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Keyboard profiling at Black Hat

Keyboard profiling at Black Hat

There's the infamous New Yorker cartoon of a dog typing on a keyboard that reads, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." Black Hat presenter Neal Krawetz says while he still may not know who you are, he can tell other details about you such as gender, handedness, and even whether you are a musician. Keyboard analysis is not forensics because you can't claim to know conclusively who authored a blog site, an IM, or even computer malware. Rather, Krawetz says his keyboard analysis is more like profiling, like using blood splattering at a crime scene to infer suspect information. He used blogs from MySpace to demonstrate his gender analysis. Research has shown that males use certain words more often than females, along with other differences. Applying these differences to hundred of blogs, Krawetz found that although MySpace contributors identify themselves as roughly 60 percent male and 40 percent female, he found 20 percent of the females demonstrated strong male attributes in their writing, which could mean they are lying. In another demonstration, looking for patterns in lines of code, he attempted to identify the multiple authors of the phatbot worm. And using finger-drumming analysis, Krawetz demonstrated how patterns revealed when typing random characters onto a keyboard can tell him whether someone is likely to be a musician.