Vulnerabilities / Threats //

Advanced Threats

7/25/2014
01:40 PM
100%
0%

Researchers Develop 'BlackForest' To Collect, Correlate Threat Intelligence

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute develop the BlackForest system to help organizations uncover and anticipate cyberthreats.

Whether it's on the ground or in cyberspace, knowing that an army is going to attack you ahead of time is a nice advantage to have.

That idea is the linchpin of BlackForest, a new cyber intelligence collection system developed by experts at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). The system is meant to complement other GTRI systems that are designed to help companies and other organizations deal with sophisticated attacks.

The system works by collecting information from a variety of sources on the public Internet, such as hacker forums and other sites where malware authors and others congregate. The system then connects the information and relates it to past activities to help organizations figure out if and how they are being targeted.

Users can identify sources of information along with keywords to focus on, says Christopher Smoak, a research scientist in the GTRI's Emerging Threats and Countermeasures Division.

"The system collects information from those sources and builds a common picture of the linkages provided by the information," he tells Dark Reading. "Analysts may then utilize the interface to customize the relationships generated if desired. Further, the system also integrates a number of automated analysis mechanisms to provide a baseline clustering, classification, and correlation capability."

For instance, "we may be interested in tying a username on a forum to a user in an IRC channel," he says. "This can help us in identifying interesting people, tools, and information through various linkages. Identifying someone on a forum that has previously posted credit card information as being related to someone active in IRC speaking of a future attack may lead us to conclusions about the type, scale, and potential target for such an attack."

As another example, if attackers are coordinating a DDoS attack via social media, the BlackForest system can measure the scale of involvement, as well as who is participating, who is coordinating, and other attack specifics. This can be used to prevent attacks as organizations learn more about common methodologies for communication and coordination.

There is also value in organizations tracking certain forums to see whether data has leaked.

"You have to monitor what's out in the wild that your company or organization owns," Ryan Spanier, head of the GTRI's Threat Intelligence Branch, said in a press release. "If you have something of value, you will be attacked. Not all attacks are successful, but nearly all companies have some computers that have been compromised in one way or another. You want to find out about these as soon as possible."

Smoak offered a hypothetical example about a company named Acme that wants to protect itself. "We monitor open-source data to identify any references to Acme. All of these references are automatically cross-referenced with other collected data, which happens to provide a linkage to a known threat actor. We can utilize what we already know about this actor to identify potential targets and techniques."

Two other GTRI cyber security systems are already available -- Apiary, a malware intelligence system that helps corporate and government security officials share information about the attacks they are fighting, and Phalanx, which helps fight spear phishing attacks.

"We want to provide something that is predictive for organizations," Spanier said. "They will know that if they see certain things happening, they may need to take action to protect their networks."

Brian Prince is a freelance writer for a number of IT security-focused publications. Prior to becoming a freelance reporter, he worked at eWEEK for five years covering not only security, but also a variety of other subjects in the tech industry. Before that, he worked as a ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
imeena
50%
50%
imeena,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/29/2014 | 2:46:28 PM
online Demo?
Sounds great!!! I hope you will soon have an online demo
securityaffairs
100%
0%
securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 5:35:03 PM
another step in the right direction
Threat Intelligence and Information sharing are principal discipline and practices to implement and adopt to mitigate cyber threats. BlackForest is just another piece of a greater puzzle, another step in the right direction, but we need a strong commitment and a global effort to make effective such initiatives.
WSJ Report: Facebook Breach the Work of Spammers, Not Nation-State Actors
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2018
6 Security Trends for 2018/2019
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/15/2018
6 Reasons Why Employees Violate Security Policies
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading,  10/16/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The State of Ransomware
The State of Ransomware
Ransomware has become one of the most prevalent new cybersecurity threats faced by today's enterprises. This new report from Dark Reading includes feedback from IT and IT security professionals about their organization's ransomware experiences, defense plans, and malware challenges. Find out what they had to say!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-10839
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Qemu emulator <= 3.0.0 built with the NE2000 NIC emulation support is vulnerable to an integer overflow, which could lead to buffer overflow issue. It could occur when receiving packets over the network. A user inside guest could use this flaw to crash the Qemu process resulting in DoS.
CVE-2018-13399
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
The Microsoft Windows Installer for Atlassian Fisheye and Crucible before version 4.6.1 allows local attackers to escalate privileges because of weak permissions on the installation directory.
CVE-2018-18381
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Z-BlogPHP 1.5.2.1935 (Zero) has a stored XSS Vulnerability in zb_system/function/c_system_admin.php via the Content-Type header during the uploading of image attachments.
CVE-2018-18382
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
Advanced HRM 1.6 allows Remote Code Execution via PHP code in a .php file to the user/update-user-avatar URI, which can be accessed through an "Update Profile" "Change Picture" (aka user/edit-profile) action.
CVE-2018-18374
PUBLISHED: 2018-10-16
XSS exists in the MetInfo 6.1.2 admin/index.php page via the anyid parameter.