Edinburgh Napier University



Honours Project by David Llamas


BSc (Hons) in Software Technology, 2:1 (Upper Class)

I completed my honours degree in 2004 at Edinburgh Napier University (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK). These are some of the modules I studied there: Computer Networks and Distributed Systems, Evolutionary Computing, Real-Time Software Engineering, Software Architecture, Software Project Management, Computer Games Software Engineering and others.

David Llamas at Edinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburgh Napier University David Llamas ID Card

Special thanks to Dr Les Morss, Mr Tim Musson, Mr Greg McCarra, Dr Emma Hart, Dr Bob Bain, Dr Jose Munoz, Dr Hazel Hall, Mr Bruce Cowan, Mr Alistair Lawson, Professor Ben Paechter, Ms Sally Smith, Dr Shaun Lawson and Professor Peter Ross. Very special thanks to Professor William Buchanan, leader of the Distrbituded Systems and Mobile Agents research group, who taught me all the fundamentals of research and kept me always enthusiastic and motivated. I would also like to thank Colin MacKay for his advice about the technology aspects of the project, Charlie Hussey for his constant inspiration and unconditional support and Loreta Gaiteiro for her assistance in providing constant coffee during several weeks.
Honours Project: Covert Channels in IPv4 Protocol in Microsoft Windows

The honours project achieved 1st Class! and it was about Covert Channels Analisys and Data Hiding in TCP/IP with Reverse Proxy Servers in Microsoft Windows. A paper based on this honours project was presented at the 3rd European Conference on Information Warfare and Security -ECIW 2004- at Royal Holloway, University of London (London, UK).

David Llamas

Do you want to see the Reverse Proxy Server (RPS) and the Data Hiding Intelligent Agent (DHIA) in action?. Download the Sniffer and the Data Hiding Viewer. Unpack, run and configure them. See the undetectable covert message appearing while you are navigating through Internet.

♦ For security reasons, the compiled and the source code are no longer available ♦

David Llamas
David Llamas

This is a real example about covert channels generation through the fragment identification ID (IPv4ID) field of the IP version 4 header and it has been designed and implemented for Microsoft Windows platforms, where the TCP/IP protocol driver source code is not available ... ;-) ... so, doubly difficult!. Further details about the network subsystem architecture and the network traffic filtering technologies for Microsoft Windows platforms can be found here.
Software Engineer of the Year 2004

The honours project, guided and supervised by Professor Bill Buchanan, was awarded the second prize at the Software Engineer of the Year 2004, sponsored by Vision Consulting and Scottish Enterprise and Organised by ScotlandIS.

David Llamas with Professor Bill Buchanan

"David Llamas (37), a BSc (Hons) in Software Technology graduate from Barcelona, was recently presented at the Scotsoft event in Edinburgh. David’s project – Covert Channels Analysis and Data Hiding in the TCP/IP protocol suite – has demonstrated that terrorists and criminals can breach security measures and send messages hidden within seemingly innocent data communications that cannot be detected by the UK’s intelligence agencies. David’s research is a major step forward in creating a system which could detect these hidden messages which would be a huge boon to the global fight against terrorism. His project has lead to two further research applications by Napier and work with the Police Information Technology Office which is responsible for developing systems which enhance the detection of crime in the UK". Professor Bill Buchanan, School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University.
  • The letter from ScotlandIS that announced the prize.
  • An article from Ideas Factory Scotland.
  • An article from Napier University.
  • Another article from Napier University.
  • Napier University Annual Review 2004, see pages 10 and 11.

The event was hold at the Sheraton Grand Hotel (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) on Friday 10th Sep 2004.
School of Computing

The Faculty of Engineering, Computing & Creative Industries call Merchiston campus home, as did John Napier himself, the inventor of logarithms and the decimal point, who was born in 1550 in the tower that still stands in the courtyard, built around the refurbished shell of Merchiston Castle, the family home of John Napier, after whom the University is named. Merchiston Castle is also the ancient seat of Clan Napier and it is currently a "Category A" listed building in Scotland due to its national significance.

Located in the lively Bruntsfield area, Merchiston Campus is home to art studios, engineering & design workshops, a computer games lab and a news room & film studios for all those creative types. It's also where you'll find the open 24/7 award winning 500-seater Jack Kilby Computing Centre, named after the inventor of integrated circuits and the handheld calculator.

The School is a member of the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) whose aim is to promote and improve computer science research in Scotland.
Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University opened its doors as Napier Technical College in 1964, amalgamating with Napier College of Science & Technology and Edinburgh College of Commerce in 1974, before being awarded university status in 1992. On 25 February 2009, Napier University re-launched as Edinburgh Napier University. In 2014 Edinburgh Napier University celebrated its 50th birthday.

Edinburgh Napier University is the largest higher education institution in Scotland, with over 18,000 students from 109 countries

Sean Connery Receives Honorary Doctorate From Edinburgh Napier University

Actor Sir Sean Connery was awarded an "Honorary Doctorate of the University" degree by his hometown university at the event at Craighouse Campus of Edinburgh Napier University.
The City of Edinburgh