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Colloquium Series Presentation by Dr. Natalia Stakhanova:"Code attribution: where we have been and where we are going"

Friday, October 16, 2020 - 11:00 to 12:30


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

Speaker: Dr. Natalia Stakhanova, Canada Research Chair in Security and Privacy and Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan 
Image of Dr. Natalia Stakhanova, University of Saskatchewan
Date:  Friday October 16th, 2020 
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm 
Passcode: If you are interested in attending this colloquium presentation, send an email request to the Graduate Secretary at


At the dawn of computing era, when malware writers and malicious software were characterized by the lack of experience and relative simplicity, the task of uncovering the identities of virus writers was more or less straightforward. Manual analysis of source code often revealed personal, identifiable information embedded by authors themselves. But these times have long gone. Modern days’ malware writers extensively use numerous malware code generators to mass produce new malware variants and employ advanced obfuscation techniques to hide their identities. As a result the work of security experts trying to uncover the identities of malware writers became significantly more challenging and time consuming. With introduction of more and more advanced obfuscation techniques and malware writing kits, we face the natural questions: “Do malware writers win this round of the battle? Do their identities remain as anonymous as they wish to believe?” In this talk, we will explore these questions in the context of authorship attribution research. Well-established in social science, authorship attribution offers a broad spectrum of techniques that allow authors characterization based on the analysis of the textual features of documents and an author's writing style. The underlying assumption of authors’ attribution approach is that every author has a distinctively unique writing style which can be effectively used to identify the writer of a specific malware. 


Dr. Natalia Stakhanova is the Canada Research Chair in Security and Privacy, an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. She is a former NB Innovation Research Chair in Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick. Her work focuses on software security. Dr. Stakhanova has published over 50 publications in the areas of malware analysis, software protection, and code attribution. Working closely with industry on a variety of R&D projects, she developed a number of technologies that resulted in 3 patents  in the field of computer security and have been adopted by high-tech companies. Dr. Stakhanova is the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards including the top 20 Women in Cybersecurity, the CyberNB Recognition Award, the McCain Young Scholar Award and the Anita Borg Institute Faculty Award. She is a strong advocate of Women in IT and co-founder of CyberLaunch Academy, an initiative that aims to promote science and technology among children.
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