Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Detect Cyberattacks, New Software System Profiles "Normal" Computer Habits

Date:
October 11, 2002
Source:
University At Buffalo
Summary:
An early version of a new software system developed by University at Buffalo researchers that detects cyberattacks while they are in progress by drawing highly personalized profiles of users has proven successful 94 percent of the time in simulated attacks.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- An early version of a new software system developed by University at Buffalo researchers that detects cyberattacks while they are in progress by drawing highly personalized profiles of users has proven successful 94 percent of the time in simulated attacks.

Related Articles


The "user-level anomaly detection system" was described here today (Oct. 10, 2002) at the military communications conference known as MILCOM 2002.

"We have developed a new paradigm, proactively encapsulating user intent where you basically generate a profile for every single user in the system where security is a major concern," said Shambhu Upadhyaya, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and engineering at UB and co-author of the paper.

In addition to the paper presentation, MILCOM invited Upadhyaya to give a half-day tutorial on the new intrusion detection system at the meeting.

Upadhyaya directs UB's Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education, one of 36 in the U.S. chosen by the National Security Agency to develop new programs to conduct research and train students to protect the nation's information technology systems from cyberterrorism.

The new UB intrusion detection system is being developed for application in highly secure facilities, such as those in the military.

"Existing approaches look at a past record of computer activity because those systems produce audits of activity for every user," he explained. "Our methodology is a marriage of two known techniques: misuse and anomaly detection. We use an assertion/rule-based approach to precisely capture the initial bracket of activity and then fine-tune this profile to reflect ongoing activity, making highly personalized and accurate profiles possible.

"Also, since users are being constantly monitored, this system can detect intrusions or attacks on-the-fly."

The UB system generates a user profile according to data about standard operations and commands that each user follows to carry out specific tasks.

The system is designed to detect significant deviations from procedures followed by normal users.

While some commercially available computer security packages already feature user-profiling, Upadhyaya noted that they are based on "low-level" methods -- meaning they seek out deviations on the basis of huge amounts of data, so they end up creating many false alarms.

"User modeling is computationally hard," said Upadhyaya. "Since many of these existing systems treat this problem purely statistically, any deviation from the norm is signaled as an anomaly, but it is often the case that an intrusion has not occurred.

"It's a nuisance because an alarm can go off as often as every five minutes," he said.

By contrast, the system he developed with co-authors Rankumar Chinchani, a doctoral candidate in the UB Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Kevin Kwiat of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., is based on the idea that the computation habits of normal users generally are well-defined and that he or she will work within those bounds.

"The normal behavior of computer users has been very well characterized," said Upadhyaya. "Normal users stick within well-defined parameters. Intruders or hackers, on the other hand, will not be able to carry out their intended operations within such well-defined parameters, and so will make the scope of his or her activities overly permissive," said Upadhyaya. "Our system is based on detecting that kind of behavior."

The key to the UB system's success and its "scalable" feature is that its monitoring system operates at a high level, examining commands that users execute to perform certain operations. This is in contrast to the low-level monitoring that many existing packages perform, which examine commands as basic as the ones and zeroes of which email messages are composed.

"Our system is looking for a sequence of operations that falls within certain 'normal' parameters," he explained.

"For example, if you want to make a document, you do certain things in a certain order, you create the document, you use a word processing program, you may run Spellcheck. Our system knows what to look for in the normal sequence that is necessary to accomplish this job. Any deviations from that are assumed to be potential cyberattacks."

The work was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University At Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University At Buffalo. "To Detect Cyberattacks, New Software System Profiles "Normal" Computer Habits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021011071818.htm>.
University At Buffalo. (2002, October 11). To Detect Cyberattacks, New Software System Profiles "Normal" Computer Habits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021011071818.htm
University At Buffalo. "To Detect Cyberattacks, New Software System Profiles "Normal" Computer Habits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021011071818.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins