Detecting Anomalies in Network Traffic Using Maximum Entropy Estimation
We develop a behavior-based anomaly detection method that detects network anomalies by comparing the current network traffic against a baseline distribution. The Maximum Entropy technique provides a flexible and fast approach to estimate the baseline distribution, which also gives the network administrator a multi-dimensional view of the network traffic. By computing a measure related to the relative entropy of the network traffic under observation with respect to the baseline distribution, we are able to distinguish anomalies that change the traffic either abruptly or slowly. In addition, our method provides information revealing the type of the anomaly detected. It requires a constant memory and a computation time proportional to the traffic rate.