECSEL JU: Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint Undertaking, the public-private partnership keeping Europe at the forefront of technology development.
  • Official press release by ECSEL JU
  • Announcement of results for the H2020-ECSEL-2016-2-IA call

Paper accepted @ ICST 2017

The paper “Coveringcerts: Combinatorial Methods for X.509 Certificate Testing” by Kristoffer Kleine and Dimitris Simos has been accepted for publication in the 10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST 2017). ICST is one of the leading conferences for software testing and validation. The results of this work establish a new application domain for combinatorial testing, i.e. protocol testing.

In total, 36 out of 135 submissions were accepted (acceptance rate: 26%). The 10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation will be held on March 13-18, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan

Paper: Coveringcerts: Combinatorial Methods for X.509 Certificate Testing
Abstract: Correct behaviour of X.509 certificate validation code in SSL/TLS implementations is crucial to ensure secure communication channels. Recently there have been major efforts in testing these implementations, namely frankencerts and mucerts, which provide new ways to generate test certificates which are likely to reveal errors in the implementations of X.509 validation code. However, it remains a significant challenge to generate effective test certificates.

In this paper, we explore the applicability of a prominent combinatorial method, namely combinatorial testing, for testing of X.509 certificates. We demonstrate that combinatorial testing provides the theoretical guarantees for revealing errors in the certificate validation logic of SSL/TLS implementations. Our findings indicate that the introduced combinatorial testing constructs, coveringcerts,  compare favorably to existing testing methods by encapsulating the semantics of  the validation logic in the input model and employing combinatorial strategies that significantly reduce the number of tests needed. Besides the foundations of  our approach, we also report on experiments that indicate its practical use.


This week Peter Kieseberg from SBA Research joined a meeting of the MPM4CPS COST-action in Malaga. The MPM4CPS action deals with multi-paradigm modelling in the area of cyber-physical systems and SBA will bring a more security-related perspective to the consortium, especially since cyber-physical systems have been identified as one of the major targets for … Continue reading COST-Action MPM4CPS.


Guest talk: “Reverse-engineering CPUs for fun and profit”

Clémentine Maurice, postdoctoral researcher in the Secure Systems Group of the Institute of Applied Information Processing and Communications of TU Graz, gives a talk on “Reverse-engineering CPUs for fun and profit“. Abstract

Friday, November 25, 2016, 15:30 – 17:00, SBA Research

This event is hosted as a joint activity by the Vienna ACM SIGSAC Chapter and the IEEE CS/SMCS Austria Chapter.



RuCTFe: top 10 position for We_0wn_Y0u

Last Saturday, students and faculty of SBA Research and the Vienna University of Technology participated as members of the team We_0wn_Y0u in the 2016 RuCTFe competition. The team scored 9th of 451 registered teams worldwide.

Students are primarily recruited from our “(Advanced) Internet Security” lecture series which is taught together with the Secure Systems Lab of TU Wien. The class is known as the “hacker lecture” at TU Wien. In this lecture students have to circumvent the security of an application apx. every two weeks in a safe environment. This prepares our students for security competitions like this one, as well as for securing commercial servers and networks in the future.

SBA supports this team financially and organizationally.

SBA at BSidesVienna

Today BSidesVienna is happening at TU Wien, HS 13. You can find the program here.

Numerous members of SBA are on-site, and some will present their recent work. Chat us up!