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19 July 2022 Partner Release

Australian students, researchers and industry professionals have developed a suite of cutting-edge cyber honeypot technology. DecaaS (Deception as a Service) uses machine learning models to create highly realistic but fake versions of data and digital assets that are attractive to hackers.

"This approach of using honey pots and cyber deception is a method of finding out quickly if people have broken into our systems, and we can gain intelligence about the intent, equipment and processes our adversaries are using," said Penten's Head of Technology and Innovation in Applied AI, Dr David Liebowitz.

The project's lead researcher, Dr Kristen Moore of Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, explained, "The DecaaS project team have developed models to generate fake content and traffic, including code repositories, email servers, Wi-Fi traffic and Wiki corpuses, to create a convincing and appealing cyber honeypot.

"Adversaries are leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) and deception, and getting far with it, so we need to do the same," Dr Moore said.

A collaboration between the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, CSIRO’s Data61 and Australian-based cyber company Penten, DecaaS is in the process of commercialisation.

Those involved in the project say the big gains were made from a unique working environment where students worked hand in hand with industry, which led to a wealth of knowledge transfer between both parties.

Dr Liebowitz said it’s common for industry to leave a problem or challenge with academic partners and return to see results.

“We’ve taken a far more engaged approach with DecaaS, working directly with students and researchers. Greater engagement gave us more focused outcomes, directly applicable to Penten products and projects, as well as broader benefits in developing skills and capability in the ecosystem,” Mr Liebowitz said.

Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre CEO Rachael Falk said it’s fantastic to see the students and researchers solving hard problems.

“These are real world threats with potentially devastating consequences, the team is solving research challenges that can impact how people use the Penten product and improve overall cyber posture,” Ms Falk said.


Lead Researcher Dr Kristen Moore ©  Paul Dodd

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