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Researchers Discover Malicious Computer Code

Researchers Discover Malicious Computer Code

January 27, 2016

Homeland & Cyber Security, Press Releases

Prof. Bracha Shapira

Prof. Bracha Shapira

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) cyber security researchers have discovered and traced approximately six “botnets” by analyzing data collected from past cyber attacks. Botnets are networks of malicious, remotely updatable code that covertly lurk on infected computers.

Using botnets, which until now were largely untraceable, hackers and cyber criminals can carry out powerful attacks, spread viruses, generate spam, and commit other types of online crime.

The research was conducted at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs@BGU and was announced at CyberTech 2016 in Tel Aviv. DT Labs@BGU is an innovative research facility staffed by BGU faculty and student teams that conduct cutting-edge cyber security research.

Prof. Lior Rokach

Prof. Lior Rokach

The team, led by BGU Profs. Bracha Shapira and Lior Rokach, analyzed data captured by a “honeypot” network run by Deutsche Telekom, the worldwide telecommunications company. The team developed and implemented advanced algorithms to identify the botnet by finding similar attack patterns that can then be traced back to its administrator.

The team was able to identify six distinct botnets, each capable of inflicting serious criminal and monetary damage.

Dudu Mimran, chief technology officer of DT Labs@BGU, said, “This is the first time such a comprehensive study has been carried out and returned with unique findings. In addition, we were able to identify whether the attack emanated from a real person or from a robot and predict future attacks.”

In 2014, the FBI revealed that they had disrupted a Russian botnet that targeted personal bank accounts and stole $100 million.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is the academic sponsor of CyberTech, Israel’s largest cyber security event, organized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

View a video of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at CyberTech 2016 about Beer-Sheva and BGU 2016 >>

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more.

Media Contact:
Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications