Anomaly detection in log-event sequences: A federated deep learning approach and open challenges

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Anomaly Detection (AD) is an important area to reliably detect malicious behavior and attacks on computer systems. Log data is a rich source of information about systems and thus provides a suitable input for AD. With the sheer amount of log data available today, for years Machine Learning (ML) and more recently Deep Learning (DL) have been applied to create models for AD. Especially when processing complex log data, DL has shown some promising results in recent research to spot anomalies. It is necessary to group these log lines into log-event sequences, to detect anomalous patterns that span over multiple log lines. This work uses a centralized approach using a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model for AD as its basis which is one of the most important approaches to represent long-range temporal dependencies in log-event sequences of arbitrary length. Therefore, we use past information to predict whether future events are normal or anomalous. For the LSTM model we adapt a state of the art open source implementation called LogDeep. For the evaluation, we use a Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) data set, which is well studied in current research. In this paper we show that without padding, which is a commonly used preprocessing step that strongly influences the AD process and artificially improves detection results and thus accuracy in lab testing, it is not possible to achieve the same high quality of results shown in literature. With the large quantity of log data, issues arise with the transfer of log data to a central entity where model computation can be done. Federated Learning (FL) tries to overcome this problem, by learning local models simultaneously on edge devices and overcome biases due to a lack of heterogeneity in training data through exchange of model parameters and finally arrive at a converging global model. Processing log data locally takes privacy and legal concerns into account, which could improve coordination and collaboration between researchers, cyber security companies, etc., in the future. Currently, there are only few scientific publications on log-based AD which use FL. Implementing FL gives the advantage of converging models even if the log data are heterogeneously distributed among participants as our results show. Furthermore, by varying individual LSTM model parameters, the results can be greatly improved. Further scientific research will be necessary to optimize FL approaches.
FachzeitschriftMachine Learning with Applications
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juni 2024

Research Field

  • Cyber Security


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