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R-Locker: thwarting ransomware action through a honeyfile-based approach

José Antonio Goméz Hernández; L. Álvarez-González; Pedro García-Teodoro
Abstract:
Ransomware has become a pandemic nowadays. Although some proposals exist to fight against this increasing type of extorsion, most of them are prevention like and rely on the assumption that early detection is not so effective once the victim is infected. This paper presents a novel approach intended not just to early detect ransomware but to completly thwart its action. For that, a set of honeyfiles are deployed around the target environment in order to catch the ransomware. Instead of being normal archives, honeyfiles are FIFO like, so that the ransomware is blocked once it starts reading the file. In addition to frustrate its action, our honeyfile solution is able to automatically launch countermeasures to solve the infection. Moreover, as it does not require previous training or knowledge, the approach allows fighting against unknown, zero-day ransomware related attacks. As a proof of concept, we have developed the approach for Linux platforms. The tool, named R-Locker, shows excellent performance both from the perspective of its accuracy as well as in terms of complexity and resource consumption. In addition, it has no special needs or privileges and does not affect the normal operation of the overall environment.
Research areas:
Year:
2017
Type of Publication:
Article
Journal:
Computer & Security
Volume:
73
Pages:
389-398
Month:
March
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cose.2017.11.019
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