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Web applications have emerged as the primary means of access to vital and sensitive services such as online payment systems and databases storing personally identifiable information. Unfortunately, the need for ubiquitous and often anonymous access exposes web servers to adversaries. Indeed, network-borne zero-day attacks pose a critical and widespread threat to web servers that cannot be mitigated by the use of signature-based intrusion detection systems. To detect previously unseen attacks, the authors correlate web requests containing user submitted content across multiple web servers that is deemed abnormal by local Content Anomaly Detection (CAD) sensors.
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