June 2022

September 7th, 2022


  • Paper accepted in FSE’22, one of the top software engineering conferences (CORE A*). 

    Chaoran Li, Xiao Chen, Ruoxi Sun, Minhui Xue, Sheng Wen, Muhammad Ejaz Ahmed, Seyit Camtepe, and Yang Xiang, “Cross-Language Android Permission Specification”, ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), 2022

  • SAM: Multi-Turn Response Selection Based on Semantic Awareness Matching, Rongjunchen Zhang, Tina Wu, Sheng Wen, Surya Nepal, Cecile Paris, Yang Xiang, accepted by TOIT (Transactions on Internet Technology).
  • One of our works has appeared in https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9785763 (Scanning the literature section of IEEE Network magazine).  This can be regarded as a recognition of the impact of our work.

A Trustworthy Privacy Preserving Framework for Machine Learning in Industrial IoT Systems, Pathum Chamikara Mahawaga Arachchige, Peter Bertok, Ibrahim Khalil, Dongxi Liu, Seyit Camtepe, and Mohammed Atiquzzaman, IEEE Trans. Industrial Informatics, vol. 16, no. 9, pp. 6092-6102, Sept. 2020.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is revolutionizing many leading industries such as energy, agriculture, mining, transportation, and healthcare. IIoT is a major driving force for Industry 4.0, which heavily utilizes machine learning (ML) to capitalize on the massive interconnection and large volumes of IIoT data. However, ML models that are trained on sensitive data tend to leak privacy to adversarial attacks, limiting its full potential in Industry 4.0. This article introduces a framework named PriModChain that enforces privacy and trustworthiness on IIoT data by amalgamating differential privacy, federated ML, Ethereum blockchain, and smart contracts. The feasibility of PriModChain in terms of privacy, security, reliability, safety, and resilience is evaluated using simulations developed in Python with socket programming on a general-purpose computer.

Papers published

  • Anton Uzunov, Bao Vo, Hoa Khanh Dam, Charles Harold, Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Alan Colman, Saad Sajid Hashmi, Adaptivity & Antifragility in “Autonomous intelligent agents for cyber defense”, ed. Alex Kott (Springer Nature) . This chapter shows antifragility can be achieved in AICA (Autonomous Intelligent Cyber-Defense Agent) systems through self-management (self-adaptivity) and self-improvement. We introduce the concept of a self-* (S*) agent and – after elucidating the various self-* properties which such agents would be capable of realizing – we present a conceptual framework for S* multi-agent systems, encompassing S* agent architectures and macro-/micro-level design concepts, and describe a corresponding generic self-management/improvement approach.


  • Whole of Government Benchmarking project with Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre and Cyber Security NSW commenced. Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Tooba Aamir and Marthie Grobler will be working on this project.
  • Cyber Strategy 4 Boards contract with Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre and BAE Digital Intelligence Systems are currently under review. Marthie Grobler and Tina Wu will be working this project. 
  • Nasa Challenge. https://www.nasa.gov/solve/index.html

Roelien Timmer, one of our PhD students, supported by the Cyber Security CRC is participating in the NASA challenge.

‘I received an offer from NASA to join the Frontier Development Program as a researcher. It starts on the 20th of June and goes for 8 weeks. The project is about knowledge discovery, and I will be working on the research question: “Can we use natural language processing (NLP) to develop more effective discoveries by embedding modern language models with scientific expertise to suggest potentially useful connections for researchers?”. I attached a screenshot of the full project description. I will be using the same/similar NLP techniques as in my current research for this project. For my PhD, I use NLP to extract and analyse the textual content of cyber deception files, while for this project, I will use NLP to analyse the textual content of NASA’s scientific documents.’ Roelien Timmer.


  •  The whole DSS CSCRC team (postdoc and students) attended the Cyber Security CRC Symposium. Two of our students, supervised by Surya Nepal, Michael Chesser and Jorge Conde won the students awards for best paper and best presentation.

It was very exciting for the team to engage in person, network with their colleagues and CRC participants. It was also the occasion to see all the students supported by both Data61 and the CSCRC.

Good news

Two cutting-edge research projects led by the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre and CSIRO’s Data61 have been recognised as winners at the New South Wales iAwards 2022.

Smart Shield, a machine learning-powered anti-phishing tool, and data privacy tool Personal Information Factor (PIF) were awarded winner and merit winner in the Technology Platform Solution category. Smart Shield will compete against other state winners at the national iAwards in October.

The iAwards is Australia’s longest running innovation recognition program, which promotes excellence in the nation’s digital ecosystem.

Smart Shield’s accuracy at detecting attacks and human-centric approach set it apart from competitors said CSIRO project lead Dr Sharif Abuadbba. “Unlike existing anti-phishing systems, Smart Shield grades email severity according to a trafficlight colour system and explains what triggered the warning to the user,” said Dr Abuadbba.

Personal Information Factor (PIF) was used by the NSW Government to analyse datasets tracking the spread of COVID-19, applying appropriate levels of protection before the data was released. PIF project being one of the finalists in iAwards and then winning the merit award under the “technology category” was a fantastic achievement for the entire PIF (Personal Information Factor) project team. Getting this award from Australia’s longest-running innovation recognition program shows the quality of work produced by CSCRC and Data61. Our solution (Personal Information Assessment and Protection) works as an enabler of the Government’s trust towards data management and data sharing infrastructure, as evidenced by the adoption of the tool by the NSW Government and the support of the WA Government in developing the tool. It was an excellent opportunity to attend the iAwards event with the team members, and we thoroughly enjoyed the event. Besides, this experience motivates and challenges us to produce more innovative work to improve Australia’s cyber security and national defence power.

Both tools were funded by the Government of Western Australia, Office of Digital Government and Cyber Security CRC, with research and development conducted by CSIRO’s Data61. 

For more information:




  • Baruwal Chhetri, Mohan one of the Journal First Conference Second (J1C2) Chairs at IEEE SERVICES 2022.
  • Chehara Pathmabandu and Tooba Aamir joined the Human Centric Security team in Melbourne.
  • Sharif Abuadbba has been awarded Julius award for 2022. Congratulations Sharif!

Staff update

Meet our new staff and visiting scientists. Welcome to them to the DSS family #teamCSIRO

  • Dr Saad Sajid Hashmi

Saad received his PhD degree in Computer Science from Macquarie University (Australia, 2020), MSc degree in Computer and Software from Hanyang University (Rep. of Korea, 2015), and BSc degree in Computer Software Engineering from GIK Institute (Pakistan, 2011). He is currently working as a Research Fellow at the School of Computing and IT, University of Wollongong. His current research interests include solving measurement-driven analytical problems in the domain of cyber resilience and human-centric privacy.

  • Dr Tooba Aamir

Tooba is CERC Postdoctoral Fellow at CSIRO’s Data61. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from RMIT University; a master’s in software systems engineering from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a BS in Computer Engineering from the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan. Her research interests include NLP and data analysis, cyber trust and security, and crowdsourcing/crowd-sensing. So far, her work has been published in the research areas of spatial-temporal and textual data analysis, focusing on social media data and metadata analysis and social/cyber trust. Her current research focuses on human-centric cyber security.

Research around cyber data analysis and trust in cyberspace provide unique and innovative solutions for secure information gathering and sharing. My doctoral project focused on utilising social-media data, especially metadata, to analyse real-world events. The novelty lies in providing an alternative that, in many cases, can help to reconstruct scenes using the metadata only and bypass expensive traditional image processing techniques. Since then, my research has progressed and evolved into areas of trust assessment in social cyberspace. I focus on utilising human-centric contextual attributes of social data to reconstruct scenes and assess their trustworthiness and authenticity. The outcomes of this project were published in 6 CORE A conferences and 1 CORE A* Journal, and I have received a School Research Achievement Award from RMIT University. At Data61, I am looking forward to broadening my research sphere and working towards innovative and effective human-centric cyber security solutions.

  • Chehara Pathmabandu

Chehara is a post-doctoral research fellow within CSIRO’s Data61, working on human-centric cybersecurity and gamification in collaboration with Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC). Chehara holds a PhD in Software Systems and Cybersecurity from Monash University and a first-class Honours degree in Information Technology from the University of Moratuwa. She is passionate about looking at context-driven real-world data privacy and security challenges in software engineering. Her recent work includes developing an informed consent management framework for IoT-oriented Smart Buildings to provide fine-grained visibility into privacy infringements while enhancing stakeholders’ decision-making. This work has been recognised as one of the finalists of the Facebook Research Award 2021. Her research interests span the areas of privacy preservation in IoT environments, Privacy Enhancing technologies, Human-centric software engineering, Statistical analysis, Artificial Intelligence(i.e. Data mining, Machine Learning, NLP) and Audio processing techniques.

Join us

  • New PDF position (CERC Fellow in Hybrid Post-Quantum Cryptography) 

External: https://jobs.csiro.au/job-invite/83511/

LinkedIn: CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Hybrid Post-Quantum Cryptography | CSIRO | LinkedIn

  • Post-doc position for FSP Quantum Software Project is now online. Please share it with your contacts and colleagues:

Internal: https://performancemanager10.successfactors.com/sf/jobreq?jobId=85683&company=CSIRO

External: https://jobs.csiro.au/job-invite/85683/

LinkedIn: (17) Fellowship in Quantum Software Development Jobs | LinkedIn

Media Release

Spotlight on our own Dr Kristen Moore on the Algorithm https://algorithm.data61.csiro.au/spotlight-on-women-in-tech-dr-kristen-moore-wia-nominee/ 

Kristen (right) with Marthie Grobler

What led you to choose a career in tech? Tell us about your career journey so far.

‘I chose to study mathematics and physics at university because that’s what I enjoyed most in school. After finishing undergrad, I moved to Germany to do a PhD in spacetime geometry. Upon graduating, I settled in California to continue my spacetime geometry research with postdoc positions in the Bay Area.

Around about the time I graduated from my PhD in 2012, a friend told me about Coursera, a new online course provider that was offering Andrew Ng’s machine learning (ML) class for free. I took the class in my free time just for fun and continued to make use of the platform’s other ML and artificial intelligence (AI) learning resources.

I was still fascinated by spacetime geometry, but I was immersed in a culture of AI innovation whilst living Silicon Valley. At the heart of this was the proliferation of advanced ML. After watching ML solutions solve numerous real-life problems, I decided to pivot my career.

I joined an early-stage start-up in New York in 2014, where I helped to develop their data and predictive analytics platform for agriculture trends. I then returned to Australia, working for Telstra before joining CSIRO’s Data61.’ Kristen.

Students Update

Meet some of our new students:

Falih Febrinanto

  • Falih is currently a Ph.D. Student at Federation University Australia, Ballarat Campus and working under the supervision of Dr. Kristen Moore (Data61), Dr. Chandra Thapa (Data61), and A/Professor Feng Xia (FedUni). His current research focuses on deploying graph learning and lifelong learning for human-centric applications. The activities include enabling the learning agent to learn continuously for addressing incremental tasks of graph data in a specific domain of misinformation and malicious activities.

Fei Zhu

  • Fei is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Computing Technologies, RMIT University, Australia, under the supervision of Prof. Xun Yi (University) and Dr. Alsharif Abuadbba (Data61). His research interests include digital signatures, authenticated key agreement protocols, and IoT data security & privacy. Currently, he is working on the collaborative research project “Enhancing Data Security in IoT”.

Geetanjli Sharma

  • Geetanjli pursued a Master of Information Technology degree from La Trobe University, Australia. She is a PhD candidate at the La Trobe University, Australia. She has spent couple of years as Software Developer in Amdocs, India. Her experience includes working on telecommunications and DTH projects that involves optimizing the services for better performance and high customer satisfaction. Her research interests focus on detailed study and mitigations of cyber security issues in different sectors i.e Health, Agriculture and Fintech using Distributed Machine Learning.

Zahra Mousavi

  • Zahra is a Ph.D. student with the Center for Research on Engineering Software Technologies (CREST) at the University of Adelaide. Her research interests include Natural language Processing and Information Extraction using Deep Learning methods and their applications in the Cyber Security domain. She has already worked on constructing a Persian wordnet and improving machine translation using this wordnet and verb sense disambiguation. Currently, she is working on security automation and orchestration leveraging NLP techniques.

Nuwan Kaluarachchi

  • Nuwan Kaluarachchi is an HDR candidate in mathematical sciences at RMIT. He is working with Multimodal multi-device continuous authentication to enhance safety by adding more protection over passwords and PINs to multiple devices simultaneously using machine learning and deep learning techniques under the supervision of Dr Arathi Arakala (RMIT), Dr Sevvandi Kandannarachchi (RMIT) and Dr Kristen Moore (Data61),. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Applied Statistics at the Faculty of Science, the University of Colombo, with a First Class Honours. He won the Gold Medal for the Best Student in Applied Statistics. He worked as an Associate data engineer at Altria Consulting Pvt. Ltd before arriving in Melbourne, Australia.  

Highlight: ‘Digital security is essential in the highly digitalised world. I’m excited to support finding better solutions for providing a safe multi-device experience by enhancing the social well-being of the users. Your device is under your complete authenticity.’