Friday, March 9, 2007

Paper 4: Allergy Attack Against Automatic Signature Generation

This paper practically shows how to do what Can machine learning be secure? describes. In the paper, they show how to attack systems that uses Automatic Signature Generation (ASG). A typical ASG first detects an intrusion or attack, thereafter automatically generates a signature from the attack data and then filter out all future traffic matching the signature.

By using the fact that many ASG system does not use the same method to detect the attack and then create the signature they are able to fool the system into creating signatures for non-malicious traffic. Also, by not using the full context of an attack, such as the steps leading to the attack, ATG systems are easier fooled.

An ATG system seems to be a kind of unsupervised learning system, using anomaly detection to detect suspicious traffic. Then a signature is created from the traffic based on comparison between many suspicious traffic instances. The signature is often computed from the longest common byte sequence.

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