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Intelligent Secure Kernel (ISK)

This project is funded by the National ICT R&D fund, Government of Pakistan, over the period of 3 years (2008-2010).

Executive Summary

Mobile handheld computing devices like PDAs, Smartphones and Tablet PCs are becoming more popular, and major players in the market of desktop computing are now focusing on this fastest growing, emerging market. With the popularity growth, security threats like viruses, trojans, worms, bacteria, spam, and other malware are becoming a serious concern in these devices as well. As a result, security issues of mobile computing are attracting the attention of a large number of researchers both in industry and academia. System resources i.e. processor, memory , storage and battery are limited in palm and handy mobile devices as compared to the desktop computers, therefore it is widely known notion that conventional methodologies of antivirus and anti-malware are not appropriate for such devices. Traditional anti-viruses are usually signature based and require an updated database of virus signature to detect the viruses that a limited resource of a mobile device could not afford. Therefore, one has to look into unconventional techniques of Computational Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Immune Systems to build an optimized and light weight security system. Our proposed secure kernel framework will provide adequate security against malware threats and Denial of Service attacks (DoS) on network interfaces (GSM/GPRS and WLAN) of the mobile devices. The key benefits of this project are

  • This project will provide a self-aware, self-monitoring, self-protecting comprehensive kernel framework that will secure mobile computing devices from viruses, trojans, worms, bacteria, spam, and other security threats.
  • This framework will also provide a reliable and scalable detection and protection from denial of service attacks (DoS) on network interfaces like GSM/GPRS and WLAN.
  • A Unique feature of this host security solution is that it will also provide the network security. All the hosts that will use secure kernel framework will not let the malware to execute and propagate.  So network will also become secure from malware security threats.
  • The techniques and methodologies developed during this project are expected to attract several enterprises and mobile OS developing companies to invest in startups and they can use the product as an important framework for further development.

The final outcome of this project will enable national researchers to work in the area of operating system security and can make Pakistan as one of the leaders in creating expertise in mobile devices OS security.



Farrukh Shahzad (Project Manager)
Muhammad Hassan (Research Engineer)
Fraz Ahmed (Research Engineer)
Hassan Ejaz (Research Engineer)
Waqar Ali (Research Engineer)



Publications can be downloaded from publications section.

 1. S. Bilal Mehdi, A. Kumar Tanwani and Muddassar Farooq, “IMAD: In Execution Malware Analysis and Detection”, Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO), ACM, Montreal, Canada, 2009.
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