MARCH 30, 2022 — Malicious software activities, commonly known as “malware,” represent a big threat against modern society.
A UTSA-led research team is investigating ways to accurately predict these attacks. Mechanical Engineering Professor Yusheng Feng and doctoral student Van Trieu-Do in the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, in collaboration with professor Shouhuai Xu from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, are studying how to use mathematical tools and computer simulation to foresee cyberattacks.
According to a 2019 report by ForgeRock, 2.8 billion consumer data records were breached in 2018, costing more than $654 billion to U.S. organizations, posing a massive industry threat.
The current pervasive security threats motivated the UTSA researchers to develop and use cyber defense tools and sensors to monitor the threats and collect data, which can be used for various purposes in developing defense mechanisms.
“The current damages call for studies to understand and characterize cyberattacks from different perspectives and at various levels of intrusion. There are multiple variables that go into predicting the potential damage these attacks may cause as the aggressors get more sophisticated,” said Feng.
Using predictive situational awareness analysis, the team studied the distinctive nature of the attacks to accurately predict the threats that target and potentially harm personal devices, servers and networks.
“Most studies on cyberattacks focus on microscopic levels of abstractions, meaning how to defend against a particular attack,” Feng said. “Cyber attackers can successfully break in by exploiting a single weakness in a computer system.”
The study aims to analyze the macroscopic levels of abstractions.
“Such macroscopic-level studies are important because they would offer insights towards holistic solutions to defending cyberattacks,” he added.
Feng explains, “It’s very hard to single out the cause of each attack, however, we have big data with time series for each IP address (location). In this research, we use ‘causality’ when there are inter-relationships among IP addresses that have similar patterns of temporal features for identifying the threat.”
The researchers utilized Granger causality (G-causality) to study the vulnerabilities from a regional perspective of multiple threats, analyzing the cause and effect to identify cyber vulnerabilities or how the infiltrators attack an entity, in this case IP addresses.
G-causality is a statistical concept of causation that is based on prediction, in order to characterize causality, a well-defined mathematical notion has to be established. The research team used Granger causality to determine the nature of the cyberattack signals so the signals can be compared and analyzed in a holistic way.
The team also plans to expand the current body of research and study further on what other kinds of causality will impact users and how to develop the appropriate defense tools to protect against sophisticated attacks.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, Main Campus
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