by Bharat Mistry
We have been successfully protecting consumers and organisations around the world for over 28 years now. And if anyone is wondering what the secret to sticking around for so long is, I’d have to say that our forward-looking threat researchers have played an absolutely vital role. Their hard work predicting where the next major threats will come from lays much of the groundwork for our industry leading product set and has helped differentiate the company as a reliable source of ground-breaking research.
But we can never stand still. And at Black Hat Europe in London next week some of our leading researchers will be showing off the fruits of their labour to similarly minded cybersecurity fanatics.
Best of Black Hat
Next week’s presentations cover a wide spectrum of research – perhaps fitting considering the broad range of threat protection Trend Micro offers. Here’s a quick snapshot into some of the main areas:
Senior threat researcher Frederico Maggi will explain to the crowd how the tidal wave of ransomware attacks flooding organisations around the world can be held back. Such attacks have broken dramatically with the norm of stealthy, info-stealing and botnet-building malware. And they’re making the black hats millions in the process whilst causing hospitals, schools, local authorities and organisations all over the world serious financial and reputational pain.
Examining 10 mobile ransomware families currently under observation, Maggi will explain how certain static analysis techniques can be used to detect them, and present some counter-measures to overcome obfuscation tactics.
Maggi will again take to the stage, this time to reveal the security and privacy risks that come with ultrasonic cross-device tracking (uXDT) – a new technology designed to track users’ visited content across different devices. It’s designed to help the advertising industry better track users online in order to push more relevant, targeted content. But up until now, no comprehensive security analysis of the technology has been released.
Maggi will reveal how an attacker could exploit uXDT frameworks to unmask users of anonymity networks like Tor – something which has major implications for user privacy and even physical safety. He’ll also propose several countermeasures set for public release which will enable users to detect ultrasound beacons and selectively block them.
Defence in depth
This isn’t the extent of Trend Micro’s participation in Black Hat Europe 2016. We’ll also be presenting a highly technical workshop detailing a new portable virtual device fuzzing framework. However, it’s a neat example of the sheer breadth of research we cover to anticipate the next big security and privacy threats for our customers.
From a slightly different viewpoint it also drives home the importance to organisations of multi-layered security. The multiplicity of attack tools, techniques and vectors demands a layered approach as the most effective in filtering out the majority of threats. That was the rationale behind our new XGen endpoint security announcement.
XGen is a new approach which recognises that both traditional signature-based and more advanced non-signature based techniques have a place in protecting the modern organisation. But they must be used together, in concert with advanced high fidelity machine learning, for maximum effectiveness and minimal false positives. That’s what XGen delivers.
It’s also a gentle reminder to always treat with extreme scepticism any vendors claiming their narrow feature sets and ‘advanced’ capabilities represent a silver bullet. As Black Hat Europe will show, there’s simply no such thing in cybersecurity.