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Attacks and defenses in decentralised botnets

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As corporations, agencies, and individuals continue to invest in national infrastructure trusting it to withstand cyber-attacks, it is important to ensure that the this trust is warranted. In this talk, I will present ISP level countermeasures that localise bots based on the unique communication patterns arising from their overlay topologies used for command and control. I will also present schemes that allow ISPs to cooperatively detect botnet attacks and other network anomalies without leaking private traffic information. Experimental results on synthetic topologies embedded within Internet traffic traces from an ISP ’s backbone network indicate that our techniques (i) can localize the majority of bots with low false positive rate, (ii) are resilient to the partial visibility arising from partial deployment of monitoring systems, and measurement inaccuracies arising from partial visibility and dynamics of background traffic, and (iii) are scalable enough to show good promise as a key element of a wider network anomaly detection framework.

Motivation: The snooping dragon: Social malware surveillance of the Tibetan movement

Technical paper:

Bio: Shishir Nagaraja is a researcher in network security and privacy. He holds the position of a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, as well as concurrent appointments as Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and Assistant Professor at IIITD , India. He holds a PhD in Computer Security from the University of Cambridge. He has worked in the software industry for several years as a Software Engineer at Novell Bangalore. He holds several patents in the area of trust and security.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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