PhD student and supervisors win the award for Best Paper at Top IEEE Conference

Oluwatobi Fajana receiving award from Dr. Dimiter R. Avresky, IEEE NCA Steering Committee Chair and President International Research Institute  on Autonomic Network Computing (IRIANC) – Boston, USA / Munich, Germany

A 2nd year PhD Student Oluwatobi Fajana and his supervisors Gareth Owenson and Mihaela Cocea from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth have won the prize for the Best Paper at the 17th IEEE Networking and Computing Applications Conference 2018. The conference is rated as an ‘A conference’ and was held in Boston, MA, USA with top researchers from all around the world in attendance.

Their Paper “TorBot Stalker: Detecting Tor Botnets through Intelligent Circuit Data Analysis” describes the first technique developed for detecting botnet communication over the Tor network (a network allowing anonymous communication, concealing a user’s location and usage).

From the Left: Aris Gkoulalas-Divanis( Program Chair and Technical Lead on Data Protection and Privacy, IBM Watson Health – Boston, USA), Oluwatobi Fajana, Miguel Correira (Senior Researcher at INESC-ID), Mirco Marchetti (Researcher, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia).

Botnets are collections of infected computers that are centrally controlled and used for malicious purposes. In order to avoid detection and take down of these botnets, the operators have moved to using anonymity networks like Tor which makes it difficult to identify the botnet communication and location of the control servers.

Their method involves collecting data from the botnet communication and normal traffic and using machine learning to train a model which can identify botnet patterns. Their method has an accuracy of 99% and is further able to detect botnets which might use other evasive techniques.


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