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CS Colloquium: A Multifaceted Strategy to Fight Cybercrime

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Tuesday, March 06, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Birhanu Eshete, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago
CS Colloquium

The increasingly interconnected cyber-ecosystem invites cybercriminals to advance their ill-intentioned missions by launching cyber-attacks. From high-profile data breaches with impact on billions of users to hacks into political organizations that undermine the pillars of modern democracies, from infiltration of mission-critical infrastructures to banking trojans and ransomware campaigns, cybercrime continues to find its way to our sensitive data, finances, and digital identity. With cybercriminals constantly adjusting their adversarial tactics, cyber-attacks are only getting more prevalent and sophisticated to be thwarted by off-the-shelf defense.

In this talk, I argue that the multifaceted and evolving threat landscape needs to be countered with an equally multi-dimensional and evolution-aware defense that pragmatically combines reactive, proactive, and offensive strategies. To this end, I will present three approaches aimed at (a) leveraging attack-centric and self-defense behavior of for-crime toolkits to detect malice on the web (b) systematic infiltration of for-crime toolkits to turn the table against cybercriminals, and (c) on-the-wire malware detection using insights from offline analytics of malware infection episodes.