Qualification: 
M.Tech
m_ritwik@cb.amrita.edu

Ritwik M. currently serves as Assistant Professor (SR) at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore Campus and Head of the Amrita Computational Thinking for Research and Education (CORE) Lab.

Mr. Ritwik completed his B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from Pondicherry Central University. He was working as a software professional in multi-national companies before returning to academia. He obtained his Masters from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Cyber Security and started working in Amrita as an Assistant Professor while also pursuing his doctoral research concurrently.

His areas of research include Computer Malware Analysis, Threat Modeling, Privacy Preservation, Quantum Computing, Cyber Security - Risk Analysis, AI for Cyber Security, Computational Thinking and Engineering Pedagogy. Currently, he is working on the applications of Computational Intelligence techniques on computer malware and its evolution. Apart from academic research, he also mentors and trains students for various Capture the Flag (CTF) hacking contests, hackathons, Computer Game Development and generic competitions. He has also won several awards and recognitions from both public and government sectors. Winner - Smart India Hackathon in 2018 under Ministry of Defence, Special Appreciation for the World Food India Hackathon in 2017 by Ministry of Food Processing Industries, The Deloitte Innovation Award under Ministry of Rural Development in 2017, award for "Smart City Kovai - A Way Forward" by The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2016 and as the mentor for the OWASP winter code sprint in 2015 are some of the special awards.

He is also a strong believer in open-source technologies and is an avid follower of the same.

Mr. Ritwik is also the Advisor for Amritians - the CodeChef chapter of Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore, and the faculty coordinator of the Amrita Toastmasters Club at the Coimbatore Campus.

Publications

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title

2020

Ritwik Murali and Dr. Shunmuga Velayutham C., “A preliminary investigation into automatically evolving computer viruses using evolutionary algorithms”, Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 6517 - 6526, 2020.[Abstract]


 This paper attempts to employ Evolutionary Algorithm(EA) techniques to evolve variants of a computer virus(Timid ) that successfully evades popular antivirus scanners. Generating authentic variants of a specific malware results in a valid database of malware variants, which is sought by anti-malware scanners, so as to identify the variants before they are released by malware developers. This preliminary investigation applies EAs to mutate the Timid virus with a simple code evasion strategy, i.e., insertion and deletion(if available) of a specific assembly code instruction directly into the virus source code. Starting with a database of over 60 popular antivirus scanners, this EA based approach for malware variant generation successfully evolves Timid variants that evade more than 97% of the antivirus scanners. The results from these preliminary investigations demonstrate the potential for EA based malware generation and also opens up avenues for further analysis.

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2015

H. V. Kumar, Ritwik Murali, and Nair, A. M., “Identifying third-party-influenced vulnerabilities in massively multi-player online role-playing games”, vol. 10, pp. 2979 - 2983, 2015.[Abstract]


Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG’s) provide an alternate reality to people who are constrained by the mundane world. According to pcgamer – the best selling gaming magazine worldwide, there are more than four hundred million people playing these multiplayer games concurrently. As a result, the investment of real world time and money has driven online gaming into a huge industry with its own economy and black market. The objective of this paper is to identify hitherto unidentified vulnerabilities in an MMORPG which people may use to exploit the virtual economy.

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2015

S. Soundappan, Shajikumar, R., Ritwik Murali, Satheedevi, C., and Vishanth, T. M., “A novel advertisement recommendation system for online video portals”, International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, vol. 10, no. 11, pp. 28903 - 28910, 2015.[Abstract]


Online Video portals like YouTube, Vimeo, NetFlix, Vube, Twitch, etc., usually display advertisements before playing videos to its users based on the category to which the user belong to. However, due to the varied interests of the user, visibility of such advertisements is restricted. In this paper, we propose a novel technique which helps bring the right advertisement to the right users. We have implemented this idea using two collaborative algorithms. To satisfy this purpose we have designed a local video portal with a new recommendation system which benefits both users as well as the advertisers. Results show that 68.35% of viewers were interested in the advertisements that were displayed using our proposed technique.

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2014

P. Menon and Ritwik Murali, “A Comprehensive but not Complicated Survey on Quantum Computing”, IERI Procedia, vol. 10, pp. 144–152, 2014.[Abstract]


This paper discusses the basic components that are required to build a quantum computing environment. Quantum computers have a distinctive advantage over classical computers due to its ability to solve problems with large number of computations faster. To utilize these capabilities to its best, we should ensure that the computers are on par with the quantum computing requirements to float a working environment. The whole thrust on this is to ensure that the quantum computing environment is chained by the laws of quantum mechanics. The issue becomes more complicated when it is to be executed on a classical platform. This paper surveys the basics of Quantum Computing and the existing Quantum Computing simulators. Further, it also points out the basic rules to ensure a proper translation of each capabilities from a classical system to a quantum system and vice versa.

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2013

Ritwik Murali and K., P., “Analyzing the Makier Virus ”, IJCSI International Journal of Computer Science Issues, vol. 10, Issue 2, no. 1, 2013.[Abstract]


Malware is most rampant in the modern era. Security professionals remain one step behind the attackers as they are reactive rather than proactive. This paper conducts an analysis of a recent malware strain henceforth called The Makier Virus.

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Publication Type: Conference Paper

Year of Publication Title

2020

Ritwik Murali, Ravi, A., and Agarwal, H., “A Malware Variant Resistant To Traditional Analysis Techniques”, in 2020 International Conference on Emerging Trends in Information Technology and Engineering (ic-ETITE), 2020.[Abstract]


In today's world, the word malware is synonymous with mysterious programs that spread havoc and sow destruction upon the computing system it infects. These malware are analyzed and understood by malware analysts who reverse engineer the program in an effort to understand it and provide appropriate identifications or signatures that enable anti-malware programs to effectively combat and resolve threats. Malware authors develop ways to circumvent or prevent this analysis of their code thus rendering preventive measures ineffective. This paper discusses existing analysis subverting techniques and how they are overcome by modern analysis techniques. Further, this paper proposes a new method to resist traditional malware analysis techniques by creating a split-personality malware variant that uses a technique known as shadow attack. The proposal is validated by creating a malware dropper and testing this dropper in controlled laboratory conditions as a part of the concept of proactive defense.

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2020

Ritwik Murali and Velayutham, C. S., “A Conceptual Direction on Automatically Evolving Computer Malware using Genetic and Evolutionary Algorithms”, in 2020 International Conference on Inventive Computation Technologies (ICICT), 2020.[Abstract]


The widespread use of computing devices and the heavy dependence on the internet has evolved the cyberspace to a cyber world - something comparable to an artificial world. This paper focuses on one of the major problems of the cyber world - cyber security or more specifically computer malware. We show that computer malware is a perfect example of an artificial ecosystem with a co-evolutionary predator-prey framework. We attempt to merge the two domains of biologically inspired computing and computer malware. Under the aegis of proactive defense, this paper discusses the possibilities, challenges and opportunities in fusing evolutionary computing techniques with malware creation.

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2020

K. S. ManiArasuSekar, Swaminathan, P., Ritwik Murali, Ratan, G. K., and Siva, S. V., “Optimal Feature Selection for Non-Network Malware Classification”, in 2020 International Conference on Inventive Computation Technologies (ICICT), 2020.[Abstract]


In this digital age, almost every system and service has moved from a localized to a digital environment. Consequently the number of attacks targeting both personal as well as commercial digital devices has also increased exponentially. In most cases specific malware attacks have caused widespread damage and emotional anguish. Though there are automated techniques to analyse and thwart such attacks, they are still far from perfect. This paper identifies optimal features, which improves the accuracy and efficiency of the classification process, required for malware classification in an attempt to assist automated anti-malware systems identify and block malware families in an attempt to secure the end user and reduce the damage caused by these malicious software.

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2020

Ritwik Murali, Ravi, A., and Agarwal, H., “Enhancing Digital Well-being using Opinion Mining and Sentiment Classifiers”, in 2020 International Conference on Inventive Computation Technologies (ICICT), 2020.[Abstract]


Opinion mining on various issues is a very popular trend in the micro-blogging research community. Advanced data mining techniques using sentiment analysis and machine learning algorithms on large datasets like microblogging websites are popular and trending in the data science community. But such analytics are limited to only certain aspects of interest. In this paper, we present a search engine that presents a user's emotions over a timeline. This would serve as a novel approach to adding search capability over opinion mining procedures and exploring potential optimizations for a wide range of features and methods for training sentiment classifiers. Users should be able to chart down their emotional quotient using the proposed application. This would aid in promoting their digital well-being.

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2019

H. Jayakrishnan and Ritwik Murali, “A Simple and Robust End-to-End Encryption Architecture for Anonymous and Secure Whistleblowing”, in 2019 Twelfth International Conference on Contemporary Computing (IC3), Noida, India, India, 2019.[Abstract]


Much has been mentioned about the importance of whistleblowing. While all organizations are recommended to have a whistleblowing mechanism, there are very few completely software-based platforms that assist in performing this task securely. The primary concerns are to ensure that the whistleblower remains anonymous and the disclosures are securely delivered to the competent authority, usually media organizations. In this paper, we have analyzed the security of the state of the art software-based whistleblowing platforms and related research, identified security issues and proposed a new architecture that satisfactorily ensures the requirements for anonymous and secure whistleblowing. We have verified the strength of our solution against the existing platforms and related research with the AVISPA (Automated Validation of Internet Security Protocols and Applications) tool. Our approach is practical, backed by cryptographic security and, because of its modularity, can be easily included in the current infrastructure of many whistleblowing platforms. The results show that our architecture is simple, robust and implements a complete end-to-end encryption strategy thus enabling secure and anonymous whistleblowing.

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2018

Ritwik Murali, Nachimuthu, D., SenthilKumar, D. V., Pandian, M. S., and Krishnen, D., “Localizing Assets in an Indoor Environment Using Sensor Fusion”, in 2018 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI), 2018.[Abstract]


Object localization for indoor environments is still a challenge due to chaotic indoor environments. The most popular of techniques make use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) equipment or overhead cameras. We propose a novel method by combining these two popular methods, namely the RFID system and a single camera placed at an angle for increased range. The RFID system containing two RFID antennas estimates the approximate position of each object by identifying the range or area in which the object is found and then the camera recognizes the object by comparing its extracted features. The localization is achieved by the information obtained from the RFID sensors used. Experimental verification is performed to test the accuracy and robustness of this proposed method.

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