Impact of Network Structure on Malware Propagation: A Growth Curve Perspective

42 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2008 Last revised: 17 Apr 2015

See all articles by Hong Guo

Hong Guo

University of Notre Dame

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business

Ken Kelley

University of Notre Dame

Date Written: April 16, 2015

Abstract

Malicious software, commonly termed “malware,” continuously presents one of the top security concerns and causes tremendous worldwide financial losses for organizations. In this paper, we propose a structural risk model to analyze malware propagation dynamics measured by a four-parameter (asymptote, point of inflection, rate, and proportion of infection at inflection) growth curve. Using both social network data and technological network infrastructure from a large organization, we estimate the proposed structural risk model based on incident-specific nonlinear growth curves. This paper provides empirical evidence for the explanatory power of the structural characteristics of the underlying networks on malware propagation dynamics. This research provides useful findings for security managers in designing their malware defense strategies. Vaccination strategies based on the proposed structural risk model outperform the commonly used random vaccination strategies in terms of reducing the total number of infected computers.

Keywords: Information systems security, malware propagation, network analysis, social networks, technological networks, propagation trajectory

Suggested Citation

Guo, Hong and Cheng, Hsing Kenneth and Kelley, Ken, Impact of Network Structure on Malware Propagation: A Growth Curve Perspective (April 16, 2015). NET Institute Working Paper Series. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1286311 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1286311

Hong Guo (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame ( email )

356 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nd.edu/~hguo

Hsing Kenneth Cheng

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 117169
Gainesville, FL 32611-7169
United States
352-392-7068 (Phone)
352-392-5438 (Fax)

Ken Kelley

University of Notre Dame ( email )

363 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States
(574) 631-1459 (Phone)
(574) 631-5255 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://nd.edu/~kkelley

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