WOMBATProject reference: 216026
Funded under: FP7-ICT
Worldwide Observatory of Malicious Behaviors and Attack Threats
Total cost:EUR 4 401 578
EU contribution:EUR 2 890 795
Call for proposal:FP7-ICT-2007-1
Funding scheme:CP - Collaborative project (generic)
The aim of WOMBAT is to provide new means to understand the existing and emerging threats that are targeting the Internet economy and the net citizens.
Why Research in Emerging Security Threats?
Today, combating cyber-crime becomes harder and harder. This is acknowledged by several recent articles from major anti-virus companies that confirm that cyber-crime scene is becoming increasingly more organized and more consolidated.
Several initiatives exist today that offer information and data that support this theory. However, the information they provide cannot be used by the research community to identify, understand and eventually defeat the cyber threats we are facing. The reasons are twofold:
- First, due to privacy or confidentiality issues, most of these sources are not allowed to share the detailed information they hold.
- Second, as a result of the lack of publicly available information, no framework exists to rigorously investigate emerging attacks using different data sources and viewpoints.
WOMBAT aims at providing new means to understand the existing and emerging threats that are targeting the Internet economy and the net citizens. To reach this goal, the project is structured around three main objectives (see figure):
- Real time gathering of a diverse set of security related raw data: WOMBAT will take advantage of existing sources of information controlled by some of the partners, such as the Deepsight threat management system managed by Symantec, the worldwide distributed honeypot system operated by Eurecom, the nationwide early warning system in use by CERT Polska or the largest malware collection in the world accumulated by Hispasec. WOMBAT will also join efforts with other players in the field and explore how their dataset can be used, in order to obtain a global view of the observed phenomena. Also, some new types of sensors will be considered, especially in the domain of client-based honeypots. An important effort will be devoted to ensure interoperability among these various sources.
- Data enrichment by means of various analysis techniques: As the sole observation of a phenomenon does not suffice to reveal its cause(s), other elements surrounding or characterizing it must be formalized and taken into account. WOMBAT will develop new techniques to characterize the observed attacks, the collected malware, etc. This will lead to the semi-automatic generation of metadata associated with the raw data collected.
- Threats Analysis: WOMBAT will build upon the recognized expertise of several of its partners in correlating the data and metadata related to various events in order to identify the root cause(s) of a group of intrusions. This will make it possible to generate models of harmless, yet malicious, activities. As a result, the project will not only be able to raise alerts more accurately when new situations emerge but, more importantly, it will offer support during the decision making process for countermeasures selection. These models will help security actors to derive sound rationales for their security investments.
The WOMBAT project aims at providing new means to understand the existing and emerging threats that are targeting the Internet economy and the net citizens. To reach this goal, the proposal includes three key workpackages: (i) real time gathering of a diverse set of security related raw data, (ii) enrichment of this input by means of various analysis techniques, and (iii) root cause identification and understanding of the phenomena under scrutiny. The acquired datasets and knowledge will be shared with all interested security actors (ISPs, CERTs, security vendors,\netc.), enabling them to make sound security investment decisions and to focus on the most dangerous activities first. Special care will also be devoted to impact the level of confidence of the European citizens in the net economy by leveraging computer security awareness in Europe thanks to the gained expertise.
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