Efficient quarantining of scanning worms: optimal detection and coordination

A. Ganesh, D. Gunawardena, P. Key, L. Massoulié, and J. Scott

Abstract

Current generation worms have caused considerable damage, despite their use of unsophisticated scanning strategies for detecting vulnerable hosts. A number of adaptive techniques have been proposed for quarantining hosts whose behaviour is deemed suspicious. Such techniques have been proven to be effective against fast scanning worms. However, worms could evade detection by being less aggressive. In this paper we consider the interplay between worm strategies and detection techniques, which can be described in game-theoretic terms. We use epidemiological modelling to characterise the outcome of the game (the pay-off function), as a function of the strategies of the worm and the detector. We design detection rules that are optimal against scanning worms with known characteristics. We then identify specific detection rules that are close to optimal, in some mathematically precise sense, against any scanning worm. Finally, we design methods for coordinating information among a set of end-hosts, using Bayesian decision theory. We evaluate the proposed rules using simulations driven by traces from a corporate environment of 600 hosts, and assess the benefits of coordination.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inInfocom 2006
OrganizationIEEE
PublisherIEEE
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