• Bangalore 2019
  • Training
  • ML for security and security for ML

ML for security and security for ML

Nikhil Joshi

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Trainer Name: Nikhil Joshi
Title: ML for security and security for ML
Duration: 2 Days
Dates: 20th - 21st June 2019


Machine learning / Deep learning is under exponential growth these days. Businesses, Academia and tech enthusiast are really hyped about trying out Deep learning to solve their problems. A lot of students, professionals and researchers are driven to learn this new cool tech. Just like every other technology, ML comes with awesome applications topped with some serious implications.

This two days training is divided into two parts: ML for Security and Security for ML, one for each day. This course is aimed for security researchers/ penetration testers/ infosec enthusiasts to bridge their gap between Infosec and Machine learning. Considering no prior knowledge of mathematics and ML, we will try to build the intuition behind of Machine Learning methodologies. Attendees will go through the hands-on experience with building application like Firewalls, IDS/IPS, Malware Detection engines, etc. In-depth understanding of the entire ML pipeline is provided. Which consists of preprocessing data, building ML models, training and evaluating them and using trained models for prediction. Well known machine learning libraries like Tensorflow, Keras, Pytorch, Scikit learn, etc. will be used, providing an end-to-end and ready to apply ML Gyan for security professionals.
Along with the applications, this course will address the vulnerabilities in state of the art machine learning methodologies. Lab material will consist of Vulnerable Machine Learning applications that can be exploited to provide a thorough understanding of observed vulnerabilities. Reasons behind the existence of these vulns and the defensive strategies will also be discussed.

Course Outline:

Day 1: ML for sec

In this session, we will build up our understanding of basic yet state of the art machine learning algorithms. Discuss mathemagic behind why these models work the way they do. Build some smart Machine Learning applications and evaluate them. By the end, we will get an idea of how to solve a real-world problem using machine learning.

  • Introduction to Machine learning
    • Common use cases, where to use and where not to use machine learning
    • Introduction to different python libraries/packages like keras, tensorflow, sklearn
    • Overview of how machine learning models are built and deployed in production
  • Understanding Mathematics and intuition behind used machine learning algorithms
    • Supervised learning
      • Linear regression, logistic regression, Neural nets and similar classifiers
    • Unsupervised learning
      • Clustering algorithms like k-means
    • Semi-supervised learning
  • Brief introduction on data pre-processing with demo
    • Cooking a dataset so that it can be consumed by discussed models
    • Feature engineering: Decreasing the dimensionality of problem or adding more features to dataset
    • Removing unnecessary data and handling different data types
    • Dealing with incomplete data
  • Applications of machine learning in security domain with hands on examples
    • Detailed process of how to leverage previously discussed knowledge to build applications in defensive as well as offensive security.
    • Image classifier using deep learning
    • Defensive sec:
      • Web access firewalls
      • Intrusion detection systems
      • Malware detection engine
    • Offensive sec
      • Machine learning for phishing
      • Machine learning for fuzzing
  • Evaluate the built models using different evaluation parameters.
  • Now that we have made our systems “Intelligent”, is it possible to fool them? Are these applications hackable?

Day 2: Sec for ML

In this session we will have a deeper look on different flaws in how ML/DL algorithms are implemented. Hands on examples explaining and attacking such vulnerable implementations. Also, discussion on possible mitigations.

  • Brief introduction to vulnerabilities in Machine Learning
    • Discussion on various ways of compromising machine learning apps
  • Adversarial learning Attacks
    • Introduction and mathematical intuition behind the existence of this flaw
    • Demo and hands on practice of fooling very accurate state-of-the art Image classifiers
    • Analysing why this attack works
    • mitigation
  • Model stealing Attacks
    • How proprietary ML models can be stolen by attacker, making him/her to use the models for FREE
    • Stealing offline ML models that are deployed on device with installer packages
    • Stealing models that are deployed on cloud with restricted access via APIs
    • Demo
  • Model Skewing and data poisoning attacks
    • How and why this attack works
    • Hands on example of bypassing ML based 99.99% accurate Spam Filters
    • Mitigation
  • Discussion on other lesser addressed vulnerabilities and real world impact.
  • CTF challenge focusing on one of the discussed vulnerabilities

What to bring:

  • Laptop with 8GB+ RAM
  • 30 GB space
  • Virtual box (latest version)
  • Any flavour of Linux is preferred over windows
  • Open mind made up for some intense mathemagic


  • Basic knowledge of python is good to have but not required
  • Basic of Linux and Virtualbox

Who should attend:

  • Machine learning enthusiasts and professionals
  • Infosec professionals willing to enter into ML/DL domain
  • Students with computer science background and a taste for ML and infosec
  • ML developers and engineers

What to expect:

  • Thorough understanding of basic machine learning methodologies
  • Hands on practice on Specially crafted labs for ML and Infosec enthusiasts
  • End-to-end and ready to apply ML knowledge for security professionals
  • Good understanding of Machine learning vulnerabilities
  • Hands on experience with well known machine learning libraries
  • Lab material for post-course practice

What not to expect:

  • Being a ML pro in two days
  • Heavy mathematical background of Machine Learning concepts

About the trainer:

Nikhil Joshi

Nikhil Joshi is a Security Researcher at Payatu Software Labs. He is very passionate about Machine Learning and Infosec and he is an applied mathematics enthusiast. With a Computer science background, Nikhil is working on applying Machine Learning to solve problems in defensive as well as offensive security. He has also published his research under reputed publishers like IEEE. He is currently doing his research on security implications in Machine Learning such as Adversarial Learning, Model stealing attacks, Data poisoning, etc. He is an active member of local ML and Security chapters and has delivered multiple talks and workshops. Recent advances in Machine Learning, applied mathematics and their applications in fuzzing, social engineering, telecom and defensive security are of major interest to Nikhil.
Follow Nikhil on Twitter: @nikhilj_73

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