CIS 4385
Syllabus, lectures, and other materials — Spring 2019

Update: My office hours will be held in 160 Love for the rest of the semester.

Syllabus for CIS-4385

Reading Schedule


Steganography assignment

Steganography assignment 2

Steganography assignment 3

Filesystem exercise

Class Notes


Introduction to state in Linux

Understanding files in Linux

File analysis

Introduction to Windows state

Memory analysis

Memory analysis, part 2


The FAT Filesystems

The NTFS Filesystems

The EXT2/3/4 Linux Filesystems

Other Material

Understanding Linux binary structure and system calls

2008-08-22: An Email about an intrusion at Redhat's Fedora: Infrastructure report, 2008-08-22 UTC 1200

2009-02-10: Data breach at FAA: FAA reports 45,000 data records pilfered from server

2009-04-01: Spam Back to 94% of All E-Mail

2009-05-15: Backup woes at Avsim: Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

2009-07-23: Adobe Flash woes: New attacks exploit vuln in (fully-patched) Adobe Flash

2009-10-16: Big-Box Breach: The Inside Story of Wal-Mart's Hacker Attack

2009-10-22: FBI and SOCA plot cybercrime smackdown: White hats get proactive on e-crime

2010-01-20: Fearing Hackers Who Leave No Trace

2010-01-20: More Researchers Going On The Offensive To Kill Botnets

2010-02-04: Identifying almost identical files using context triggered piecewise hashing

2010-02-04: Using Every Part of the Buffalo in Windows Memory Analysis

2010-02-04: Using Hashing to Improve Volatile Memory Forensic Analysis

2010-02-05: Hacking for Fun and Profit in China's Underworld

2010-02-05: US oil industry hit by cyberattacks: Was China involved?

2010-02-06: FATKit: A Framework for the Extraction and Analysis of Digital Forensic Data from Volatile System Memory.

2010-02-19: Modern banker malware undermines two-factor authentication

2010-02-19: Broad New Hacking Attack Detected.

2010-02-19: The Kneber botnet - FAQ.

2010-02-19: The creation of a rogue CA certificate via an MD5 collision story: MD5 considered harmful today: Creating a rogue CA certificate.

2010-02-19: Why the Windows Registry sucks... technically

2010-02-23: Keyloggers: Churchill High grade scheme may involve half-dozen students; apparently, from other stories on this incident, the students may have picked this up from Youtube, which hosted videos on install keyloggers, including ones showing how to create trojans to install keyloggers (search Youtube for "Ardamax", for instance.)

2010-03-08: A classic: No Stone Unturned

2010-03-16: What we know (and learned) from the Waledac takedown

2010-04-01: Another classic on the Linux ELF format: A Whirlwind Tutorial on Creating Really Teensy ELF Executables for Linux.

2010-04-08: Older work on analyzing a binary

2011-01-04: Original Supreme Court materials on the Frye and Daubert standards.

2011-01-11: Security status of various hashes

2011-01-18: More odd stuff in the Windows registry: Stay Classy, Microsoft

2011-01-18: Electronic warfare: targeted malware: Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay

2011-01-25: More printer vulnerabilities: Giving Hackers a Printed Invitation

2011-01-25: Improvements in Windows logging in 2008R2 and some versions of Windows 7:

2011-01-25: USB device claims that it is a keyboard, issues commands: Researchers turn USB cable into attack tool

2011-02-01: DDos arrests: Police arrest five men over Wikileaks-related 'Anonymous' denial of service attacks

2011-02-01: Infected PC Compromises Pentagon Credit Union

2011-02-01: Thumb Drive Attack in 2008 Compromised Classified U.S. Networks

2011-02-16: Foreign hackers attack Canadian government

2011-02-22: Man pockets $8m running computer fraud ring: Zombies dialed premium phone numbers

2011-02-24: New Financial Trojan Keeps Online Banking Sessions Open after Users 'Logout'

2011-02-24: A Good Decade for Cybercrime

2011-03-03: A Look Inside the Bustling Cybercrime Marketplace

2011-03-03: Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack

2011-03-03: Black ops: how HBGary wrote backdoors for the government

2011-03-29: New cybervirus found in Japan / Stuxnet designed to attack off-line servers via USB memory sticks

2011-04-08: Data Recovery in Linux (with TestDisk)

2011-06-06: How a cheap graphics card could crack your password in under a second

2011-08-02: Anatomy of a Unix breach

2011-09-12: Rent-a-Bot Networks Tied to TDSS Botnet

2011-11-04: Chaos Computer Club analyzes government malware

2011-11-14: Et tu, Boeing? FACT CHECK: SCADA Systems Are Online Now

2011-11-14: Underground call-centre for identity theft uncovered by security researchers

2011-11-14: The Dark Side Of Biometrics: 9 Million Israelis' Hacked Info Hits The Web

2011-11-14: The Underground Economy of Fake Antivirus Software (PDF)

2011-11-14: The Perfect Scam

2011-11-14: Who killed the fake-antivirus business?

2011-11-14: Russian police take a bite out of online crime

2011-11-28: Japan's continuing cybersecurity problems: Upper House confirms falling victim to cyber-attacks

2011-11-28: Japan's continuing cybersecurity problems: Only 45% of lawmakers changed passwords after cyber-attack

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Carrier IQ Tries to Silence Security Research Exposing Its Rootkit, gets Pinned Down by the EFF

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: The Rootkit Of All Evil — CIQ

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Carrier IQ Tries to Censor Research With Baseless Legal Threat

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Smartphone Invader Tracks Your Every Move

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: CarrierIQ

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: Proof Published that Carrier IQ is Recording Key Presses and Location Data

2011-11-30: Carrier IQ saga: The Storm Is Not Over Yet — Lets Talk About #CIQ

2012-01-03: Carrier IP saga: Some Facts about Carrier IQ

2012-01-05: Govt working on defensive cyberweapon / Virus can trace, disable sources of cyber-attacks

2012-02-15: Ron is Wrong, Whit is Right

2012-03-15: Researchers Seek Help in Solving DuQu Mystery Language

2012-03-29: Organised Crime in the Digital Age Executive Summary

2012-03-29: NSA Chief: China Behind RSA Attacks

2012-04-02: Hunting Malware with Volatility

2012-04-02: CSI: Internet HQ — Series 1

2012-04-02: CSI: Internet HQ — Series 2

2012-04-02: W32.Duqu The precursor to the next Stuxnet

2012-04-19: OpenSSL flaw

2013-01-16: "Red October" Diplomatic Cyber Attacks Investigation

2013-02-18: FROST: Forensic Recovery Of Scrambled Telephones

2013-02-18: U.S. said to be target of massive cyber-espionage campaign

2013-02-20: APT1: Exposing One of China's Cyber Espionage Units

2013-02-25: Code certificate laissez-faire leads to banking Trojans

2013-02-25: Digging Into the Sandbox-Escape Technique of the Recent PDF Exploit

2013-02-27: Bizarre old-school spyware attacks governments, sports Mark of the Beast

2013-02-27: The MiniDuke Mystery: PDF 0-day Government Spy Assembler 0x29A Micro Backdoor

2013-02-27: Miniduke

2013-03-04: As Hacking Against U.S. Rises, Experts Try to Pin Down Motive

2013-03-04: Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is at Risk

2013-03-06: Malware linked to Chinese hackers aims at Japanese government

2013-03-22: How whitehats stopped the DDoS attack that knocked Spamhaus offline

2013-04-08: How a banner ad for H&R Block appeared on - without Apple's OK

2013-04-22: Japanese Police Ask ISPS to Start Blocking TOR

2013-05-14: The Case of the 500 Mile Email

2013-07-11: US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

2013-07-11: Netragard's Hacker Interface Device (HID).

2013-07-16: Fraudsters trick people into handing over cards on doorstep

2013-08-01: Trusting iPhones plugged into bogus chargers get a dose of malware

2013-08-26: They Know Much More Than You Think

2013-09-10: The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet

2013-09-10: NSA Foils Much Internet Encryption

2013-09-10: The NSA's Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security

2013-09-10: Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security

2013-09-10: The Factoring Dead: Preparing for the Cryptopocalypse

2013-09-10: How Advanced Is the NSA's Cryptanalysis—And Can We Resist It?

2013-09-10: A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering

2013-09-10: New Snowden Documents Show NSA Deemed Google Networks a "Target"

2013-09-24: The iPhone 5s Touch ID hack in detail

2013-09-30: Meet the Machines that Steal Your Phone's Data

2013-10-10: A Computer Infection That Can Never Be Cured

2013-10-10: The Next Frontier of Password Cracking

2013-10-17: Analysis of the HTTPS Certificate Ecosystem

2013-10-22: The Privacy Challenges of Big Data: A View from the Lifeguard's Chair

2013-10-22: Experian Sold Consumer Data to ID Theft Service

2013-11-05: Top 100 Adobe passwords

2014-01-09: NSA ANT document in PDF format (rough OCR has been applied)

2014-01-09: The Danger of Rogue System Administrators

2014-01-09: NSA Codenames

2014-01-09: A new Dual EC DRBG flaw

2014-01-23: A First Look at the Target Intrusion, Malware

2014-01-23: Bluetooth Hackers Allegedly Skimmed Millions Via Gas Stations

2014-01-28: Spy Agencies Probe Angry Birds and Other Apps for Personal Data

2014-02-05: 7 Die in Fire Destroying Argentine Bank Archives

2014-05-13: Analyzing Forged SSL Certificates in the Wild

2014-05-15: No Place To Hide Documents

2014-06-09: Bot traffic is up to 61.5% of all website traffic

2014-06-10: Learning from the Enemy: The GUNMAN Project

2014-06-25: Mathematicians Discuss the Snowden Revelations

2014-07-16: GCHQ Catalog of Exploit Tools

2014-07-22: Mayhem

2015-01-27: Spreading the Disease and Selling the Cure

2015-01-29: Capital One Fraud Researchers May Have Also Done Some Fraud

2015-02-05: Health Data Breach at Anthem is a Blockbuster

2015-02-12: Pwned in 7 Seconds: Hackers Use Flash and IE to Target Forbes Visitors

2015-02-12: Bank Robbers Use KVM Switch and 3g Router to Steal Money

2015-02-19: Hard disk firmware hacking

2015-04-16: POS Providers Feel Brunt of PoSeidon Malware

2015-04-16: The Crazy-Tiny Generation of Computers

2015-04-16: Meet the Voting Machine So Easy To Hack It Will Take Your Break Away

2016-01-07: Let's Encrypt Now Being Abused by Malvertisers

2016-01-12: Five Big Data Breaches from 2015

2016-01-12: Confirmation of a Coordinated Attack on the Ukrainian Power Grid

2016-01-12: More on Black Energy

2016-01-13: Verizon Routing Millions of IP Addresses for Cybercrime Gangs

2016-01-13: Your smartwatch may be revealing your card's PIN

2016-01-14: Beware of Ads that use Inaudible Sound to Link Your Devices

2016-01-14: Fallout from the Hacking Team breach: The Mysterious Case of CVE-2016-0034

2016-01-14: Trend Micro HTTP server listening for any command

2016-01-14: DDOS and extortion

2016-01-14: Ransomware in the Cloud

2016-01-14: US Intelligence Director's Personal E-mail and Phone hacked

2016-01-26: Feds must say if they used backdoored Juniper firewalls

2016-01-26: Internet of (Insecure) Things: Internet of Things Security is Seriously Broken

2016-01-26: The human element: Firm sues Cyber Insurer

2016-01-26: The human element: How Amazon Customer Service Was the Weak Link

2016-01-26: Infrastructure under attack: Israel's Electric Grid Hit by Severe Hack Attack

2016-01-28: NSA TAO speaks out: NSA's Top Hacking Boss Explains How to Protect Your Network from his Minions

2016-01-28: Angler Exploit Kit Now Hooking Execs with XMAS Flash Hole

2016-01-28: Windows Exploitation in 2015

2016-01-28: Bayrob

2016-01-28: Ransomware

2016-02-01: The Value of a Hacked Email Account

2016-02-02: NSA Plans Major Reorganization

2016-02-01: USENIX Enigma presentation (Youtube)

2016-02-02: Fake Online Locksmiths May Be Out to Pick Your Pocket, Too

2016-02-02: Don't Panic: Making Progress on Going Dark Debate

2016-02-02: Lincolnshire County Council Thwarts Ransomware Attack

2016-02-09: How three criminal groups — Metel, GCMAN, and Carbanak 2.0 — stole millions of dollars from dozens of banks

2016-02-09: APT-style bank robberies increase with Metel, GCMAN, and Carbanak 2.0 attacks

2016-02-09: Carbanak operation in detail

2016-02-09: Meterpreter

2016-02-09: Hackers access employee records at Justice and Homeland Security Departments

2016-02-11: IRS confirms hackers cracked its e-filing system

2016-02-15: Metel malware pops bank, triggers 15 percent swing in Russian Ruble

2016-02-16: Data breach at UCF

2016-02-18: Hospital surrenders to ransomware demands; pays in Bitcoin

2016-02-23: This is why people fear IOT

2016-02-23: Trends in data breaches

2016-02-23: DNSSec woes

2016-02-23: German government to use trojan spyware to monitor citizens

2016-02-23: The lowdown on the Apple FBI showdown

2016-02-23: Can a 1789 law apply to an iphone?

2016-02-23: Original text of the 1789 Judiciary Act as enacted

2016-02-25: Hospital Insecurity

2016-02-25: APT writ large: Hacking group presents long standing thread to Japanese critical infrastructure

2016-02-25: Mousejacking

2016-03-01: Thieves Nab IRS PINs to Hijack Tax Refunds

2016-03-01: DROWN attack

2016-03-01: DROWN attack website

2016-03-01: New court decision in Feng Apple IPhone case

2016-03-03: Snapchat payroll data spear-phished

2016-03-17: Malvertising

2016-03-17: How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make 'Get WIndow 10' the world's PC pest

2016-03-17: IBM wants to protect your car

2016-03-17: Bangladesh central bank boss quits over $100 million cyberheist

2016-03-17: Cybercrime surges but businesses unprepared

2016-03-17: Spear phishing for credentials

2016-03-29: U.S. Says It Has Unlocked iPhone Without Apple

2016-03-29: MedStar Health turns away patients one day after cyberattack on its computers

2016-03-29: GAO: IRS Information Security 2016 Report

2016-03-29: Ransomware that does whole disk encryption

2016-04-04: USB Thief

2016-04-04: Ransomware Manual

2016-04-05: Self Driving Cars

2016-04-05: Meet Remaiten

2016-04-05: Remote Root Vulnerability in HID Door Controllers

2016-04-07: Fixing a lottery

2016-04-12: Surveillance camera from Amazon

2016-04-12: Bricks from Apples

2016-04-14: Ransomware, in the large

2016-04-19: Keitai eavesdropping

2016-04-19: Juniper's Curious Woes

2016-04-19: Shortening Considered Dangerous

2016-04-19: How Hacking Team Got Hacked

2017-01-10: Linux/Rakos

2017-01-10: Windows Exploitation 2016

2017-01-10: Kreb's Immutable Truths about Data Breaches

2017-01-24: Rentless growth of cybercrimes

2017-01-31: Hotel held up

2017-01-31: Hotel held up

2017-02-02: Dutch will count votes by hand

2017-02-02: Solving the IOT mess

2017-02-08: A Russian Slot Machine Hack is Costing Casions Big Time

2017-02-09: Mac malware is still crude, but it is slowly catching up to its Windows rivals

2017-02-09: New charages for ex-NSA contractor for allegedly taking elite hacking tools

2017-02-16: A rash of invisible, fileless malware is infecting banks around the world (See also about mimikatz, mimikatz)

2017-02-16: AnC: ASLR vulnerable to side-channel attacks via javascript

2017-02-21: It is too easy to steal a second-hand connected car

2017-02-22: Fingerprinting Firefox users with cached intermediate CA certificates

2017-02-28: Beware of Insiders Bearing APTs

2017-02-28: IPhone Robbers Try to IPhish Victims

2017-02-28: More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

2017-02-28: Creepy IOT Teddy Bear Leaks 2 Million Parents and Kids Voice Messages

2017-02-28: 10 Reasons Cybercriminals Target Smartphones

2017-02-28: Admiral Rogers Talks Cyberweapons

2017-03-02: Research Uncover Powershell Trojan That Uses DNS Queries To Get Its Orders

2017-03-02: Undocumented Backdoor Acount in DBLTek GoIP

2017-03-02: Ransomware for Dummies

2017-03-07: Spammers Expose Their Entire Operations Through Bad Backups

2017-03-07: Vault7

2017-03-07: New York Times on Vault7

2017-03-07: The Guardian on Vault7

2017-03-07: Verifone

2017-03-08: Antiforensics in Vault 7

2017-03-23: Hackers Threaten to Wipe Millions of Apple Devices

2017-03-23: Extortion attempt aimed at Apple

2017-03-23: Lithuanian Man Arrested in Theft of over $100 Million in fraudulent email

2017-03-23: Vault7 Darkmatter

2017-03-28: Close to 1.4 Billions Data Records Compromised in 2016

2017-04-04: Malware campaign targets open source developers

2017-04-04: Quite Possibly the Most Sophisticated Android Espionage App Ever

2017-04-13: Inmates built computers hidden in ceiling

2017-04-20: Smart TV Hack Embeds Attack in Broadcast Signal

2017-04-20: SSH over Robust Cache Covert Channels in the Cloud

2017-04-27: Who is publishing NSA and CIA secrets and why?

2018-01-08: Western Digital Hard Codes Backdoor in NAS

2018-01-09: FBI Director Calls Unbreakable Encryption 'Urgent Public Safety Issue'

2018-01-10: Apple: Chinese firm to operate China iCloud Accounts

2018-01-10: Virtual currencies had a bumper 2017 but what does it mean for cybersecurity?

2018-01-10: Internet Organized Crime Thread Assessement (IOCTA) 2017

2018-01-10: Website Glitch Let Me Overstock My Coinbase

2018-01-17: No more ransom

2018-01-17: Turla's ability to target embassies and consulates has a new weapon: Flash installer malware.

Mt Gox Blockchain Analysis

Confusable Unicode

(Hawaii Emergency Management Agency via Washington Post)

MADIoT - The nightmare after XMAS (and Meltdown, and Spectre)

New Espionage via Malware Campaign

World Economic Forum More Cognizant of Cyberthreats

FinFisher exposed?

"Attempted" Robbery?

Malvertising delivers cryptocurrency miners

Dridex and FriedEx

Jackpotting Hits the U.S.

Thieves meet thievery

Secure 5G — Flipping the Script

Babies' personal data sold on the Dark Web/

Cybercrime around the globe

Feds Shutdown Cryptocurrency Scam

Adobe, again

The rise of nation-state attacks, with intelligence gathering the aim

Currency Mining Botnet Infects 5000 Android Devices

Government Websites and Cryptocurrency Mining

An economic incentive for author impersonation on Amazon

Cellebrite successes with Apple IPhones?

Recap of Oral Arguments in Microsoft-Ireland case

IOT: How to attack a smart home

2017 Android malware with threats and extortion

Cybercrimes in the age of cryptocurrencies

Over 40% of global online attempts are malicious

AI learning to cheat

2018-03-07: International Law and Cyberspace

Exposing Congestion Attack on Emerging Connected Vehicle based Traffic Signal Control

2018-03-07: FBI Paid Geek Squad Repair Staff as Informants

Geek Squad's relationship with FBI is cozier than we thought

The Ransomware Revolution of 2018


AI needs to be controlled

Police ask Google to provide user data for all people near crime scene

The Encryption Debate Continues

How cybercriminals hide in phones

Dangerous malware stealing Bitcoin hosted on

Bounty on hackers

OceanLotus sets sights on high-profile targets

Healthcare Employees willing to steal?

Cryptocurrency fraud, or not?

The Cloud Act in Action

Encryption debate is not about stopping terrorists, it's about solving crime

Lethal autonomous weapon systems at the first and second U.N. GGE meetings

The dots do matter

Secret Service warns of chip card scheme

Florida man's fingerprints after death raise ethical questions

CERT Today

Junk Forensics

Extradition and cybercrime

Nation-state DNS hijacking

2019-01-15: What makes a cybercriminal

2019-01-16: The Raspberry Pi in the closet

2019-01-28: Details of the theft

2019-01-31: APT39: Focused on personal information

2019-01-31: RAID tale of woe

2019-01-31: FBI and Air Force team up to shutdown North Korean botnet

2019-02-06: Security Researcher Assaulted Following Vulnerability Disclosure

2019-02-20: Siegeware

2019-02-22: Race to Pwn

2019-03-25: Ocean Lotus

2019-04-01: Insiders steal from Bithumb

2019-04-01: Police: big success in dark markets

2019-04-12: Tajmahal: a swiss army knife of spyware

2019-04-12: More on Tajmahal

2019-04-12: More on Tajmahal

2019-04-17: Dark web no refuge

Suggested Mailing Lists

I also highly recommend reading comp.risks (you can read it in rdf format at, or via email — instructions are at or adding its RSS feed at to your feed browser.