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A Study on the Evolution of Ransomware Detection Using Machine Learning and Deep Learning Techniques

Fernando, D. W., Komninos, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-2776-1283 & Chen, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-8037-1685 (2020). A Study on the Evolution of Ransomware Detection Using Machine Learning and Deep Learning Techniques. IoT, 1(2), pp. 551-604. doi: 10.3390/iot1020030


This survey investigates the contributions of research into the detection of ransomware malware using machine learning and deep learning algorithms. The main motivations for this study are the destructive nature of ransomware, the difficulty of reversing a ransomware infection, and how important it is to detect it before infecting a system. Machine learning is coming to the forefront of combatting ransomware, so we attempted to identify weaknesses in machine learning approaches and how they can be strengthened. The threat posed by ransomware is exceptionally high, with new variants and families continually being found on the internet and dark web. Recovering from ransomware infections is difficult, given the nature of the encryption schemes used by them. The increase in the use of artificial intelligence also coincides with this boom in ransomware. The exploration into machine learning and deep learning approaches when it comes to detecting ransomware poses high interest because machine learning and deep learning can detect zero-day threats. These techniques can generate predictive models that can learn the behaviour of ransomware and use this knowledge to detect variants and families which have not yet been seen. In this survey, we review prominent research studies which all showcase a machine learning or deep learning approach when detecting ransomware malware. These studies were chosen based on the number of citations they had by other research. We carried out experiments to investigate how the discussed research studies are impacted by malware evolution. We also explored the new directions of ransomware and how we expect it to evolve in the coming years, such as expansion into IoT (Internet of Things), with IoT being integrated more into infrastructures and into homes.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: ransomware; crypto; locker; detection; learning algorithms; internet
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Software Reliability
SWORD Depositor:
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