Volume 13, Number 3

Deep Learning Classification Methods Applied to Tabular Cybersecurity Benchmarks


David A. Noever and Samantha E. Miller Noever, PeopleTec, Inc., USA


This research recasts the network attack dataset from UNSW-NB15 as an intrusion detection problem in image space. Using one-hot-encodings, the resulting grayscale thumbnails provide a quarter-million examples for deep learning algorithms. Applying the MobileNetV2’s convolutional neural network architecture, the work demonstrates a 97% accuracy in distinguishing normal and attack traffic. Further class refinements to 9 individual attack families (exploits, worms, shellcodes) show an overall 54% accuracy. Using feature importance rank, a random forest solution on subsets shows the most important source-destination factors and the least important ones as mainly obscure protocols. It further extends the image classification problem to other cybersecurity benchmarks such as malware signatures extracted from binary headers, with an 80% overall accuracy to detect computer viruses as portable executable files (headers only). Both novel image datasets are available to the research community on Kaggle.


Neural Networks, Computer Vision, Image Classification, Intrusion Detection, MNIST Benchmark.