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Meryem, Amar, Samira, Douzi, Bouabid, El Ouahidi.  2018.  Enhancing Cloud Security Using Advanced MapReduce K-means on Log Files. Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Software Engineering and Information Management. :63–67.

Many customers ranked cloud security as a major challenge that threaten their work and reduces their trust on cloud service's provider. Hence, a significant improvement is required to establish better adaptations of security measures that suit recent technologies and especially distributed architectures. Considering the meaningful recorded data in cloud generated log files, making analysis on them, mines insightful value about hacker's activities. It identifies malicious user behaviors and predicts new suspected events. Not only that, but centralizing log files, prevents insiders from causing damage to system. In this paper, we proposed to take away sensitive log files into a single server provider and combining both MapReduce programming and k-means on the same algorithm to cluster observed events into classes having similar features. To label unknown user behaviors and predict new suspected activities this approach considers cosine distances and deviation metrics.

M. Ussath, F. Cheng, C. Meinel.  2015.  "Concept for a security investigation framework". 2015 7th International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security (NTMS). :1-5.

The number of detected and analyzed Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) campaigns increased over the last years. Two of the main objectives of such campaigns are to maintain long-term access to the environment of the target and to stay undetected. To achieve these goals the attackers use sophisticated and customized techniques for the lateral movement, to ensure that these activities are not detected by existing security systems. During an investigation of an APT campaign all stages of it are relevant to clarify important details like the initial infection vector or the compromised systems and credentials. Most of the currently used approaches, which are utilized within security systems, are not able to detect the different stages of a complex attack and therefore a comprehensive security investigation is needed. In this paper we describe a concept for a Security Investigation Framework (SIF) that supports the analysis and the tracing of multi-stage APTs. The concept includes different automatic and semi-automatic approaches that support the investigation of such attacks. Furthermore, the framework leverages different information sources, like log files and details from forensic investigations and malware analyses, to give a comprehensive overview of the different stages of an attack. The overall objective of the SIF is to improve the efficiency of investigations and reveal undetected details of an attack.

Layman, Lucas, Diffo, Sylvain David, Zazworka, Nico.  2014.  Human Factors in Webserver Log File Analysis: A Controlled Experiment on Investigating Malicious Activity. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :9:1–9:11.

While automated methods are the first line of defense for detecting attacks on webservers, a human agent is required to understand the attacker's intent and the attack process. The goal of this research is to understand the value of various log fields and the cognitive processes by which log information is grouped, searched, and correlated. Such knowledge will enable the development of human-focused log file investigation technologies. We performed controlled experiments with 65 subjects (IT professionals and novices) who investigated excerpts from six webserver log files. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered to: 1) analyze subject accuracy in identifying malicious activity; 2) identify the most useful pieces of log file information; and 3) understand the techniques and strategies used by subjects to process the information. Statistically significant effects were observed in the accuracy of identifying attacks and time taken depending on the type of attack. Systematic differences were also observed in the log fields used by high-performing and low-performing groups. The findings include: 1) new insights into how specific log data fields are used to effectively assess potentially malicious activity; 2) obfuscating factors in log data from a human cognitive perspective; and 3) practical implications for tools to support log file investigations.