Cyber Security Labs

The University of Newcastle's Advanced Cyber Security Labs consist of three labs, separated into two distinct environments. One environment is a System Security Lab and Smart Network Infrastructure Security Lab and the second environment is a Malware Lab.

The lab setup offers each student a group of virtual machines (VMs), providing an isolated and secure environment for each student. Coursework students can complete and submit exams entirely on VMs. Additionally it offers facilities for project groups and research students to run complex security projects making use of a range of technologies and tools installed on their VMs. The labs can also be used to run cyber hackathons, with students competing to ‘hack’ each other in a safe environment.

The cyber security labs offer a range of advanced technologies for students to learn on.

“The labs, with their different many platforms and infrastructures, provide a plug and play environment corresponding to the heterogeneous real world”, explains Professor Vijay Varadharajan, Global Innovation Chair in Cyber Security at the University of Newcastle. The technologies include system servers, software defined network (SDN) switches, IoT devices and gateways, intrusion detection software, large scale data storage and drones. The labs also have traffic generator and devices for smart network infrastructures as well as healthcare devices, suitable for the development of secure healthcare scenarios and smart city applications related to hospital environments. Prof Varadharajan said that these labs are critical for carrying out cyber security projects in partnership with industry and government by Faculty researchers as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students.

The Malware Lab offers penetration testing facilities for different technologies and software tools which allow students to analyse software platforms, web application and networks to discover security vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit. This lab environment is completely segregated from the rest of the University’s IT infrastructure, thereby providing a quarantined facility.