Wrong doers, sophisticated intel is keeping a close eye on you
Thanks to the use of using stylistic programming traits which in turn transforms into sophisticated intel, individuals anonymous programmers, from malware writers to copyright infringers, along with those who are baiting governments with censorship-foiling software should be warned that their identities will not remain a secret for much longer.
The research that is being conducted is titled ‘De-anonymizing Programmers: Large Scale Authorship Attribution from Executable Binaries of Compiled Code and Source Code’ and in a synopsis form of an explanation, it basically explains that researchers have begun trying to identifying malicious programmers and have stated that there if the writing style of that particular writer is different, it will ultimately lead to their current whereabouts. The research was presented by Aylin Caliskan-Islam to the 32nd annual Chaos Communications Congress on Tuesday. Another publication titled When Coding Style Survives Compilation: De-anonymizing Programmers from Executable Binaries, written by researchers based at Princeton University in the US, one of whom is notably part of the Army Research Laboratory was also presented.
The researchers have stated the following concerning their findings:
“While we can de-anonymize 100 programmers from unoptimized executable binaries with 78 per cent accuracy, we can de-anonymize them from optimized executable binaries with 64 per cent accuracy. We also show that stripping and removing symbol information from the executable binaries reduces the accuracy to 66 per cent, which is a surprisingly small drop. This suggests that coding style survives complicated transformations.”
Naturally, there will be a scenario where the writing style of one malware writer is going to be similar to the writing style of another writer, and that is an element that might not get picked up by the intel, which is where the researchers are introducing several other methods that will allow them to further isolate the writing styles of such individuals in order to their capture malicious individuals much more swift, and obviously much more accurately.
This approach can also be used for a variety of different applications ranging from the preservation and strengthening of encryption methods. However, since the research is still in its nascent stage, it will obviously take a while before sophisticated intel will be able to bring down justice swiftly.