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Anomaly-based IDS Implementation in Cloud

Environment using BOAT Algorithm

Chetna Vaid#, Harsh K Verma#
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India.

Abstract-- Innovations are essential to ride the inevitable tide of cloud computing lie in IaaS [3], the platform for providing the
revolutions. Most of enterprises are striving to reduce their applications to the user is present in PaaS [4, 28] and the
computing cost through the means of virtualization. This demand services that are hosted at users machines are deployed by SaaS
of reducing the computing cost has led to the innovation of [21, 28], sometimes also called On-demand software [31].
cloud computing. With the increasing number of companies
The user interfaces lie on the top of these three models.
resorting to employ resources in the cloud, the protection of the
users data is becoming a significant issue of concern. This report Section 1 of this research paper presents the introduction of
tackles this concern for enterprises in terms of security with cloud computing as an evolving technology describing its
intrusion detection while adopting cloud computing. The main aim deployment models and service models. In, section 2 the
of this research is to understand the security threats and identify a security issues reproduced with the cloud computing have been
security technique used to mitigate them in cloud computing. The highlighted. In section 3, the focus is on the related work done
intrusion detection will be undertaken on the basis of anomaly- and the theoretical background of the proposed work. An
detection on the data generated from the transactions captured overview of the concepts used for the current IDS model is
within the cloud network. The data captured will undergo intense mentioned in section 4. In section 4 the proposed model
data mining through clustering and then performing classification
architecture and the implementation details are delineated.
using BOAT algorithm to detect the presence of intruders on the
cloud. The mining approach will consider various attributes of the Finally the conclusion and a brief discussion on the future work
data to scrutinize the user behaviour. are presented in section 6.

Keywords- Cloud computing; centralized resources; security; II. CLOUD COMPUTING AND SECURITY
intrusion detection; anomaly-detection; data mining; BOAT
algorithm The shift from server based computing towards service-
based computing is transforming the technology in terms of
I. INTRODUCTION designing and delivering applications [30, 32]. An entity is
considered trustworthy when all the people involved in dealing
Cloud computing [1] proves to be the next evolution to the
with that entity rely on its credibility, which in turn leads to
distributed computing paradigm that facilitates resource pool,
reliability [6, 11]. Although the use of cloud services promises
storage and computing resources. The term cloud in cloud
attractive opportunity for organizations of all sizes and traits to
computing accelerates the way through which everything
outsource and utilize centrally-managed security resources,
from computing power to computing infrastructure, multiple
organizations should also be conscious of the threats and
applications, various business processes to non public
challenges associated with a particular cloud choice before
collaborations can be delivered to users as a service wherever
handing over their sensitive data or services into the cloud
and whenever required [2]. Cloud computing is a sculpture for
environment [29, 30, 32]. The issues related with the
facilitating ubiquitous (availability), convenient, on-demand
application and service of cloud computing and information
network access to a shared pool of configurable computing
security of cloud computing comprises of the client side
resources (e.g., servers, storage, networks, applications, and
equipment security, the threats against websites involved, the
services) that can be swiftly provisioned and released with
detection, diagnosis and surveillance of intrusions, access
nominal management exertion or service provider interaction
rights and security of database at the cloud side, detection of
system leakage and the supervision of real-time repairing
Service models (layers) identify different control options
process, management of server system, the management of
for the cloud customer and cloud service provider (CSP) which
mobile e-commerce processing, and the integrated analysis
in turn impacts the level of responsibility for both parties [29].
of associated security information and issues [18]. An IT
The service models of cloud are represented as a layered
organization must ensure the right balance of protection,
architecture of cloud computing. The three most commonly used
privacy, governance, and accessibility in spite of the fact that IT
service models [28] are described in Figure 1, where resources
security is quite difficult to monitor [12]. A security framework
that make the resource pool and pull the computing power for

978-1-4799-6896-1/14/$31.00 2014 IEEE

is proposed in [7] for cloud-based enterprise systems that must frequently thus making it extremely difficult for the CSPs to
comprise: detect and prevent the attacks [21].
(i) Physical security: Imposing codes of conduct and social In this paper, we have proposed an intrusion detection
guidelines for the workforce and procuring mechanisms to model that can be implemented with SaaS layer of cloud in
assure the adherence of rules. It must also cover the solution to order to provide utmost security for the cloud network by
catastrophe or disaster recovery. scrutinizing the users behaviour who are trying to access the
(ii) Data storage security: It constitutes of encryption of cloud network.
sensitive data, maintaining privacy of data and backing up of III. RELATED WORK
data on periodical basis in order to recover from disasters. A. Problem Statement
(iii) Access security: This module should comprise of intrusion To design and implement an Intrusion Detection System
detection and prevention system to guard against unauthorized (IDS) that is able to detect the malicious activity on a service
access over the network or systems. hosted by a cloud environment in a network on a virtual
(iv) Application software management: This module contains machine. In other words, to propose a model that could detect
the business logic to ensure the security and integrity of data. the presence of intruders on a cloud environment and generate
This can be practiced via user authentication, maintaining data the alarms at the occurrence of any illegitimate activity. Here
integrity and identity management of users through credential the intrusion detection system is trained with the normal data
synchronization. and thus the malicious data is recognized on the basis of the
(v) Communication management: It can be attained through deviation (or anomaly) suspected while any new data is
transaction security and by implementing encryption techniques compared with the trained data.
like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security
(TLS) to protect communication through servers. B. Related Work
In 2007, Pei-Te Chen et al. proposed the concept of security
auditors who can be used to discover the system vulnerabilities
and modify the tested packets with the help of fingerprints that
can be detected and recognized by IDS [17].
In February 2011, Jun-Ho Lee et al. proposed a multi-level
method for implementing IDS [19] in cloud computing system.
In this method all the users were bound to a security system on
the basis of degree of anomaly that they termed as anomaly
level (High, Medium and Low). The system judged anomalies
on the basis of users IP coverage, vulnerable ports, number of
ID/password failures etc.
In June 2011, Gustavo Nascimento et al. presented an
anomaly-based intrusion detection model in a production
environment of SaaS application [20] with more than 500,000
requests in a day.
In July 2012, Chirag N. Modi et al. designed and integrated
Fig. 1 Layered Architecture of Cloud Computing [4] a Network based IDS module in Cloud that offered IaaS to
detect network attacks [22]. In this module, they used Bayesian
Many businesses, organizations and governments are classification algorithm along with Snort. The authors quoted
incorporating Security-as-a-Service into their cloud strategies that their module guarantees low false positives and low false
[15, 30, 32]. However industry experts have analyzed various negatives with affordable computational cost.
vulnerabilities that are of great concern to current industry that In 2012, Ajeet Kumar Gautam et al. proposed an improved
have placed their data onto the cloud and introduced multiple hybrid intrusion detection system in cloud computing wherein
threats like data breaches/losses, account hijacking, malicious two technologies were used in combination, honeypot
insiders, insecure APIs, denial of services and shared technology technology with KFSensor and anomaly based IDS via
issues [5, 13]. FlowMatrix[8]. They designed an architecture and implemented
Due to tremendously large size of the resources and it as real time by providing and detecting various attacks.
inherent loopholes in the TCP/IP stack, the attacker can In September 2012, Amirreza et al. introduced a Cloud
effortlessly exploit the protocol stack to introduce multiple Intrusion Detection System Service (CIDSS) [9] to overcome
attacks on the customers virtual machines. In addition, several the crucial challenge of securing the client from cyber attacks.
new attacks, called zero day attacks, are emerging quite The CIDSS architecture composed of three primary
components: A Service Agent for Intrusion Detection, a Service
Component (CCSC), and an Intrusion Detection Service applications where security vulnerabilities are quite common.
Component (IDSC) that were used to assimilate information and The signature or pattern based IDS performs a profound
thereafter test them. inspection of the packets observing for any malicious patterns in
In January 2013, Ahmed Patel et al. presented a detailed the header and/or payload.
taxonomy of their proposed model of Intrusion Detection and 2) Anomaly-based Detection: An anomaly-based IDS
Prevention system (IDPS) in cloud computing [10]. In this secures a statistical model of custom patterns that describe the
model, the basic requirements for an ideal IDPS were presented normal behavior of a resources to be monitored [20]. The initial
and thus the concepts of autonomic computing, risk training phase is utilized by the system wherein a similarity
management, fuzzy theory and ontology were grabbed and metric is used to compare an input request with the model, and
combined acknowledge the requirements of an IDS. thereby generating alerts for those deviating significantly,
In August 2013, P. Gupta et al. proposed behaviour based bearing them anomalous.
IDS [23], the implementation was exercsed in a real cloud IaaS
environment using Qemu as the Virtual machine monitor Although the inspection method utilized in signature
and Libvirt library as a driver to interact with Qemu. The (misuse)-based IDS seems quite efficient and effective, it shows
framework was tested with NIDS to detect network based two main disadvantages, namely inaccuracy in the detection of
attacks like spoofing, DOS, scripting attacks etc. signature against unknown attacks [24, 26] and deficiencies in
In February 2014, Harshit Saxena et al. proposed an pattern analysis. The first disadvantage is due to the fact that
intrusion detection system using K- means, PSO with SVM misuse-based IDS is unable to detect unknown attacks [21], or
classifier [15] to detect various attacks at network. In this the variations of a previous attack patterns because they rely on
author has tried to design an IDS that is trained on the basis of string comparison; thus the unknown attacks as well as their
Particle Swarm Optimization, executed on the KDD data. variants can show deviation from the comparison string, or
signature, and thus are ignored from being detected, leading to
IV. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND false negatives [25]. Secondly, misuse-based IDSs have
deficiencies in pattern analysis, and in rule writing techniques as
A. Intrusion Detection it mainly relies on the human ability to capture all the
The process of recognizing malicious activity targeted vulnerabilities of attacks which if not done accurately can
against the networking resources is termed as intrusion drastically affect the process of intrusion detection [8, 24, 25].
detection. The identification of any suspicious activity on the
devices and/or networks is raised by an alert [20]. An Intrusion V. OVERVIEW OF TECHNIQUES USED
Detection System (IDS) is a must in a cloud computing
environment for protecting each VM against the threat of A. K-means Clustering Technique
attacks. The algorithm takes input parameter k and divides the n
An IDS can be a hardware or software program that dataset into k clusters in such a way that the intra-cluster
automates the process of monitoring the events at a machine or similarity remains high and inter-cluster similarity goes low,
at a network. It observes the traffic at each virtual machine, where k is a positive integer number that is presumed. K-
monitors the network and thus generates the logs, in order to means clustering takes less time as compared to the hierarchical
provide the essence of security to all the devices globally [6, 15, clustering methods and therefore yields better results. The
20]. The monitored environments for an IDS are [10]: method is initialized with setting cluster centroids, where the
Network-based Intrusion Detection System: NIDS monitors the distance between the centroids is calculated using Eucleadian
network packets for specific network segments or stations to distance that is defined as:
identify any suspicious activity. d(x, y) = (xi yi)2
Host-based Intrusion Detection System: HIDS monitors a
specific host to detect if any program accesses some resources. where, x = (x1 . . . xm) and y = (y1ym) are the two input vectors
It behaves somewhat like a firewall. with m quantitative features [28].

B. Categories of IDS B. Decision Tree

Among various IDS operations, intruder identification is Decision trees are the powerful and one of the most popular
one of the fundamental ones [14]. The three main identified tools for the purpose of classification and prediction. We will
methods of detection by IDS [ 6, 10, 20] are mainly categorized use the bootstrapped ID3 that is called J48, decision tree over
as: the data to be trained. J48 extracts the best attribute from the
1) Misuse-based Detection: A misuse-based IDS training set that can be utilized for the partitioning of the given
maintains a database of signatures depicting attacks. Such samples [28]. It terminates its operation when the attribute
signatures of attacks target widely used systems or available efficiently and fully classifies the training set, or else it
recursively functions on the m detached subsets to get the 11. Intrusion at the cloud is suspected.
"best" attributes. 12. Generate the alarm.
C. BOAT Algorithm
BOAT (Bootstrapped Optimistic Algorithm for Tree Generation of Data Capturing DATA
Scenarios in GNS3 using Wireshark
Construction) is a highly scalable algorithm that has the SET
capability to update a decision tree in an incremental fashion in
case the training dataset modifies dynamically [27]. Instead of K-means Clustering Training of IDS
rebuilding every time, BOAT makes the update to the current
tree by incorporating the new training data for ever-changing
environments. BOAT algorithm inputs a sample D1 from the Data Classification by J.48 Generation of Alarms on
training database D that saves it in the memory of the machine. decision tree (BOAT) occurrence of alert
With the help of bootstrapping technique, small samples can be
obtained as S1, S2, S3,., SN that become the replacement of Fig. 2 Proposed model architecture
actual big sample D1 and construct mini decision trees ST1,
ST2, ST3,., STM using any of the conventional tree The proposed method comprises of three phases of intrusion
constructing algorithms for these samples. In the process of detection that are:
bootstrapping, a new sample of N transactions is randomly
extracted out of m sampled data, where each transaction is A. Phase 1
selected at most t times. In the first phase a scenario (topology) will be configured
on an emulator called GNS3, as shown in Figure 3, that lets the
VI. PROPOSED IDS FRAMEWORK network to act as been operated on an actual virtual machine
with the cloud environment. The transactions done with the
The proposed intrusion detection method is based on the scenario will be logged for further observations.
concept of k-means clustering algorithm along with
bootstrapped ID3 classification algorithm (BOAT algorithm),
thus acting as a two-stage IDS. In the first stage, the current
dataset obtained from cloud environment is evaluated with the
ideal data (genuine transactions) stored in the database GT and
the profile score PrS is computed. If any deviation from the
authorized data is encountered, the data is forwarded to the
second stage. Second stage provides the deviation conformity
that, it is due to some criminal activity (like unauthorized
access) or due to short term change in behaviour of the user.
This is accomplished by comparing data with the database CT
and calculating the deviation score DvS. The algorithm designed
for the proposed system will be as follows:
START: Fig 3 Scenario to depict a cloud service (FTP) hosted by a virtual client
1. Create a topology of devices running on cloud environment.
2. Obtain the data set of the transaction through the emulator B. Phase 2
running on virtual machine. This phase will comprise of the data gathering that has been
3. Select the data to be investigated and normalize it on the generated by GNS3. The data will be judged later on the basis of
basis of various attributes. various attributes. Additionally this phase will train the
4. Apply the k-clustering algorithm to achieve the required proposed IDS with the genuine user behaviour.
5. Apply the target attributes on the clusters formed. The attributes presumed for validating the users behaviour
6. Calculates the PrS with the decision tree. in the due course of access in the cloud network are:
7. If PrS is greater than presumed threshold value, go to step 1. IP address of machines
8, else go to step 9. 2. Password violations
8. The user is believed genuine and no intrusion is detected. 3. Occurrence of proxy server
9. Calculate the DvS. 4. Protocol type
10. If the DvS is greater than presumed threshold value then go 5. Length of the packet
to step 11, else to step 12. 6. File extension
7. Network traffic into the user VM
8. Network traffic moving out of user VM Cluster 0 data will be used for the training of IDS as the
9. Operating system ideal behaviour expected. The cluster 0 data is now fed to
classification process in terms of suspicious or unsafe
C. Phase 3 transactions extracted as a consequence of deviation from the
The final phase will be the data analysis phase where the training on the basis of threshold limits.
data will be clustered. Clustering is done with simple K-means
clustering method over a dataset of 351 users. The ID3 algorithm helps in the formulation of the decision
tree and hence supplied the results in the BOAT classifier. The
The result includes nine attributes and two clusters, cluster 0 and figure 7 illustrates the formulation of the J48 tree in a classified
cluster 1. Four iterations were used in formulation of these two manner, in a text representation. It shows the value present in
clusters and within the clusters the sum of squared error is each node.

Fig. 7 Tree representation of Classified Data

The tree representation of the classified data into various

classes where in cluster 0, 216 users belong to Good class, but 9
to Mild class who can cause alerts and in cluster 1, 19 fall under
Fig. 4 Cluster formation for all the attributes
mild class whereas 107 are the intruders (Bad class). It shows
Cluster 0 is the cluster for genuine users and it contain the accuracy of the proposed model that came out to be
64% of the total data set and cluster 1 is the cluster which 92.0228% and mere 7.9772% are miss-classified instances.
contains the illegal data set that is 36% of total data.

The accuracy and the cost-benefit analysis play a significant

role in the recognition of any model for an application. The
accuracy of the BOAT classification comes out to be 91.66%.

Parameters for comparison Proposed model
Correctly Classified Instances 88.604% 92.0228%
Incorrectly Classified Instances 11.396% 7.9772%
Mean Absolute Error 11.4% 10.4%
Root Mean Squared Error 33.76% 27.03%
Relative Absolute Error 24.7463% 22.6135%
True Positive Rate 88.604% 92.0228%
False Positive Rate 17.9% 11.1%
Precision 89.1% 92%
F-Measure 88.3% 91.9%
Fig. 6 J48 decision tree formation
By comparing the proposed model with the existing model
that uses SVM classifier [15] to detect attacks on cloud network,
it is observed that this proposed model promises to detect a
higher level of intrusions with less false positives, depicted in Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering, Volume
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