A multi-task learning model for malware classification with useful file access pattern from API call sequence

Xin Wang, Siu Ming Yiu

Based on API call sequences, semantic-aware and machine learning (ML) based malware classifiers can be built for malware detection or classification. Previous works concentrate on crafting and extracting various features from malware binaries, disassembled binaries or API calls via static or dynamic analysis and resorting to ML to build classifiers. However, they tend to involve too much feature engineering and fail to provide interpretability. We solve these two problems with the recent advances in deep learning: 1) RNN-based autoencoders (RNN-AEs) can automatically learn low-dimensional representation of a malware from its raw API call sequence. 2) Multiple decoders can be trained under different supervisions to give more information, other than the class or family label of a malware. Inspired by the works of document classification and automatic sentence summarization, each API call sequence can be regarded as a sentence. In this paper, we make the first attempt to build a multi-task malware learning model based on API call sequences. The model consists of two decoders, one for malware classification and one for $\emph{file access pattern}$ (FAP) generation given the API call sequence of a malware. We base our model on the general seq2seq framework. Experiments show that our model can give competitive classification results as well as insightful FAP information.

Knowledge Graph



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