Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Machine Learning for Cybersecurity: Botnet Detection
Disciplines:  Computer Science, EE
Mentor:  Julian Bunn, Principal Computational Scientist, (PMA),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Botnets are malware infections of computers in a network. They carry out tasks under remote control - typically they are used to send spam, or mine Bitcoins, mount Distributed Denial of Service attacks, or extract valuable and personal data from the host machines and send it out over the network. New types of Botnet are continually being discovered in the wild. Detecting, mitigating, and effectively destroying Botnets is one of the biggest current challenges in Cybersecurity. In this project, we will investigate how machine learning tools may be used to detect the presence of different types of Botnet activity in a network of computers.
Description:  The project will make use of large datasets comprising network measurements made before and during the activity of several different types of Botnet. The main project goal will be to develop software to identify global patterns in the exchange of packets between computers that indicate anomalous activity, and trigger an alert. This will likely involve working in the graph space of the data, and using machine learning techniques such as clustering or neural nets. The pattern alerts that are developed in the project will need to optimize the True Positive Rate, at a False Positive Rate as low as possible, when applied to the different types of Botnet data.
References:  Overview of Botnets:
Project host department:
Example datasets:
Student Requirements:  This project will probably most interest CS students or those students having well honed computing skills. Must be an undergraduate level student.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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