Detecting Botclouds at Large Scale: a Decentralized and Robust Detection Method for Multi-Tenant Virtualized Environments
IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
68 – 82
Cloud computing has gained an important role in providing high quality and cost-effective IT services by outsourcing part of their operations to dedicated cloud providers. If intrinsic security issues of this architecture have been extensively studied, it has recently been considered as a ready-to-use platform able to perform malicious activities, thus offering new targets for indirect threats. However, its large scale, the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of the activities it executes, as well as multi- tenancy and privacy-related issues, make the security operation complex. Consequently, cloud providers can hardly detect and mitigate malicious activities they unknowingly host. Leveraging the autonomic paradigm represents a promising solution to face such a complexity, but it requires efficient grounded monitoring and analysis functions to efficiently detect malicious activities hidden within the large number of legitimate ones. In this effort, this paper presents a robust and cost-effective solution to detect malicious activities in a public virtualized environment. Its contribution is twofold: (1) a scalable and robust workload estimation of the virtual host activities in a cloud and (2) a detection algorithm able to discriminate infected hosts with low malicious activities hidden within their legitimate workload and potentially scattered across several tenants. For both of these contributions, we establish their theoretical performance, which demonstrates their optimality, and we evaluate their efficiency on a dataset made of real data collected on PlanetLab. Finally, we study the scalability on a large dataset that consists of simulated data resulting from the real dataset modeling. This demonstrates to what extent the proposal exhibits an excellent sharpness and a reasonable cost, even at a very large scale.