Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malware? Software ensures 'what you see is what you send'

Date:
February 25, 2014
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have created a prototype software, Gyrus, that takes extra steps to prevent malware from sending spam emails and instant messages, and blocking unauthorized commands such as money transfers.

Imagine a user who intends to send $2 to a friend through PayPal. Embedded malware in the user's laptop, however, converts the $2 transaction into a $2,000 transfer to the account of the malware author instead.

Related Articles


Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a prototype software, Gyrus, that takes extra steps to prevent malware from sending spam emails and instant messages, and blocking unauthorized commands such as money transfers.

Current protection programs might recognize the original user's intent to send email, transfer money or engage in other transactions, but cannot verify the specifics such as email contents or amount of money. Without context, it is impossible to properly verify the user's full intent, regardless of whether the software is protecting a financial transfer, an industrial control system or a wide range of other user-driven applications.

"Gyrus is a transparent layer on top of the window of an application. The user experience with the application will be exactly the same as when Gyrus is not installed or activated. Of course, if Gyrus detects that user-intended data has been tampered with, it will block the traffic and also notify the user," explained Wenke Lee, director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC).

The Georgia Tech research is based on the observation that for most text-based applications, the user's intent will be displayed entirely on screen, as text, and the user will make modifications if what is on screen is not what he or she wants. Users help Gyrus do its job by establishing pre-defined rules that help the software determine whether commands -- authorized or not -- fit with established user intentions. In the researchers' words, Gyrus implements a "What You See Is What You Send" (WYSIWYS) policy.

"The idea of defining correct behavior of an application by capturing user intent is not entirely new, but previous attempts in this space use an overly simplistic model of the user's behavior," said Yeongjin Jang, the Georgia Tech Ph.D. student who led the study.

"For example, they might infer a user's intent based on a single mouse click without capturing any associated context so the attackers can easily disguise attacks as a benign behavior," Jang added. "Instead, Gyrus captures richer semantics including both user actions and text contents, along with applications semantics, to make the system send only user-intended network traffic. Gyrus indirectly but correctly determines user intent from the screen that is displayed to the user. "

There are two key components to Gyrus' approach. First, it captures the user's intent and interactions with an application. Second, it verifies that the resulting output can be mapped back to the user's intention. As a result, the application ensures accurate transactions even in the presence of malware.

Jang, along with Simon Chung, a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia Tech, and Bryan Payne, a Georgia Tech Ph.D. graduate, presented the study in February during the 2014 Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS) in San Diego, Calif. Their advisor is Wenke Lee, director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "Malware? Software ensures 'what you see is what you send'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225134237.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2014, February 25). Malware? Software ensures 'what you see is what you send'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225134237.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "Malware? Software ensures 'what you see is what you send'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140225134237.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Cablevision Enters Wi-Fi Phone Fray

Reuters - Business Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) The entry by Cablevision and Google could intensify the already heated price wars for mobile phone service. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hector the Robot Mimics a Giant Stick Insect

Hector the Robot Mimics a Giant Stick Insect

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) A robot based on a stick insect can navigate difficult terrain autonomously and adapt to its surroundings. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malaysia Airlines Hack: Lizard Squad, ISIS Involved?

Malaysia Airlines Hack: Lizard Squad, ISIS Involved?

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) Malaysia Airlines on Sunday experienced website outages and what appeared to be an attack by hacker group Lizard Squad. 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