Detecting and characterising malicious executable payloads

Andersson, Stig (2009) Detecting and characterising malicious executable payloads. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Buffer overflow vulnerabilities continue to prevail and the sophistication of attacks targeting these vulnerabilities is continuously increasing. As a successful attack of this type has the potential to completely compromise the integrity of the targeted host, early detection is vital. This thesis examines generic approaches for detecting executable payload attacks, without prior knowledge of the implementation of the attack, in such a way that new and previously unseen attacks are detectable. Executable payloads are analysed in detail for attacks targeting the Linux and Windows operating systems executing on an Intel IA-32 architecture. The execution flow of attack payloads are analysed and a generic model of execution is examined. A novel classification scheme for executable attack payloads is presented which allows for characterisation of executable payloads and facilitates vulnerability and threat assessments, and intrusion detection capability assessments for intrusion detection systems. An intrusion detection capability assessment may be utilised to determine whether or not a deployed system is able to detect a specific attack and to identify requirements for intrusion detection functionality for the development of new detection methods. Two novel detection methods are presented capable of detecting new and previously unseen executable attack payloads. The detection methods are capable of identifying and enumerating the executable payload’s interactions with the operating system on the targeted host at the time of compromise. The detection methods are further validated using real world data including executable payload attacks.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

560 since deposited on 09 Feb 2010
25 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 30325
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Clark, Andrew & Mohay, George
Keywords: intrusion detection, network-based intrusion detection, code injection attack, buffer overflow, executable payload
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 09 Feb 2010 04:49
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:55

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page