Cybersecurity articles

 

Steganalysis and Machine Learning: a European answer

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By Igino Corona, Matteo Mauri

Steganography is a secret mechanism for encoding information by any means of transmission. Its use has been known since ancient Greece and defined in the glossaries towards the end of the fifteenth century. Both encoding and medium of transmission are secret, that is, known only to the parties who intend to communicate in an occult way. Steganography therefore presents itself as an ideal tool for the creation of secret communication channels that can be used in sophisticated espionage scenarios, computer crime, data breaches in public and private sectors. 

Steganography differs from cryptography, in which encoding of information and medium of transmission are generally known (think for example to the HTTPS protocol used by this site). In this case, the encoding mechanism makes the extraction of information (extremely) difficult without the knowledge of additional data, known as encryption/decryption keys. These keys are known only to the parties authorized to communicate (for example, your browser and our web server).

What is Stegomalware? Information hiding-capable malware and the European answer: the SIMARGL project

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By Matteo Mauri, Igino Corona, Davide Ariu

Stegomalware (or stegware) is a particular and sophisticated type of malware (malicious / unauthorized software) that uses steganography to evade detection and secretly exchange information.

Steganography was already used in ancient Greece and defined in the glossaries towards the end of the fifteenth century. In essence, it is a secret mechanism for encoding information through any means of transmission. Both the encoding and the transmission medium are secret, that is, known only to the parties who intend to communicate in an occult way.

In this sense, it differs from cryptography, in which the encoding of information and the transmission medium are generally known (e.g., the HTTPS protocol used by this website). In this case, the encoding mechanism makes the extraction of clear-text data (extremely) difficult without the knowledge of additional information, known as encryption / decryption keys. These keys are known only to the authorized communication parties (for example, your browser and our web server).

DeltaPhish - Detecting phishing webpages in compromised websites

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By Igino Corona et al.

The large-scale deployment of modern phishing attacks relies on the automatic exploitation of vulnerable websites in the wild. To understand the importance of this phenomen, note that, according to the most recent Global Phishing Survey by APWG, published in 2014, 59,485 out of the 87,901 domains linked to phishing scams (namely, the 71.4%) were actually pointing to legitimate (though compromised) websites.
To counter this threat, we have developed DeltaPhish, a tool capable of detecting phishing webpages hosted in compromised websites through the analysis of the differences between the visited webpages and a predetermined reference page (e.g., the website homepage).

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