An award and a PhD for Iain Parris

Iain Parris had a busy week at the end of June. On Monday 30 June he travelled to Madrid for the 6th International Workshop on Hot Topics in Peer-to-peer computing and Online Social neTworking (HotPOST), where his paper Friend or Flood? Social prevention of flooding attacks in mobile opportunistic networks won the best paper award. He then returned to St Andrews on Wednesday to defend his PhD thesis on Practical privacy and security for opportunistic networks. Fortunately he wasn’t too tired from his travels and his examiners, Dr Mike Just and Professor Aaron Quigley agreed that he should pass with minor corrections. The examiners and the soon-to-be Dr Parris are pictured.


Summer School on Experimental Methodology in Computational Science Research

The purpose of this summer school is to bring together interested computer scientists and other researchers who work in the broadly-defined area of “computational science”, and to explore the state-of-the-art in methods and tools for enabling reproducible and “recomputable” research. Reproducibility is crucial to the scientific process; without it researchers cannot build on findings, or even verify these findings. The development and emergence of new tools, hardware and processing platforms means that reproducibility should be easier than ever before. But to do so, we also need to effect “a culture change that will integrate computational reproducibility into the research process”.

The school will be hands on, comprising lectures, tutorials and practical sessions in topics including statistical methods, using cloud computing services for conducting and sharing reproducible experiments, methods for publishing code and data, legal issues surrounding the publication and sharing of code and data, and generally the design of experiments with replication in mind. Speakers include academics from mathematics, computer science and law schools, and other researchers and industrial speakers from Figshare, Microsoft Azure, the Software Sustainability Institute and more. Practicals will include the replication of existing experiments and a “hackathon” to improve tools for replication. The aim of the school will be to create a report that will be published in arXiv by the end of the week, and in a suitable journal later on.

For more information and to register please visit our web site at

Event details

  • When: 4th August 2014 09:00 - 8th August 2014 17:00
  • Format: Summer School

Soundcomber: A Stealthy and Context-Aware Sound Trojan for Smartphones

Seminar by Dr Apu Kapadia, Indiana University

We introduce Soundcomber, a “sensory malware” for smartphones that
uses the microphone to steal private information from phone
conversations. Soundcomber is lightweight and stealthy. It uses
targeted profiles to locally analyze portions of speech likely to
contain information such as credit card numbers. It evades known
defenses by transferring small amounts of private data to the malware
server utilizing smartphone-specific covert channels. Additionally, we
present a general defensive architecture that prevents such sensory
malware attacks.

Event details

  • When: 9th August 2012 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33
  • Format: Seminar