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Endgame, MRG Effitas and VMRay Partner on Machine Learning Static Evasion Contest

Cybersecurity vendors engage with hacking community during AI Village at DEF CON 27

LAS VEGAS, , Aug. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cybersecurity vendors Endgame and VMRay, and testing house MRG Effitas, announced today that they have partnered under AI Village to launch the Machine Learning Static Evasion Contest at DEF CON 27. The second annual AI Village is a place where experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and security can come together to learn and discuss the use, and misuse, of AI in traditional security.

With the growing number of cyber threats faced by organizations and individuals, cybersecurity technology must adapt to match the level of sophistication and agility presented by new and unprecedented threats. The purpose of the Machine Learning Static Evasion Contest is to engage with the hacking community at DEF CON 27 and beyond, and present to adversarial machine learning researchers a realistic challenge that accurately reflects the difficulties of maintaining a strong security posture, while encouraging openness and transparency within the cybersecurity industry.

“Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving discipline, and one of the best ways to explore the broad space of potentially evasive behavior in future malware is to employ adversarial machine learning methods that exploit worst-case conditions of machine learning model detection,” said Hyrum Anderson, Chief Scientist at Endgame. “In facilitating this competition, we hope to encourage machine learning researchers who have experience in evading image recognition systems, for example, to be introduced to a threat model that is more common in traditional information security. And concurrently, the competitors can highlight weaknesses or oversights that may be present in today's anti-malware products.”

“Even though it is theoretically impossible to determine from a piece of software whether it has malicious intent or not, modern endpoint protections provide very good practical protections. The theory and practice of how signature-based malware detection can be evaded is well researched. But when it comes to evading machine learning models and finding their blind spots, very little research has been published. We hope this competition can advance this field with practical solutions," said Zoltan Balazs, CTO, MRG Effitas

As part of this year’s competition, participants will modify and test 50 working malware samples against sophisticated machine learning models. The modified malware samples must remain fully functional, while evading two different machine learning models provided by Endgame. The competition will demonstrate a white box attack, wherein participants will have access to each model’s parameters and source code. After being uploaded onto the MRG Effitas platform, the modified malware samples will be detonated in VMRay, an evasion resistant, hypervisor-based sandboxing technology. VMRay’s technology ensures full visibility into malware behavior, monitoring every interaction between the malware and the system. Points will be awarded to participants based on how many samples bypass each machine learning model.

To qualify for the prize of NVIDIA’s fastest PC GPU for deep learning, the winner will publish a blog post sharing how they successfully updated the malware to evade the machine learning model. To learn more about how to enter this competition, please visit https://evademalwareml.io.

About Endgame
Endgame makes military-grade endpoint protection as simple as anti-virus. Leveraging the industry’s most advanced machine learning technology, Endgame enables security operators of any skill level to deliver full-force protection, stopping everything from ransomware, to phishing, and targeted attacks. Endgame is the only endpoint security platform to offer a unique hybrid architecture that delivers both cloud administration and data localization that meets all industry, regulatory, and global compliance requirements. The US military as well as the world's largest commercial organizations rely on Endgame to protect their people, technology and mission, globally. For more information, visit www.endgame.com and follow us on Twitter @EndgameInc

About VMRay
VMRay is focused on a single mission: to help enterprises protect themselves against the growing global malware threat. The company’s automated malware analysis and detection solutions help enterprises around the world minimize business risk, protect their valuable data and safeguard their brand. VMRay’s founders, Dr. Carsten Willems and Dr. Ralf Hund, were early pioneers in malware sandboxing, developing breakthrough technologies that continue to lead the industry. They founded VMRay to transform their research into practical solutions for making the online world a safer place. Learn more at www.vmray.com

About MRG Effitas
MRG Effitas is a world-leader in innovative, independent IT security efficacy assessment testing, research and expertise. In the drive to protect businesses and home users from ever more advanced malicious threats, malware and viruses, our innovative research and testing is helping security vendors to be the best they can be. Having invested heavily into market-leading expertise, we are at the frontier of efficacy assessment and testing and the most forward-looking research organisation in our field, with a unique degree of technical competence in anticipating and planning for future trends and challenges, for example in WAF and NextGen testing. We are trusted by the major Anti-Virus and digital security vendors to assess their products and to provide technical expertise and insight.

Media Contact
Megan Grasty
Highwire PR for Endgame
415-963-4174 ext. 26