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Takey, Yuvraj Sanjayrao, Tatikayala, Sai Gopal, Samavedam, Satyanadha Sarma, Lakshmi Eswari, P R, Patil, Mahesh Uttam.  2021.  Real Time early Multi Stage Attack Detection. 2021 7th International Conference on Advanced Computing and Communication Systems (ICACCS). 1:283–290.
In recent times, attackers are continuously developing advanced techniques for evading security, stealing personal financial data, Intellectual Property (IP) and sensitive information. These attacks often employ multiple attack vectors for gaining initial access to the systems. Analysts are often challenged to identify malware objective, initial attack vectors, attack propagation, evading techniques, protective mechanisms and unseen techniques. Most of these attacks are frequently referred to as Multi stage attacks and pose a grave threat to organizations, individuals and the government. Early multistage attack detection is a crucial measure to counter malware and deactivate it. Most traditional security solutions use signature-based detection, which frequently fails to thwart zero-day attacks. Manual analysis of these samples requires enormous effort for effectively counter exponential growth of malware samples. In this paper, we present a novel approach leveraging Machine Learning and MITRE Adversary Tactic Technique and Common knowledge (ATT&CK) framework for early multistage attack detection in real time. Firstly, we have developed a run-time engine that receives notification while malicious executable is downloaded via browser or a launch of a new process in the system. Upon notification, the engine extracts the features from static executable for learning if the executable is malicious. Secondly, we use the MITRE ATT&CK framework, evolved based on the real-world observations of the cyber attacks, that best describes the multistage attack with respect to the adversary Tactics, Techniques and Procedure (TTP) for detecting the malicious executable as well as predict the stages that the malware executes during the attack. Lastly, we propose a real-time system that combines both these techniques for early multistage attack detection. The proposed model has been tested on 6000 unpacked malware samples and it achieves 98 % accuracy. The other major contribution in this paper is identifying the Windows API calls for each of the adversary techniques based on the MITRE ATT&CK.