Tallinn University of Technology

MSc thesis

Writing and defending a MSc thesis is an important part of the Cybersecurity curriculum, as it shows that you can go deep into a specific cyber security research area. This page gives a rough overview over the process, but details should be discussed with your supervisor.

This overview part is given according to the assumption that you are following 4 semester study plan and aim to defend in June period. If you want to defend in January, then you can adjust the planning phases accordingly.

Generally the process should start during the first year, by finding a topic-area of interest and by identifying a suitable supervisor. At the end of the second semester, you should have an idea about your topic and you should have discussed this with your supervisor.

It is recommended that you take the literature review seminar in the 3rd semester. The purpose of this seminar is two-fold: (a) you need to do a literature review for your thesis anyway, and (b) learning from others about research-papers they have read for their thesis broadens your overall horizon and should help you in discussing challenges you are facing in your own literature review.

The purpose of the literature review is that you obtain a good understanding of the state-of-the-art research in your selected area of research. Typically during this reading phase, the problem statement (the question you aim to address/solve in your thesis) will be refined/changed. You should aim to have a solid problem statement fixed and agreed with your supervisor during the 3rd semester, ideally well before December.

In early December, you should submit a problem statement and research design document. Sending this document is considered as registration to the defence that will take place in next term.

The next step in the process would be conducting the research. Please reserve sufficient time for this, as this is going to be the main contribution of your thesis. Plan to finish this work early April, so that your supervisor can review your thesis, give you feedback and you have time to address the feedback before your thesis is being sent to the reviewer/opponent. Jointly with your supervisor you should then make a decision if your work is ready to be submitted for June defence (or if you need more time and prefer to submit for a January defence). For students planning to defend in June, expected deadline to submit your thesis for review, to be around late April. For students aiming to defend in January, expect early December. The opponent will review your thesis and give you feedback. Clearly, you will be allowed to continue working on your thesis, but keep in mind any results or insights that you produce during that time won't be visible to your opponent. You can and should, however, include them in the final copy of your thesis and defence presentation. Expect that you should receive the review from your opponent about a week or two before the final deadline. This will allow you to make minor modifications, e.g., fix some typos or clarify some sections, which the reviewer pointed out.

At the final submission deadline, you will have to submit your thesis. On the day of defence, you are expected to give a 15 minute presentation of your work, followed by Q&A from the opponent, committee, supervisor and audience. Make sure you prepare your 15 min presentation well, this should not be left for the evening before the defence.

Selection of Cybersecurity MSc theses

In this section we have listed some master's theses of the Cybersecurity programme, which could give future graduates an overview of the structure and format of a thesis, as well as inspire them in choosing a topic.

  • Siim-Alexander Kütt "Stride-Based Black Box Penetration Testing Methodology for Micro-Mobility Services". Supervisor: Shaymaa Mamdouh Khalil. Read the thesis here.
  • Dmytro Martynov "Handling Concept Drift for Mobile Malware Detection". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Luisa Caretta Hopp "Application of the Metagraph to the Aviation Supply Chain: a Case Study". Supervisors: Olaf Manuel Maennel, Benedict Gross. Read the thesis here.

  • Frank Korving "DACA: Automated attack scenarios and dataset generation". Supervisor: Risto Vaarandi. Read the thesis here.
  • Dominika Helena Jantas "Strategic considerations to counter the cyber threat of malicious deepfakes in Greek society". Supervisor: Adrian Venables. Read the thesis here
  • Tomoya Tanaka "Development of IDS/IPS specifically designed for ETSI ITS-G5-based V2X Communication". Supervisor: Olaf Manuel Maennel. Read the thesis here.
  • Marieke Jahn "Forensic data acquisition software development framework for integrated smart home ecosystems". Supervisor: Pavel Tšikul. Read the thesis here.
  • Roman Šumailov "Evaluation of resource-constrained transfer learning approaches for IoT botnet detection". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here
  • Roberta Murniece "Can we trust the Google Maps timeline". Supervisor: Matthew James Sorell. Read the thesis here.

  • Jelizaveta Vakarjuk "Converting a post-quantum signature scheme to a two-party signature scheme". Supervisors: Ahto Buldas, Jan Willemson. Read the thesis here.
  • Rooya Karimnia "Culturally-Sensitive Instructional Design of a Cybersecurity Awareness Program for High School Students in Iran, Hormozgan". Supervisors: Kaie Maennel, Mahtab Shahin. Read the thesis here
  • Faisal Sumaila "Extraction and Analysis of Forensic Artifacts from Automotive Maintenance Applications". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Dariana Khisteva "A proposal of integrating open-source IDS into vessel's bridge network". Supervisors: Olaf Manuel Maennel, Gabor Visky. Read the thesis here.
  • Electra Zoe Karamargin "Going Darker: A forensic analysis of smart eyewear biometric asset management, toward the rising conflict between security through privacy by design and forensic investigation". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Anastasiya Kornitska "Exploring how to establish cross-functional teams for cyber security of industrial control systems". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Jaanus Kääp "Hyper-V VMBus based traffic interception and fuzzing". Supervisor: Sille Laks. Read the thesis here
  • Kapil Yadav "Information Security Management for Teleworking in Small and Medium Enterprises during the COVID-19". Supervisor: Kaie Maennel. Read the thesis here.

  • Andrew James Roberts "Development of a cybersecurity evaluation test bed for autonomous self-driving vehicles". Supervisor: Olaf Manuel Maennel. Read the thesis here
  • Tarmo Oja "X-Road Trust Model and Technology Threat Analysis". Supervisors: Ahto Buldas, Mari Seeba. Read the thesis here.
  • Ilja Smarjov "OWASP secure coding practices checklist and training: assessment of effectiveness in a technology". Supervisors: Olaf Manuel Maennel, Kristian Kivimägi. Read the thesis here.
  • Shaymaa Mamdouh Mohammed Radwan Khalil "Analysis of Windows 10 hibernation file". Supervisors: Hayretdin Bahsi, Pavel Tšikul. Read the thesis here.

  • Maarja Heinsoo "Implications of information security culture on risk management - case of a technology company". Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Kristopher Ryan Price "Analysis of the impact of poisoned data within Twitter classification models". Supervisors: Sven Nõmm, Jaan Priisalu. Read the thesis here.
  • Joanna Rose Castillon Del Mar "Automated photo categorization for digital forensic analysis using a machine learning based classifier". Supervisors: Hayretdin Bahsi, Leo Mršić, Krešimir Hausknecht. Read the thesis here.
  • Alberto Zorrilla Garza "Beaconleak: use and detection of 802.11 beacon stuffing as a covert channel". Supervisor: Olaf Manuel Maennel. Read the thesis here
  • Kristine Hovhannisyan "Applying confidence-building measures to cyber conflict: computer emergency response cooperation and cyber espionage". Supervisors: Eneken Tikk, Olaf Manuel Maennel. Read the thesis here
  • Jorge Alberto Medina Galindo "Generation of malware behavioral datasets in a medium scale IoT networks" . Supervisor: Hayretdin Bahsi. Read the thesis here.
  • Pavel Tšikul "Encrypted data identification by information entropy fingerprinting". Supervisor: Pavel Laptev. Read the thesis here.