VB2014 paper: We know it before you do: predicting malicious domains

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Feb 5, 2015

Wei Xu and his colleagues attempt to block domains before they're used for bad purposes.

Since the close of the VB2014 conference in Seattle in October, we have been sharing VB2014 conference papers as well as video recordings of the presentations. Today, we have added 'We know it before you do: predicting malicious domains' by Palo Alto Networks researchers Wei Xu, Yanxin Zhang and Kyle Sanders.

Whether they're used for command and control communication, to host malware or in a phishing campaign, malicious domains play an important role in today's threats. Security firms thus try hard to detect them and add them to their blacklists.

  Life cycle of a malicious domain.

However, with domains being recycled quickly, a reactive approach might not be good enough. In their VB2014 paper, Palo Alto Networks researchers Wei Xu, Yanxin Zhang and Kyle Sanders describe how they tried to predict malicious domains.

They combine four different techniques: looking at known malicious domain names that are likely to be reused; looking at the domain names themselves to detect those generated by DGAs; looking at DNS queries made to the domains; and looking at connections between the domain names, such as shared DNS infrastructure.

Using these techniques and one month's data as input, they were able to predict almost 2,200 malicious domains, 83% of which were listed on VirusTotal as known malicious by at least one vendor. Passive DNS records showed that they predicted malicious domains an average of eight hours before DNS queries showed up in the PDNS feed.

You can read the paper here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF (no registration or subscription required). We have also uploaded the presentation to our YouTube channel.



Posted on 05 February 2015 by Martijn Grooten

 Tags

vb2014 dga domain
twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: APT cases exploiting vulnerabilities in region-specific software

At VB2019, JPCERT/CC's Shusei Tomonaga and Tomoaki Tani presented a paper on attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in software used only in Japan, using malware that is unique to Japan. Today we publish both their paper and the recording of their…

New paper: Detection of vulnerabilities in web applications by validating parameter integrity and data flow graphs

In a follow-up to a paper presented at VB2019, Prismo Systems researchers Abhishek Singh and Ramesh Mani detail algorithms that can be used to detect SQL injection in stored procedures, persistent cross-site scripting (XSS), and server‑side request…

VB2020 programme announced

VB is pleased to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2020, the 30th Virus Bulletin International Conference.

VB2019 paper: Cyber espionage in the Middle East: unravelling OSX.WindTail

At VB2019 in London, Jamf's Patrick Wardle analysed the WindTail macOS malware used by the WindShift APT group, active in the Middle East. Today we publish both Patrick's paper and the recording of his presentation.

VB2019 paper: 2,000 reactions to a malware attack – accidental study

At VB2019 cybercrime journalist and researcher Adam Haertlé presented an analysis of almost 2000 unsolicited responses sent by victims of a malicious email campaign. Today we publish both his paper and the recording of his presentation.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.