Visible to the public Biblio

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2021-03-04
Hashemi, M. J., Keller, E..  2020.  Enhancing Robustness Against Adversarial Examples in Network Intrusion Detection Systems. 2020 IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks (NFV-SDN). :37—43.

The increase of cyber attacks in both the numbers and varieties in recent years demands to build a more sophisticated network intrusion detection system (NIDS). These NIDS perform better when they can monitor all the traffic traversing through the network like when being deployed on a Software-Defined Network (SDN). Because of the inability to detect zero-day attacks, signature-based NIDS which were traditionally used for detecting malicious traffic are beginning to get replaced by anomaly-based NIDS built on neural networks. However, recently it has been shown that such NIDS have their own drawback namely being vulnerable to the adversarial example attack. Moreover, they were mostly evaluated on the old datasets which don't represent the variety of attacks network systems might face these days. In this paper, we present Reconstruction from Partial Observation (RePO) as a new mechanism to build an NIDS with the help of denoising autoencoders capable of detecting different types of network attacks in a low false alert setting with an enhanced robustness against adversarial example attack. Our evaluation conducted on a dataset with a variety of network attacks shows denoising autoencoders can improve detection of malicious traffic by up to 29% in a normal setting and by up to 45% in an adversarial setting compared to other recently proposed anomaly detectors.

Tang, R., Yang, Z., Li, Z., Meng, W., Wang, H., Li, Q., Sun, Y., Pei, D., Wei, T., Xu, Y. et al..  2020.  ZeroWall: Detecting Zero-Day Web Attacks through Encoder-Decoder Recurrent Neural Networks. IEEE INFOCOM 2020 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications. :2479—2488.

Zero-day Web attacks are arguably the most serious threats to Web security, but are very challenging to detect because they are not seen or known previously and thus cannot be detected by widely-deployed signature-based Web Application Firewalls (WAFs). This paper proposes ZeroWall, an unsupervised approach, which works with an existing WAF in pipeline, to effectively detecting zero-day Web attacks. Using historical Web requests allowed by an existing signature-based WAF, a vast majority of which are assumed to be benign, ZeroWall trains a self-translation machine using an encoder-decoder recurrent neural network to capture the syntax and semantic patterns of benign requests. In real-time detection, a zero-day attack request (which the WAF fails to detect), not understood well by self-translation machine, cannot be translated back to its original request by the machine, thus is declared as an attack. In our evaluation using 8 real-world traces of 1.4 billion Web requests, ZeroWall successfully detects real zero-day attacks missed by existing WAFs and achieves high F1-scores over 0.98, which significantly outperforms all baseline approaches.

Wang, H., Sayadi, H., Kolhe, G., Sasan, A., Rafatirad, S., Homayoun, H..  2020.  Phased-Guard: Multi-Phase Machine Learning Framework for Detection and Identification of Zero-Day Microarchitectural Side-Channel Attacks. 2020 IEEE 38th International Conference on Computer Design (ICCD). :648—655.

Microarchitectural Side-Channel Attacks (SCAs) have emerged recently to compromise the security of computer systems by exploiting the existing processors' hardware vulnerabilities. In order to detect such attacks, prior studies have proposed the deployment of low-level features captured from built-in Hardware Performance Counter (HPC) registers in modern microprocessors to implement accurate Machine Learning (ML)-based SCAs detectors. Though effective, such attack detection techniques have mainly focused on binary classification models offering limited insights on identifying the type of attacks. In addition, while existing SCAs detectors required prior knowledge of attacks applications to detect the pattern of side-channel attacks using a variety of microarchitectural features, detecting unknown (zero-day) SCAs at run-time using the available HPCs remains a major challenge. In response, in this work we first identify the most important HPC features for SCA detection using an effective feature reduction method. Next, we propose Phased-Guard, a two-level machine learning-based framework to accurately detect and classify both known and unknown attacks at run-time using the most prominent low-level features. In the first level (SCA Detection), Phased-Guard using a binary classification model detects the existence of SCAs on the target system by determining the critical scenarios including system under attack and system under no attack. In the second level (SCA Identification) to further enhance the security against side-channel attacks, Phased-Guard deploys a multiclass classification model to identify the type of SCA applications. The experimental results indicate that Phased-Guard by monitoring only the victim applications' microarchitectural HPCs data, achieves up to 98 % attack detection accuracy and 99.5% SCA identification accuracy significantly outperforming the state-of-the-art solutions by up to 82 % in zero-day attack detection at the cost of only 4% performance overhead for monitoring.

2021-01-22
Ayoade, G., Akbar, K. A., Sahoo, P., Gao, Y., Agarwal, A., Jee, K., Khan, L., Singhal, A..  2020.  Evolving Advanced Persistent Threat Detection using Provenance Graph and Metric Learning. 2020 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS). :1—9.

Advanced persistent threats (APT) have increased in recent times as a result of the rise in interest by nation-states and sophisticated corporations to obtain high profile information. Typically, APT attacks are more challenging to detect since they leverage zero-day attacks and common benign tools. Furthermore, these attack campaigns are often prolonged to evade detection. We leverage an approach that uses a provenance graph to obtain execution traces of host nodes in order to detect anomalous behavior. By using the provenance graph, we extract features that are then used to train an online adaptive metric learning. Online metric learning is a deep learning method that learns a function to minimize the separation between similar classes and maximizes the separation between dis-similar instances. We compare our approach with baseline models and we show our method outperforms the baseline models by increasing detection accuracy on average by 11.3 % and increases True positive rate (TPR) on average by 18.3 %.

2020-10-26
Samantray, Om Prakash, Tripathy, Satya Narayan, Das, Susanta Kumar.  2019.  A study to Understand Malware Behavior through Malware Analysis. 2019 IEEE International Conference on System, Computation, Automation and Networking (ICSCAN). :1–5.
Most of the malware detection techniques use malware signatures for detection. It is easy to detect known malicious program in a system but the problem arises when the malware is unknown. Because, unknown malware cannot be detected by using available known malware signatures. Signature based detection techniques fails to detect unknown and zero-day attacks. A novel approach is required to represent malware features effectively to detect obfuscated, unknown, and mutated malware. This paper emphasizes malware behavior, characteristics and properties extracted by different analytic techniques and to decide whether to include them to create behavioral based malware signature. We have made an attempt to understand the malware behavior using a few openly available tools for malware analysis.
2020-09-18
Rasapour, Farhad, Serra, Edoardo, Mehrpouyan, Hoda.  2019.  Framework for Detecting Control Command Injection Attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS). 2019 Seventh International Symposium on Computing and Networking (CANDAR). :211—217.

This paper focuses on the design and development of attack models on the sensory channels and an Intrusion Detection system (IDS) to protect the system from these types of attacks. The encoding/decoding formulas are defined to inject a bit of data into the sensory channel. In addition, a signal sampling technique is utilized for feature extraction. Further, an IDS framework is proposed to reside on the devices that are connected to the sensory channels to actively monitor the signals for anomaly detection. The results obtained based on our experiments have shown that the one-class SVM paired with Fourier transformation was able to detect new or Zero-day attacks.

2020-06-01
Vishwakarma, Ruchi, Jain, Ankit Kumar.  2019.  A Honeypot with Machine Learning based Detection Framework for defending IoT based Botnet DDoS Attacks. 2019 3rd International Conference on Trends in Electronics and Informatics (ICOEI). :1019–1024.

With the tremendous growth of IoT botnet DDoS attacks in recent years, IoT security has now become one of the most concerned topics in the field of network security. A lot of security approaches have been proposed in the area, but they still lack in terms of dealing with newer emerging variants of IoT malware, known as Zero-Day Attacks. In this paper, we present a honeypot-based approach which uses machine learning techniques for malware detection. The IoT honeypot generated data is used as a dataset for the effective and dynamic training of a machine learning model. The approach can be taken as a productive outset towards combatting Zero-Day DDoS Attacks which now has emerged as an open challenge in defending IoT against DDoS Attacks.

2020-03-23
Hirano, Manabu, Kobayashi, Ryotaro.  2019.  Machine Learning Based Ransomware Detection Using Storage Access Patterns Obtained From Live-forensic Hypervisor. 2019 Sixth International Conference on Internet of Things: Systems, Management and Security (IOTSMS). :1–6.
With the rapid increase in the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, mobile devices, cloud services, and cyber-physical systems, the large-scale cyber attacks on enterprises and public sectors have increased. In particular, ransomware attacks damaged UK's National Health Service and many enterprises around the world in 2017. Therefore, researchers have proposed ransomware detection and prevention systems. However, manual inspection in static and dynamic ransomware analysis is time-consuming and it cannot cope with the rapid increase in variants of ransomware family. Recently, machine learning has been used to automate ransomware analysis by creating a behavioral model of same ransomware family. To create effective behavioral models of ransomware, we first obtained storage access patterns of live ransomware samples and of a benign application by using a live-forensic hypervisor called WaybackVisor. To distinguish ransomware from a benign application that has similar behavior to ransomware, we carefully selected five dimensional features that were extracted both from actual ransomware's Input and Output (I/O) logs and from a benign program's I/O logs. We created and evaluated machine learning models by using Random Forest, Support Vector Machine, and K-Nearest Neighbors. Our experiments using the proposed five features of storage access patterns achieved F-measure rate of 98%.
2020-01-20
He, Zecheng, Raghavan, Aswin, Hu, Guangyuan, Chai, Sek, Lee, Ruby.  2019.  Power-Grid Controller Anomaly Detection with Enhanced Temporal Deep Learning. 2019 18th IEEE International Conference On Trust, Security And Privacy In Computing And Communications/13th IEEE International Conference On Big Data Science And Engineering (TrustCom/BigDataSE). :160–167.
Controllers of security-critical cyber-physical systems, like the power grid, are a very important class of computer systems. Attacks against the control code of a power-grid system, especially zero-day attacks, can be catastrophic. Earlier detection of the anomalies can prevent further damage. However, detecting zero-day attacks is extremely challenging because they have no known code and have unknown behavior. Furthermore, if data collected from the controller is transferred to a server through networks for analysis and detection of anomalous behavior, this creates a very large attack surface and also delays detection. In order to address this problem, we propose Reconstruction Error Distribution (RED) of Hardware Performance Counters (HPCs), and a data-driven defense system based on it. Specifically, we first train a temporal deep learning model, using only normal HPC readings from legitimate processes that run daily in these power-grid systems, to model the normal behavior of the power-grid controller. Then, we run this model using real-time data from commonly available HPCs. We use the proposed RED to enhance the temporal deep learning detection of anomalous behavior, by estimating distribution deviations from the normal behavior with an effective statistical test. Experimental results on a real power-grid controller show that we can detect anomalous behavior with high accuracy (\textbackslashtextgreater99.9%), nearly zero false positives and short (\textbackslashtextless; 360ms) latency.
Musca, Constantin, Mirica, Emma, Deaconescu, Razvan.  2013.  Detecting and Analyzing Zero-Day Attacks Using Honeypots. 2013 19th International Conference on Control Systems and Computer Science. :543–548.
Computer networks are overwhelmed by self propagating malware (worms, viruses, trojans). Although the number of security vulnerabilities grows every day, not the same thing can be said about the number of defense methods. But the most delicate problem in the information security domain remains detecting unknown attacks known as zero-day attacks. This paper presents methods for isolating the malicious traffic by using a honeypot system and analyzing it in order to automatically generate attack signatures for the Snort intrusion detection/prevention system. The honeypot is deployed as a virtual machine and its job is to log as much information as it can about the attacks. Then, using a protected machine, the logs are collected remotely, through a safe connection, for analysis. The challenge is to mitigate the risk we are exposed to and at the same time search for unknown attacks.
Clark, Shane S., Paulos, Aaron, Benyo, Brett, Pal, Partha, Schantz, Richard.  2015.  Empirical Evaluation of the A3 Environment: Evaluating Defenses Against Zero-Day Attacks. 2015 10th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security. :80–89.
A3 is an execution management environment that aims to make network-facing applications and services resilient against zero-day attacks. A3 recently underwent two adversarial evaluations of its defensive capabilities. In one, A3 defended an App Store used in a Capture the Flag (CTF) tournament, and in the other, a tactically relevant network service in a red team exercise. This paper describes the A3 defensive technologies evaluated, the evaluation results, and the broader lessons learned about evaluations for technologies that seek to protect critical systems from zero-day attacks.
2019-03-11
Siddiqui, F., Hagan, M., Sezer, S..  2018.  Embedded policing and policy enforcement approach for future secure IoT technologies. Living in the Internet of Things: Cybersecurity of the IoT - 2018. :1–10.

The Internet of Things (IoT) holds great potential for productivity, quality control, supply chain efficiencies and overall business operations. However, with this broader connectivity, new vulnerabilities and attack vectors are being introduced, increasing opportunities for systems to be compromised by hackers and targeted attacks. These vulnerabilities pose severe threats to a myriad of IoT applications within areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, power and energy grids, transportation and commercial building management. While embedded OEMs offer technologies, such as hardware Trusted Platform Module (TPM), that deploy strong chain-of-trust and authentication mechanisms, still they struggle to protect against vulnerabilities introduced by vendors and end users, as well as additional threats posed by potential technical vulnerabilities and zero-day attacks. This paper proposes a pro-active policy-based approach, enforcing the principle of least privilege, through hardware Security Policy Engine (SPE) that actively monitors communication of applications and system resources on the system communication bus (ARM AMBA-AXI4). Upon detecting a policy violation, for example, a malicious application accessing protected storage, it counteracts with predefined mitigations to limit the attack. The proposed SPE approach widely complements existing embedded hardware and software security technologies, targeting the mitigation of risks imposed by unknown vulnerabilities of embedded applications and protocols.

2018-12-10
Ndichu, S., Ozawa, S., Misu, T., Okada, K..  2018.  A Machine Learning Approach to Malicious JavaScript Detection using Fixed Length Vector Representation. 2018 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). :1–8.

To add more functionality and enhance usability of web applications, JavaScript (JS) is frequently used. Even with many advantages and usefulness of JS, an annoying fact is that many recent cyberattacks such as drive-by-download attacks exploit vulnerability of JS codes. In general, malicious JS codes are not easy to detect, because they sneakily exploit vulnerabilities of browsers and plugin software, and attack visitors of a web site unknowingly. To protect users from such threads, the development of an accurate detection system for malicious JS is soliciting. Conventional approaches often employ signature and heuristic-based methods, which are prone to suffer from zero-day attacks, i.e., causing many false negatives and/or false positives. For this problem, this paper adopts a machine-learning approach to feature learning called Doc2Vec, which is a neural network model that can learn context information of texts. The extracted features are given to a classifier model (e.g., SVM and neural networks) and it judges the maliciousness of a JS code. In the performance evaluation, we use the D3M Dataset (Drive-by-Download Data by Marionette) for malicious JS codes and JSUPACK for benign ones for both training and test purposes. We then compare the performance to other feature learning methods. Our experimental results show that the proposed Doc2Vec features provide better accuracy and fast classification in malicious JS code detection compared to conventional approaches.

Lobato, A. G. P., Lopez, M. A., Sanz, I. J., Cárdenas, A. A., Duarte, O. C. M. B., Pujolle, G..  2018.  An Adaptive Real-Time Architecture for Zero-Day Threat Detection. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC). :1–6.

Attackers create new threats and constantly change their behavior to mislead security systems. In this paper, we propose an adaptive threat detection architecture that trains its detection models in real time. The major contributions of the proposed architecture are: i) gather data about zero-day attacks and attacker behavior using honeypots in the network; ii) process data in real time and achieve high processing throughput through detection schemes implemented with stream processing technology; iii) use of two real datasets to evaluate our detection schemes, the first from a major network operator in Brazil and the other created in our lab; iv) design and development of adaptive detection schemes including both online trained supervised classification schemes that update their parameters in real time and learn zero-day threats from the honeypots, and online trained unsupervised anomaly detection schemes that model legitimate user behavior and adapt to changes. The performance evaluation results show that proposed architecture maintains an excellent trade-off between threat detection and false positive rates and achieves high classification accuracy of more than 90%, even with legitimate behavior changes and zero-day threats.

Kumar, S., Singh, C. Bhim Bhan.  2018.  A Zero-Day Resistant Malware Detection Method for Securing Cloud Using SVM and Sandboxing Techniques. 2018 Second International Conference on Inventive Communication and Computational Technologies (ICICCT). :1397–1402.

Cloud nowaday has become the backbone of the IT infrastructure. Whole of the infrastructure is now being shifted to the clouds, and as the cloud involves all of the networking schemes and the OS images, it inherits all of the vulnerabilities too. And hence securing them is one of our very prior concerns. Malwares are one of the many other problems that have ever growing and hence need to be eradicated from the system. The history of mal wares go long back in time since the advent of computers and hence a lot of techniques has also been already devised to tackle with the problem in some or other way. But most of them fall short in some or other way or are just too heavy to execute on a simple user machine. Our approach devises a 3 - phase exhaustive technique which confirms the detection of any kind of malwares from the host. It also works for the zero-day attacks that are really difficult to cover most times and can be of really high-risk at times. We have thought of a solution to keep the things light weight for the user.

2018-04-04
Ullah, I., Mahmoud, Q. H..  2017.  A hybrid model for anomaly-based intrusion detection in SCADA networks. 2017 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data). :2160–2167.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems complexity and interconnectivity increase in recent years have exposed the SCADA networks to numerous potential vulnerabilities. Several studies have shown that anomaly-based Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) achieves improved performance to identify unknown or zero-day attacks. In this paper, we propose a hybrid model for anomaly-based intrusion detection in SCADA networks using machine learning approach. In the first part, we present a robust hybrid model for anomaly-based intrusion detection in SCADA networks. Finally, we present a feature selection model for anomaly-based intrusion detection in SCADA networks by removing redundant and irrelevant features. Irrelevant features in the dataset can affect modeling power and reduce predictive accuracy. These models were evaluated using an industrial control system dataset developed at the Distributed Analytics and Security Institute Mississippi State University Starkville, MS, USA. The experimental results show that our proposed model has a key effect in reducing the time and computational complexity and achieved improved accuracy and detection rate. The accuracy of our proposed model was measured as 99.5 % for specific-attack-labeled.

2018-03-26
Liu, W., Chen, F., Hu, H., Cheng, G., Huo, S., Liang, H..  2017.  A Novel Framework for Zero-Day Attacks Detection and Response with Cyberspace Mimic Defense Architecture. 2017 International Conference on Cyber-Enabled Distributed Computing and Knowledge Discovery (CyberC). :50–53.

In cyberspace, unknown zero-day attacks can bring safety hazards. Traditional defense methods based on signatures are ineffective. Based on the Cyberspace Mimic Defense (CMD) architecture, the paper proposes a framework to detect the attacks and respond to them. Inputs are assigned to all online redundant heterogeneous functionally equivalent modules. Their independent outputs are compared and the outputs in the majority will be the final response. The abnormal outputs can be detected and so can the attack. The damaged executive modules with abnormal outputs will be replaced with new ones from the diverse executive module pool. By analyzing the abnormal outputs, the correspondence between inputs and abnormal outputs can be built and inputs leading to recurrent abnormal outputs will be written into the zero-day attack related database and their reuses cannot work any longer, as the suspicious malicious inputs can be detected and processed. Further responses include IP blacklisting and patching, etc. The framework also uses honeypot like executive module to confuse the attacker. The proposed method can prevent the recurrent attack based on the same exploit.

2017-02-14
M. Bere, H. Muyingi.  2015.  "Initial investigation of Industrial Control System (ICS) security using Artificial Immune System (AIS)". 2015 International Conference on Emerging Trends in Networks and Computer Communications (ETNCC). :79-84.

Industrial Control Systems (ICS) which among others are comprised of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) are used to control industrial processes. ICS have now been connected to other Information Technology (IT) systems and have as a result become vulnerable to Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). APTs are targeted attacks that use zero-day attacks to attack systems. Current ICS security mechanisms fail to deter APTs from infiltrating ICS. An analysis of possible solutions to deter APTs was done. This paper proposes the use of Artificial Immune Systems to secure ICS from APTs.

2015-05-06
Kaur, R., Singh, M..  2014.  A Survey on Zero-Day Polymorphic Worm Detection Techniques. Communications Surveys Tutorials, IEEE. 16:1520-1549.

Zero-day polymorphic worms pose a serious threat to the Internet security. With their ability to rapidly propagate, these worms increasingly threaten the Internet hosts and services. Not only can they exploit unknown vulnerabilities but can also change their own representations on each new infection or can encrypt their payloads using a different key per infection. They have many variations in the signatures of the same worm thus, making their fingerprinting very difficult. Therefore, signature-based defenses and traditional security layers miss these stealthy and persistent threats. This paper provides a detailed survey to outline the research efforts in relation to detection of modern zero-day malware in form of zero-day polymorphic worms.