February 22, 2024

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Largest global cybersecurity threat dataset to predict future attacks

A comprehensive data of the global cybersecurity threat landscape, which spanned from 2007-2017, was developed to enable cybersecurity specialists to derive new insights and predict future malicious online activity (mal-activity).

As reported, FinalBlacklist is the first and largest publicly available dataset of its kind.

Researchers from CSIRO’s Data61, data and digital specialist data sciences arm of Australia’s national science agency, are working with researchers from the Macquarie University, in collaboration with the University of Sydney and Nokia Bell Labs.

Largest global cybersecurity dataset

The researchers collected a total of 51.6 million mal-activity reports dating back to 2007 involving 662,000 unique IP addresses worldwide.

These were categorised using machine learning techniques into six classes of mal-activity. These are:

  1. Malware
  2. Phishing
  3. Fraudulent Services
  4. Potentially Unwanted Programs
  5. Exploits
  6. Spamming

Malicious software (or malware) has consistently been the weapon of choice for cyber-criminals over the past decade.

Reports of phishing activities have also steadily risen with a spike in 2009, coinciding with the increased adoption of smartphones.

In 2013, another spike was experienced, which can be linked to the growing popularity of digital payment systems. This attracted unwanted attention from cybercriminals.

Benefits of FinalBlacklist

Analysis of the retrospective dataset will allow researchers to identify how the sources, types and scale of different mal-activity have transformed over time and will prepare organisations against it.

The dataset had been made available to the wider research community so that it can be used to train algorithms to predict future instances of mal-activity before they happen.

A retrospective analysis of historical mal-activity trends could help reduce the impact of cybercrime on the economy.

Researchers and organisations are locked in a perpetual arms race to combat widespread malicious activity on the Internet.

Findings

The dataset shows that mal-activity has consistently increased in volume over the last decade. In fact, the annual cost of cybercrime damages is expected to hit AU$ 6 trillion by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

The analysis revealed a consistent minority of repeat offenders that contributed a majority of the mal-activity reports.

Detecting and quickly reacting to the emergence of these mal-activity contributors could significantly reduce the damage inflicted.

Tips to avoid malicious online activity were provided. These are:

  1. Keep operating system (OS) current: Keep it up to date. OS developers regularly issue security patches that fix and plug security leaks.
  2. Do not give in to ransom demands: There are no guarantees that files will be released when dealing with criminals.
  3. Think before you click: Do not click on a link in an unsolicited email or open email attachments from somebody that you do not know. Hover over the link to check its validity.
  4. Do not reuse passwords: Use unique passwords for all online accounts. Randomly mix up symbols and numbers with letters. The longer and more complex the password, the more effective it will be in preventing brute-force attacks.
  5. Install ad blockers: Ads can be used to serve up malware or malvertising, which is malicious advertising containing viruses, and these simple web extensions can prevent this.
  6. Install script blockers, particularly JavaScript-blockers: Privacy-preserving tools pre-emptively block malicious scripts and only allow JavaScript, Java and other content from trusted sites.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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