The importance of cybersecurity has recently been increasing. A malware coder writes malware into normal executable files. A computer is more likely to be infected by malware when users have easy access to various executables. Malware is considered as the starting point for cyber-attacks; thus, the timely detection, classification and blocking of malware are important. Malware visualization is a method for detecting or classifying malware. A global image is visualized through binaries extracted from malware. The overall structure and behavior of malware are considered when global images are utilized. However, the visualization of obfuscated malware is tough, owing to the difficulties encountered when extracting local features. This paper proposes a merged image-based malware classification framework that includes local feature visualization, global image-based local feature visualization, and global and local image merging methods. This study introduces a fastText-based local feature visualization method: First, local features such as opcodes and API function names are extracted from the malware; second, important local features in each malware family are selected via the term frequency inverse document frequency algorithm; third, the fastText model embeds the selected local features; finally, the embedded local features are visualized through a normalization process. Malware classification based on the proposed method using the Microsoft Malware Classification Challenge dataset was experimentally verified. The accuracy of the proposed method was approximately 99.65%, which is 2.18% higher than that of another contemporary global image-based approach.
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