Optimal Security Policy for Protection Against Heterogeneous Malware

Conference paper
Part of the Static & Dynamic Game Theory: Foundations & Applications book series (SDGTFA)


Malware is a malicious software which aims to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, and gain access to private computer systems. It can induce various sorts of damage, including economic costs, the leakage of private information, and instability of physical systems, etc. The distribution of antivirus patches in a network enables the control of the proliferation of malicious software and decreases possible losses. Multiple types of malware can coexist in a network. Hence it is important to protect a computer network from several heterogeneous malware, which can propagate in the network at the same time. In this study, we model the propagation of two types of malware using a modified two-virus epidemic model. We formulate an optimal control problem that seeks to minimize the total system cost that includes the economic value of security risks and resources required by countermeasures. We introduce an impulse control problem to provide efficient control of the epidemic model compared with its continuous control counterpart. Numerical experiments are used to corroborate the results.


SIR model Information security Epidemic process Optimal control Impulse control 



The research of the author “Quanyan Zhu” is partially supported by the CNS-1544782, EFRI-1441140 and SES-1541164 from National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladislav Taynitskiy
    • 1
  • Elena Gubar
    • 1
  • Quanyan Zhu
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes, St. Petersburg State UniversityPetergofRussia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringTandon School of Engineering, New York UniversityBrooklynUSA

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