Shen Wang works at University of Illinois at Chicago.


Towards Robust Graph Neural Networks via Adversarial Contrastive Learning

Graph Neural Network (GNN), as a powerful representation learning model on graph data, attracts much attention across various disciplines. However, recent studies show that GNN is vulnerable to adversarial attacks. How to make GNN more robust? What are the key vulnerabilities in GNN? How to address the vulnerabilities and defend GNN against the adversarial attacks? Adversarial training has shown to be effective in improving the robustness of traditional Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). However, existing adversarial training works mainly focus on the image data, which consists of continuous features, while the features and structures of graph data are often discrete. Moreover, rather than assuming each sample is independent and identically distributed as in DNN, GNN leverages the contextual information across the graph (e.g., neighborhoods of a node). Thus, existing adversarial training techniques cannot be directly applied to defend GNN. In this paper, we propose ContrastNet, an effective adversarial defense framework for GNN. In particular, we propose an adversarial contrastive learning method to train the GNN over the adversarial space. To further improve the robustness of GNN, we investigate the latent vulnerabilities in every component of a GNN encoder and propose corresponding refining strategies. Extensive experiments on three public datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of ContrastNet in improving the robustness of popular GNN variants, such as Graph Convolutional Network and GraphSage, under various types of adversarial attacks.

Heterogeneous Graph Matching Networks for Unknown Malware Detection

Information systems have widely been the target of malware attacks. Traditional signature-based malicious program detection algorithms can only detect known malware and are prone to evasion techniques such as binary obfuscation, while behavior-based approaches highly rely on the malware training samples and incur prohibitively high training cost. To address the limitations of existing techniques, we propose MatchGNet, a heterogeneous Graph Matching Network model to learn the graph representation and similarity metric simultaneously based on the invariant graph modeling of the program’s execution behaviors. We conduct a systematic evaluation of our model and show that it is accurate in detecting malicious program behavior and can help detect malware attacks with less false positives. MatchGNet outperforms the state-of-the-art algorithms in malware detection by generating 50% less false positives while keeping zero false negatives.

Attentional Heterogeneous Graph Neural Network: Application to Program Reidentification

Program or process is an integral part of almost every IT/OT system. Can we trust the identity/ID (e.g., executable name) of the program? To avoid detection, malware may disguise itself using the ID of a legitimate program, and a system tool (e.g., PowerShell) used by the attackers may have the fake ID of another common software, which is less sensitive. However, existing intrusion detection techniques often overlook this critical program reidentification problem (i.e., checking the program’s identity). In this paper, we propose an attentional heterogeneous graph neural network model (DeepHGNN) to verify the program’s identity based on its system behaviors. The key idea is to leverage the representation learning of the heterogeneous program behavior graph to guide the reidentification process. We formulate the program reidentification as a graph classification problem and develop an effective attentional heterogeneous graph embedding algorithm to solve it. Extensive experiments — using real-world enterprise monitoring data and real attacks — demonstrate the effectiveness of DeepHGNN across multiple popular metrics and the robustness to the normal dynamic changes like program version upgrades.