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Title: Analysing web-based malware behaviour through client honeypots
Author: Alosefer, Yaser
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 2558
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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With an increase in the use of the internet, there has been a rise in the number of attacks on servers. These attacks can be successfully defended against using security technologies such as firewalls, IDS and anti-virus software, so attackers have developed new methods to spread their malicious code by using web pages, which can affect many more victims than the traditional approach. The attackers now use these websites to threaten users without the user’s knowledge or permission. The defence against such websites is less effective than traditional security products meaning the attackers have the advantage of being able to target a greater number of users. Malicious web pages attack users through their web browsers and the attack can occur even if the user only visits the web page; this type of attack is called a drive-by download attack. This dissertation explores how web-based attacks work and how users can be protected from this type of attack based on the behaviour of a remote web server. We propose a system that is based on the use of client Honeypot technology. The client Honeypot is able to scan malicious web pages based on their behaviour and can therefore work as an anomaly detection system. The proposed system has three main models: state machine, clustering and prediction models. All these three models work together in order to protect users from known and unknown web-based attacks. This research demonstrates the challenges faced by end users and how the attacker can easily target systems using drive-by download attacks. In this dissertation we discuss how the proposed system works and the research challenges that we are trying to solve, such as how to group web-based attacks into behaviour groups, how to avoid attempts at obfuscation used by attackers and how to predict future malicious behaviour for a given web-based attack based on its behaviour in real time. Finally, we have demonstrate how the proposed system will work by implementing a prototype application and conducting a number of experiments to show how we were able to model, cluster and predict web-based attacks based on their behaviour. The experiment data was collected randomly from online blacklist websites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; QA76 Computer software