Effective and Real-time In-App Activity Analysis in Encrypted Internet Traffic Streams

author: Hui Xiong, Management Science and Information Systems Department, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
published: Oct. 9, 2017,   recorded: August 2017,   views: 1219

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The mobile in-App service analysis, aiming at classifying mobile internet traffic into different types of service usages, has become a challenging and emergent task for mobile service providers due to the increasing adoption of secure protocols for in-App services. While some efforts have been made for the classification of mobile internet traffic, existing methods reply on complex feature construction and large storage cache, which lead to low processing speed, and thus not practical for online real-time scenarios. To this end, we develop an iterative analyzer for classifying encrypted mobile traffic in a real-time way. Specifically, we first select an optimal set of most discriminative features from raw features extracted from traffic packet sequences by a novel Maximizing Inner activity similarity and Minimizing Different activity similarity (MIMD) measurement.

To develop the online analyzer, we first represent a traffic flow with a series of time windows, where each is described by the optimal feature vector and is updated iteratively at the packet level. Instead of extracting feature elements from a series of raw traffic packets, our feature elements are updated when a new traffic packet is observed and the storage of raw traffic packets is not required.

The time windows generated from the same service usage activity are grouped by our proposed method, namely recursive time continuity constrained KMeans clustering (rCKC). The feature vectors of cluster centers are then fed into a random forest classifier to identify corresponding service usages. Finally, we provide extensive experiments on real-world traffic data from Wechat, Whatsapp and Facebook to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach. The results show that the proposed analyzer provides high accuracy in real-world scenarios, and has low storage cache requirement as well as fast processing speed.

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