CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2023
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Vectra AI is a leader in the cybersecurity field, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide clients with state-of-the-art threat detection and real-time response across all domains of enterprise systems. With over a decade of experience, Vectra AI provides security for enterprises in 113 countries. Along with winning Security Customer Champion at the 2023 Microsoft Excellence Awards, Vectra AI can be found on the Forbes AI 50 List and the CRN Security 100.

Ransomware attacks cost companies $20 billion in 2021, a figure that is expected to rise to $256 billion by 2031. This makes Vectra AI’s service increasingly crucial and the effectiveness of their AI models of the utmost importance. A common technique utilized by attackers is to take control of a victim’s computer and command it remotely, known as a command and control channel (C2).

Our Malware Command and Control Channel Simulator generates configurable C2 channels through an application set. Users configure the channel in a web interface where they select different features to customize the channel behavior. This enables Vectra AI to generate network activity, simulating real-world behaviors that would be present in the event of a command and control attack.

Hackers use a variety of methods to disguise their presence, making the customization of the channels an important aspect to mimic diverse behavior.

The simulation data our application generates is used to train AI threat detection models used in the software that Vectra AI sells to its clients, increasing the effectiveness of Vectra AI’s security service.

Our server is hosted on Amazon Web Services in an EC2 instance, and our entire application set is written in Python. Our server communication with the client is achieved over multiple protocols (TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS).