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Dynamic Malware Detection and Phylogeny Analysis using Process Mining

In the last years, mobile phones have become essential communication and productivity tools used daily to access business services and exchange sensitive data. Consequently, they have also become the biggest target of malware attacks. New malware is created everyday, most of which is generated as variants of existing malware by reusing its malicious code. This paper proposes an approach for malware detection and phylogeny studying based on dynamic analysis using process mining. The approach exploits process mining techniques to identify relationships and recurring execution patterns in the system call traces gathered from a mobile application in order to characterize its behavior. The recovered characterization is expressed in terms of a set of declarative constraints between system calls and represents a sort of run-time fingerprint of the application. The comparison between the so defined fingerprint of a given application with those of known malware is used to: i) verify if the application is malware or trusted, ii) in case of malware, which family it belongs to, and iii) how it differs from other known variants of the same malware family. An empirical study conducted on a dataset of 1200 trusted and malicious applications across nine malware families has shown that the approach exhibits a very good discrimination ability that can be exploited for malware detection and malware evolution studying. Moreover, the study has also shown that the approach is robust to code obfuscation techniques increasingly being used by nowadays malware.
International Journal of Information Security, 2018

External authors: Mario Luca Bernardi (Università degli Studi Giustino Fortunato), Marta Cimitile (Università degli Studi di Roma Unitelma Sapienza), Damiano Distante (Università degli Studi di Roma Unitelma Sapienza)
IIT authors:

Type: Contributo in rivista ISI
Field of reference: Computer Science & Engineering

File: dynamic-malware-detection.pdf

Activity: Sicurezza di dispositivi mobili