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An integrated networkbased mobile botnet detection system

Meng, X. (2018). An integrated networkbased mobile botnet detection system. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, Universtiy of London)


The increase in the use of mobile devices has made them target for attackers, through the use of sophisticated malware. One of the most significant types of such malware is mobile botnets. Due to their continually evolving nature, botnets are difficult to tackle through signature and traditional anomaly based detection methods. Machine learning techniques have also been used for this purpose. However, the study of their effectiveness has shown methodological weaknesses that have prevented the emergence of conclusive and thorough evidence about their merit.

To address this problem, in this thesis we propose a mobile botnet detection system, called MBotCS and report the outcomes of a comprehensive experimental study of mobile botnet detection using supervised machine learning techniques to analyse network traffic and system calls on Android mobile devices.

The research covers a range of botnet detection scenarios that is wider from what explored so far, explores atomic and box learning algorithms, and investigates thoroughly the sensitivity of the algorithm performance on different factors (algorithms, features of network traffic, system call data aggregation periods, and botnets vs normal applications and so on). These experiments have been evaluated using real mobile device traffic, and system call captured from Android mobile devices, running normal apps and mobile botnets.

The experiments study has several superiorities comparing with existing research. Firstly, experiments use not only atomic but also box ML classifiers. Secondly, a comprehensive set of Android mobile botnets, which had not been considered previously, without relying on any form of synthetic training data. Thirdly, experiments contain a wider set of detection scenarios including unknown botnets and normal applications. Finally, experiments include the statistical significance of differences in detection performance measures with respect to different factors.

The study resulted in positive evidence about the effectiveness of the supervised learning approach, as a solution to the mobile botnet detection problem.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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