Raspberry Pi can now help detect malware using electromagnetic waves, researchers found


Raspberry Pi – the single-board computer popular for DIY projects – can now help detect malware using electromagnetic waves, a group of researchers found. The newly developed system should enable malware detection without additional software. The researchers found that the Raspberry Pi-equipped hardware was able to detect malware with an accuracy of almost 100 percent in the early experiments. If it becomes commercially available, small and medium-sized businesses could use the development to protect their systems from cyberattacks at low cost.

The research team at the Research Institute of Computer Science and Random Systems (IRISA) in France, consisting of Annelie Heuser, Matthieu Mastio, Duy-Phuc Pham and Damien Marion, developed the malware detection system with Raspberry Pi.

As originally reported by Tom’s Hardware, the group used an oscilloscope (Picoscope 6407) and an H-Field probe along with a Raspberry Pi 2B to scan devices for specific electromagnetic waves that help indicate if a potential malware is on the hardware is available.

In a research paper published last month, the researchers found that the team used convolution neural networks (CNN) to evaluate the data for malware threats.

“Our method does not require any modification on the target device. This means that it can be provided without overhead regardless of the available resources. In addition, our approach has the advantage that it can hardly be recognized and circumvented by the malware authors, ”the researchers write in the paper.

With their reference design, the researchers claimed that they were able to record 100,000 traces of measurement from an Internet of Things (IoT) device infected with various wild malware samples and realistic harmless activity. The team also said it could predict three generic malware types and one harmless class with an accuracy of 99.82 percent.

Hackers often use obfuscation techniques to bypass malware detection at the software level. However, because the new model doesn’t use software to detect threats and instead relies entirely on hardware and electromagnetic waves, it could analyze and detect malware that certain software might not have noticed.

It is important to note that the system developed by the researchers was specifically designed for research purposes and is not intended for commercial use. However, this can provide guidance to manufacturers to develop a stand-alone solution that could use electromagnetic waves to detect malware and similar threats in the future.

Cyber ​​attacks have increased quite quickly over the past year as people started using more internet due to COVID-19 restrictions. According to a recent report from Check Point, cyberattacks rose 50 percent weekly compared to 2020. Cyber ​​attacks in India alone rose 24 percent from last year to 1,830 weekly attacks per organization in 2021, the cybersecurity company said.

In such a scenario, more malware detection solutions are the order of the day.

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