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Measuring and Disrupting Malware Distribution Networks: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Ife, Colin C.; (2021) Measuring and Disrupting Malware Distribution Networks: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Malware Delivery Networks (MDNs) are networks of webpages, servers, computers, and computer files that are used by cybercriminals to proliferate malicious software (or malware) onto victim machines. The business of malware delivery is a complex and multifaceted one that has become increasingly profitable over the last few years. Due to the ongoing arms race between cybercriminals and the security community, cybercriminals are constantly evolving and streamlining their techniques to beat security countermeasures and avoid disruption to their operations, such as by security researchers infiltrating their botnet operations, or law enforcement taking down their infrastructures and arresting those involved. So far, the research community has conducted insightful but isolated studies into the different facets of malicious file distribution. Hence, only a limited picture of the malicious file delivery ecosystem has been provided thus far, leaving many questions unanswered. Using a data-driven and interdisciplinary approach, the purpose of this research is twofold. One, to study and measure the malicious file delivery ecosystem, bringing prior research into context, and to understand precisely how these malware operations respond to security and law enforcement intervention. And two, taking into account the overlapping research efforts of the information security and crime science communities towards preventing cybercrime, this research aims to identify mitigation strategies and intervention points to disrupt this criminal economy more effectively.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Measuring and Disrupting Malware Distribution Networks: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130783
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