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 UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the STEM Career Expo from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 8. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students and alumni.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom, HSU 1.104-1.106
The UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the All Majors Career Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 8. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom, HSU 1.104-1.106
This competition is for students who are working on a project and prototype and want to assess the market opportunity and commercial potential of their technology in a risk-free environment.Science and Engineering Building, SEB 1.150G
Citation managers such as Zotero® can help you store and organize the citations you find during your research. Zotero can also generate bibliographies in various styles, insert in-text citations and allow you to share sources with collaborators.Virtual event
Chiquita Collins, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at UT Health San Antonio, will virtually engage in conversation regarding the 2023 Black History Month theme, “Resistance. Persistence. Excellence.”Virtual event
The Carlos Alvarez College of Business and the Alvarez Student Success Center will host their Second Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Symposium. The theme for this year is inclusive leadership. The featured keynote speaker will be Melissa Majors, author of “The 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive Leaders.”H-E-B Student Union Ballroom, HSU 1.106
Join your fellow Roadrunners for the annual Heart Health Walk. If you can’t meet up on campus, get outside and walk for at least 10 minutes at 9 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to wear red and post their pictures to Instagram using the hashtag #28DaysOfHeartAtUTSA.Rowdy Statue, Sombrilla Plaza
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