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CUING 2020 : Criminal Use of Information Hiding


When Aug 24, 2020 - Aug 28, 2020
Where Dublin, Ireland
Submission Deadline Jun 5, 2020
Notification Due Jun 20, 2020
Final Version Due Jul 5, 2020
Categories    information hiding   steganography   data hiding   cybersecurity

Call For Papers

The 4th International Workshop on Criminal Use of Information Hiding (CUING 2020)
to be held in conjunction with the 15th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES 2020 –

August 24 – August 28, 2020, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

ARES 2020 – switches to all-digital conference
Due to the COVID-19 situation all around the globe we decided to switch to an all-digital conference experience.

Papers accepted by the workshop will be published in the Conference Proceedings of ARES 2020 that will be published by the International Conference Proceedings Series published by ACM (ACM ICPS).

Moreover, the extended versions of all accepted papers will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Cyber Security and Mobility (Indexed in Scopus, or Applied Sciences (IF=2.217) special issue on Data Hiding and Its Applications: Digital Watermarking and Steganography (

With the constant rise of the number of Internet users, available bandwidth and an increasing number of services shifting into the connected world, criminals are increasingly active in the virtual world. With improving defensive methods cybercriminals have to utilize more and more sophisticated ways to perform their malicious activities. While protecting the privacy of users, many technologies used in current malware and network attacks have been abused in order to allow criminals to carry out their activities undetected. This poses a lot of new challenges for digital forensics analysts, academics, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and security professionals.

The aim of the Third International Workshop on Criminal Use of Information Hiding (CUIng) is to bring together researchers, practitioners, law enforcement representatives, and security professionals in the area of analysis of information hiding. However data hiding is understood here in a wider manner than in the academic world i.e. all techniques that pertain to camouflaging/masking/hiding various types of data (e.g. identities, behavior, communication, etc.) are included here. This means not only digital steganography/covert channels but also obfuscation/anti-forensics techniques and even underground networks (darknets) or activities related to behavior impersonation or mimicking. This will allow to present a more complete picture on novel research regarding the use of data and communication hiding methods in criminal environments and discuss ideas for fighting misuse of privacy enhancing technologies.

Moreover, this year the CUING workshop is co-organized with the SIMARGL (Secure Intelligent Methods for Advanced RecoGnition of malware and stegomalware) H2020 project.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Information hiding techniques
- Studies regarding the use of information hiding in cybercrime
- Analysis of cybercrime cases related to CUIng
- Large scale coordinated actions by LEAs from CUIng perspective
- New steganographic & steganalysis methods
- Local, air-gapped, and network covert channels
- Side channels and less obvious usage of information hiding techniques
- Novel countermeasures against information hiding techniques: detection, prevention, limitation
- Evasion, obfuscation and anti-forensics techniques used by cybercriminals
- Traffic type obfuscation techniques e.g. traffic morphing
- Masking network attacks with another types of threats
- Hiding covert communication within network attacks e.g. DDoS, SPAM, etc.
- Impersonation of one cybercriminals groups by the other
- Underground marketplaces and their business models
- Botnet analysis from CUIng perspective
- Methods for botnet detection and mitigation from CUIng perspective
- Banking Trojans from CUIng perspective
- IoT-botnets from CUIng perspective
- Privacy enhancing techniques
- Analysis of underground environments
- Legal and technical aspects of Darknet research
- Cybercrime and CPS from CUIng perspective
- Future scenarios in cybercrime from CUIng perspective
- Aspects and methods for sharing strategic intelligence
- Abusing legitimate cloud-based services for masking criminal activities
- Abusing legitimate social media services for masking criminal activities

Important Dates
Submission Deadline June 05, 2020 (EXTENDED!)
Author Notification June 15, 2020
Proceedings Version July 05, 2020
ARES EU Symposium August 24, 2020
Conference August 24 – August 28, 2020

Submission Guidelines

The submission guidelines valid for the workshop are the same as for the ARES conference. They can be found at

Workshop Chairs

Wojciech Mazurczyk (Chair)
Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

Philipp Amann (Chair)
Europol, European Cybercrime Centre, The Netherlands

Jart Armin (Chair)
CyberDefcon, The Netherlands

Angelo Consoli (Chair)
Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana (SUPSI), Switzerland

Peter Kieseberg (Chair)
SBA Research, Austria

Joerg Keller (Chair)
FernUniversitaet in Hagen, Germany

Related Resources

JISA-CYBER-SEC 2020   Special Issue on Trends in Cybersecurity, Journal of Information Security and Applications, Elsevier
ICCIS--IEEE, Ei and Scopus 2021   IEEE--2021 5th International Conference on Communication and Information Systems (ICCIS 2020)--Ei Compendex, Scopus
Symmetry-SI 2020   Special issue on Symmetry and Asymmetry in IoT and CPS Security and Privacy
BTSD 2020   DEADLINE EXTENDED! The 2nd International Workshop on Big Data Tools, Methods, and Use Cases for Innovative Scientific Discovery (BTSD) 2020
CSPPSG 2021   MDPI Sensors - Special Issue on 'Cybersecurity and Privacy-Preserving in Modern Smart Grid'
EI-ICFoIT 2021   2021 International Conference on Frontiers of Industrial Technology (ICFoIT 2021)
FDAE_AI_BDA 2020   Special Issue on Forensics Data Analytics Enhancement via Artificial Intelligences and Big Data Analytics
IHIP--SCOPUS, Ei Compendex 2020   2020 3rd International Conference on Information Hiding and Image Processing (IHIP 2020)--Ei Compendex, Scopus
IEEE--ICCIS--Ei and Scopus 2021   IEEE--2021 5th International Conference on Communication and Information Systems (ICCIS 2020)--Ei Compendex, Scopus
IEEE TDSC - XAI-CTI 2020   IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing Special Issue on Explainable AI for Cyber Threat Intelligence (XAI-CTI) Applications