DarkEmbed: Exploit prediction with neural language models

Nazgol Tavabi, Palash Goyal, Mohammed Almukaynizi, Paulo Shakarian, Kristina Lerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Software vulnerabilities can expose computer systems to attacks by malicious actors. With the number of vulnerabilities discovered in the recent years surging, creating timely patches for every vulnerability is not always feasible. At the same time, not every vulnerability will be exploited by attackers; hence, prioritizing vulnerabilities by assessing the likelihood they will be exploited has become an important research problem. Recent works used machine learning techniques to predict exploited vulnerabilities by analyzing discussions about vulnerabilities on social media. These methods relied on traditional text processing techniques, which represent statistical features of words, but fail to capture their context. To address this challenge, we propose DarkEmbed, a neural language modeling approach that learns low dimensional distributed representations, i.e., embeddings, of darkweb/deepweb discussions to predict whether vulnerabilities will be exploited. By capturing linguistic regularities of human language, such as syntactic, semantic similarity and logic analogy, the learned embeddings are better able to classify discussions about exploited vulnerabilities than traditional text analysis methods. Evaluations demonstrate the efficacy of learned embeddings on both structured text (such as security blog posts) and unstructured text (darkweb/deepweb posts). DarkEmbed outperforms state-of-the-art approaches on the exploit prediction task with an F1-score of 0.74.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, IAAI 2018
EditorsG. Michael Youngblood, Karen Myers
PublisherThe AAAI Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781577358008
StatePublished - 2018
Event30th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, IAAI 2018 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2018Feb 7 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 30th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, IAAI 2018


Conference30th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, IAAI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications


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