Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to defend IoT from malware

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Derek Collison,  predicted  for 2016 "Machine Learning (ML) Will Transform How Enterprises View and Utilize Data"

Arielle Zuckerberg, the sister of the Facebook founder,  who now works in Venture Capital  at the prestigious KPCB, believes "AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be embedded into all products."

The difference between ML and AI is best described in layman words on Quora:
"machine learning is one of many areas in artificial intelligence. It deals with designing and developing algorithms to evolve behaviors based on empirical data. Artificial intelligence encompasses other areas apart from machine learning, including knowledge representation, natural language processing/understanding, planning, robotics"

I just discovered that ML already revolutionized my desktop Windows 10.

Are ML methods suitable building intelligent antivirus?

The answer is Yes, as we see from this 2012 thread on Research Gate
Abdessamad Mouzoune answers:
While “traditional” solutions rely mainly on well defined “signatures” which is less evident, machine learning techniques can be of great interest for their suitability to detect abnormal “behaviors”. 
Abdessamad references the 2009 Bristol University master degree dissertation Virus detection with machine learning by Christopher Richardson.

From pure blogger curiosity I look at that paper - I am not an AI insider. Not easy to understand all math.

Sample text Virus Detection using ML, by C.  Richardson
But here is the conclusion
The OneClassClassifier was able to dramatically outperform our novelty classifier when its densityOnly option was enabled. Given more time, we would investigate ways in which our classifier could be improved.
The fact that the OneClassClassifier was able to obtain an accuracy of 90.02% whilst using simulated real-world activity shows good promise for the use of novelty detection in detecting unknown viruses.

Bitdefender 

After years of annoying messy classical anti-virus programs we can not live without though, I started using Bitdefender Internet Security. Here is 2016 edition


It is one of the highest rated antivirus. Quoting from PC magazine review:
If you suspect your computer was infected with something nasty, not just the typical malware, but something which is making your computer freeze and not allowing you to even run antivirus scans, try everything you can to get BitDefender running on your computer. It is the best one by FAR!
Bidefender runs in Autopilot on my desktop and I don't even know its there. After using AVG for a few years, which drove me mad "optimizing" without even asking all my startup applications and sending every few hours messages that made me scream, like "Did you notice your computer runs faster?" - the life with Bitdefender  is like having the spouse of your dreams after a nightmarish divorce.

Protecting IoT from malicious attacks

Yes. You read well. Bitdefender is a leader in ML techniques for antivirus , yet they have their eyes on IoT. 

Liviu Arsene is a senior e-threat analyst for Bitdefender and he writes in Information Week Dark Reading 
Machine-learning algorithms can solve problems that we currently cannot address using conventional methods. Chances are that 99.97% of the time these algorithms can identify threats that were missed by traditional security mechanisms. Because they exhibit some form of engineered statistical intelligence, it’s safe to assume that such algorithms, in conjunction with other technologies, could be used to explore advances in artificial intelligence.

Protecting the abundance of Internet-connected devices has become a daunting task -- one that can be overcome by using self-learning algorithms and technologies that can hammer even previously unknown threats.
 Liviu Arsene opened my eyes widely:
...  current statistics show that more than 12 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the end of 2014, according to Strategy Analytics. Imagine a world where any device may become a target, where your microwave will suddenly start sending spam or your refrigerator will place bogus food orders. Now imagine having systems that understand how threats behave when attacking any type of device or operating system
 We dream of the IoT world, when in reality, we can open the gate for attacks that will not only cripple your laptop, but the entire world.

And it is not only viruses. What about Samsung new voice recognition from their smart TV's recording your private conversation and sending it to 3rd party for further analysis?

Bitdefender named a "Visionary" by  Gartner

Bitdefender has substantial revenues from Enterprises and SMB, in addition to consumer sales.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms report published two weeks ago on February 1, 2016 places Bitdefender  as a visionary
  • Bitdefender provides very good malware detection capabilities, including a sandboxed application emulation environment, automatic unknown file analysis and continuous behavior monitoring, resulting in very good public test scores. The agent performance is very good, too, with low overhead.
  • Enhancements to the GravityZone management interface provide enterprise clients with better insights into the state of malware, applications and advanced threats for physical, virtual and mobile endpoints.
  • Good support is provided for public and private hybrid cloud-based management of endpoints, virtualized endpoints, AWS security as a service and Exchange.
  • Device control and Exchange security module have been added to the Management Console, and improvements to the remediation process can be triggered via a single-click action.
  • The company received high marks from reference customers for support and service.
  • The company provides OEM solutions to many vendors included in this analysis.

Bitdefender is a company based in Romania, Bucharest,  the town where I grew up.
We outsmart the industry not only by maintaining the clearest view, the sharpest mind and the deepest insight, but by staying one step ahead of everybody else – be they black hats or fellow security experts

The Dacian half-wolf half-dragon avatar of Bitdefender brand
One of my mentors said, when we buy a software license, we really buy the talents and the brains of the people who created it.

Derek and Arielle are right: AI and ML are already here. The big surprise is the new technology does not come from San Francisco only
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