Extending Black Domain Name List by Using Co-occurrence Relation between DNS Queries

Kazumichi SATO
Tsuyoshi TOYONO

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B    No.3    pp.794-802
Publication Date: 2012/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.794
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Fundamental Theories for Communications

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Botnet threats, such as server attacks or sending of spam e-mail, have been increasing. Therefore, infected hosts must be found and their malicious activities mitigated. An effective method for finding infected hosts is to use a blacklist of domain names. When a bot receives attack commands from a Command and Control (C&C) server, it attempts to resolve domain names of C&C servers. We can thus detect infected hosts by finding these that send queries on black domain names. However, we cannot find all infected hosts because of the inaccuracy of blacklists. There are many black domain names, and the lifetimes of these domain names are short; therefore a blacklist cannot cover all black domain names. We thus present a method for finding unknown black domain names by using DNS query data and an existing blacklist of known black domain names. To achieve this, we focus on DNS queries sent by infected hosts. One bot sends several queries on black domain names due to C&C server redundancy. We use the co-occurrence relation of two different domain names to find unknown black domain names and extend the blacklist. If a domain name frequently co-occurs with a known black name, we assume that the domain name is also black. A cross-validation evaluation of the proposed method showed that 91.2% of domain names that are on the validation list scored in the top 1%.