TRUST matters

June 2024

From FOSSx Challenge to Summer of Code 2024

Discover how the IITB Trust Lab FOSSx team is pushing the boundaries of open-source security tools. Hear firsthand accounts from participants as they tackle cutting-edge projects, forge new friendships, and gain invaluable industry insights.

In November 2023, the IITB Trust Lab introduced an exciting initiative for FOSS enthusiasts across the country. The FOSSx Challenge involved 12 teams, comprising 18 students from an initial pool of 188 applicants, who explored open-source  tools over a three-month period. Led by Prof. G. Sivakumar of the Computer Science Department, the challenge centered on FOSS tools in the categories of defense, attack, and forensics.

Building on this success, the Summer of Code 2024 project commenced on May 15th, with six new teams joining the FOSS exploration. Centered around Security Operations Centers (SOC), each team proposed a unique research idea to pursue over two months under Prof. Sivakumar’s guidance.

The Summer of Code participants, selected through a rigorous process of research proposals and interviews, represent a diverse range of institutions and specializations. Their projects span from digital forensics and malicious APK detection to network analysis of encrypted traffic.

FOSSx veterans Palak Chopra and IITB Trust Lab intern Ishan Sathe are captaining this year’s Summer of Code team. 

Teams

Team bornpresidentVishal Chand, Adithi Bhat & Palak Chopra (Digital Forensics – Memory management)

Team TheX35Arpit Singh & Harshjeet Singh (Digital Forensics – Image Generation and Management)

Team 4chain & oreoAryan Kashyap, Ishwar Kumar & Ganesh Patil (Malicious APK Detection)

Team MiraiAditya Singh (Mobile Device Monitoring)

Team The ExplorersSaurabh Gupta & Shiwani Mishra (Network Analysis of Encrypted Traffic)

Team AbhedyaSpaarsh Thakkar (Design & Development of Security Operation Center)

Talking about the importance of FOSS, Palak Chopra said, “FOSS tools are free to use and free to modify. They can be tailored to one’s use”. 

FOSS offers advantages such as reduced software costs, enhanced security against malware, greater stability, improved privacy protections, opportunities for educational use, and empowering users with more control over their hardware.

As we approach the near end of this summer initiative, let’s hear from our participants about their experiences so far:

Participant Sparsh Thakkar (Team Abhedya), a B.Tech student from the IIIT, Surat shares, “My experience with Summer of Code has been great so far. My co-workers are friendly and readily help me when I am stuck. I am truly happy to work here. Looking forward to doing my part diligently.

Ishwar Kumar (Team 4chain & oreo), a B. Tech student from Jaypee University of Engineering and Technology said, “Summer of Code has been a really good project for me. I’m getting a lot to learn and grow myself in terms of knowledge and academics. I’m extremely grateful to IITB Trust Lab for this opportunity. Looking forward to contributing more and being a part of them!”

Adithi Bhat from Manipal Institute of Technology adds a lighthearted note: “Summer of code is a great way to warm up your brain to keep up with the weather. Having a lovely time, making delightful friends and engaging in awesome conversations.”

Arpit Singh from IIT Una enthuses: “My experience at IITB Trust Lab’s Summer of Code has been incredibly rewarding. Being a part of this program has been the best experience of my life so far. I’ve had the opportunity to significantly improve my skills and overcome various challenges with the support of my amazing colleagues. Their kindness and support have made this journey enjoyable and enriching. I am truly enjoying every moment here and look forward to the continued growth and learning that lies ahead.

Vishal Chand, who recently defended his thesis at Rashtriya Raksha University, provides a comprehensive view: “Participating in the Summer of Code is an incredible journey. Competitions like these bring together wonderful people who share similar passions and aspirations, and I am finding exactly that here. Engaging with brilliant minds is broadening my perspective, especially in terms of critical thinking. The program introduces me to innovative ideas and approaches that are significantly enhancing my problem-solving skills.  Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the fun I am having with my teammates. We are bonding so well that they are becoming like family to me. The camaraderie and support from everyone make this journey memorable and rewarding.”

As the Summer of Code progresses towards its conclusion on July 15th, the enthusiasm of these young innovators is palpable. IITB Trust Lab continues to foster a spirit of learning, teamwork, and collaboration among institutes and students. We eagerly anticipate the outcomes of these promising projects, which may well shape the future of FOSS.