IMG_0312This past February, OpenDNS Labs had the privilege of attending the Cisco Data Science Summit hosted by the Cisco Cognitive Threat Analytics team in Prague, Czech Republic. At the summit our team got to present some of the cool data science and data engineering research that we are working on at OpenDNS Labs. This was one of the more technical conferences we have attended, and there was a mix of very talented people from all different Cisco locations like San Jose, San Francisco, Baltimore, North Carolina, London, Canada, Prague, and more.

Michal Sofka kicked off the summit with a talk about Representation Learning, explaining how there is a paradigm shift moving away from engineered features, and went on to mention one of our favorite quotes from the conference: “Unsupervised Learning is the future.”


Tomas Pevny (pictured below) presented about using principles of steganography for malware protection, and how user behavior should be considered in a larger context.


Blake Anderson (pictured below) and David McGrew, from Cisco’s San Jose office, presented some cutting-edge research about gaining visibility into encrypted traffic and detecting malware in TLS.


At the end of day one, OpenDNS CTO Dan Hubbard gave a keynote talk on Investigate and the OpenGraphiti Visualization Tool which many people in the audience enjoyed:


OpenDNS Labs researchers also gave a presentation on large-scale, real-time detection which we will also be presenting at Blackhat Asia later this month. Checkout a sneak peek of it here.

All of the presentations were outstanding, and we really enjoyed some of the presentations on detection techniques. Martin Rehak gave a really great presentation about the future of the CTA team; about malware moving to HTTPS; the rise of Adware as a threat; and the necessity for global visibility to discover trends.  Jiri Havelka gave an innovative presentation on word-based DGA detection on anomalous traffic, and  Martin Grill and Ivan Nikolaev gave a very interesting presentation on detecting exploit kits, both of which had a lot of crossover with type of detection we do at OpenDNS. Abhijit Talathi and Jane Diao also gave a very nice presentation on spam fighting techniques at Cisco. Steve McKinney gave a great presentation on Cisco Big Data engineering and TIP which is the main data warehouse for Cisco.

After the Conference we got a chance to do some awesome sightseeing in the beautiful city of Prague (below are some of pictures).

At Old Town Square:


On the St. Charles Bridge:



The Bone Church, Kutná Hora:



We also had the pleasure of meeting up with one of our greatly missed OpenDNS alumni for dinner and drinks, the infamous Zach Gilman:


Overall it was a successful trip presenting about how OpenDNS performs scalable data science on 80 billion daily DNS queries. Big thanks to Cisco Cognitive Threat Analytics Team and Zach Gilman for the outstanding hospitality! Hopefully we will have another Data Science Summit to look forward to this summer. We miss Prague very much, especially the outstanding Czech beer!


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