Malicious Software and its Underground Economy

Malicious Software and its Underground Economy

Institution: University of London (Coursera)

Date: June 17, 2013 - July 29, 2013

Bio: Malicious Software and its Underground Economy is an undergraduate class taught by a post doc professor at an introductory level. As such the content and difficulty of the course was a little unfocused in its first offering. One of the primary aspects of the course was reading a series of research papers; and learning how to quickly dissect and absorb these papers became one of the most valuable aspects of the course. The material was quite intriguing as well, covering the efforts of research teams trying to identify bot nets or more efficiently identify malicious software; as well as identifying the tactics used by black hats to hide their code through binary/machine language obfuscation, using multiple or encrypted unpackers, and modifying behavior to avoid detection techniques. The course also went into detail as to the organized criminal structure and business of the under ground economy.

Accomplishments: Through the six weeks of the course I read over 30 research papers, covering a number of topics in malicious software analysis or identification methods. In addition, I also completed the bonus assignment which involved detecting an encrypted message within a binary that was using several obfuscation techniques to obfuscate the disassembly process.

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