Title: Characterising heterogeneity in vulnerable hosts on worm propagation

Authors: Zesheng Chen; Chao Chen

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA ' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, USA

Abstract: Worm propagation models are important for understanding worm dynamics and designing effective and efficient detection and defence systems. The existing models, however, ignore the heterogeneity in vulnerable hosts and assume that the worm-scanning rate is the same for all infected hosts. In this work, we analytically and empirically study the impact of heterogeneity of vulnerable hosts on worm propagation. Specifically, we first apply the Jensen's inequality to show that the heterogeneity in vulnerable hosts indeed hinders the speed of worm propagation. Next, we propose a novel model to predict and characterise worm dynamics among heterogeneous vulnerable hosts. Finally, applying the real trace from Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) to simulate the propagation of a Witty worm in the Internet, we verify our analytical results and demonstrate that our proposed model can accurately predict the spread of worms among heterogeneous vulnerable hosts.

Keywords: heterogeneity; vulnerable hosts; worm propagation; Witty worms; modelling; simulation; worm dynamics; computer worms; computer security.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2016.079276

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2016 Vol.11 No.4, pp.224 - 234

Received: 05 Aug 2015
Accepted: 26 Aug 2015

Published online: 16 Sep 2016 *

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