Research Centre

An Attacker's Day into Human Virology

Computer virology bares such a strong resemblance with Human virology that both worlds have often been compared humorously. In this presentation, we wish to push the comparison further down into the details of implementation and attack strategies. Have you ever wondered how much those nasty biological viruses actually invented before Black Hats did? They surely invented brute-force attacks, polymorphism and time bombs, and yet, they never presented at BlackHat for this! We intend to give them credit for some of their best attack scenarios. For instance, Influenza, who intentionally omits a replication error checking protein to have copies randomly mutate, is a potential nominee. On the other hand, there are few techniques we can only be grateful biology has not picked up yet, and dearly hope viruses won't ever evolve from BlackHat attendees genomes. Indeed, what would happen to us if chicken pox, measles, or rotavirus played cat and mice with medical doctors and continuously learned to detect test tubes (virtual machines) and microscopes (reverse engineering tools)? Finally, considering the advances of cybernetics, we contemplate the possibilities of actually witnessing a convergence between human and computer viruses in a more or less distant future.


Computer virology bares such a strong resemblance with Human virology that both worlds have often been compared humorously. In this presentation, we wish to push the comparison further down into the details of implementation and attack strategies. Have you ever wondered how much those nasty biological viruses actually invented before Black Hats did? They surely invented brute-force attacks, polymorphism and time bombs, and yet, they never presented at BlackHat for this! We intend to give them credit for some of their best attack scenarios. For instance, Influenza, who intentionally omits a replication error checking protein to have copies randomly mutate, is a potential nominee. On the other hand, there are few techniques we can only be grateful biology has not picked up yet, and dearly hope viruses won't ever evolve from BlackHat attendees genomes. Indeed, what would happen to us if chicken pox, measles, or rotavirus played cat and mice with medical doctors and continuously learned to detect test tubes (virtual machines) and microscopes (reverse engineering tools)? Finally, considering the advances of cybernetics, we contemplate the possibilities of actually witnessing a convergence between human and computer viruses in a more or less distant future.

References