A differential game approach to patch injection

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Journal Article
IEEE Access, 2018, 6 pp. 58924 - 58938
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© 2018 IEEE. To fight against the evolving computer viruses, we must constantly inject new virus patches into the computer networks. This paper addresses the patch injection problem, i.e., the problem of developing a patch injection strategy to mitigate the negative impact of virus attacks. As the impact of an attack depends on not only the patch injection strategy but the unknown virus injection strategy, the patch injection problem is very complicated. This paper initiates the study of the patch injection problem by means of security economics and differential game theory. First, based on a novel virus-patch mixed propagation model, we model the original problem as a differential game. Second, we develop a method for finding a candidate for the Nash equilibrium of the game, examine the structure of the candidate, and give some examples of the candidate. Furthermore, we demonstrate through comparative experiments that the candidate is better in terms of the Nash equilibrium solution concept. Therefore, we recommend the patch injection strategy in the candidate. Finally, we examine the effects of some factors on the performance of the recommended patch injection strategy. Overall, these findings undoubtedly have guiding significance to defense against virus infections.
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