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Fingerprinting at the Frontier: How Edge Cases and Ambiguities can help Attribute Digital Attacks 🇬🇧

Time: 13:30 > 14:30
Location: Zone 3 - OSINT Village - Louis Armand conference stage

Can an ambiguity in a popular file format be used to geolocate customers of a spyware platform? Can an improperly handled edge case in the IP protocol illuminate exports of network attack tools? Yes, and yes! In this talk, we will present several concrete examples of what we call “fingerprinting at the frontier”: building fingerprints to track digital attacks based on the unique ways in which ambiguities and edge cases in specifications and standards may affect attackers. We will show how this technique can sometimes provide valuable context that can even indicate those who may be responsible for attacks. The goal of this talk is to inspire OSINT and threat intelligence practitioners to consider a method that they may not have previously thought of.

Bill Marczak

Bill Marczak is a Senior Researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab where he investigates novel surveillance and censorship tools that threaten Internet freedom. Bill received his PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Some of Bill’s greatest hits include leading the first public report about NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, and the capture of the ForcedEntry and BlastPass iOS zero-click exploits. Coverage of Bill’s work has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and on CNN and 60 Minutes.


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