FeedRank: A tamper-resistant method for the ranking of cyber threat intelligence feeds

Authors: Roland Meier, Cornelia Scherrer, David Gugelmann, Vincent Lenders, and Laurent Vanbever
10th International Conference on Cyber Conflict CyCon X: Maximising Effects


Organizations increasingly rely on cyber threat intelligence feeds to protect their infrastructure from attacks. These feeds typically list IP addresses or domains associated with malicious activities such as spreading malware or participating in a botnet. Today, there is a rich ecosystem of commercial and free cyber threat intelligence feeds, making it difficult, yet essential, for network defenders to quantify the quality and to select the optimal set of feeds to follow. Selecting too many or low-quality feeds results in many false alerts, while considering too few feeds increases the risk of missing relevant threats. Naïve individual metrics like size and update rate give a somewhat good overview about a feed, but they do not allow conclusions about its quality and they can easily be manipulated by feed providers. In this paper, we present FeedRank, a novel ranking approach for cyber threat intelligence feeds. In contrast to individual metrics, FeedRank is robust against tampering attempts by feed providers. FeedRank’s key insight is to rank feeds according to the originality of their content and the reuse of entries by other feeds. Such correlations between feeds are modelled in a graph, which allows FeedRank to find temporal and spatial correlations without requiring any ground truth or an operator’s feedback. We illustrate FeedRank’s usefulness with two characteristic examples: (i) selecting the best feeds that together contain as many distinct entries as possible; and (ii) selecting the best feeds that list new entries before they appear on other feeds. We evaluate FeedRank based on a large set of real feeds. The evaluation shows that FeedRank identifies dishonest feeds as outliers and that dishonest feeds do not achieve a better FeedRank score than the top-rated real feeds.


Dr. Roland Meier
PhD student


	isbn = {978-9-9499-9043-6},
	doi = {10.23919/CYCON.2018.8405024},
	year = {2018},
	booktitle = {10th International Conference on Cyber Conflict CyCon X: Maximising Effects},
	type = {Conference Paper},
	author = {Meier, Roland and Scherrer, Cornelia and Gugelmann, David and Lenders, Vincent and Vanbever, Laurent},
	issn = {23255374},
	language = {en},
	address = {Piscataway, NJ},
	publisher = {IEEE},
	title = {FeedRank: A tamper-resistant method for the ranking of cyber threat intelligence feeds},
	PAGES = {321 - 344},
	Note = {10th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon); Conference Location: Tallinn, Estonia; Conference Date: May 29 - June 1, 2018}

Research Collection: 20.500.11850/281732