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Computer Science Colloquium Series by Masareh Paquet-Clouston: "Tracing Ransomware Payments In The Bitcoin Ecosystem "

Friday, October 11, 2019 - 11:00 to 12:00

The School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor is pleased to present…


Computer Science Colloquium Series

Date:  Friday October 11, 2019
Time: 11:00am
Location: Essex Hall 122



Ransomware can prevent a user from accessing a device and its files until a ransom is paid to the attacker, most frequently in Bitcoin. With over 500 known ransomware families, it has become an important online threat for law enforcement, security professionals and the public. We present a data-driven method for identifying and gathering information on Bitcoin transactions related to illicit activity based on footprints left on the public Bitcoin blockchain. We implement the method on-top-of the GraphSense open-source platform and apply it to empirically analyze transactions related to 35 ransomware families.  The analyses allow us to estimate the lower bound direct financial impact of each ransomware family and the minimum worth of the market for these 35 families, from 2013 to mid-2017. Security analysts, policy-makers and law enforcement agencies can replicate the method and use the statistics provided in this presentation to understand the size of the illicit market and make informed decisions on how best to address the threat.

Image speaker Marsareh Paquet-Clouston


Masarah Paquet-Clouston is a security researcher at GoSecure, a PhD student in criminology at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada. She one of Canada’s decorated 150 scientific Mitacs innovators. She is also part of the NorthSec organization. With her background in economics, criminology, and now cybersecurity, she specializes in the study of crime and technology.


For Information:
Dr. Sherif Saad Ahmed
(519)253-3000 ext. 3716
School of Computer Science
Lambton Tower
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
N9B 3P4