An Immune-Inspired Approach to Anomaly Detection

An Immune-Inspired Approach to Anomaly Detection

Jamie Twycross (University of Nottingham, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-855-0.ch010
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Abstract

The immune system provides a rich metaphor for computer security: anomaly detection that works in nature should work for machines. However, early artificial immune system approaches for computer security had only limited success. Arguably, this was due to these artificial systems being based on too simplistic a view of the immune system. We present here a second generation artificial immune system for process anomaly detection. It improves on earlier systems by having different artificial cell types that process information. Following detailed information about how to build such second generation systems, we find that communication between cells types is key to performance. Through realistic testing and validation, we show that second generation artificial immune systems are capable of anomaly detection beyond generic system policies. The chapter concludes with a discussion and outline of the next steps in this exciting area of computer security.
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Biologically-Inspired Approaches

Biological approaches to computer security are appealing for a number of reasons. Williamson (2002) discusses some of these reasons and their impact on the design of computer security systems. Biological organisms have developed many novel, parsimonious, and effective protection mechanisms. As computer systems and networks become more complex traditional approaches are often ineffective and suffer from problems such as scalability, and biologically systems are important sources of inspiration when designing new approaches. The short position paper of Morel (2002) discusses the general design of cyber-security systems that provides a large distributed computer network with a high degree of survivability. He proposes that a cyber-security system emulates the architecture of the biological immune system. As in this chapter, the innate immune system is considered as central to the immune response, processing information and controlling the adaptive immune system. An effective cyber-security system should emulate key features, most importantly distributed control, of the biological system, it should provide multiple information gathering mechanisms, and it should coevolve with the threat.

In another interesting position paper, Williams (1996) explores the similarities between people’s health and the security of complex computer systems. Humans are composed of distinct but tightly integrated multilayer systems, have external interfaces which can receive a wide range of input, and which carefully balance security and functionality, and have internal interfaces with protection mechanisms. They are not born with many of their defenses, but learn to protect themselves against recurring threats such as viruses, and are able to identify and develop defenses for new threats. The body is able to detect conditions that are likely to lead to injury. It is surrounded by a skin which, if damaged, leads to further response. Williams suggests that computer systems also need to have virtual skins with a similar functionality. He highlights the importance of the balance between functionality, security, and flexibility. Humans, as with computer systems, live a complex environment where conditions change over time. Both computer and biological systems are very sensitive to the input they receive. Biological systems check and filter input at many levels, and he suggests security systems need to do the same. He also emphasises the impossibility of accurate measurement of health in humans, which is reflected in the difficultly of measuring the security of computer systems. His general view is that the computer security industry is becoming as specialised as the healthcare industry, with security engineers akin to doctors.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Artificial Immune System: A relatively new class of metaheuristics that mimics aspects of the human immune system to solve computational problems. This method has shown particular promise for anomaly detection. Previous artificial immune systems have shown some similarities with evolutionary computation. This is because they focus on the adaptive immune system. More recent approaches have combined this with aspects of the innate immune system to create a second generation of artificial immune systems.

Adaptive Immune System: Central components of the adaptive immune system are T cells and B cells. The overall functionality of the adaptive immune system is to try and eliminate threats through antibodies, which have to be produced such that they match antigen. This is achieved in an evolutionary-like manner, with better and better matches being produced over a short period of time. The adaptive system remembers past threats and hence has the capability of responding faster to future similar events.

Process Anomaly Detection: A method of detecting intrusions on computer systems. The aim is to detect misbehaving processes, as this could be a sign of an intrusions. The detection is based on syscalls (i.e., activities by the processes), and context signals (e.g., CPU load, memory usage, or network activity).

T Cells: Created in the thymus (hence the “T”), these cells come in different subtypes. Cytotoxic T cells directly destroy infected cells. T helper cells are essential to activate other cells (e.g., B cells). T reg cells suppress inappropriate responses.

Dendritic Cells: These belong to the class of antigen presenting cells. During their life, dendritic cells ingest antigen and redisplay it on their surface. In addition, dendritic cells mature differently depending on the context signals they are exposed to. Using these two mechanisms, these cells differentiate between dangerous and non-dangerous material and then activate T cells.

Innate Immune System: Central components of the innate immune system are antigen presenting cells and in particular dendritic cells. Until recently, the innate system was viewed as less important than the adaptive system and its main function was seen as an information pre-processing unit. However, the latest immunological research shows that it is the innate system that actually controls the adaptive system. Above all, dendritic cells seem to be the key decision makers.

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Table of Contents
Preface
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Acknowledgment
Jatinder N. D. Gupta, Sushil Sharma
Chapter 1
Xin Luo, Qinyu Liao
In computer virology, advanced encryption algorithms, on the bright side, can be utilized to effectively protect valuable information assets of... Sample PDF
Ransomware: A New Cyber Hijacking Threat to Enterprises
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Chapter 2
Joon S. Park
E-commerce has grown immensely with the increase in activity on the Internet, and this increase in activity, while immeasurable, has also presented... Sample PDF
E-Commerce: The Benefits, Security Risks, and Countermeasures
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Chapter 3
Pamela Ajoku
Even though weapons and money are considered important factors for running a modern world, at the end of the day, it is all about controlling and... Sample PDF
Information Warfare: Survival of the Fittest
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Chapter 4
Gaeil An, Joon S. Park
In this chapter, we discuss the evolution of the enterprise security federation, including why the framework should be evolved and how it has been... Sample PDF
Evolution of Enterprise Security Federation
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Chapter 5
Roy Ng
The hypergrowth of computing and communications technologies increases security vulnerabilities to organizations. The lack of resources training... Sample PDF
A Holistic Approach to Information Security Assurance and Risk Management in an Enterprise
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Chapter 6
John D’Arcy, Anat Hovav
A number of academic studies that focus on various aspects of information security management (ISM) have emerged in recent years. This body of work... Sample PDF
An Integrative Framework for the Study of Information Security Management Research
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Chapter 7
Aditya Ponnam
Organizations worldwide recognize the importance of a comprehensive, continuously evolving risk assessment process, built around a solid risk... Sample PDF
Information Systems Risk Management: An Audit and Control Approach
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Chapter 8
Udaya Kiran Tupakula
In this chapter we discuss Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in networks such as the Internet, which have become significantly prevalent... Sample PDF
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks in Networks
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Chapter 9
Andy Luse
This chapter describes various firewall conventions, and how these technologies operate when deployed on a corporate network. Terms associated with... Sample PDF
Firewalls as Continuing Solutions for Network Security
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Chapter 10
Jamie Twycross
The immune system provides a rich metaphor for computer security: anomaly detection that works in nature should work for machines. However, early... Sample PDF
An Immune-Inspired Approach to Anomaly Detection
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Chapter 11
Wasim A. Al-Hamdani
This chapter introduces cryptography from information security phase rather than from deep mathematical and theoretical aspects, along with... Sample PDF
Cryptography for Information Security
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Chapter 12
Carlo Belletini
The chapter introduces and describes representative defense mechanisms to protect from both basic and advanced exploitation of low-level coding... Sample PDF
Memory Corruption Attacks, Defenses, and Evasions
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Chapter 13
Dalila Boughaci, Brahim Oubeka, Abdelkader Aissioui, Habiba Drias, Belaïd Benhamou
This chapter presents the design and the implementation of a decentralized firewall. The latter uses autonomous agents to coordinately control the... Sample PDF
Design and Implementation of a Distributed Firewall
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Chapter 14
Tom Coffey
This chapter concerns the correct and reliable design of modern security protocols. It discusses the importance of formal verification of security... Sample PDF
A Formal Verification Centred Development Process for Security Protocols
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Chapter 15
Ahsan Habib
This chapter develops a distributed monitoring scheme that uses edge-to-edge measurements to identify congested links and capture the misbehaving... Sample PDF
Edge-to-Edge Network Monitoring to Detect Service Violations and DoS Attacks
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Chapter 16
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A "One-Pass" Methodology for Sensitive Data Disk Wipes
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Chapter 17
Lijun Liao
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Securing E-Mail Communication with XML Technology
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Chapter 18
Li Yang, Raimund K. Ege, Lin Luo
This chapter describes our approach to handle security in a complex Distributed Virtual Environment (DVE). The modules of such an environment all... Sample PDF
Aspect-Oriented Analysis of Security in Distributed Virtual Environment
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Chapter 19
Information Availability  (pages 230-239)
Deepak Khazanchi
This chapter describes the concept of information availability (IAV) which is considered an important element of information security. IAV is... Sample PDF
Information Availability
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Chapter 20
Siraj Ahmed Shaikh
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the research area of formal analysis of authentication protocols. It briefly introduces... Sample PDF
Formal Analysis and Design of Authentication Protocols
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Chapter 21
Rajeev R. Raje, Alex Crespi, Omkar J. Tilak, Andrew M. Olson
Component-based software development offers a promising technique for creating distributed systems. It does require a framework for specifying... Sample PDF
Access Control Frameworks for a Distributed System
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Chapter 22
Manish Gupta, JinKyu Lee, H. R. Rao
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Chapter 23
Sue Conger
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Chapter 24
Sushma Mishra
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Internal Auditing for Information Assurance
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Chapter 25
William H. Friedman
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IT Continuity in the Face of Mishaps
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Chapter 26
Yvette Ghormley
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Chapter 27
Yvette Ghormley
The number and severity of attacks on computer and information systems in the last two decades has steadily risen and mandates the use of security... Sample PDF
Security Policies and Procedures
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Chapter 28
Arjmand Samuel
This chapter outlines the overall access control policy engineering framework in general and discusses the subject of validation of access control... Sample PDF
Enterprise Access Control Policy Engineering Framework
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Chapter 29
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta
The purpose of the information security policy is to establish an organization-wide approach to prescribe mechanisms that help identify and prevent... Sample PDF
Information Security Policies: Precepts and Practices
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Chapter 30
Paul D. Witman
This chapter provides a set of guidelines to assist information assurance and security researchers in creating, negotiating, and reviewing... Sample PDF
A Guide to Non-Disclosure Agreements for Researchers
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Chapter 31
Omkar J. Tilak
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Assurance for Temporal Compatibility Using Contracts
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Chapter 32
Arjan Durresi
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Chapter 33
Sushil K. Sharma, Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Ajay K. Gupta
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Chapter 34
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Six Keys to Improving Wireless Security
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Chapter 35
Robert W. Proctor, E. Eugene Schultz, Kim-Phuong L. Vu
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Human Factors in Information Security and Privacy
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Chapter 36
Wm. Arthur Conklin
Software defects lead to security vulnerabilities, which cost businesses millions of dollars each year and threaten the security of both individuals... Sample PDF
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Chapter 37
Christopher M. Botelho, Joseph A. Cazier
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Guarding Corporate Data from Social Engineering Attacks
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Chapter 38
Tom Clark
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Data Security for Storage Area Networks
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Chapter 39
Edgar Weippl
This chapter outlines advanced options for security training. It builds on previous publications (Weippl 2005, 2006) and expands them by including... Sample PDF
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Chapter 40
Manish Gupta
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Security-Efficient Identity Management Using Service Provisioning (Markup Language)
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Chapter 41
Dwayne Stevens, David T. Green
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Chapter 42
Jose M. Torres
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Critical Success Factors and Indicators to Improve Information Systems Security Management Actions
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Chapter 43
Rebecca H. Rutherfoord
This chapter will deal with issues of privacy, societal, and ethical concerns in enterprise security. Security for a company is defined as... Sample PDF
Privacy, Societal, and Ethical Concerns in Security
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Chapter 44
Rodolfo Villarroel, Eduardo Fernández-Medina, Juan Trujillo, Mario Piattini
This chapter presents an approach for designing secure Data Warehouses (DWs) that accomplish the conceptual modeling of secure DWs independently... Sample PDF
An MDA Compliant Approach for Designing Secure Data Warehouses
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Chapter 45
Hai Wang
This chapter introduces the survivability evaluation, especially on the corresponding evaluation criteria and modeling techniques. The content of... Sample PDF
Survivability Evaluation Modeling Techniques and Measures
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Chapter 46
Art Taylor
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Chapter 47
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About the Contributors