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Spartan Devils Chapter Status Report For 2012

05 Nov 2012 Tom Holt chapter report

Spartan Devils Chapter Status Report For 2012


Our current membership includes: Gail Joon Ahn (Arizona State University) Tom Holt, (Michigan State University) Max Kilger, and Napoleon Paxton, We are also happy to report that we added Paul Neff to our roster in the last few months.

In addition to all tools from honeynet site, we also installed Sandboxie on Vmware ESXi to automatically test malware and reset VMs.

We are currently working on a range of social and technical research projects. Gail and his students in the process of developing a tool for automated social network analyses of forum and other web-based data sources. Tom and Max are developing models to examine the predictors of willingness to engage in attacks against government resources on and off-line using behavioral and attitudinal measures related to political and social outlook, as well as perceived support for involvement in cybercrime. Finally, Tom is developing models to explore the factors affecting the price of stolen data sold in on-line forums, including the seller’s support for customer service and the country of origin for the data.

We were able to publish the first KYE paper in several years providing an updated exploration of the social dynamics of the hacker/attacker community over the summer (available at Additionally, we have begun to publish initial findings from our “cyberwarrior” project that attempts to identify attitudinal and behavioral predictors for willingness to engage in cyberattacks against government targets. The first of these publications appeared in the journal Crime and Delinquency in September. We are in the process of combining our US data with data collected in Taiwan and Southern Africa as well.


We have had some success with publications and presentations this year in both social science and computer science publications, as well as Max’s recent book through McGraw Hilll:

Bodner, S., Kilger, M., Carpenter, G. and J. Jones. 2012. Reverse Deception: Organized Cyberthreat Counterexploitation. New York: McGraw Hill

Holt, Thomas J., and Max Kilger. 2012. “Examining Willingness to Attack Critical Infrastructure On and Off-line.” Crime & Delinquency.

Holt, Thomas J., Deborah Strumsky, Olga Smirnova, and Max Kilger. 2012. “Examining the social networks of malware writers and hackers.” The
International Journal of Cyber Criminology,6: 891-903.

Holt, Thomas J., and Max Kilger. 2012. “The Social Dynamics of Hacking.”
Know Your Enemy Series, The Honeynet Project. Available online:

Holt, Thomas J., Max Kilger, Lichun Chiang, and Chu-Sing Yang. 2012. “Comparing Civilian Willingness to Attack Critical Infrastructure On and Off Line.” Proceedings of the 12th Annual European conference on e-Government, Barcelona, Spain, June 14-15, 2012.

Holt, Thomas J. 2012. “Examining Attacker Behavior On and Off-line Using Social Science Research.” Presented at the Honeynet Project Security Workshop, San Francisco, California.

Holt, Thomas J. 2012. “Exploring the Social Dynamics of Stolen Data Markets.” Presented at the Department of Defense CyberCrime Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Holt, Thomas J., and Max Kilger. 2012. “Modeling Civilian Participation in Political Conflicts On and Off-Line.” Presented at the Department of Defense CyberCrime Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

Holt, Thomas J., and Max Kilger. 2011. “Examining Civilian Involvement in Domestic and International Cyber Conflict.” Invited presentation at John Jay School of Criminal Justice, New York, October 24, 2011.

Kilger, M. forthcoming. The Emergence of the Civilian CyberWarrior. Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College.

Kilger, Max. 2011. ‘Motivations for Malicious Online Behavior and Consequent Emerging Cross-National Cyberthreats’. Invited presentation at Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, McQuarie University, Sydney, Australia, December 7, 2011.

Napoleon C. Paxton, Gail-J. Ahn and Mohamed Shehab,“MasterBlaster:
Identifying Influential Players in Botnet Transactions,” In Proceedings of 35th Annual IEEE International Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC), Munich, Germany, July 18-21, 2011.

Ziming Zhao, Gail-J. Ahn, Hongxin Hu and Deepinder Mahi, ³SocialImpact:
Systematic Analysis of Underground Social Dynamics², Proc. of 17th European Sumposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Pisa, Italy, September 10-14, 2012

Ziming Zhao, Gail-J. Ahn and Hongxin Hu, ³Examining Social Dynamics for Countering Botnet Attacks , Proc. of 54th IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), Houston, Texas, USA, December 5-9, 2011.

Ziming Zhao, Gail-J. Ahn and Hongxin Hu, ³Automatic Extraction of Secrets from Malware, Proc. of 18th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE), Limerick, Ireland, October 17- 20, 2011.


We met all of the goals we set for the previous year. Specifically, we have begun to establish infrastructure for malware analysis at ASU. We have also identified resources to expand our data collection capabilities at MSU. In addition, we identified collaborators who enabled us to collect data for the cyberwarrior project in Taiwan and Southern Africa. Finally, we have published several articles from our research.

Our goals for the upcoming year include:

  1. seeking and acquiring external funding for malware and hacking research
  2. expanding our analysis of attacker/hacker communities
  3. better integrate our social and technical research
  4. publish various articles and books from our research
  5. add several members to our chapter rolls from across the social sciences to develop a truly interdisciplinary chapter.