How to spot emerging computer, Internet and other tech. trends.

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Noticedtrends, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. It's possible to spot emerging computer, Internet, and technology
    trends; especially as it applies to responding to security concerns
    e.g., malware.

    Trend-spotting is done through search strategies using inference by
    noting the context of how specific keywords are applied. For example,
    if an author of content subconsciously mentions words like 'a growing
    trend toward', or even the word 'lately,' this can signal
    emerging trends.

    Since emerging trends per-se receive very little (yet growing) mentions
    within media content; the use of specific keywords naturally
    narrows-down the number of search results; yet greatly increases the
    percentage of search-results on growing trends.

    'Rootkits,' a form of malware have been gaining attention lately.
    Here is a sample search using the occurrence of words 'rootkits'
    and 'lately.'"+malware++"july+2006"&as_qdr=m3&btnG=Search

    ---For specific dates: 'July 2006'OR 'July * 2006' applies an
    asterisk to indicate specific dates, and infers up-to-date content; yet
    some Internet sites contain older content. Many trade and professional
    publications post-date content e.g., 'August, 2006'

    --- The asterisk character "*" is a wild-card character that also
    indicates two words NEAR each other.

    The term 'lately' can be applied in different ways.

    --(search term(s)) lately.

    -- lately (search term(s))

    -- lately * (search term(s)).

    -- (search term(s)) * lately.

    * Other keywords:

    --"Growing trend toward"

    -- "A sharp increase."

    -- "becoming more."

    -- "becoming increasingly"

    * Different combinations of keywords also yield content indicating
    possible trends to watch. It's also important to apply keywords
    describing specific:

    -- Jargon.

    -- Products

    -- Services

    -- Companies

    -- Names of publications.

    -- Or any other miscellaneous terms.

    Search-results are very subjective. After all, inference requires
    "human input" to "separate the wheat from the chaff" as search
    engines can't automatically yield relevant trend information.

    Trend-spotting through inference may even act "as a practice of
    sorts" for spotting new trends through intuition even before any
    relevant content is published!
    Noticedtrends, Jul 22, 2006
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  2. I just don't think that will work very well for computer security and
    malware trending and risk assessment, no matter how well you try to remove
    media articles from the search results. You might find out whether public
    interest and awareness in root kits is trending up or down, but I'm not sure
    how that information is useful?

    Internet search results simply show how much people are concerned and aware
    of security trends. The fact that more or fewer people may be searching for
    root kits doesn't tell me whether root kits are a bigger or smaller risk to
    my particular environment and countermeasures, and I wouldn't really expect
    this method to give me fast warning of a new threat. Very often there are
    security threats that are over-covered in media articles and in public
    panic. IE vulns like Download.ject cause a lot of panic and media articles,
    but very few infections [less than 750 worldwide to date detected by Trend
    Micro] compared to old, boring email viruses that are not as new and
    exciting but cause less coverage. There are also threats that cau
    karl levinson, mvp, Jul 22, 2006
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  3. You might find out whether public
    Specific publications, blogs, etc. that focus on the computer,
    technological, Internet zietgeist is the content to analyze. The
    semi-specialty content PCWorld, (is PC Magazine a semi-general or
    semi-specialty publication?) and specialty content
    enhanced discussion on rootkits; long before the more general media
    discusses security concerns; which of course discussions can become
    misleading at these points.
    Actually, a content-analysis by inference is an excellent means of
    discerning an emerging technological, Internet and "related-social"
    zietgeist that does not focus heavily on security concerns.

    The fact that more or fewer people may be searching for
    What was this saying?: 'There are also threats that cau'
    Noticedtrends, Jul 22, 2006
  4. Here is another example of a search that focus on a speific

    The trend: Keeping ahead of spyware is becoming increasingly labor
    Noticedtrends, Jul 22, 2006
  5. Noticedtrends

    Robert Moir Guest

    You're right that new threats will be talked about in blogs and the
    specialised online press before the popular media picks up on them, but
    how is that useful when, by the time it reaches a noticable level in blog
    traffic, a threat is likely to be out there causing damage.

    Hearing about rootkits on Tuesday is no help if I installed one on your
    machine and stole your bank details on Monday, no matter that the rest of
    the world finds out Wednesday, that one day advance warning didn't stop me
    ripping you off before you found out.

    Rob Moir, Microsoft MVP for Security
    Blog Site -
    Virtual PC 2004 FAQ -
    I'm always surprised at "professionals" who STILL have to be asked:
    "Have you checked (event viewer / syslog)".
    Robert Moir, Jul 23, 2006
  6. What is the progress of anomaly detection (that incorporates AI
    Artificial Intelligence) to respond to emerging malware threats?

    Trend-spotting through inference can also advance with progress in AI
    methods. To spot emerging-trends through inference is really detection
    of 'semantic anomalies' or 'pattern recognition' where technologies
    would discern meaning and context of words, phrases, etc.

    The Microsoft WORD's AUTOSUMMARIZE feature was quite an advance in
    semantic analysis.
    Noticedtrends, Jul 23, 2006
  7. I guess what we're trying to say is that semantic analysis is not a useful
    tool for analyzing emerging malware threats. It instead analyzes AWARENESS
    and DISCUSSION of emerging malware threats. These things might be helpful
    to someone in a different discipline than ours.
    karl levinson, mvp, Jul 24, 2006
  8. Content published by experts who have had experince in spotting malware
    threats is worth a 'semanatic analysis' by computer/tech. people who
    are not fully up-to-date on specific malware concerns.

    Another trend to watch; 'The technology industries are becoming
    increasingly interested in 'lead users' e.g., power-users who seem to
    be a "barometer of sorts" for emerging comp/tech markets.

    This post in the '' newsgroup discusses
    'anomaly detection' in order to spot "difficult to detect" rootkits.

    Fourth post mentions anomaly detection.
    Noticedtrends, Jul 24, 2006
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