Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Threat Intelligence System Helps Share Malware Data

25.05.2012
As malware threats expand into new domains and increasingly focus on industrial espionage, Georgia Tech researchers are launching a new weapon to help battle the threats: a malware intelligence system that will help corporate and government security officials share information about the attacks they are fighting.

Known as Titan, the system will be at the center of a security community that will help create safety in numbers as companies large and small add their threat data to a knowledge base that will be shared with all participants. Operated by security specialists at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the system builds on a threat analysis foundation – including a malware repository that analyzes and classifies an average of 100,000 pieces of malicious code each day.

“As a university, Georgia Tech is uniquely positioned to take this white hat role in between industry and government,” said Andrew Howard, a GTRI research scientist who is part of the Titan project. “We want to bring communities together to break down the walls between industry and government to provide a trusted, sharing platform.”

Members contributing information will do so anonymously so other members won’t know which specific organizations have been attacked. GTRI will independently verify information provided to Titan and carefully vet the members of the community before they are allowed to participate.

“People tend to think that if an organization gets hit, it was because they had poor security measures,” said Christopher Smoak, a GTRI research scientist who heads up the Titan project. “That’s not necessarily true, because a variety of factors contribute to intrusions. But until we get to the point that there’s no longer a stigma attached to having an infiltration, people are going to want anonymity to participate.”

In addition to receiving information about attacks and responses at other organizations, members will receive quick reports on malware samples they submit. Based on what they have learned from the malware repository and by reverse-engineering malicious code, GTRI researchers will be able to provide information on the potential harm from an attack, the likely source, the best remedy for it and the risks to the organization.

“We hope to provide information about the trends that organizations can expect to see, and help them prioritize what they should do to address the risks,” said Howard. “We have a significant system behind the scenes to facilitate the exchange of information.”

Titan will be especially valuable to smaller organizations that lack the resources to operate their own security evaluation labs, though all members will benefit from sharing information. GTRI information security researchers collaborate with the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), which expands the depth of knowledge.

“GTRI will maintain the shared resources that companies can use to help solve their own problems,” Smoak noted. “We’ll have many organizations contributing to this community, and everyone getting information out; it will really benefit everyone.”

Companies today have two primary concerns about malicious software, Howard said. The first is for the loss of intellectual property, such as plans for a new product or bidding documents for a major project. The second is a compromise of the web infrastructure that many companies rely on to do business.

Titan will also help companies educate their computer users about such risks as spear-phishing, which uses email that appears to be from a trusted colleague or friend to trick users into taking a risky action, such a opening an infected attachment. The system will alert companies to the newest threat trends so they can warn their users, and identify the IP addresses that malicious software is communicating with.

“Spear-phishing is very difficult to defend against, because all it takes is one person clicking on something that lets malware into the network,” Smoak said. “It’s difficult to train a large workforce with varying skill sets to identify the very small nuances that indicate these emails are malicious.”

GTRI has been analyzing the malware attacking Windows-based computers for years. Now the analysts are seeing an increase in malicious code designed for Android-based devices – and for Macintosh computers, which previously hadn’t been high-priority targets.

“We see Android malware in its infancy right now,” said Smoak. “We see what it is doing and how it is working, and we can draw parallels to what we saw earlier with the Windows-based malware. We can probably expect to see the Android and Mac malware follow a similar path.”

The danger may be especially great for the users of computer systems that previously had not worried much about malware.

“For Macintosh systems, the threats are starting to get scarier,” Howard said. “When more malware authors shift their focus to this platform, a lot of people who thought they were safe by not using the Windows OS will be caught off-guard.”

Titan now includes half a dozen Fortune 500 members, along with other government and nonprofit organizations. Smoak and Howard have been getting feedback from those members as they’ve built the system, which will be formally launched in a few months.

“We are looking for additional industry partners to help us use the tool and help refine the system,” said Howard. “We believe that members of this community will come together to help each other strengthen defenses.”

A determined hacker will probably succeed in compromising most corporate computer networks, but the researchers believe Titan can help companies make that as difficult as possible.

“You may not be able to completely prevent an attack, but you can have a higher wall and stronger defense,” Howard said. “Hackers tend to go after the low-hanging fruit, so they will attack the companies that are the easiest to attack. We believe that our community can help all the members strengthen their defenses.”

Research News & Publications Office
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA
Media Relations Contacts: John Toon (404-894-6986)(jtoon@gatech.edu) or Abby Robinson (404-385-3364)(abby@innovate.gatech.edu) or Kirk Englehardt (404-894-6015)(kirk.englehardt@comm.gatech.edu).

Writer: John Toon

John Toon | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.gatech.edu

Further reports about: Android-SDK GTRI Intelligence Macintosh Malware Titan Arum computer network

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Holograms taken to new dimension
19.07.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

Leipzig HTP-Forum discusses "hydrothermal processes" as a key technology for a biobased economy

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation

20.07.2017 | Information Technology

High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing

20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors

20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>