Teaching Penetration and Malware Analysis in a Cloud-based Environment

Buchanan, W., Ramsay, B., Macfarlane, R., Smales, A., Russell, G. (2015). Teaching Penetration and Malware Analysis in a Cloud-based Environment. In: (Ed.) Proceedings of the 1st Uk Workshop on Cybersecurity Training & Education, , () ( ed.). (pp. ). : . .



This paper outlines the design, implementation and evaluation of a private Cloud-based system over two semesters at Edinburgh Napier University for three modules. Overall, over the two semesters, these modules supported over 200 students within an isolated Cloud-based environment for penetration testing and malware analysis. The infrastructure allowed for a wide range of server and desktop instances to be used in a wide variety of network configurations, including for the latest version of Linux Kali and for Microsoft Windows server integration. The Cloud supported both on-campus students and distance learning ones. The main conclusions are that the Cloud coped well, but struggled within a few hours of a hand-in for a Penetration Testing coursework, where the overall utilizatiation was 25%. The issue was traced to the VMware vCenter controller which ran out of resources, and thus caused a slow down.
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William Buchanan
Director of CDCS
+44 131 455 2759
Bruce Ramsay
Senior Research Fellow
+44 131 455 2746
Adrian Smales
Research Fellow
+44 131 455
Richard Macfarlane
+44 131 455 2335
Gordon Russell
Senior Lecturer
+44 131 455 2754

Areas of Expertise

Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.