Securing IT knowledge and experience

15 September 2010

Dr Simon Egerton
Dr Simon Egerton

Monash University Sunway campus is leading the way in cybersecurity, with expert input from Finnish company F-Secure and backing from the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDec).

The School of Information Technology and F-Secure have recently put together laboratory sessions on reverse engineering that exposed students to on-the-job issues.

School of IT Senior Lecturer Dr Simon Egerton said the sessions were part of the newly developed unit 'Introduction to Information and Network Security' taught as an elective in the Bachelor of Computer Science and Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems.

"The unit provides a general overview of the security landscape including network layer security and user layer security. But we decided to make available six of the lab sessions for F-Secure to conduct practical sessions on reverse engineering," Dr Egerton said.

Reverse engineering studies the components of computer software.

"Malicious software and computer viruses like to hide inside software that we trust or masquerade as something that looks appealing," Dr Egerton said.

"For example a chocolate cake looks good enough to eat. Reverse engineering would reverse the cooking process down to the cake's individual ingredients so you can see what the cake is made of, and decide whether it is safe to eat. In the case of a computer program, it allows us to determine if a piece of software is safe to run on your system.

"It presents a clear pathway to a cybersecurity career," he said.