A Hybrid Deep Network Framework for Android Malware Detection

Hui Juan Zhu, Liang Min Wang, Sheng Zhong, Yang Li, Victor S. Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Android is a growing target for malicious software (malware) because of its popularity and functionality. Malware poses a serious threat to users' privacy, money, equipment and file integrity. A series of data-driven malware detection methods were proposed. However, there exist two key challenges for these methods: (1) how to learn effective feature representation from raw data; (2) how to reduce the dependence on the prior knowledge or human labors in feature learning. Inspired by the success of deep learning methods in the feature representation learning community, we propose a malware detection framework which starts with learning rich-features by a novel unsupervised feature learning algorithm Merged Sparse Auto-Encoder (MSAE). In order to extract more compact and discriminative feature from the rich-features to further boost the malware detection capability, a hybrid deep network learning algorithm Stacked Hybrid Learning MSAE and SDAE (SHLMD) is established by further incorporating a classical deep learning method Stacked Denoising Auto-encoders (SDAE). After that, we feed the feature learned by MSAE and SHLMD respectively to classification algorithms, e.g., Support Vector Machine (SVM) or K-NearestNeighbor (KNN), to train a malware detection model. Evaluation results on two real-world datasets demonstrate that SHLMD achieves 94.46 and 90.57 percent accuracy respectively, which outperforms the classical unsupervised feature representation learning Sparse Auto-encoder (SAE). MSAE performs similarly to SAE. SHLMD can further improve the performance of MSAE and the supervised fine-tuned method SDAE. Besides, we compare the performance of our methods with that of state-of-the-art detection approaches, including classical deep-learning-based methods. Extensive experiments show that our proposed methods are effective enough to detect Android malware.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5558-5570
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Feature extraction or construction
  • machine learning
  • modeling and prediction
  • neural nets


Dive into the research topics of 'A Hybrid Deep Network Framework for Android Malware Detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this