Thwarting Extortion: New and Old Research Directions in Ransomware Detection and Prevention

Thursday, July 15, 2021

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

60 minutes, including Q&A

Detecting and preventing ransomware poses different intellectual and practical challenges compared to other forms of malware, but its distinctive behavioral traits also offer opportunities to develop new mitigation techniques.

Anti-ransomware methods are therefore a hot topic, with many researchers exploring different approaches.

  • But what are these methods and how do they work?
  • Are there new methods we could try?
  • Can we give the initiative back to the defender in the arms race between attack and defense?

In this webcast, I'll answer these questions and more. First, I'll present a detailed technical overview of current research across several categories, including filesystem interactions, API calls, ransom notes, and network activity, exploring their advantages and disadvantages.

I'll then show five new methods for ransomware detection and prevention - including deception, countermeasures, and statistical analyses of ransomware and attacker behaviors - and I'll conclude by outlining some possibilities for future research.

Brought to you by:


Guest Presenter:

Matt Wixey

R&D Lead, Cyber Security practice


Matt Wixey is the R&D Lead for PwC UK's Cyber Security practice and is a part-time PhD candidate at the UCL Dawes Centre for Future Crimes. He previously worked as a penetration tester, and prior to joining PwC led an R&D team in a law enforcement agency. He has spoken at Black Hat USA, DEF CON, ISF Congress, BruCon, 44Con, and various other security conferences. His research interests include RF hacking, unorthodox attack vectors, and social engineering.

Sponsor Presenter:

Dr Katie Paxton-Fear

Application Security Engineer


Dr Katie Paxton-Fear is an Application Security Engineer at Bugcrowd, a Lecturer and a Security Researcher. Her PhD was titled "Understanding Insider Threats Using Natural Language Processing" and has published her research into insider threats and particularly how to better understand insider threatsusing a holisticapproach. Passionate about education and security she creates video lectures enabling others to grow in security, with over 50 videos and 30,000 subscribers on YouTube in a little over a year. A former developer and data scientist, she finds her success is directly related to being able to understand the technical and human aspects of security.

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