Polymorphic worm detection and defense: System design, experimental methodology, and data resources

Jisheng Wang, Lhab Hamadeh, George Kesidis, David J. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The polymorphic variety of Internet worms presents a formidable challenge to network intrusion detection and methods designed to extract payload signatures for worm containment. Recently, several systems, including Earlybird and Polygraph, have been proposed, based on efficient processing of payloads to extract signatures that are either explicitly indicative of an attack (exploit code strings) or which have unusual statistical character (content prevalence, address dispersion) consistent with worm activity. While these works are seminal, these systems have limitations that affect accuracy of the extracted signatures and/or practicability of the system's deployment. Earlybird's signature extraction is fragile to polymorphism, while Polygraph makes assumptions about data availability and the accuracy of front-end flow classification. This method also possesses high complexity.We propose a new method which, fundamentally, integrates header-based multidimensional flow clustering as front-end processing, with content sifting (signature extraction) performed, separately, solely on each cluster in the (small) subset of identified suspicious clusters. Front-end clustering improves purity of the (separate) signature pools and also reduces complexity. We apply a "suffix tree" approach to signature extraction, gleaning both length and frequency information. We demonstrate efficacy of our approach on a (background) trace taken from a /24 in Taiwan, which we salt with worm traffic based on two realistic polymorphic mechanisms that we propose. Since there is a dearth of public data for such testing, we have also made an anonymized version of this trace available, based on randomized headers and fingerprinted payloads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2006 SIGCOMM Workshop on Large-scale Attack Defense, LSAD'06
Pages169-176
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
EventACM SIGCOMM 2006 - Conference on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication - Pisa, Italy
Duration: Sep 11 2006Sep 15 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2006 SIGCOMM Workshop on Large-scale Attack Defense, LSAD'06
Volume2006

Other

OtherACM SIGCOMM 2006 - Conference on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication
CountryItaly
CityPisa
Period9/11/069/15/06

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture

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    Wang, J., Hamadeh, L., Kesidis, G., & Miller, D. J. (2006). Polymorphic worm detection and defense: System design, experimental methodology, and data resources. In Proceedings of the 2006 SIGCOMM Workshop on Large-scale Attack Defense, LSAD'06 (pp. 169-176). (Proceedings of the 2006 SIGCOMM Workshop on Large-scale Attack Defense, LSAD'06; Vol. 2006). https://doi.org/10.1145/1162666.1162676