Rule-Based Anomaly Detection on IP Flows Conference Paper uri icon


  • Rule-based packet classification is a powerful method for identifying traffic anomalies, with network security as a key application area. While popular systems like Snort are used in many network locations, comprehensive deployment across Tier-1 service provider networks is costly due to the need for high-speed monitors at many network ingress points. Since ISPs already collect flow statistics ubiquitously, can we use it for detecting the same anomalies as the packet based rules in spite of aggregation and absence of payload information? We exploit correlations between packet and flow level information via a machine learning (ML) approach to associate packet level alarms with a feature vector derived from flow records on the same traffic. We describe a system architecture for network-wide flow-alarming and describe the steps required to establish a proof-of-concept. We evaluate prediction accuracy of candidate ML algorithms on actual packet traces. The duration of prediction effectiveness is an issue for ML approaches and more so in resource intensive network applications. Initial results show little impairment of performance over periods of one or two weeks.© 2009 IEEE.

author list (cited authors)

  • Duffield, N., Haffner, P., Krishnamurthy, B., & Ringberg, H.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM