WORK by a Scottish university team will help prevent cyber attacks.
Cyber security experts at Edinburgh Napier University created a new data set which will support cutting-edge research into ransomware detection.
The newly created NapierOne data set is available to help test and evaluate new detection methods, amid concerns that previous data sets have become outdated.
Ransomware, a malware that encrypts files, is becoming an increasingly popular method of attack for cyber criminals.
In a new paper published in Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, Edinburgh Napier PhD research student Simon Davies and senior computing academics Professor Bill Buchanan and Associate Professor Rich Macfarlane detail the creation of NapierOne.
The authors see NapierOne as a starting point for an ongoing project which will grow and develop as other researchers provide additional data sets that can be incorporated into it.
Simon Davies said: “It is hoped that the adoption of the NapierOne data set into the implementation, development and testing lifecycles of new ransomware detection techniques will streamline and accelerate the development of more robust and effective detection techniques, allowing independent researchers to reproduce and validate proposed detection methods quickly.”
NapierOne’s creators also believe that the data set is generic enough to support other fields of research that require a varied mix of common files.
Professor Bill Buchanan said: “There are few areas of cyber security that need more of a scientific base than in digital investigations, and thus there exists a need to make sure investigators have appropriate tools that have been verified and properly evaluated.
“This data set provides a foundation for researchers to prove their new methods, and thus further support innovation in the area.
“The UK is becoming an international leader in the field of safe technology – which involves the development of tools to support digital investigations and threat detection – and this research showcases the development of a strong scientific base.”