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Colin McLean


  • 4 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal profile


  • 2:1 Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Dundee College of Technology.
  • Certified Ethical Hacker.
  • Trained Internal and External Penetration tester (Firstbase technologies).


1999 - Present - Lecturer in Computing - University of Abertay Dundee

2000-03 - Shareholder and Programmer (Communications and database programmer) - ABS Advanced Biometric Systems, Greenock, Scotland.

1994-98 - Lecturer in Mechatronics - University of Abertay Dundee

1990-98 - Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering - Dundee Institute of Technology

1990-91 - Engineering Consultant - Dundee College of Technology / AgriPac UK

1987-90 - Medical Robotics Research Engineer - Scottish Home and Health Department

Personal Statement

I’m a certified ethical hacker and a trained internal and external systems penetration tester. 

Prior to joining Abertay’s teaching staff in 1990, I worked as a medical robotics engineer and as a programmer at ABS (Advanced Biometric Systems).

I’ve been involved in two highly successful knowledge transfer partnerships: one related to encryption within an ATM environment and the other to the security of network ATMs. 

My research interests include penetration testing, web application testing and malware analysis.


I teach Undergraduate and Post Graduate Ethical Hacking modules including Web Application Testing, Penetration testing and Exploit Development.

Research interests

Areas of interest include Penetration testing, Web Application testing, Malware analysis.


External Examiner for M Sc in Engineering Management at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Knowledge Exchange

I have been involved in two highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

2008 - Encryption in an ATM environment - NCR Dundee

2005 - Security of ATM’s over a network. - NCR Dundee


Talked at the following conferences: -

2012 - B Sides London, “H@acking Tayles of the 1st Degree”
2011 - BruCon, Belgium, “A script kiddies attempt at hiding trojans“
2011 - B Sides London, “A script kiddies attempt at hiding trojans”

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Research Output

  • 4 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 2 Conference contribution
  • 2 Article

A taxonomy of approaches for integrating attack awareness in applications

Ünlü, T., Shepherd, L. A., Coull, N. & McLean, C., 13 Jul 2020, International Conference on Cyber Security and Protection of Digital Services (Cyber Security 2020). IEEE , 4 p.

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

Open Access
  • 84 Downloads (Pure)

    Mayall: a framework for desktop JavaScript auditing and post-exploitation analysis

    Rapley, A., Bellekens, X., Shepherd, L. & McLean, C., 17 Dec 2018, In : Informatics. 5, 4, 20 p., 46.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 79 Downloads (Pure)

    Systemizers are better code-breakers: self-reported systemizing predicts code-breaking performance in expert hackers and naïve participants

    Harvey, I., Bolgan, S., Mosca, D., McLean, C. & Rusconi, E., 17 May 2016, In : Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 10, 14 p., 229.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    184 Downloads (Pure)

    X-Secure: protecting users from big bad wolves

    Binnie, R., McLean, C., Seeam, A. & Bellekens, X., 10 Nov 2016, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Innovative Business Practices for the Transformation of Societies (EmergiTech). IEEE , p. 158-161 4 p.

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

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    85 Downloads (Pure)