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dc.contributor.authorBai, Zhenyu
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-19 15:39:04 (GMT)
dc.date.available2019-09-19 15:39:04 (GMT)
dc.description.abstractDetecting cyber threats has been an on-going research endeavor. In this era, advanced persistent threats (APTs) can incur significant costs for organizations and businesses. The ultimate goal of cybersecurity is to thwart attackers from achieving their malicious intent, whether it is credential stealing, infrastructure takeover, or program sabotage. Every cyberattack goes through several stages before its termination. Lateral movement (LM) is one of those stages that is of particular importance. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a method used in LM to successfully authenticate to an unauthorized host that leaves footprints on both host and network logs. In this thesis, we propose to detect evidence of LM using an anomaly-based approach that leverages Windows RDP event logs. We explore different feature sets extracted from these logs and evaluate various supervised and unsupervised machine learning (ML) techniques for classifying RDP sessions with high precision and recall. We also compare the performance of our proposed approach to a state-of-the-art approach and demonstrate that our ML model outperforms in classifying RDP sessions in Windows event logs. In addition, we demonstrate that our model is robust against certain types of adversarial attacks.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Waterlooen
dc.subjectmachine learningen
dc.subjectlateral movementen
dc.titleA Machine Learning Approach for RDP-based Lateral Movement Detectionen
dc.typeMaster Thesisen
uws-etd.degree.departmentDavid R. Cheriton School of Computer Scienceen
uws-etd.degree.disciplineComputer Scienceen
uws-etd.degree.grantorUniversity of Waterlooen
uws-etd.degreeMaster of Mathematicsen
uws.contributor.advisorRaouf, Boutaba
uws.contributor.affiliation1Faculty of Mathematicsen

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