The PETRAS consortium of nine leading universities, led by UCL with Imperial College London, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, Lancaster University, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University will work together over the next three years to explore critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security for the Internet of Things.
Oxford’s participation in the consortium is led by the e-Research Centre and the Oxford Internet Institute, and also involves the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Engineering Science and the Saïd Business School, with further collaborations planned. Work at the OII will focus and lead on the socio-ethical aspects of IOT research, technologies, and applications.
Cas Cremers, Ivan Flechais, Andrew Martin, Ivan Martinovic, Kasper Rasmussen, Andrew Simpson
The Software and Systems Security Research Group brings together those researchers who are interested in solving security problems associated with the design, development, deployment and maintenance of large-scale software-based systems. The faculty members associated with this group are also responsible for the delivery of the department's MSc in Software and Systems Security. This synergy means that the department's research and teaching activities this exciting area are extremely closely related.
Hub for Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT)
December 2014 - November 2019
December 2014 - November 2019
The NQIT Hub, part of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme, is led by the University of Oxford and involves 29 globally leading quantum centres and major companies, all working together to realise an entirely new technology sector. The flagship goal of NQIT is to build the Q20:20 machine, a fully-functional small quantum computer. This device, targeted to be operational within five years, would far exceed the size of any previous quantum information processor.
Applications of the technology include 'machine learning' – the challenge of making a machine that can understand patterns and meaning within data without having to be 'taught' by a human.
Felix Reed-Tsochas, Sadie Creese, Michael Goldsmith
The SATURN project provided information and advice about Critical Network Infrastructures (CNI), to provide resilience and reliability to the CNI in the presence of failures and possible attacks. The project used predictive models (developed by Oxford) to analyse techniques that mitigate the risks to the CNI, in order to devleop risk mitigation plans.
The project worked to create a solution to increasing problems caused by the uncontrolled flow of personal data. The team brought together researchers from HP’s Systems Security Lab in Bristol, the project leaders, with WMG at the University of Warwick, QinetiQ, HW Communications, Oxford University's Ethox Centre legal department, and regulation and business experts from the London School of Economics (LSE). EnCoRe, which is jointly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, will help businesses and Government adopt scalable, cost–effective and robust consent and revocation methods for controlling the use, storing, locating and sharing of personal data.
The research in this group centers around the application of formal methods and cryptography to the analysis and development of secure systems. The resulting contributions include:
1) Formal foundations of security (How to mathematically define secure systems and their properties, and how to reason about them;
2) Supportive technologies: we develop automated tools for analysing security protocols (e.g. the Tamarin prover, the Scyther tool, and Scyther-proof);
3) Application example: Improving security standards: we have used our analysis method and tools in many real-world case studies, yielding direct impact. Please see our for details.
Allowing people to use information technology confidently, free of the danger of their privacy being breached or the actions they are performing being frustrated or subverted by an unauthorised intruder. Preventing the unauthorised use of hardware, software and the internet, and detecting attempts to break into systems. The Security research theme encompasses the members of the Computer Science department engaged in Cybersecurity research as well as those working on other areas of Computer Security.
There are close links between this theme and Automated Verification and Software Engineering, as well as with those working on Quantum Information Theory.
The automated verification group at Oxford is internationally recognized as among the largest and strongest in the world. Our work spans a wide range of research, from fundamental investigations into the decidability and complexity of model checking for various types of infinite-state systems, through process calculi, logics and semantic models, all the way to practical, machine-assisted methods applicable to real-world problems and programming languages. We also have strong industrial links. Our key strengths include concurrency, abstraction, industrial-scale hardware verification, software model checking, and verification of real-time and probabilistic systems, with applications in security protocols, power management, nanotechnology, and biology. A major source of impact is the adoption by others of verification tools resulting from our research: FDR (model checker), Casper (security protocol compiler), SatAbs (SAT-based model checker for C with predicate abstraction), CBMC (bounded model checker for C) and PRISM (probabilistic model checker). All are highly cited and widely used in industrial contexts, both for research and teaching.
DIET: A Different Approach to Smart Meter Data Insight against Energy Theft
David Wallom, Andrew Martin
In collaboration with British Gas, G4S, EDMI Smart Meters, The DIET project supports the development of new services to investigate coordinated analysis streams of consumption and logging data produced by smart meters.
Building on the EPSRC Advanced Dynamic Energy Pricing & Tariffs (ADEPT) and the 'Working with Infrastructure Creation of Knowledge Energy strategy Development (WICKED) projects we have developed a number of different analytic techniques from which we can match consumption to customer behaviour at the whole premises scale as well as full understand the different resolutions of data required for different levels of insight. Building on these two projects we are working through InnovateUK funding on the Data Insight against Energy Theft (DIET, 15-17) which also takes forward the established relationship with the energy sector, to develop an approach using smart meter logging and error messages alongside meter consumption data to identifying potential energy theft and faulty equipment by examining changes in data through time. The project will analyse data collected from a pool of SME electricity meters with a view to developing a reusable method for the domestic market operation.
These streams of meter status and error messages that are not normally retrieved give details on the physical environment of the meters and in conjunction with consumption data will enable creation of richer and more in-depth knowledge of system behaviour. The primary aim of these analytics are to discover and then recognise signatures for two different classes of events, possible meter failure scenarios and warnings on the occurrence of patterns indicative of meter attack/tamper.
In September 2015 we hosted our first Early Careers Researchers Symposium, to showcase the exciting topics under investigation across the network: you can download the programme and book of abstracts here. We hope to make this an annual event!