• A preliminary study of the effects of a novice hacker's learning process on a computer hardware and base operating system component performance

      Mikijanic, Christine (2020-05)
      One of the major problems in computer security today is the mitigation of damage caused by malware. Common approaches for gathering information about this threat have been to investigate and utilize the structure of a malware attack for prevention and reduction of damage, or analysis of the effect of malware originally found in the wild on target computer systems. This thesis provides a means of determining whether or not sufficient information exists to examine the possibility of finding or identifying an inexperienced hacker inside of a computer system. Analysis of pseudo-ransomware inside a virtual machine was performed, with investigation into the performance of the system’s hardware and base operating system components. It was discovered that CPU load was the core of indicators that displayed the presence of possible ransomware, as it consistently displayed longer process completion times and signs of strain under intensified usage. Furthermore, this factor could be paired with statistics for other areas of the system in order to provide more detail about the attack itself.