Skype Traffic Classification Using Cost Sensitive Algorithms

Ahmad Azab, Robert Layton, Mamoun Alazab, Paul Watters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies such as Skype are becoming increasingly popular and widely used in different organisations, and therefore identifying the usage of this service at the network level becomes very important. Reasons for this include applying Quality of Service (QoS), network planning, prohibiting its use in some networks and lawful interception of communications. Researchers have addressed VoIP traffic classification from different viewpoints, such as classifier accuracy, building time, classification time and online classification. This previous research tested their models using the same version of a VoIP product they used for training the model, giving generalizability only to that version of the product. This means that as new VoIP versions are released, these classifiers become obsolete. In this paper, we address if this approach is applicable to detecting new, untrained, versions of Skype. We suggest that using cost-sensitive classifiers can help to improve the accuracy of detecting untrained versions, by testing compared to other algorithms. Our experiment demonstrates promising preliminary results to detect Skype version 4, by building a cost sensitive classifier on Skype version 3, achieving an F-measure score of 0.57. This is a drastic improvement from not using cost sensitivity, which scores an F-measure of 0. This approach may be enhanced to improve the detection results and extended to improve detection for other applications that change protocols from version to version.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 Fourth Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 4th Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop, CTC 2013 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 21 Nov 201322 Nov 2013


Conference2013 4th Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Workshop, CTC 2013
CitySydney, NSW


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