• A Design Methodology for Computer Security Testing
  • Ramilli, Marco <1983>


  • ING-INF/05 Sistemi di elaborazione delle informazioni


  • The field of "computer security" is often considered something in between Art and Science. This is partly due to the lack of widely agreed and standardized methodologies to evaluate the degree of the security of a system. This dissertation intends to contribute to this area by investigating the most common security testing strategies applied nowadays and by proposing an enhanced methodology that may be effectively applied to different threat scenarios with the same degree of effectiveness. Security testing methodologies are the first step towards standardized security evaluation processes and understanding of how the security threats evolve over time. This dissertation analyzes some of the most used identifying differences and commonalities, useful to compare them and assess their quality. The dissertation then proposes a new enhanced methodology built by keeping the best of every analyzed methodology. The designed methodology is tested over different systems with very effective results, which is the main evidence that it could really be applied in practical cases. Most of the dissertation discusses and proves how the presented testing methodology could be applied to such different systems and even to evade security measures by inverting goals and scopes. Real cases are often hard to find in methodology' documents, in contrary this dissertation wants to show real and practical cases offering technical details about how to apply it. Electronic voting systems are the first field test considered, and Pvote and Scantegrity are the two tested electronic voting systems. The usability and effectiveness of the designed methodology for electronic voting systems is proved thanks to this field cases analysis. Furthermore reputation and anti virus engines have also be analyzed with similar results. The dissertation concludes by presenting some general guidelines to build a coordination-based approach of electronic voting systems to improve the security without decreasing the system modularity.


  • 2013-04-19


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Ramilli, Marco (2013) A Design Methodology for Computer Security Testing, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, informatica e delle telecomunicazioni , 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4438.