Title: CANARY FILES: GENERATING FAKE FILES TO DETECT CRITICAL DATA LOSS FROM COMPLEX COMPUTER NETWORKS

Year of Publication: 2013
Page Numbers: 170-179
Authors: Ben Whitham
Conference Name: The Second International Conference on Cyber Security, Cyber Peacefare and Digital Forensic (CyberSec2013)
- Malaysia

Abstract:


This paper introduces two concepts: Canary Files and a Canary File management system. A Canary File is a fake computer document that is placed amongst real documents in order to aid in the early detection of unauthorised data access, copying or modification. The name originates from canaries, which were used within coalmines as an early warning to miners. This paper also introduces the Serinus System, a Canary File management system designed to address some of the key challenges associated with operating a cyber deception capability. The Serinus System automates Canary Files generation using content and file statistics drawn from three sources: (1) Internet harvested documents, (2) documents collected from across the entire enterprise environment, and (3) documents within the specific target directory. Each data source is allocated a weighting based on the strength of their relationship to the target directory. The weighting is seeded with a random value to avoid discovery by simple statistical based fake file detection systems. Research is continuing to assess the performance of both Canary Files and the Serinus System.