Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Profs Patrol Cyberspace, Research Computer Hacking And Data Recovery

Date:
September 22, 2004
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Somewhere between crime fighter and computer techie, you’ll find electrical and computer engineering professors David Lie and Ashvin Goel. But these two aren’t interested in fitting any moulds: they’re interested in the ever-evolving world of computer security.

Somewhere between crime fighter and computer techie, you’ll find electrical and computer engineering professors David Lie and Ashvin Goel. But these two aren’t interested in fitting any moulds: they’re interested in the ever-evolving world of computer security.

Related Articles


“There’s a whole grey area out there,” said Goel, referring to the wild cyber-frontier of hackers and computer threats.

Lie agreed. “It’s a completely different world today than when computers first came out. You find them in places you wouldn’t normally expect them, like cars.[Security] is something that has to be addressed now.”

While their research is similar thematically, Lie and Goel approach the problem differently. Lie monitors the behaviour of hackers by setting up “honey pots,” computers that act as decoys to lure cyber-criminals into his lair. “Surprisingly, we found that none of them actually looked hard into the system,” Lie said. Instead, hackers used the honey pots to attack the next computer.“That told us that most of them aren’t professionals, they’re just experimenting and seeing how far they can get.”

These naive hackers also leave clues. Although they use IP (Internet protocol) addresses to bounce from machine to machine, hackers pick up languages used on interfaces along the way, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that trace back to the point of origin.

“If you just look at the languages, a large majority of them are from eastern Europe, a whole bunch are from Romania and it seems like at least one Italian,” Lie said. “So this was actually a better identifier than anything electronic.”

But what to do once a system is invaded? That’s where Goel steps in. His goal is to simplify recovery from these intrusions. “Currently, security experts spend hours or days to fix the problem,” he said. “Ideally, what we want are systems administrators taking tens of minutes.” Typically, once a hacker strikes and wreaks havoc, computer experts revert to a snapshot of data stored the day before, erasing all the present day’s work. Goel wants to save new data and just pinpoint the intrusion. “Instead of doing what we call a complete undo, we want to do a selective undo of the intrusion.”

The first step, according to Goel, is logging all the data into a separate server that has no connection to the outside world. The data is then parcelled into subsets that facilitate analysis, determining exactly when and where the intrusionoccurred.

Goel estimates that the technology to perform selective undos could be available in less than three months. His ultimate goal is to have a self-recovery system that automatically detects an intrusion and sets to work on fixing it. This technology, he admits, is a long way off.

As for the future of computer security, both Goel and Lie agree that experts have to be on guard for professional hackers intent of breaking into cyber vaults full of priceless information.

“If you put enough value in something, there are going to people with enough intelligence to break into it,” Lie said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Profs Patrol Cyberspace, Research Computer Hacking And Data Recovery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921074111.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2004, September 22). Profs Patrol Cyberspace, Research Computer Hacking And Data Recovery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921074111.htm
University Of Toronto. "Profs Patrol Cyberspace, Research Computer Hacking And Data Recovery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040921074111.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new smartphone called the Classic, featuring a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones - and most smartphone customers - have embraced touch screens. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

Working Mother (Dec. 16, 2014) 2014 Worklife Congress Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) Innovative new services allow consumers to shop with their smartphones, split bills and even haggle. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins