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UT Arlington Research Experiences for Teachers in Engineering

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Research Experiences for Teachers in Hazard Mitigation

Hacker Detection: Evaluation and Improvement

hacker detectionFaculty Mentors: Dr. Matthew Wright, Dr. J. Carter Tiernan

Graduate Assistant: Kush Kothari

Hazard Type:
Cyber Security

2010 Teacher Participants
John Davis
Eric Manuel

2009 Teacher Participants
Vicki Buffalo
Eric Manuel
Rick Needham
Silas Robinson

2008 Teacher Participants
William Flynn
William Huckeba

In today’s computer networks, security tools like firewalls remain largely ineffective in stopping hackers from gaining access and exploiting that access to steal sensitive information and disrupt critical operations. Hackers typically break into another network and use that as a stepping-stone to attack the target network. For example, a hacker might break into a more vulnerable school district’s computers and use them to launch attacks against a military network. In this project, we propose to enhance stepping-stone detection (SSD) systems that focus on finding and stopping this kind of attack.

Basic SSD methods can be broken by sophisticated hackers. To avoid prior detection methods, these hackers carefully shape their traffic to look like streaming audio, such as Internet phone traffic. We propose two main directions for this work:

Classroom modules will include ROC curves in medicine and finding hackers. This may be incorporated into mathematics curricula.