, Volume 24, Issue 3-4, pp 599-611
Date: 15 Nov 2012

Flow-based anomaly detection in high-speed links using modified GSA-optimized neural network

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Ever growing Internet causes the availability of information. However, it also provides a suitable space for malicious activities, so security is crucial in this virtual environment. The network intrusion detection system (NIDS) is a popular tool to counter attacks against computer networks. This valuable tool can be realized using machine learning methods and intrusion datasets. Traditional datasets are usually packet-based in which all network packets are analyzed for intrusion detection in a time-consuming process. On the other hand, the recent spread of 1–10-Gbps-technologies have clearly pointed out that scalability is a growing problem. In this way, flow-based solutions can help to solve the problem by reduction of data and processing time, opening the way to high-speed detection on large infrastructures. Besides, NIDS should be capable of detecting new malicious activities. Artificial neural network-based NIDSs can detect unseen attacks, so a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural classifier is used in this study to distinguish benign and malicious traffic in a flow-based NIDS. In this way, a modified gravitational search algorithm (MGSA), as a modern heuristic technique, is employed to optimize the interconnection weights of the neural anomaly detector. The proposed scheme is trained using an enhanced version of the first labeled flow-based dataset for intrusion detection introduced in 2009. In addition, the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm and traditional error back-propagation (EBP) algorithm are employed to train MLP, so performance comparison becomes possible. The experimental results based on the actual network data show that the MGSA-optimized neural anomaly detector is effective for monitoring abnormal traffic flows in the gigabytes traffic environment, and the accuracy is about 97.8 %.