Hackers Trapped In VR

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Hackers Trapped In VR

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 18:17
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Hackers are getting smarter every day and traditionally the only solution against their attacks has been firewalls and more firewalls. Companies used to think that firewalls added a serious blocker, that popular myth no longer exists.

Hackers can easily outsmart firewalls, as we’ve seen in multiple cyber-attacks of 2018. AI was the next phase, where companies thought that if only machines would learn the environment, they would respond to threats tremendously better than humans ever could.

While several startups are developing better AI technologies, there is one outsider company that is putting firewalls down and is coming out in the open to fight hackers. 

Illusive Networks

A new Israeli startup is using VR (virtual reality) to protect against cyber threats.

The company is going about this in a very unique way, let’s call it a hacker ‘honey trap’. One would think that maybe VR could help by creating simulations for students, but in reality, no pun intended, this new startup seeks to create a virtual world where a hacker will simply get lost.

They want to trap the hacker in a virtual reality, a re-creation of their real networks, and confuse the attacker to the point of quitting. 

Before the company gets into virtual reality it performs some preventative work:

  • It scans the entire environment and patches vulnerabilities. 
  • It goes through and thinks of the vulnerable places of the system where the hacker would be able to penetrate.

That’s just the beginning, the real innovation comes in what the company calls distributed deception technology. 

The system literally created hundreds of imaginary pathways for the hacker to take, in order to penetrate the system. This way, the hacker has hundreds of choices instead of a few, and they all deceptively juicy. 

Then as the hacker makes his move, he trips the virtual wire and the system learns of his presence. At this point the system can trap him in this virtual reality or kick him out forever. 

Similarly let’s say the hacker needs credentials to access the system. Well, this VR technology would offer the hacker hundreds of different credentials to choose from, and the wrong choice would trip the wire, raise the alarm, and the hacker would be trapped. 

Sounds like technological purgatory to me, at least they might make some virtual crypto so the hacker would be able to buy some clothes for his trapped avatar. This is a brilliant innovation because instead of shutting out the hackers like traditional cyber security methods seek to do, deception technology uses VR to attract and trap the hacker. 

What’s really cool about Illusive Networks is that they employ several people on their team that have been on the other side.  Experts are predicting that this super creative company might be making firewalls into an artifact of the past but more cautious skeptics think it will only be a matter of time before hackers learn how to use VR to their advantage. 

Only time will tell if deception technology is really the wave of the future.