IP address blacklists are a useful source of information about repeat attackers. Such information can be used to prioritize which traffic to divert for deeper inspection (e.g., repeat offender traffic), or which traffic to serve first (e.g., traffic from sources that are not blacklisted). But blacklists also suffer from overspecialization – each list is geared towards a specific purpose – and they may be inaccurate due to misclassification or stale information. We propose BLAG, a system that evaluates and aggregates multiple blacklists feeds, producing a more useful, accurate and timely master blacklist, tailored to the specific customer network. BLAG uses a sample of the legitimate sources of the customer network’s inbound traffic to evaluate the accuracy of each blacklist over regions of address space. It then leverages recommendation systems to select the most accurate information to aggregate into its master blacklist. Finally, BLAG identifies portions of the master blacklist that can be expanded into larger address regions (e.g. /24 prefixes) to uncover more malicious addresses with minimum collateral damage. Our evaluation of 157 blacklists of various attack types and three ground-truth datasets shows that BLAG achieves high specificity up to 99%, improves recall by up to 114 times compared to competing approaches, and detects attacks up to 13.7 days faster, which makes it a promising approach for blacklist generation.
BLAG: Improving the Accuracy of Blacklists
Sivaramakrishnan Ramanathan (University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute), Jelena Mirkovic (University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute), Minlan Yu (Harvard University)
View More Papers
Aritra Dhar (ETH Zurich), Enis Ulqinaku (ETH Zurich), Kari Kostiainen (ETH Zurich), Srdjan Capkun (ETH Zurich)Read More
Vasilios Mavroudis (University College London), Karl Wüst (ETH Zurich), Aritra Dhar (ETH Zurich), Kari Kostiainen (ETH Zurich), Srdjan Capkun (ETH...Read More
Venkat Arun (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Aniket Kate (Purdue University), Deepak Garg (Max Planck Institute for Software Systems), Peter Druschel...Read More
Tao Chen (City University of Hong Kong), Longfei Shangguan (Microsoft), Zhenjiang Li (City University of Hong Kong), Kyle Jamieson (Princeton...Read More