Thesis Topics

On this page, you will find a list of available thesis topics that are available in our institute. Information about on-going and past theses can be found on this page. Some of the thesis descriptions are in German.

Note that because many of our topics are issued in German, some of the descriptions on this page are also German only. We are currently working on providing complete translations.

Open Theses

“Intel SGX Application Development with Gramine,” Project or Bachelor's thesis, A. Heß (Supervisor), F. J. Hauck (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2022 – Open.
Intel SGX allows to launch tamper-proof enclaves in main memory, which can be used to isolate parts of an application's codebase that have to deal with sensitive data. There is a broad spectrum of possible applications ranging from fault-tolerant systems to privacy-preserving machine learning approaches. Intel's SGX SDK provides functionality to derive C wrapper functions based on a special-purpose Enclave-Definition Language. These wrapper functions can then be used for the interaction between trusted and untrusted parts of C/C++ applications. However, the design of this enclave interface requires special care during the development process. The Gramine project promises to circumvent this step by providing functionality to wrap unmodified linux applications in Intel SGX enclaves. The goal of this thesis/project is to break down the application development process with Gramine, in order to reveal possible limitations or pitfals. Further, a performance evaluation could be conducted to measure the overhead of Gramine in comparison to a native implementation.
“Library Isolation in Embedded Systems,” Bachelor's thesis, Master's thesis, F. Kargl (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Software vulnerabilities pose critical threats to safety-relevant systems like vehicles. For example, a bug in a library embedded into a control program of a braking electronic-control-unit (ECU) inside a vehicle might be exploited by attackers to infiltrate the ECU and disable the breaks. More and more of today's vehicle allow over-the-air update of their software, but this typically requires updating a full firmware or at least a monolitic binary. So even if the mentioned library is patched, it still takes substantial time to integrate the new library version with the binary, and create and distribute a new firmware. In this work, we want to investigate system-level mechanisms to isolate a faulty library by dissecting it from a binary and executing it in a sandboxed environment. Feasibility of the concepts should be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept implementation.
“Graph Machine Learning on Evolving Graphs,” Master's thesis, B. Erb (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Event-sourced graphs are a concept to capture graphs that are continuously evolving, e.g. based on a stream of live changes. Goal of this thesis is (a) to provide an overview of existing graph machine learning concepts, (b) to assess the applicability of machine learning mechansims on event-sourced graphs, and (c) to prove the feasibility with a prototype implementation. Basic knowledge of general machine learning concepts is a plus for this thesis.
“Test-Case-Generation Strategies for Network-Protocol-Model Refinements,” Bachelor's or Master's thesis, S. Kleber (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Institut of Distributed Systems, Ulm University, 2019 – Open.
Security assessments of networked systems require knowledge about the utilized communication protocol. For proprietary protocols without known specification and with only limited access to the end-points, the only source of information is the communication itself. To correctly conclude from the captured byte stream to message-formats, -types, and finally a protocol model, structure, message- and field-boundaries, data-type, and semantics need to be inferred. After an initial inference procedure, it is desirable to refine the existing protocol model. Actively probing an entity for the validity of message syntaxes allows to targetedly enhance the knowledge about the protocol. To do this efficiently a smart method of automatically generating test-cases depending on the current protocol model needs to be developed.
Contact

Secretary's Office

Marion Köhler
E-Mail
Phone: +49 731 50-24140
available in the morning
Fax: +49 731 50-24142

Postal Address

Institute of Distributed Systems
Ulm University
Albert-Einstein-Allee 11
89081 Ulm

Visiting Address

James-Franck-Ring
Gebäude O27, Raum 349
89081 Ulm
manned in the morning Monday to Thursday

Directions

Topics By Degree

Bachelor's Theses

“Intel SGX Application Development with Gramine,” Project or Bachelor's thesis, A. Heß (Supervisor), F. J. Hauck (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2022 – Open.
Intel SGX allows to launch tamper-proof enclaves in main memory, which can be used to isolate parts of an application's codebase that have to deal with sensitive data. There is a broad spectrum of possible applications ranging from fault-tolerant systems to privacy-preserving machine learning approaches. Intel's SGX SDK provides functionality to derive C wrapper functions based on a special-purpose Enclave-Definition Language. These wrapper functions can then be used for the interaction between trusted and untrusted parts of C/C++ applications. However, the design of this enclave interface requires special care during the development process. The Gramine project promises to circumvent this step by providing functionality to wrap unmodified linux applications in Intel SGX enclaves. The goal of this thesis/project is to break down the application development process with Gramine, in order to reveal possible limitations or pitfals. Further, a performance evaluation could be conducted to measure the overhead of Gramine in comparison to a native implementation.
“Library Isolation in Embedded Systems,” Bachelor's thesis, Master's thesis, F. Kargl (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Software vulnerabilities pose critical threats to safety-relevant systems like vehicles. For example, a bug in a library embedded into a control program of a braking electronic-control-unit (ECU) inside a vehicle might be exploited by attackers to infiltrate the ECU and disable the breaks. More and more of today's vehicle allow over-the-air update of their software, but this typically requires updating a full firmware or at least a monolitic binary. So even if the mentioned library is patched, it still takes substantial time to integrate the new library version with the binary, and create and distribute a new firmware. In this work, we want to investigate system-level mechanisms to isolate a faulty library by dissecting it from a binary and executing it in a sandboxed environment. Feasibility of the concepts should be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept implementation.
“Test-Case-Generation Strategies for Network-Protocol-Model Refinements,” Bachelor's or Master's thesis, S. Kleber (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Institut of Distributed Systems, Ulm University, 2019 – Open.
Security assessments of networked systems require knowledge about the utilized communication protocol. For proprietary protocols without known specification and with only limited access to the end-points, the only source of information is the communication itself. To correctly conclude from the captured byte stream to message-formats, -types, and finally a protocol model, structure, message- and field-boundaries, data-type, and semantics need to be inferred. After an initial inference procedure, it is desirable to refine the existing protocol model. Actively probing an entity for the validity of message syntaxes allows to targetedly enhance the knowledge about the protocol. To do this efficiently a smart method of automatically generating test-cases depending on the current protocol model needs to be developed.

Master's Theses

“Comparison and Implementation of HTTPS-based Service Function Chaining Proof of Transit Solutions.,” Project, B. Leonard (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2022 – Open.
Service Function Chaining (SFC) is a technice to steer traffic through specific network services. To proof that the traffic was actually forwarded through the specified services, a Proof Of Transit (PoT) is used. In this project, different PoT approaches are compared and the most promising solution implemented in a HTTPS-based SFC environment.
“Library Isolation in Embedded Systems,” Bachelor's thesis, Master's thesis, F. Kargl (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Software vulnerabilities pose critical threats to safety-relevant systems like vehicles. For example, a bug in a library embedded into a control program of a braking electronic-control-unit (ECU) inside a vehicle might be exploited by attackers to infiltrate the ECU and disable the breaks. More and more of today's vehicle allow over-the-air update of their software, but this typically requires updating a full firmware or at least a monolitic binary. So even if the mentioned library is patched, it still takes substantial time to integrate the new library version with the binary, and create and distribute a new firmware. In this work, we want to investigate system-level mechanisms to isolate a faulty library by dissecting it from a binary and executing it in a sandboxed environment. Feasibility of the concepts should be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept implementation.
“Graph Machine Learning on Evolving Graphs,” Master's thesis, B. Erb (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Event-sourced graphs are a concept to capture graphs that are continuously evolving, e.g. based on a stream of live changes. Goal of this thesis is (a) to provide an overview of existing graph machine learning concepts, (b) to assess the applicability of machine learning mechansims on event-sourced graphs, and (c) to prove the feasibility with a prototype implementation. Basic knowledge of general machine learning concepts is a plus for this thesis.
“Test-Case-Generation Strategies for Network-Protocol-Model Refinements,” Bachelor's or Master's thesis, S. Kleber (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Institut of Distributed Systems, Ulm University, 2019 – Open.
Security assessments of networked systems require knowledge about the utilized communication protocol. For proprietary protocols without known specification and with only limited access to the end-points, the only source of information is the communication itself. To correctly conclude from the captured byte stream to message-formats, -types, and finally a protocol model, structure, message- and field-boundaries, data-type, and semantics need to be inferred. After an initial inference procedure, it is desirable to refine the existing protocol model. Actively probing an entity for the validity of message syntaxes allows to targetedly enhance the knowledge about the protocol. To do this efficiently a smart method of automatically generating test-cases depending on the current protocol model needs to be developed.

Topics By Research Area

Networks

“Test-Case-Generation Strategies for Network-Protocol-Model Refinements,” Bachelor's or Master's thesis, S. Kleber (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Institut of Distributed Systems, Ulm University, 2019 – Open.
Security assessments of networked systems require knowledge about the utilized communication protocol. For proprietary protocols without known specification and with only limited access to the end-points, the only source of information is the communication itself. To correctly conclude from the captured byte stream to message-formats, -types, and finally a protocol model, structure, message- and field-boundaries, data-type, and semantics need to be inferred. After an initial inference procedure, it is desirable to refine the existing protocol model. Actively probing an entity for the validity of message syntaxes allows to targetedly enhance the knowledge about the protocol. To do this efficiently a smart method of automatically generating test-cases depending on the current protocol model needs to be developed.

Mobile Systems

Distributed Computing

Privacy

“Graph Machine Learning on Evolving Graphs,” Master's thesis, B. Erb (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Event-sourced graphs are a concept to capture graphs that are continuously evolving, e.g. based on a stream of live changes. Goal of this thesis is (a) to provide an overview of existing graph machine learning concepts, (b) to assess the applicability of machine learning mechansims on event-sourced graphs, and (c) to prove the feasibility with a prototype implementation. Basic knowledge of general machine learning concepts is a plus for this thesis.

IT Security

“Library Isolation in Embedded Systems,” Bachelor's thesis, Master's thesis, F. Kargl (Supervisor), F. Kargl (Examiner), Inst. of Distr. Sys., Ulm Univ., 2021 – Open.
Software vulnerabilities pose critical threats to safety-relevant systems like vehicles. For example, a bug in a library embedded into a control program of a braking electronic-control-unit (ECU) inside a vehicle might be exploited by attackers to infiltrate the ECU and disable the breaks. More and more of today's vehicle allow over-the-air update of their software, but this typically requires updating a full firmware or at least a monolitic binary. So even if the mentioned library is patched, it still takes substantial time to integrate the new library version with the binary, and create and distribute a new firmware. In this work, we want to investigate system-level mechanisms to isolate a faulty library by dissecting it from a binary and executing it in a sandboxed environment. Feasibility of the concepts should be demonstrated in a proof-of-concept implementation.

Fault Tolerance

Cloud Computing

Multimedia Communication

Miscellaneous Topics