Picture of Sebastian Banescu

Dr. rer. nat. Sebastian Banescu

Technical University of Munich

Institute of Informatics

Postal address

Boltzmannstr. 3
85748 Garching b. München

  • Phone: +49 (89) 289 - 17838

Email: firstname.lastname@tum.de (PGP Key 0x3AC374D0 on https://pgp.mit.edu)

About me

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chair of Software and Systems Engineering at TU Munich headed by Prof. Alexander Pretschner. Previously, I have been awarded a:

More details about my experience in industry at BMW, Philips and others on LinkedIn and XING.
Publications and stats:  Google Scholar, DBLP, Semantic Scholar, Research Gate

Research interests

  • Software protection against Man-At-The-End (MATE) attackers and malware
  • Software obfuscation, integrity protection and software diversity
  • Program analysis and reverse engineering
  • Evaluation and metrics for software security
  • Smart contract and blockchain security


  • Promotionspreis IT-Sicherheit 2018 awarded by Competence Center for Applied Security Tech- nology (CAST) and Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)
  • Jungwissenschaftler 2017 awarded by Stiftung Werner-von-Siemens-Ring
  • Outstanding paper award at 32nd Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC)
  • Best paper award at 6th Software Security, Protection and Reverse Engineering Workshop (SSPREW)
  • 2x Google Grant for funding a full-time PhD student for one year
  • Best Code Cracker of ISSISP 2014 award at the International Summer School on Information Security and Protection, Verona, Italy
  • TU Munich Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded for newly developed “Secure Coding” lecture co-developed with Dr. Martin Ochoa and Prof.Dr. Alexander Pretschner
  • Dutch Talent Scholarship Program, currently Amandus H. Lundqvist Scholarship Program
  • ERASMUS Scholarship for 3-month research internship at ENS Lyon


External Reviewer

  1. CODASPY '18, '17, ’15, ’14: ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy
  2. MSCS ’17: Journal of Mathematical Structures in Computer Science
  3. IFIPSEC ’17: International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection
  4. DIST ’16: Journal of Distributed Computing
  5. SACMAT ’15, ’17: ACM Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies
  6. CloudCom ’16: IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Sci- ence
  7. TDSC ’13, ’14, ’15: Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing
  8. NSS ’14, ’15: The International Conference on Network and System Security
  9. QSIC ’13: International Conference on Quality Software
  10. ESORICS ’13: European Symposium on Security in Computer Security 

Security Trainings Offered

  • "Breaking Obfuscated Programs with Symbolic Execution" at "8th Software Security, Protection and Reverse Engineering Work- shop”(SSPREW) collocated with ACSAC 2018, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
  • "Breaking Obfuscated Programs with Symbolic Execution" at "7th Software Security, Protection and Reverse Engineering Work- shop”(SSPREW) collocated with ACSAC 2017, Orlando, Florida, USA
  • "Industrial Software Protection Workshop 2016" organized by Dolby Germany in collaboration with TU Munich, at Dolby office in Nuremberg, Germany

Invited Talks

  • Dec 2017: "Characterizing the Strength of Software Obfuscation Against Automated Attacks" at Stiftung Werner-von-Siemens-Ring Kolloquium in Herrenknecht Academy, Schwanau, Germany
  • Jul 2017: "Characterizing the Strength of Software Obfuscation Against Automated Attacks" at Dagstuhl Seminar on “Malware Analysis: From Large-Scale Data Triage to Targeted Attack Recognition”, Dagstuhl, Germany
  • April 2017: "Characterizing the strength of software obfuscation against symbolic execution attacks" at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) by Dr. Martin Ochoa, Singapore
  • Dec 2016: "Analyzing (De-)Obfuscation via Machine Learning" at Itestra GmbH Jour Fixe, Munich, Germany
  • Sep 2016: "Code Obfuscation Against Symbolic Execution Attacks" at Friedrich-Alexander Universität (FAU) Erlangen by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Felix Freiling, Erlangen, Germany

Research Projects

Research Visits

  • Feb-Mar 2016: Visiting Research Scholar worked with Prof.Dr. Saumya Debray and Prof.Dr. Christian Collberg on characterizing obfuscation strength via case-studies using binary executables. University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, Faculty of Computer Science
  • Sep 2015: Visiting Research Scholar worked with Prof.Dr. Vijay Ganesh on employing symbolic execution and SAT/SMT solvers for the purpose of de-obfuscating binary executables. University of Waterloo, Canada, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Bachelor and Master Thesis Topics

Please contact me if you are interested in doing your Bachelor thesis, Master thesis or guided research project in one of the topics listed under "Research Interests" above. Good results will be submitted to international peer-reviewed conferences and workshops with students as co-authors (as shown in the list below).

Completed theses:

Teaching Assistance

Winter Semester 2016/2017: Secure Coding

Winter Semester 2015/2016: Secure Coding

Summer Semester 2015: Security Engineering

Winter Semester 2014/2015: Secure Coding

Summer Semester 2014: Einführung in die Softwaretechnik

Winter Semester 2013/2014: Praktikum Grundlagen der Programmierung


  • Hutzelmann, Thomas; Banescu, Sebastian; Pretschner, Alexander: A Comprehensive Attack and Defense Model for the Automotive Domain. SAE International Journal of Transportation Cybersecurity and Privacy 2 (1), 2019 mehr…
  • Ahmadvand, Mohsen; Hayrapetyan, Anahit; Banescu, Sebastian; Pretschner, Alexander: Practical Integrity Protection with Oblivious Hashing. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference on - ACSAC '18, ACM Press, 2018 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian and Pretschner, Alexander: A Tutorial on Software Obfuscation. to appear in advances in computing, 2017 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian and Collberg, Christian and Pretschner, Alexander: Predicting the Resilience of Obfuscated Code Against Symbolic Execution Attacks via Machine Learning. To appear in Usenix Security, 2017, 2017 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian and Ahmadvand, Mohsen and Pretschner, Alexander and Shield, Robert and Hamilton, Chris: Detecting Patching of Executables without System Calls. Proceedings of the Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy, 2017 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian and Collberg, Christian and Ganesh, Vijay and Newsham, Zack and Pretschner, Alexander: Code Obfuscation Against Symbolic Execution Attacks. Proceedings of the 32Nd Annual Conference on Computer Security Applications, ACM, 2016, 189--200 mehr…
  • D. Holling and S. Banescu and M. Probst and A. Petrovska and A. Pretschner: Nequivack: Assessing Mutation Score Confidence. 2016 IEEE Ninth International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops (ICSTW), 2016, 152-161 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian and Lucaci, Ciprian and Krämer, Benjamin and Pretschner, Alexander: VOT4CS: A Virtualization Obfuscation Tool for C\#. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Workshop on Software PROtection, ACM, 2016, 39--49 mehr…
  • Ibrahim, Amjad and Banescu, Sebastian: StIns4CS: A State Inspection Tool for C\#. Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Workshop on Software PROtection, ACM, 2016, 61--71 mehr…
  • Aleieldin Salem; Sebastian Banescu: Metadata Recovery From Obfuscated Programs Using Machine Learning. Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Software Security, Protection, and Reverse Engineering, ACM, 2016, 1:1--1:11 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian; Ochoa, Martín; Kunze, Nils; Pretschner, Alexander: Idea: Benchmarking Indistinguishability Obfuscation – A Candidate Implementation. 7th International Symposium, ESSoS 2015, Milan, Italy, March 4-6, 2015. Proceedings, Springer Science + Business Media, 2015 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian; Pretschner, Alexander; Battré, Dominic; Cazzulani, Stéfano; Shield, Robert; Thompson, Greg: Software-Based Protection against "Changeware". Proceedings of the 5th ACM Conference on Data and Application Security and Privacy, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2015 mehr…
  • Banescu, Sebastian; Wuechner, Tobias; Salem, Aleieldin; Guggenmos, Marius; Ochoa, Martín; Pretschner, Alexander: A framework for empirical evaluation of malware detection resilience against behavior obfuscation. 2015 10th International Conference on Malicious and Unwanted Software (MALWARE), 2015, 40-47 mehr…