Tracking Dynamic Sources of Malicious Activity at Internet Scale

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Shobha Venkataraman, Avrim Blum, Dawn Song, Subhabrata Sen, Oliver Spatscheck


We formulate and address the problem of discovering dynamic malicious regions on the Internet. We model this problem as one of adaptively pruning a known decision tree, but with additional challenges: (1) severe space requirements, since the underlying decision tree has over 4 billion leaves, and (2) a changing target function, since malicious activity on the Internet is dynamic. We present a novel algorithm that addresses this problem, by putting together a number of different ``experts algorithms and online paging algorithms. We prove guarantees on our algorithms performance as a function of the best possible pruning of a similar size, and our experiments show that our algorithm achieves high accuracy on large real-world data sets, with significant improvements over existing approaches.