Detecting sources of computer viruses in networks: Theory and experiment
Author(s)Shah, Devavrat; Zaman, Tauhid R.
MetadataShow full item record
We provide a systematic study of the problem of finding the source of a computer virus in a network. We model virus spreading in a network with a variant of the popular SIR model and then construct an estimator for the virus source. This estimator is based upon a novel combinatorial quantity which we term rumor centrality. We establish that this is an ML estimator for a class of graphs. We find the following surprising threshold phenomenon: on trees which grow faster than a line, the estimator always has non-trivial detection probability, whereas on trees that grow like a line, the detection probability will go to 0 as the network grows. Simulations performed on synthetic networks such as the popular small-world and scale-free networks, and on real networks such as an internet AS network and the U.S. electric power grid network, show that the estimator either finds the source exactly or within a few hops in different network topologies. We compare rumor centrality to another common network centrality notion known as distance centrality. We prove that on trees, the rumor center and distance center are equivalent, but on general networks, they may differ. Indeed, simulations show that rumor centrality outperforms distance centrality in finding virus sources in networks which are not tree-like.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Proceedings of the ACM SIGMETRICS international conference on Measurement and modeling of computer systems, SIGMETRICS '10
Association for Computing Machinery
Shah, Devavrat and Tauhid Zaman. "Detecting Sources of Computer Viruses in Networks: Theory and Experiment." Proceedings of the ACM SIGMETRICS international conference on Measurement and modeling of computer systems, SIGMETRICS '10, June 14-18, 2010, Columbia University, New York.
Author's final manuscript