Semantics based Web Application Security: Concept, Design and Implementation

Principal Investigator’s Organization (PIO):

School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, NUST, Islamabad

Principal Investigator (PI):

Dr. Hafiz Farooq Ahmad, Dr. Khalid Latif, Dr. Fauzan Mirza


The project provided an effective and open source intrusion detection system for Web-based attacks. This project introduced new concepts and an architecture to use semantics for detecting and preventing attacks at the application layer (specifically, attacks through HTTP). The system was capable of performing intrusion detection through the ontological representation of attacks, application protocols such as HTTP and associated data. Furthermore it also allowed automatic generation of attack rules. The prototype system was deployed and evaluated as a surrogate proxy in front of the Web server to detect and protect Web applications from application layer attacks like Cross Site Scripting (XSS) and SQL injection. System evaluation showed significantly improved detection capability, as compared with some other existing techniques and solutions, and provided significant search space reduction, as well as it helped in eliminating many problems associated with existing techniques. This research project provided significantly improved ontology based intrusion detection system that worked at the application layer.

Start Date 15-Aug-2011

Duration 20 months

Budget PKR 11.02 million

Status  Closed Project

Progress Report View Progress Report

Publications   N/A

Thematic Area  Security

Project Website