The methods and mechanisms we use to understand and protect ourselves from the dangers lurking in cyberspace come from the exacting, often painstaking investigations of researchers all over the world. Each Saturday, we’ll talk to those dissecting the malware that’s disrupting business or stealing our personal information, identifying the vulnerabilities in our electronic and human cyber defenses, ferreting out the hidden surveillance features in the products we buy, and hunting down the threats to our increasingly interconnected world. We’ll also hear from researchers in industry and academia working to solve the hard problems of security in a rapidly evolving technological landscape, all while society grapples with the challenge of balancing security and privacy.
Peter Ney is a PhD candidate in the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington where he is advised by Professor Tadayoshi Kohno. His current research is focused on understanding computer security risks in emerging technologies like DNA synthesis and sequencing and the new threats posed by maliciously crafted, synthetic DNA...
Android Toast Overlay enables attackers to trick Android users into enabling permissions on infected devices by making them think they are clicking on benign buttons superimposed over the user interface. Ryan Olson is Director of Threat Intelligence at Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42, and he joins us to share their research.
APT 33 is an Iranian cyber espionage group that targets aerospace and energy sectors and has ties to destructive malware. John Hultquist is Director of Intelligence Analysis at FireEye, and he takes us through their research.
In 2016 Bitdefender uncovered a new advanced persistent threat dubbed Pacifier, targeting government institutions starting in 2014. Using malicious .doc documents and .zip files distributed via spear phishing e-mails, attackers would lure victims with invitations to social functions or conferences into executing the attachments. It’s capable of dropping multi-stage backdoors.
Deepen Desai, senior director of security research and operations at Zscaler, describes research he and his team have been doing since discovered a clever bit of malware they’ve named Cobian RAT. (RAT stands for Remote Access Trojan.) It’s available for free, but contains a back door that allows the original author to access and control the RAT remotely.