Title

On Challenges in Evaluating Malware Clustering

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date

9-2010

Abstract

Malware clustering and classification are important tools that enable analysts to prioritize their malware analysis efforts. The recent emergence of fully automated methods for malware clustering and classification that report high accuracy suggests that this problem may largely be solved. In this paper, we report the results of our attempt to confirm our conjecture that the method of selecting ground-truth data in prior evaluations biases their results toward high accuracy. To examine this conjecture, we apply clustering algorithms from a different domain (plagiarism detection), first to the dataset used in a prior work's evaluation and then to a wholly new malware dataset, to see if clustering algorithms developed without attention to subtleties of malware obfuscation are nevertheless successful. While these studies provide conflicting signals as to the correctness of our conjecture, our investigation of possible reasons uncovers, we believe, a cautionary note regarding the significance of highly accurate clustering results, as can be impacted by testing on a dataset with a biased cluster-size distribution.

Keywords

malware clustering and classification, plagiarism detection

Discipline

Information Security

Research Areas

Information Security and Trust

Publication

Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection: 13th International Symposium, RAID 2010, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 15-17, 2010: Proceedings

Volume

6307

First Page

238

Last Page

255

ISBN

9783642155123

Identifier

10.1007/978-3-642-15512-3_13

Publisher

Springer Verlag

City or Country

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15512-3_13