Cyber attacks to enterprise networks and critical infrastructures are becoming more prevalent and diverse. Timely recognition of attack strategies and behaviors will assist analysts or resilient network defense systems in deploying effective means in anticipation of future threats. An attack can be characterized by the sequences of observed events that are relevant to critical assets. Earlier work has developed a semi-supervised learning framework to process large-scale events and extract attack behaviors. While the framework is designed to support online processing, the implementation requires extension and restructuring to support scalable automation of sustainable online network attack characterization.

This work builds upon the semi-supervised Bayesian classification framework, and aims at providing a modular and scalable system that supports a variety of features to describe attacks, ranging from packet level information to metadata produced by sensors, such as Snort and Bro. The system will continuously process data streams, generating newly learned models, as well as record critical information of aged behavior models. These behavior models will reflect the attack strategies that are relevant to the critical assets, enhancing the situational awareness and enabling predictive and resilient network defense. The accuracy of the models is demonstrated through comparisons to network topologies and scenarios provided from the source of the dataset utilized. These scenarios often encapsulate multiple complex network attack behaviors allowing for more realistic representations of network traffic over time and better test cases for experimentation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer networks--Security measures; Cyberterrorism--Prevention; Cyberterrorism--Computer simulation; Bayesian statistical decision theory

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computer Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Engineering (KGCOE)


Shanchieh Jay Yang

Advisor/Committee Member

Andres Kwasinski

Advisor/Committee Member

Raymond Ptucha


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK5105.59 .R39 2014


RIT – Main Campus

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