Applied Security & Data Science

Applied Security, in our understanding, comprises above all the detachment from purely theoretical and software-oriented aspects to the safeguarding of real (complex) systems, which have to fulfil corresponding framework parameters (e.g. uptime, immutability, certifications).

A special focus of this topic for us lies in the area of industrial security, which is of particular importance with regard to complexity and criticality: Due to the increasing interconnection of industrial systems (operational technology, OT), also with the Internet and external applications, and the use of standard IT components, security risks similar to those in the Internet world are occurring more and more frequently in the industrial environment.

The Stuxnet malware has impressively shown that even sealed automation systems can be attacked. Since then, industrial components as well as industrial systems have become increasingly targeted by attackers.

Data Science

Data Science is another thematic focus of our institute's research work, not least with regard to the use of our research work in the new course of studies "Data Science & Business Analytics". The current focus lies on the interface between data science and IT security, especially privacy: Privacy Aware Machine Learning and data protection are only two aspects. We are particularly concerned with how this contradiction between the highest possible data protection on the one hand and the highest possible data utility on the other can be resolved, but also with the proactive and reactive protection of data in data-driven applications (e.g. data leak detection). For us, however, data science is also an enabler in terms of researching new methods to increase security, such as automated malware detection or traffic analysis.

In addition, we also have experience in the application of machine learning methods, which we are happy to make available in cooperation projects with use-case providers.

Key Focus Coordinator

  • Senior Researcher
    Josef Ressel Center for Unified Threat Intelligence on Targeted Attacks
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
P: +43/2742/313 228 690

Research Staff

  • Teaching and Research Assistant IT Security (BA)
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
  • Researcher
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
P: +43/2742/313 228 692
  • Lecturer
  • Deputy Academic Director Information Security (MA)
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
P: +43/676/847 228 634
  • Head of Research Institute
    Institute of IT Security Research
  • Lecturer
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
P: +43/660 2126291
  • Researcher IT Security (BA)
  • Department of Computer Science and Security
P: +43/2742/313 228 691
  • Research Assistant Institute of IT Security Research
  • Department of Computer Science and Security



Secret Key Generation for Long Range Communication Networks - LoRaKey aims at energy efficient secret key generation for lightweight LPWAN applications.

Substation Security

The project aims at improving security within the automation network of power distribution systems by developing anomaly detection algorithms for the communication networks of substations.


Investigating threats to cyber-physical systems (CPS) and developing countermeasures


Ullrich, J., Stifter, N., Judmayer, A., & Weippl, E. (2018). Proof-of-blackouts? how proof-of-work cryptocurrencies could affect power grids. Presented at the International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions and Defenses (RAID).
Rupprecht, D., Dabrowski, A., Holz, T., Weippl, E., & Popper, C. (2018). On security research towards future mobile network generations. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials.
Brandstetter, T., & Convay, T. (2018). These are the good old days: Analysis and taxonomy of ICS attack campaigns. Presented at the SANS ICS Europe.
Brandstetter, T. (2018). Bessere Verteidigung gegen industrielle Schadsoftware. Industrial Communication Journal, 2(Mai 2018).
Holzinger, K., Mak, K., Kieseberg, P., & Holzinger, A. (2018). Can we trust Machine Learning Results? Artificial Intelligence in Safety-Critical decision Support. ERCIM News, 112(1), 42–43.
Kieseberg, P., Schrittwieser, S., Malle, B., & Weippl, E. (2017). Das Testen von Algorithmen in sensibler datengetriebener Forschung. Rundbrief Des Fachausschusses Management Der Anwendungsentwicklung Und -Wartung (WI-MAW).
Hodo, E., Grebeniuk, S., Ruotsalainen, H., & Tavolato, P. (2017). Anomaly Detection for Simulated IEC-60870-5-104 Trafiic. Presented at the ARES - S-CI 2017: S-CI II - Critical Infrastructure Systems CyberSecurity Tools, ACM.
Brandstetter, T., & Reisinger, K. (2017). (In)Security in der Gebäudeautomatisierung. Presented at the 15. Deutscher IT Sicherheitskongress des BSI, Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI).
Ullrich, J., Zseby, T., Fabini, J., & Weippl, E. (2017). Network-based secret communication in clouds: A survey. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials.
Mayer, W., Zauner, A., Schmiedecker, M., & Huber, M. (2016). No Need for Black Chambers: Testing TLS in the E-mail Ecosystem at Large. Presented at the 11th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES), Salzburg: IEEE.
Kaiser, M. (2015, October). BioMe - Kontinuierliche Authentifikation von BenutzerInnen mittels Smartphones. Presented at the Symposium Sicherheitstechnologie, Linz, Österreich.
Brandstetter, T. (2015, October). How dangerous is the internet ? - A View From The Industrial & Critical Infrastructure Perspective. Presented at the Veranstaltung der Fa. Schubert Elektroanlagen, St. Pölten.
Piller, E., & Moya de Rivas, F. (2015). A New Decentralized Cryptographic Access Control Solution for Smart-phones. Universal Journal of Communications and Network, 3(2), 51–56.
Lang-Muhr, C., Schrattenholzer, M., & Tavolato, P. (2015). Multi-Layer Agent-Based Simulation of Network Behaviour in Advanced Metering Infrastructures. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium for ICS & SCADA Cyber Security Research 2015. University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt, Germany: BCS Learning & Development Ltd.
Temper, M., Tjoa, S., & Kaiser, M. (2015). Touch to Authenticate – Continuous Biometric Authentication on Mobile Devices. Presented at the International Conference on Software Security and Assurance (ICSSA), Korea: IEEE Computer Society.
Temper, M., & Kaiser, M. (2015). BioMe - Kontinuierliche Athentifikation mittels Smartphone. In DACH Security 2015. Bonn Germany.
Brandstetter, T. (2015, September). 5 years post-Stuxnet. What changed, what didn’t and what lies ahead of us. Presented at the SANS International Industrial Control System Summit, Amsterdam.
Piller, E., & Westfeld, A. (2015). Kryptografisches Zugriffskontrollsystem für mobile Endgeräte. In DACH Security 2015. Bonn Germany.
Brandstetter, T. (2015, April). 5 Jahre nach Stuxnet, Was kam, was blieb, Herausforderungen. Presented at the Securityforum, Hagenberger Kreis.
Westfeld, A., Wurzer, J., Fabian, C., & Piller, E. (2013). Pit Stop for an Audio Steganography Algorithm (pp. 123–134). Presented at the 14th Joint IFIP TC6 and TC11 Conference on Communications and Multimedia Security (CMS), Springer.
Rybnicek, M., Poisel, R., & Tjoa, S. (2013). Facebook Watchdog: A Research Agenda For Detecting Online Grooming and Bullying Activities. In IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC). Manchester, England: IEEE.
Rybnicek, M., Poisel, R., & Tjoa, S. (2013). Automatisierte Akquise und Auswertung kinderpornographischer Inhalte. In 7. Forschungsforum der Österreichischen Fachhochschulen. Dornbirn, Austria.
Tavolato, P. (2013). Herausforderungen an die IT-Security im produktionsnahen Umfeld. In Der Instandhaltungs-Berater - Aktuelles Nachschlagewerk für alle Bereiche des Instandhaltungsmanagements. TÜV Media GmbH TÜV Rheinland Group.
Poisel, R., & Rybnicek, M. (2012). Digitales Sehen. Linux Magazin, (12).
Fischer, B. (2012). Ein Heimnetzwerk selber bauen. Der fortschrittliche Landwirt, 1, 6–7.
Tavolato, P. (2012). Herausforderungen an die IT-Security im produktionsnahen Umfeld. In Total Productive and Safety Maintenance - Produktionsstätten, Prozesse und Anlagen sicher und effizient gestalten. Verlag TÜV Rheinland.
Brandl, M., Kos, A., Kellner, K., Mayerhofer, C., Posnicek, T., & Fabian, C. (2011). A Source Based on-demand Data Forwarding Scheme for Wireless Sensor networks. International Journal of Wireless Networks and Broadband Technologies, 1(3), 49–70.
Fischer, M., Rybnicek, M., & Fischer, C. (2011). Evaluation of Illumination Compensation Approaches for ELGBPHS. In Springer Series Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing, 7th International Conference on Computer Recognition Systems (CORES"11) (pp. 317–325). Breslau, Polen: Springer Verlag.
Nutzinger, M., & Wurzer, J. (2011). A Novel Phase Coding Technique for Steganography in Auditive Media. In 6th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES"11) (pp. 91–98). Vienna, Austria: IEEE.
Fabian, C., Nutzinger, M., Piller, E., Poisel, R., & Wurzer, J. (2011). Moderne Verfahren der Steganographie und Steg-Analyse. In KIRAS Tagungsband - Sicherheit in der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (pp. 130–138). Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (bmvit).
Waldecker, B. (2011). A Review on IRC Botnet Detection and Defence. In Kaspersky IT Security for the Next Generation - European Cup 2011 (pp. 1–9). Erfurt, Germany.
Nutzinger, M., & Poisel, R. (2010). Software architecture for Real-Time Steganography in Auditive Media. In IEEE International Conference on Computational Technologies in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (SIBIRCON"10) (pp. 100–105). Irkutsk Listvyanka, Russia: IEEE.
Rybnicek, M., & Fischer, C. (2010). A comparative survey of face recognition approaches for resource-constrained devices. Presented at the World e-ID, Sophia Antipolis, France.
Piller, E. (2010). Contactless smart cards with new personal activation mechanism and state machine. Presented at the e-smart, Sophia Antipolis, France.
Nutzinger, M., & Poisel, R. (2010). Generic Framework for Real-time Steganography in Auditive Media. In 4. Forschungsforum der österreichischen Fachhochschulen (pp. 97–103). Pinkafeld, Austria: Fachhochschulstudiengänge Burgenland GesmbH.
Wurzer, J. (2010). Integration der Steganographie ins Betriebssystem. In Die Funktion verdeckter Kommunikation-Impulse für eine Technikfolgenabschätzung zur Steganographie (Vol. 9, pp. 55–64). LIT Verlag.
Piller, E. (2010). Einführung in die Steganographie. In Die Funktion verdeckter Kommunikation-Impulse für eine Technikfolgenabschätzung zur Steganographie (Vol. 9, pp. 43–64). LIT Verlag.
Poisel, R., & Wurzer, J. (2010). Mobile VoIP Steganography: From Framework to Implementation. Presented at the DeepSec 2010, Wien, Austria.
Nutzinger, M., Fabian, C., & Wurzer, J. (2010). Erfahrungen mit Echo Hiding Steganographie in Audiodaten. In D-A-CH Security (pp. 90–99). Wien, Austria.
Fischer, B. (2010). Safe Navigation with the Aid of an Open Sea Chart. In 27th Chaos Communication Congress-We come in peace (pp. 1–5). Berlin, Germany.
Nutzinger, M., Fabian, C., & Marschalek, M. (2010). Secure Hybrid Spread Spectrum System for Steganography in Auditive Media. In 6th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Information Hiding and Multimedia Signal Processing (pp. 78–81). Darmstadt, Germany: IEEE Computer Society.
Piller, E. (2009). Biometrische Benutzerauthentifizierung durch Chipkarten mit einem Gesichtserkennungs-Matching-on-card. In 7. Information Security Konferenz (pp. 119–134). Krems, Austria: Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft.
Haag, J., & Poisel, R. (2009). Location Based Services für Netze nach dem IEEE 802.11 Standard. In 3. Forschungsforum der österreichischen Fachhochschulen (pp. 185–190). Spittal/Drau, Austria: Fachhochschule Kärnten.
Piller, E., & Nutzinger, M. (2009). Neue Protokolle der Steganografie. In 11. Deutscher IT-Sicherheitskongress (pp. 442–456). Bonn, Germany: BSI.
Piller, E. (2008). Neue Verfahren der Steganografie. In 6. Information Security Conference (pp. 6–16). Krems, Austria: Donauuniversität Krems.
Poisel, R. (2008). Location based services with WLAN. Cisco Expert Days, St. Pölten.
Piller, E. (2007). StegIT Machbarkeitsstudie für Anti-Steganografie-Lösungen für VoIP und GSM. Wels, Österreich.
Piller, E., Riegler, S., & Janisch, R. (2007). StegIT Machbarkeitsstudie für Anti- Steganografielösungen für VoIP und GSM. In 2. FH Forschungsforum. Wels, Österreich.