Digital crime and networking

Our research focuses on preventing, identifying and countering threats and vulnerabilities that impact users, systems and networks.

We undertake basic and applied cyber research in:

  • privacy and access control
  • critical infrastructure and smart grids
  • IoT and wireless security
  • incident response and penetration testing
  • identity and access management
  • phishing and malware analysis
  • digital forensics
  • human factors
  • the epidemiology and prevention of cybercrime.

We work with research partners at:

  • Data61
  • Indiana University
  • University College London
  • Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG)
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Tasmania
  • Federation University.

Our research is funded by:

  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE)
  • Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC)
  • Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

Our adjunct professors and professors of practice work at Microsoft, DXC and Deloitte. We are active members of the Optus La Trobe Cyber Security Hub.

Meet the team

Group members

Research Projects

Malware analysis

We use artificial intelligence to detect, block and prevent malware infections. We have a particular focus on ransomware and malvertising. This work is funded by two OCSC grants: “Real-time zero day ransomware attack detection” and “A multi-layered approach to detecting malicious mobile advertising”.

Enhanced incident response

We are investigating methods to improve the performance of incident response and Security Operations Centres (SOCs). This includes using artificial intelligence to reduce the manual handling of cybersecurity incidents (including phishing and API attacks), as well as narrative generation from logfiles. This work is co-funded by Westpac, Cisco and Aiculus Pty Ltd through three grants: “Automated Story Generation for Intelligible Cyber Incident Response”, “Adaptive API Security Using Artificial Intelligence”, and “Spam email categorization using natural language processing and attention-embedded deep learning”.

Critical infrastructure and system security

We have developed a smart grid testbed to model and predict cyber incidents within critical infrastructure, as well as a forensic capability to investigate incidents. We are developing advanced access control systems to prevent future data breaches, as well as a secure cloud assurance system. This work is supported by a Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG) as well as an OCSC grant: “Development of smart grid cyber security testbed”

Cybercrime prevention

This topic involves experimental research using situational crime prevention techniques to deter cybercriminals. We have been operating two honeypots for the past three years to determine the effectiveness of warning messages. This work is funded by two grants: “Auto-internet warnings to prevent the viewing of minor-adult sex images” (ARC Discovery) and “Automated internet warning to prevent the uploading of child exploitation material produced by children and young adults” (ACCCE).

Cyberepidemiology

We work with the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Data61 and Noblis on developing techniques to measure cyber resilience at a national level.

Cyber talent assessment

We work with the DXC Dandelion Programme, Mitre and Untapped Group to develop tests to identify and assess cybersecurity talent, including a strong focus on neurodiverse individuals on the autism spectrum.

Blockchain security

We are carrying out detailed assessments of blockchain implementations to identify and evaluate potential attacks. We are working with Data61 on a range of use cases, and are looking to build a secure blockchain implementation.