Will Hawkins's research is focused on algorithms for efficiently rewriting binary programs. The current state of the art has many short comings. Some approaches do not allow comprehensive edits to a program. Rather they only allow patches that are inserted by placing a jump to the new code and then a jump back. This technique, while useful for small changes, results in high overhead when many patches are made. Other approaches that support comprehensive edits have very high space overhead (essentially 2x). Will's preliminary results show that with the use of a new approach to rewriting and new algorithms for placement of code it is possible to efficiently rewrite binaries. This technique was used successfully in Xandra, a system that competed in DARPA's Cyber Grand Challenge.
Abbas Naderi's research is focused on the analysis of dynamic languages such as PHP that are widely used in Web applications. The current state of the art in analysis of PHP and other dynamic languages has many short comings. The difficulty is that static analysis is not effective because in these languages code is generated dynamically. Abbas is investigating new taint inference methods based on both dynamic and static analysis to enhance the security of current techniques so they can be used to thwart injection attacks in general and to remove previous impediments to widespread deployment.