Personal details

Adjunct Associate Professor Ernest Foo
Adjunct Associate Professor
Science and Engineering Faculty,
School of Computer Science
Discipline *
Computer Software, Data Format, Distributed Computing
+61 7 3138 9550
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)


Computer Security, Industrial Control Systems Security, Wireless Sensor Network Security, VANET Security, Information Security, Intrusion Detection, Internet of Things Security, Cyber Physical Systems Security

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Dr. Ernest Foo is an active researcher in the area of information and network security. Over the last 10 years Dr. Foo has worked extensively in the field of electronic commerce protocols investigating secure protocols for electronic tendering and electronic contracting in the Australian construction industry. Dr. Foo has broad interests having published in the area of formal analysis of privacy and identity management protocols as well as proposing secure reputation systems for wireless sensor networks. Recently Dr. Foo has been conducting research in the area of Industrial Control System and critical infrastructure security.

Modbus and other control system protocols core to industrial control systems.   Dr. Foo has extensive experience with computer networking having worked and taught in this area for over 15 years.  Dr. Foo has also been responsible for the design and development of the QUT SCADA security research laboratory.  Recently Dr. Foo has been researching the IEC 61850 standard for controlling and automating electricity sub-stations.  This standard will be key component of the smart grid. Dr. Foo has published a paper entitled “Gap analysis of Intrusion Detection in Smart Grids” in the proceedings of the 2nd International Cyber Resilience Conference. This paper won the best paper award at the conference in which it was presented.

Dr. Foo has commenced an ARC Linkage grant with the electricity transmission authority Powerlink.  The Linkage project will extend knowledge of cyber security for control systems in electricity sub-stations.  This work will benefit the practical aspects of this project.

Through his visit and subsequent work with the Institute of Infocomm Research (I2R) in Singapore Dr. Foo has gained expertise in the security of wireless sensor networks. As a result of this Dr. Foo has published four refereed papers in this area. Sensor networks will be a key component of future smart grid and other critical infrastructure architectures.

Dr. Foo has also been working to complete milestones on a project in digital forensics readiness in control systems. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have sponsored this project.

Research theme: Information and Security

Research discipline: Computer Science

Research areas

  • Examples of ubiquitous wireless computing devices are radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and wireless sensor networks. The combination of mobility, wireless communications and low-power hardware presents unique challenges in the design of suitable security protocols. Dr. Foo has investigated location privacy and proximity authentication. Location privacy is needed to avoid illegitimate tracking of mobile devices.
  • Cryptographic primitives and protocols are often verified using reductionist proof methods. Unfortunately this method of evaluation may not be suitable for large and complex cryptographic applications such as identity and privacy management. Dr. Foo has investigated the use of formal modeling tools to model and analyze complex cryptographic applications.
  • Wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication is currently being standardized. Dr. Foo has investigated the vehicle-to-vehicle communication standards and assessed their suitability for safety applications like collision avoidance.
  • Industrial control systems are vulnerable to cyber attack.  Dr. Foo has investigated control system architectures and standards to assess their vulnerability under cyber attack.  In particular he has been involved in project that have identified attacks on the IEC 61850 substation automation standard and is currently proposing mitigation strategies.
This information has been contributed by Adjunct Associate Professor Ernest Foo.


Research discipline: Computer Science



Dr Foo has contributed to teaching at QUT in both the areas of network communications and in information security. Dr Foo has taught the following classes:

  • INB251/INN251 Networks
  • INB352/INN351 Network Planning
  • INN650 Advanced Network Management
  • INN651 Security Technologies

Dr Foo has provided guest lectures for the following classes:

  • INB255/INN255 Security
  • INB351/INN351 Unix Network Administration
This information has been contributed by Adjunct Associate Professor Ernest Foo.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Practical cyber security for next generation power transmission networks
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Control Systems; Power Transmission; System Integrity; Information Security
Forensic Readiness in Control Systems: Tools and Methods
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Control Systems Security; Digital Forensics; Incident Response; Network Security
Technical and Legal Models for Virtual Info-Sharing Networks (VISN) for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Information Sharing Network; Critical Infrastructure; Virtual; Legal Framework; SCADA; Information Privacy;