Talks and Poster Presentations (with Proceedings-Entry):

P. Milani Comparetti, C. Kolbitsch, E. Kirda, C. Krügel, Z. Xiaoyong, W. Xiaofeng:
"Effective and Efficient Malware Detection at the End Host";
Talk: Usenix Security Symposium, Montreal, Canada; 2009-06-14 - 2009-06-19; in: "usenix 2009", (2009).

English abstract:
Malware is one of the most serious security threats on the Internet today. In fact, most Internet problems such as spam e-mails and denial of service attacks have malware as their underlying cause. That is, computers that are compromised with malware are often networked together to form botnets, and many attacks are launched using these malicious, attacker-controlled networks. With the increasing significance of malware in Internet attacks, much research has concentrated on developing techniques to collect, study, and mitigate malicious code. Without doubt, it is important to collect and study malware found on the Internet. However, it is even more important to develop mitigation and detection techniques based on the insights gained from the analysis work. Unfortunately, current host-based detection approaches (i.e., anti-virus software) suffer from ineffective detection models. These models concentrate on the features of a specific malware instance, and are often easily evadable by obfuscation or polymorphism. Also, detectors that check for the presence of a sequence of system calls exhibited by a malware instance are often evadable by system call reordering. In order to address the shortcomings of ineffective models, several dynamic detection approaches have been proposed that aim to identify the behavior exhibited by a malware family. Although promising, these approaches are unfortunately too slow to be used as real-time detectors on the end host, and they often require cumbersome virtual machine technology. In this paper, we propose a novel malware detection approach that is both effective and efficient, and thus, can be used to replace or complement traditional anti-virus software at the end host. Our approach first analyzes a malware program in a controlled environment to build a model that characterizes its behavior. Such models describe the information flows between the system calls essential to the malware's mission, and therefore, cannot be easily evaded by simple obfuscation or polymorphic techniques. Then, we extract the program slices respon-

sible for such information flows. For detection, we execute these slices to match our models against the runtime behavior of an unknown program. Our experiments show that our approach can effectively detect running malicious code on an end user's host with a small overhead.

Electronic version of the publication:

Related Projects:
Project Head Paolo Milani Comparetti:
Worldwide Observatory of Malicious Behaviors and Attack Threats

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