GoSecure Blog

Masarah Paquet-Clouston


Recent Posts

Summary of Statistics Canada's Survey on Cyber Security and Cybercrime

If there is one thing that all cyber security professionals agree on is how data and statistics on cybersecurity and cybercrime are misleading and unreliable. This is unsurprising considering that most statistics created, until now, came from the cybersecurity industry itself. By being economically motivated at selling security products, this industry has an unequivocal bias. Fortunately, today, we enter a new era:  Statistics Canada has just released the results of the first Canadian Survey of Cyber security and Cybercrime (CSoCC).

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Topics: cybersecurity statistics, statistics canada

The Supply Chain behind the Market for Fake "Likes"

In the past years, there has been increasing awareness by the public and policy makers on the potential harm that social network manipulation can produce. Yet, most researchers have looked at the front end of the problem: developing algorithms to flag fake accounts on social networks and suspend them. No studies have investigated  the problem from an industry perspective, with questions such as:

  • How political campaigns or hate groups manage to share 100,000 times their posts ? 
  • Where do they buy such service? 
  • How is the service delivered? 
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Topics: botnet, social media fraud, fake likes, Linux/Moose

Upcoming WEIS presentation: Ransomware Payment in the Bitcoin Ecosystem

In the past year, we developed a data-driven method for identifying, quantifying, and comparing ransom payments in the Bitcoin ecosystem from 35 ransomware families. The study was conducted in partnership with Bernhard Haslhofer from the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Benoît Dupont from the Université de Montréal (UdeM). It resulted in a paper that will be presented at the 17th Annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS2018) in Innsbruck, Austria, besides renowned academic researchers. 

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Topics: Ransomware, bitcoin, cybercrime

Our Experience around Fake Follower Factories

Last Saturday, January 27th, the New York Times published a detailed article on the sales of automated likes and follows by an American company called Demuvi. The same day, a New York attorney general announced that he opened an investigation on the company, which sold millions of fake followers on social networks. Some of these fake followers stole real users' data such as pictures and profile descriptions. The news article relates to the research we’ve conducted on the botnet Linux/Moose and the ego market it is thriving in. This blog post contextualizes the New York Times' article with our own experience.

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Topics: botnet, moose, opinion

Can We Trust Social Media Data? Social Network Manipulation by an IoT Botnet

New results related to our research about Linux/Moose, an IoT botnet that conducts social media fraud (SMF), were published in the scientific journal, Social Media & Society, last week. The article is open-source and available at: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3097301. However, if you don’t want to bother reading it, we have provided below a quick summary of the main findings. In general, the study assesses the market for social media fraud.

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Exposing the EGO MARKET: the cybercrime performed by the Linux/Moose botnet

Cybercrime is an evolving phenomenon and offenders are continuously adapting to find new techniques to monetize their illicit activities. Our research paper and upcoming BlackHat Europe presentation - EGO MARKET: When People’s Greed for Fame Benefits Large-Scale Botnets - is about Linux/Moose, a botnet that conducts social media fraud. This blog post is a summary of our paper.

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Topics: malware, Research, botnet, criminal market, paper, Featured