MalNet: A Large-Scale Cybersecurity Image Database of Malicious Software

Scott Freitas, Rahul Duggal, Duen Horng Chau

Computer vision is playing an increasingly important role in automated malware detection with to the rise of the image-based binary representation. These binary images are fast to generate, require no feature engineering, and are resilient to popular obfuscation methods. Significant research has been conducted in this area, however, it has been restricted to small-scale or private datasets that only a few industry labs and research teams have access to. This lack of availability hinders examination of existing work, development of new research, and dissemination of ideas. We introduce MalNet, the largest publicly available cybersecurity image database, offering 133x more images and 27x more classes than the only other public binary-image database. MalNet contains over 1.2 million images across a hierarchy of 47 types and 696 families. We provide extensive analysis of MalNet, discussing its properties and provenance. The scale and diversity of MalNet unlocks new and exciting cybersecurity opportunities to the computer vision community--enabling discoveries and research directions that were previously not possible. The database is publicly available at

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