In this paper, we propose Segugio, a novel defense system that allows for efficiently tracking the occurrence of new malware-control domain names in very large ISP networks. Segugio passively monitors the DNS traffic to build a machine-domain bipartite graph representing who is querying what. After labeling nodes in this query behavior graph that are known to be either benign or malware-related, we propose a novel approach to accurately detect previously unknown malware-control domains.
We implemented a proof-of-concept version of Segugio and deployed it in large ISP networks that serve millions of users. Our experimental results show that Segugio can track the occurrence of new malware-control domains with up to 94% true positives (TPs) at less than 0.1% false positives (FPs). In addition, we provide the following results: (1) we show that Segugio can also detect control domains related to new, previously unseen malware families, with 85% TPs at 0.1% FPs; (2) Segugio’s detection models learned on traffic from a given ISP network can be deployed into a different ISP network and still achieve very high detection accuracy; (3) new malware-control domains can be detected days or even weeks before they appear in a large commercial domain name blacklist; and (4) we show that Segugio clearly outperforms Notos, a previously proposed domain name reputation system.