E-Mail Worm Detection Using Data Mining

Mohammad M. Masud, Latifur Khan, Bhavani Thuraisingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This work applies data mining techniques to detect e-mail worms. E-mail messages contain a number of different features such as the total number of words in message body/subject, presence/absence of binary attachments, type of attachments, and so on. The goal is to obtain an efficient classification model based on these features. The solution consists of several steps. First, the number of features is reduced using two different approaches: feature-selection and dimension-reduction. This step is necessary to reduce noise and redundancy from the data. The feature-selection technique is called Two-phase Selection (TPS), which is a novel combination of decision tree and greedy selection algorithm. The dimension-reduction is performed by Principal Component Analysis. Second, the reduced data is used to train a classifier. Different classification techniques have been used, such as Support Vector Machine (SVM), Naïve Bayes, and their combination. Finally, the trained classifiers are tested on a dataset containing both known and unknown types of worms. These results have been compared with published results. It is found that the proposed TPS selection along with SVM classification achieves the best accuracy in detecting both known and unknown types of worms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security and Privacy (IJISP)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Na�ve Bayes
  • e-mail worm
  • feature selection
  • principal component analysis
  • support vector machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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