The microcosmic model of worm propagation

Wang, Yini, Wen, Sheng, Cesare, Silvio, Zhou, Wanlei and Xiang, Yang 2011, The microcosmic model of worm propagation, The Computer Journal, vol. 54, no. 10, pp. 1700-1720.

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Title The microcosmic model of worm propagation
Author(s) Wang, Yini
Wen, Sheng
Cesare, Silvio
Zhou, Wanlei
Xiang, YangORCID iD for Xiang, Yang
Journal name The Computer Journal
Volume number 54
Issue number 10
Start page 1700
End page 1720
Total pages 21
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0010-4620
Keyword(s) network security
patch strategy
worm propagation
Summary Each year, large amounts of money and labor are spent on patching the vulnerabilities in operating systems and various popular software to prevent exploitation by worms. Modeling the propagation process can help us to devise effective strategies against those worms' spreading. This paper presents a microcosmic analysis of worm propagation procedures. Our proposed model is different from traditional methods and examines deep inside the propagation procedure among nodes in the network by concentrating on the propagation probability and time delay described by a complex matrix. Moreover, since the analysis gives a microcosmic insight into a worm's propagation, the proposed model can avoid errors that are usually concealed in the traditional macroscopic analytical models. The objectives of this paper are to address three practical aspects of preventing worm propagation: (i) where do we patch? (ii) how many nodes do we need to patch? (iii) when do we patch? We implement a series of experiments to evaluate the effects of each major component in our microcosmic model. Based on the results drawn from the experiments, for high-risk vulnerabilities, it is critical that networks reduce the number of vulnerable nodes to below 80%. We believe our microcosmic model can benefit the security industry by allowing them to save significant money in the deployment of their security patching schemes.
Language eng
Field of Research 080503 Networking and Communications
Socio Economic Objective 890201 Application Software Packages (excl. Computer Games)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, Oxford University Press
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