Digital Forensics and Security Toolkit to be made available online

My student Mattias Huber presenting a tool for detecting Malware at the CSU Channel Islands Computer Science Capstone Showcase on May 11, 2017.

This tool can be used to upload a target file, directory, or URL to Virus Total, a website that scans the target with around 60 virus scanners from the industry. If the target is not already in the Virus Total database, the scan will be queued and completed shortly. As this is an asynchronous process, this tool is useful in uploading jobs, checking if jobs have completed, and displaying reports on completed jobs. The system also keeps track of all files uploaded, performs checks on already uploaded files to save bandwidth, saves all completed reports in a list, and all positive reports in a separate list.

Utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and Simple Storage Service (S3), this system can be set up allow users to place files into a S3 bucket which will then be scanned automatically and user can be notified of any possible positives found.

  1. The User places a file they wish to scan into the S3 bucket, such as
  2. A dedicated EC2 instance watches the bucket, detects the new file, and uploads the file to Virus Total.
  3. The EC2 instance waits until Virus Total returns a completed report.
  4. If any positives are found the instance notifies the user, otherwise the report is added to the completed list.

Virus total has a public API that is limited to 6 uploads per minute, but CSU Channel Islands was granted research API access which is limited to 600 uploads per minute.

Mattias is going to make this tool available for everyone through GitHub.

Capstone Showcase Spring 2017; see here for more details and here for more pictures.


CI Begins Preparing For Proposed Engineering Program

A university on the South Coast is preparing for a new engineering program it hopes to have in place within the next two years.Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo proposed to launch an engineering program last summer. University officials say they’re still awaiting final approval from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, but they expect to get a green light soon.

So, they’ve begun the planning process for a program focused on mechatronics, which is a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering.

“The animation of mechanical devices by software” said Michael Soltys, chair of the Computer Science Department, which mechatronics will be housed under.

He said few engineering programs have an emphasis in this field.“We’re thinking of starting mechatronics with small robotic mobility, like drones, like underwater robots. Robots that move, that walk, that drive,” he said.

The university has begun hiring faculty and designing courses. The goal is to start the engineering program in the fall of 2018 with 24 students.

Source: South Coast University Begins Preparing For Proposed Engineering Program | KCLU


Indeterminates in London

Today my masters student Joel Helling presented our joint work, Constructing an Indeterminate String from its Associated Graph,  co-authored with P.J. Ryan, W.F. Smyth, at the LSD & LAW 2017 conference. This work started with the visit of W.F. Smyth at CSU Channel Islands in March 2016 – see here, when Joel, Bill and I started working on an initial algorithm designed by Joel; this algorithm computed a labeling for a graph such that any two nodes that shared an edge would also share a label, and would not share a label otherwise. Of course, the easy way to do this is to assign each edge a unique label; but there are better ways of doing it, in the sense that fewer labels may be required (for example, imagine a clique: then a single label would do it). This problem is directly related to indeterminate strings; strings that arise in bio-informatics, where certain positions may consist of several possible symbols. For example, {a,b}ab{a,b,c}{b,c}a, where the first position is not determined (it could be a or b), the second position is a, the third b, the fourth is again not determined (it could be a or b or c), etc. Such strings are well suited to represent genetic
information which often contains “noise”. The paper is now accepted for publication in Elsevier’s journal of Theoretical Computer Science,  as well as presented by Joel at the conference.

I would like to express my gratitude to the British Royal Society for awarding us an exchange grant, CSU Channel Islands / King’s College London, which financed the trip of Joel Helling.

CI Facebook post.


Participate in Programming Competitions with CS!

Professor Brian Thoms will be holding a meeting for students interested in programming competitions (ACM and GURU). It will be in Sierra Hall 1131, Friday Sept 23 at 12.

This is a great way to make friends, learn coding, and participate in an exciting competition.

We have done very well in the past:


Mechatronics Engineering Launch at CI

28458926065_ae45658ca8_z 28458926955_c09f6c0347_zYesterday we participated in the launch of Mechatronics Engineering at CI. This new program will be housed under Computer Science, and the first group of students is going to be admitted in the Fall 2018.

We were honored to have Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin who helped secure the funds to start engineering at CI, and the event was presided by President Rush, in one of his last appearances before his retirement.

The event was held in the lobby of Sierra Hall, the new STEM building, with Computer Science labs on the first floor, and demos of faculty/student projects in the Robotics lab and the Embedded systems lab.


Computer Science Talk in Mobile Robotics

On November 4th, at 6pm, in the Petit Salon, Computer Science is organizing an event to which everyone is invited, especially current and prospective graduate students. There is going to be food, good company, and an exciting talk by Dr. Quintero (see ad below). For more information, please contact David Claveau <>.