A Feature Space Transformation to Intrusion Detection Systems

Roberto Saia, Salvatore Carta, Diego Recupero, Gianni Fenu

Abstract

The anomaly-based Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) represent one of the most efficient methods in countering the intrusion attempts against the ever growing number of network-based services. Despite the central role they play, their effectiveness is jeopardized by a series of problems that reduce the IDS effectiveness in a real-world context, mainly due to the difficulty of correctly classifying attacks with characteristics very similar to a normal network activity or, again, due to the difficulty of contrasting novel forms of attacks (zero-days). Such problems have been faced in this paper by adopting a Twofold Feature Space Transformation (TFST) approach aimed to gain a better characterization of the network events and a reduction of their potential patterns. The idea behind such an approach is based on: (i) the addition of meta-information, improving the event characterization; (ii) the discretization of the new feature space in order to join together patterns that lead back to the same events, reducing the number of false alarms. The validation process performed by using a real-world dataset indicates that the proposed approach is able to outperform the canonical state-of-the-art solutions, improving their intrusion detection capability.

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