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Master thesis subject

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Maxicore

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Post Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:57 am

Master thesis subject

Hi everybody!

I'm studying computer science in a belgian university and am currently in 1st master. Our university hasn't really a security orientation and, as I want to work in computer security (networking or operating system) , I have to find a subject for my thesis which is about security in order to get a little experience in the field.

The problem is that I really don't know how to find a good subject. Do you know how I could proceed to find one to present to my professor?

Just to be clear, I 'm not asking you to "do the job for me" but just to give me some hints. I hope I posted this in the good section...

thanks in advance,
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Anquilas

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:18 am

Re: Master thesis subject

Hi Maxicore and welcome to EHN!

First of all: I am very happy to see a fellow Belgian on this forum :)

I had a similar situation like you two years ago. I pushed a bit here and there and finally got a thesis where I needed to make a couple of useful tools based on Nmap, Snort and the likes. I learned a lot from that.

In general I can say:
If it's a practical thesis -> do something with a well known open-source tool. Create a couple of Nmap scripts for a specific security problem, or a Metasploit module.
You can always take a look at the Google Summer of Code projects (Google it in case you never heared of it), and see if you can get some inspiration there. Hell, maybe you can combine that program with your thesis and actually get paid ;)

If it's more a write-everything-down thesis, you can talk about hot topics in security. Dissect Stuxnet for example, or write about social engineering. Or mobile security (specific on one OS or not).

Just a couple of thoughts, nothing specific. And be warned: I'm not an expert at any of this at all, merely a beginner. But I think I'm saying: surf around a couple of blogs, and certainly this site, and inspiration should rain down from the heavens ;)

If you have more specific demands on your thesis, feel free to say so. Feel fee to PM me with questions as well. The Belgian world of security is small, so it's fun to know everyone in the game here :)

Cheers!

Synq
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dietervds
Blog: https://synquell.wordpress.com (not much there yet)

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
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caissyd

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Post Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Master thesis subject

Welcome Maxicore to the forum!

If you can, I would advice you to change university and find one that has a IT Security program. Your thesis director will then be able to help you find a good subject.

The goal of a Master Thesis isn't to create a tool or get a paper at the end. The goal if to teach you how to conduct research. Without the help of a knowledgeable teacher, you will not learn much more than other people playing on their own project.

I have been through this process too and although my subject seemed quite simple, I work and learn a lot through my thesis director.

Anyway, I know it isn't simple to change town or travel a lot to continue studying, but I believe you are force to do that...

Sorry for sounding negative!  ;)
OSCP, GPEN, GWAPT, GSEC, CEH, CISSP
(aka H1t.M0nk3y)
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Anquilas

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Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:49 am

Re: Master thesis subject

Allow me to comment on a few Belgium - specific things m8 ;)

H1t M0nk3y wrote:If you can, I would advice you to change university and find one that has a IT Security program.

There isn't one in Belgium afaik, not in the Dutch speaking part anywayz. I think there is one in the French speaking part that has the option of network security.

H1t M0nk3y wrote:The goal of a Master Thesis isn't to create a tool or get a paper at the end. The goal if to teach you how to conduct research.

In theory true, but that's not how it's generally graded here. The result far outweighs what you have learned/researched, at least it was in my college.
But I guess that that's what I'm getting at in my previous post: find a subject (tool, paper, whatever), which satisfies your teachers but still forces you to learn tons.

I just wish there was a uni here that had stuff like 'Ethical Hacking' as a major, like they do in the UK. Quite jealous.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dietervds
Blog: https://synquell.wordpress.com (not much there yet)

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
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caissyd

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Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:22 am

Re: Master thesis subject

I agree that finding a good university is very hard, especially when you have to move to study...

@Synquell Where you "Aquillas" or something like that before? You have the same image...  ;)
OSCP, GPEN, GWAPT, GSEC, CEH, CISSP
(aka H1t.M0nk3y)
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Anquilas

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Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:40 am

Re: Master thesis subject

H1t M0nk3y wrote:@Synquell Where you "Aquillas" or something like that before? You have the same image...  ;)

Yeah m8 I was :) However, since Anquilas is my general nickname, I wanted to get rid of it for more professional stuff like security ;-)

Maybe I should put a 'formerly known as Anquilas' line in my sig ^^
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dietervds
Blog: https://synquell.wordpress.com (not much there yet)

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
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Maxicore

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Post Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:04 am

Re: Master thesis subject

Hey,

first of all thank you for your advices but unfortunately I can't change my university that easilly.

H1t M0nk3y wrote:The goal of a Master Thesis isn't to create a tool or get a paper at the end. The goal if to teach you how to conduct research.


My problem here is that I only have 1 security and 2 networking lectures... I fear that if I can't get a security or networking oriented thesis, I won't have a satifying CV to work in those fields even if I'm aware that most of the stuff I will use in my life won't come from my university cursus.

anyway thanks everyone for your answers they helped me to figure out how to start my researchs.

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