/ Modified nov 29, 2016 3:50 p.m.

ASU Lab Tracking Cyber Threats On Deep Web, Dark Web

Machine learning and data mining aim to identify patterns to stop attacks before they occur.


By Nicholas Gerbis, Arizona Science Desk

Rising cyberattacks threaten everything from medical records to critical infrastructure. Now a lab at Arizona State University is spotting hacker activity before cyberattacks occur.

The time to fix a security flaw is before it’s exploited — just ask the Clinton campaign or the World Anti-Doping Agency. So ASU’s Paulo Shakarian traces cyber threats to where they live: In the hard-to-access deep web and the secretive dark web.

The deep web are websites that "have special access restrictions that disallow Google and other search engines to index them," said Shakarian. “Likewise, there’s other sites that you need a special layer of secure software to anonymize your presence — one most common one is known as Tor — and these sites are collectively referred to as the dark web or dark net.”

The lab’s system, which uses machine learning and data mining to learn threat patterns, averages 305 cyber threat warnings each week.

“By understanding what the attackers are currently working on, we can better focus our resources to defend against what’s coming in the future," said Shakarian.

Arizona Science Desk
This story is from the Arizona Science Desk, a collaborative of the state's public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Arizona Science Desk.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona