Software to analyse employees’ e-mails on the anvil

Washington, November 29: Cyber CrimeUniversity of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers are developing software to deal with cybercrime, one of the biggest causes of damage to a business.

The software will allow companies to flag up employees who are potential saboteurs, industrial spies or data thieves. It might also flag up whistle-blowers.

The move follows recent findings that at least one-third of cybercrimes affecting businesses are committed by insiders.

“Many of the biggest financial losses tend to be due to trusted insiders, individuals who steal or who disable computer systems,” says Gilbert Peterson at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Ohio.

Writing an article on the new software for the journal Digital Investigation, he has revealed that the system is based on an open-source algorithm called Author-Topic.

The software gauges which topics authors commonly write about. Once exposed to a series of documents like academic journal articles, it examines the frequency with which words appear in each and uses that to infer which topic that document is about.

Author-Topic then identifies topics that each person writes on most.

Peterson has revealed that his team uses the software to analyse emails, instead of articles, and extra software records whether people are sending emails internally or externally.

He says that the system is capable of identifying people who are not discussing with their colleagues certain expected, such as social activities, and flags them as possibly feeling alienated.

The software also identified people who discuss sensitive topics externally, and classes them as having “clandestine, sensitive interests”.

People flagged in both categories could pose a risk to a company, the authors said. (ANI)