Protecting Networked Systems from Malware Threats
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Currently, networks and networked systems are essential media for us to communicate with other people, access resources, and share information. Reading (or sending) emails, navigating web sites, and uploading pictures to social medias are common behaviors using networks. Besides these, networks and networked systems are used to store or access sensitive or private information. In addition, major economic activities, such as buying food and selling used cars, can also be operated with networks. Likewise, we live with networks and networked systems. As network usages are increasing and popular, people face the problems of net- work attacks. Attackers on the networks can steal people’s private information, mislead people to pay money for fake products, and threaten people, who operate online commercial sites, by bothering their services. There are much more diverse types of network attacks that torture many people using networks, and the situation is still serious. The proposal in this dissertation starts from the following two research questions: (i) what kind of network attack is prevalent and how we can investigate it and (ii) how we can protect our networks and networked systems from these attacks. Therefore, this dissertation spans two main areas to provide answers for each question. First, we analyze the behaviors and characteristics of large-scale bot infected hosts, and it provides us new findings of network malware and new insights that are useful to detect (or defeat) recent network threats. To do this, we investigate the characteristics of victims infected by recent popular botnet - Conficker, MegaD, and Srizbi. In addition, we propose a method to detect these bots by correlating network and host features. Second, we suggest new frameworks to make our networks secure based on the new network technology of Software Defined Networking (SDN). Currently, SDN technology is considered as a future major network trend, and it can dynamically program networks as we want. Our suggested frameworks for SDN can be used to devise network security applications easily, and we also provide an approach to make SDN technology secure.
Shin, Seung Won (2013). Protecting Networked Systems from Malware Threats. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from