Teaching network covert channels using a hands-on approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nowadays, cybercriminals are using a diversity of techniques to keep their communication channels and exchanged messages secret and hidden. Information hiding techniques, such as network covert channels, are examples of techniques used to preserve secrecy and guarantee hidden communication channels that cannot be captured or discovered by security and surveillance state agencies. The inclusion of network covert channels in information security curricula is therefore considered a valuable extension. However, information hiding techniques are not covered sufficiently in most information security curricula. In addition, there are few educational publications that discuss teaching approaches of such techniques. This paper contributes to fill this gap by providing a method for teaching network covert channels using a hands-on lab based educational approach. The proposed hands-on lab activities can be used in didactic environments to build and detect network covert channels. The impact of offering the hands-on lab exercises on the students' performance is discussed. Moreover, anonymous questionnaires were administered to students, who participated in the hands-on lab exercises, to evaluate student's self-assessment of acquired skills and identify their overall satisfaction level about the offered hands-on lab exercises.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020
EditorsAlberto Cardoso, Gustavo R. Alves, Teresa Restivo
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728109305
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Event11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: Apr 27 2020Apr 30 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020


  • Hands-on based teaching approach
  • Information hiding
  • Information security education
  • Network covert storage channels
  • Network covert timing channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education
  • General Engineering


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