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8/6/2018
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TruSTAR to Unveil Blockchain Research Tool at Black Hat Arsenal and DEF CON Recon Village 2018

Early warning system for emerging ransomware campaigns monitors Bitcoin (BTC) transaction data.

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 6, 2018 -- The data science team behind TruSTAR, an intelligence platform built for security and fraud teams, will be presenting the only blockchain research tool selected for both research villages at Black Hat Arsenal and DEF CON 2018, two of the largest, most highly-regarded cybersecurity conferences in the U.S.

Data Science Lead Nicolas Kseib and Engineering Lead Olivia Thet will demonstrate how the Bitcoin public ledger can be leveraged to track emerging malware and ransomware campaigns. The research demos will take place at Mandalay Bay Convention Center and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas from August 9-11.

The "White Rabbit" research tool provides near real-time contextual awareness of a specific ransomware campaign, monitoring surges or declines by tracking Bitcoin transaction rates associated with the attack. Threat researchers and malware hunters can quickly determine if a particular ransomware campaign is gaining momentum and prioritize associated indicators of compromise (IOCs) to detect and block the attack. The White Rabbit tool aligns with TruSTAR’s portfolio of threat intelligence solutions that allow enterprises to extract, enrich, visualize, and prioritize threat intelligence, saving security operation teams valuable time and resources.

Bitcoin public ledger data can be used as a marker of malware traction because it is frequently used as a payment method in ransomware campaigns due to its pseudo-anonymous nature and its ability to be easily transferred across state and national territories. TruSTAR is the first threat intelligence platform to track Bitcoin addresses as an indicator of compromise (IOC).

"As the blockchain evolves and potentially plays a bigger in cyberattacks, the security community will have to dramatically rethink the current concepts of tracking adversaries,” said Nicolas Kseib, Lead Data Scientist at TruSTAR.

“We’re fighting the wrong fight in trying to deanonymize the blockchain – we should be looking at the bigger picture instead,” said Olivia Thet, Software Engineer at TruSTAR. “Security analysts who are using TruSTAR are far more interested in how Bitcoin wallet addresses are correlating with the other IOCs they’re tracking versus who is actually implementing the ransomware campaigns.”

To build the blockchain dataset, TruSTAR’s data science unit collected a list of seed Bitcoin addresses involved in illegal activities. Using these addresses as a starting point, the researchers reconstructed a cluster of connected "dirty" addresses that can be tracked to determine if a ransomware campaign is gaining momentum. A full breakdown of the research abstract and methodology can be found here.

White Rabbit Demo Schedule:

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