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Searles, R., Xu, L., Killian, W., Vanderbruggen, T., Forren, T., Howe, J., Pearson, Z., Shannon, C., Simmons, J., Cavazos, J..  2017.  Parallelization of Machine Learning Applied to Call Graphs of Binaries for Malware Detection. 2017 25th Euromicro International Conference on Parallel, Distributed and Network-based Processing (PDP). :69–77.

Malicious applications have become increasingly numerous. This demands adaptive, learning-based techniques for constructing malware detection engines, instead of the traditional manual-based strategies. Prior work in learning-based malware detection engines primarily focuses on dynamic trace analysis and byte-level n-grams. Our approach in this paper differs in that we use compiler intermediate representations, i.e., the callgraph representation of binaries. Using graph-based program representations for learning provides structure of the program, which can be used to learn more advanced patterns. We use the Shortest Path Graph Kernel (SPGK) to identify similarities between call graphs extracted from binaries. The output similarity matrix is fed into a Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm to construct highly-accurate models to predict whether a binary is malicious or not. However, SPGK is computationally expensive due to the size of the input graphs. Therefore, we evaluate different parallelization methods for CPUs and GPUs to speed up this kernel, allowing us to continuously construct up-to-date models in a timely manner. Our hybrid implementation, which leverages both CPU and GPU, yields the best performance, achieving up to a 14.2x improvement over our already optimized OpenMP version. We compared our generated graph-based models to previously state-of-the-art feature vector 2-gram and 3-gram models on a dataset consisting of over 22,000 binaries. We show that our classification accuracy using graphs is over 19% higher than either n-gram model and gives a false positive rate (FPR) of less than 0.1%. We are also able to consider large call graphs and dataset sizes because of the reduced execution time of our parallelized SPGK implementation.

Kilgallon, S., Rosa, L. De La, Cavazos, J..  2017.  Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of dynamic malware analysis with machine learning. 2017 Resilience Week (RWS). :30–36.

As the malware threat landscape is constantly evolving and over one million new malware strains are being generated every day [1], early automatic detection of threats constitutes a top priority of cybersecurity research, and amplifies the need for more advanced detection and classification methods that are effective and efficient. In this paper, we present the application of machine learning algorithms to predict the length of time malware should be executed in a sandbox to reveal its malicious intent. We also introduce a novel hybrid approach to malware classification based on static binary analysis and dynamic analysis of malware. Static analysis extracts information from a binary file without executing it, and dynamic analysis captures the behavior of malware in a sandbox environment. Our experimental results show that by turning the aforementioned problems into machine learning problems, it is possible to get an accuracy of up to 90% on the prediction of the malware analysis run time and up to 92% on the classification of malware families.