A New Project

This fall, I started working toward an MS in Information Security and Assurance at George Mason University. My career goal with this degree is to become a researcher in the information security field. In particular, I am very interested in applying data science and machine learning to information security, and I plan to complete a thesis in this rather broad area. Unfortunately, I don’t currently know very much about either field.1

To get started, I’m jumping into the deep end with a project I’m calling “Wildstar.” The basic idea is to feed data about some Windows malware into a structured learning algorithm, then expose the algorithm to some software it hasn’t seen before, and see if it tell the malicious from the benign. I feel confident that this has been done before, but that’s beside the point. I think it will be a great learning opportunity for me and help me to become conversant in both fields.

I already have a reading list that’s a mile long. My first stop is Windows Malware Analysis Essentials by Victor Marak.

  1. I think that machine learning is a subset of data science (although I could be wrong about this), so “data science and machine learning” is one field, in my current naive understanding. [return]