Ohio Cyber Range – Seminar Series: Understand Cybercrime Through Automatic Analysis of Online Text Traces

Organized by The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Information Technology, and the Department of Political Science at UC

Understand Cybercrime Through Automatic Analysis of Online Text Traces

Friday March 15, 2019 / 813 Rhodes / 11am – 12.30pm

Xiaojing Liao

Cybercrime activity often leaves behind human-readable text traces for interacting with its targets (e.g., defrauding victims, advertising illicit products to intended customers) or coordinating among the criminals involved. Such text content is valuable for detecting various types of cybercrime and understanding how they happen, the perpetrator's strategies, capabilities, and infrastructures and even the ecosystem of the underground business. Automatic discovery and analysis of such text traces, however, are challenging, due to their deceptive content that can easily blend into legitimate communication, and the criminal's extensive use of secret languages to hide their communication, even on public platforms (such as social media and forums). 

In this talk, several studies, aiming at systematically studying how to automatically discover such text traces and intelligently utilizing them to fight against online crime, will be presented. I will describe a model to automatically discovery and understanding of dark jargon used in cybercriminal communications. I will also demonstrate that systematically analyzing the semantic inconsistency in the communication between criminals and their targets helps automatic detection of new variations of known crimes or abuses of new Internet services. The research outcomes contribute to more effective and timely control of online criminal activities.

Bio: Xiaojing Liao is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research interests include data-driven security, with a specific focus on the investigation of cybercrime and cyber threat intelligence. She has published papers on leading system security venues such as S&P(Oakland), Usenix Security, CCS and NDSS, and her works were widely covered by the mainstream media including the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, etc.