Internship | Attacks against AI/ML-based systems in communication networks

AI/ML-based systems are considered to be powerful tools in the network security, management and orchestration. But what if they become a target of an attack themselves?


Den Haag

Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

AI/ML-based systems are considered to be an important component of the (future) fixed and mobile networks. They can help in detecting previously unknown security threats or make decisions about resource allocation, thus being a powerful tool in the network security, management and orchestration. At the same time, AI/ML-based systems can become a target on their own, potentially giving an attacker an enormous advantage due to a large span of control these systems are expected to have. 
The goal of this assignment is to investigate the weak spots of the AI/ML-based systems used in the communication networks and possible mitigation means. Examples of attacks include inferring the model of the AI/ML system and fooling the threat detection system so that malicious traffic is classified as benign (adversarial ML/AI); sending a series of (legitimate) requests to the resource management system resulting in resources exhaustion, and ultimately to a denial of service situation; poisoning the data used in the training of the AI/ML system so to be able to influence its behavior. You will perform this assignment in a framework of cross-domain AINET/PROTECT project, where the researchers from the departments of Cybersecurity and Robustness, Networks as well as Data Science combine their expertise to combat the cyber-threats of tomorrow.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You are in the final stages of your degree in artificial intelligence, computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering or a similar degree and have some track record in the field of cybersecurity. You have experience in programming, networks, Linux system etc. and an interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence. You are pragmatic and focused on making things work. Next to technical expertise we value high level of independence and ability to work remotely, communication skills and a results-driven attitude. The ideal duration of the internship is 6 months.

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

TNO as an employer

TNO is an independent research organisation whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With approximately 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, companies, service providers and non-governmental organisations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness. 

To know more about the Data Science department visit our website at

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Contact: Lucia Tealdi
Phone number: [email protected]

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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