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Are Your Hackers Seasonal?

by Brent Kirkpatrick

(Date Published: .)

Happy fall. The change in seasons begs the question, do your hackers attack in a seasonal pattern?

Hackers attack in patterns; are those patterns seasonal? Hackers have habits. Perhaps your hacker has a seasonal job to pay the bills, and they hack in the off-season. Perhaps your hacker is a student, and hacks during the semester to change their grades or obtain answer keys. For any number of reasons, hacking patterns can be seasonal.

Happy fall! During the fall, we have the start of a new school year. In the United States, we have the biggest shopping day of the year, and we have several holidays. While you enjoy this season, please ask yourself if your hackers attack in a seasonal pattern.

autumn gourds

How do we detect a seasonal pattern of hacking? We take incident data, or security log data, and plot the number of incidents for a whole year (perhaps using a tool like Splunk). Then we plot the previous year. Let's take our data month-by-month. For each month, we compute the mean of number of incidents for the two years. The change in this mean from month-to-month is our seasonal pattern. Now, consider 10 years of data, and again compute the monthly means. With ten years of data, we have a much better idea of the seasonal pattern.

This exercise in plotting and computing means is an exercise in data science. At Intrepid Net Computing, we do data science. We compute even more sophisticated patterns that allow us to discern specific events and detect exploit machine code.

Many fields are known to have seasonal patterns. For example employee hiring patterns are seasonal, with December being slow and January being very busy. Buying patterns are also seasonal. Are your hackers attacking in a seasonal pattern?

Please contact us at Intrepid Net Computing if you need scientific solutions to cyberattacks.

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