School of Computing

Jun 7
11:00 - 12:00
RAMSES: Developing tools for law enforcement to combat profit-motivated cybercrime
School of Computing - Security Group Seminar
Speaker: Dr Darren Hurley-Smith


Ransomware and Banking Trojans have been persistent threats to individuals and businesses for over a decade. Their sophistication and impact have only increased over time, with a significant rise in ransomware activity being observed since 2014. The challenges facing law enforcement agencies are myriad and non-trivial. Cryptocurrency tracking, malware classification, identification of infection vectors, and predicting future trends of malware-as-a-business are key topics in this area.

RAMSES is a Horizon 2020 funded project that aims to provide an integrated platform to assist LEAs in identifying and generating intelligence regarding cyber-criminal activity associated with for-profit malware. Professor Julio Hernandez-Castro leads the University of Kent contributions to this project, supported by Dr Darren Hurley-Smith. Vital input regarding economic factors of malware-as-a-business have been provided by Dr Edward Cartwright (De Montford University).

In this presentation, the contributions generated by the University of Kent are presented in detail, following a high-level introduction to the project. Technical details of a predictive economic model of ransomware and a steganalysis tool are discussed. Experiences of the collaboration and outreach aspects of the project are discussed. This provides an insight into the design and implementation needs of LEAs and how academic collaboration with LEA partners presents unique opportunities and challenges. Finally, recent outreach and publication activities (Europol, Community of Users and ILEAnet) are discussed to highlight the importance of communicating project solutions.


Darren Hurley-Smith is a research associate with the School of Computing, University of Kent. After completing his BEng. (Hons) in Computer Systems and Hardware Engineering (2012) at the University of Greenwich, he went on to achieve a PhD in Mobile Ad hoc Network Security Protocols for UAVs (2015) at the same institution. Since 2015, Darren has worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Kent on a variety of security projects, specialising in random number generation, statistical testing, security standards, and hardware security. Most recently, he has been a member of the RAMSES consortium, a H2020 funded project focused on tracking the money flow of profit motivated malware.


Cornwallis South West,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to everyone, especially those interested in cyber security research,


Contact: Jason R.C. Nurse

School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 14/08/2015