Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Rusty O. Baldwin, PhD.


As the world becomes more interconnected through various technological services and methods, the threat of malware is increasingly looming overhead. One avenue in particular that is examined in this research is the social networking service Twitter. This research develops the Twitter Malware Collection System (TMCS). This system gathers Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) posted on Twitter and scans them to determine if any are hosting malware. This scanning process is performed by a cluster of Virtual Machines (VMs) running a specified software configuration and the execution prevention system known as ESCAPE, which detects malicious code. When a URL is detected by a TMCS VM instance to be hosting malware, a dump of the web browser is created to determine what kind of malicious activity has taken place and also how this activity was allowed. After collecting over a period of 40 days, and processing a total of 466,237 URLs twice in two different configurations, one consisting of a vulnerable Windows XP SP2 setup and the other consisting of a fully patched and updated Windows Vista setup, a total of 2,989 dumps were created by TMCS based on the results generated by ESCAPE.

AFIT Designator


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