CUING (Criminal Use of Information Hiding) is an Initiative that has been created in cooperation with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and officially founded in 2016. It currently involves more than 200 expert members from 30+ countries who represent different background i.e. academia, industry, law enforcement agencies and institutions. The initiative by working jointly and combining expertise and experience aims to tackle the threat posed by the criminal use of information hiding techniques while it is still characterized by a limited adoption. CUING is formally a not for profit foundation (Stichting) founded in The Netherlands, as a research organization.
The five main objectives of the proposed initiative are:
- Raise Awareness: inform about the threat that information hiding techniques can pose. Especially: increase the sensitivity to cybercriminals’ potential for information hiding exploitation (e.g., in companies) and emphasize how forensic investigations could become significantly more challenging in the presence of such techniques.
- Track Progress: monitor sophistication and complexity of information hiding techniques found in the wild used by cybercriminals, terrorists and other actor groups.
- Share Threat Intelligence: bring together security professionals from government institutions, academia, law enforcement and industry to distribute information and share experience and expertise from different viewpoints.
- Work Jointly: cooperate and benefit from joint potentials to develop effective countermeasures and integrate them on a global scale (or at least EU level).
- Educate & Train: ensure that law enforcement agencies, companies, institutions, individuals, etc., will be ready and fully prepared to react against potential cybercriminals’ information hiding exploitation.
CUING members are involved in creating new tools, materials for courses, projects, and concepts for digital forensic purposes.