Java Projects For Final Year Students

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Detecting Malicious Packet Losses

We consider the problem of detecting whether a compromised router is maliciously manipulating its stream of packets. In particular, we are concerned with a simple yet effective attack in which a router selectively drops packets destined for some Victim. Unfortunately, it is quite challenging to attribute a missing packet to a malicious action because normal network congestion can produce the same effect. Modern networks routinely drop packets when the load emporarily exceeds their buffering capacities. Previous detection protocols have tried to address this problem with a user-defined threshold: too many dropped packets imply malicious intent. However, this heuristic is fundamentally unsound; setting this threshold is, at best, an art and will certainly create unnecessary false positives or mask highly focused attacks.


Network routers occupy a unique role in modern distributed systems. They are responsible for cooperatively shuttling packets amongst themselves in order to provide the illusion of a network with universal point-to-point connectivity. However, this illusion is shattered - as are implicit assumptions of availability, confidentiality, or integrity - when network routers are subverted to act in a malicious fashion. By manipulating, diverting, or dropping packets arriving at a compromised router, an attacker can trivially mount denial-of-service, surveillance, or man-in-the-middle attacks on end host systems. Consequently, Internet routers have become a choice target for would-be attackers and thousands have been subverted to these ends. In this paper, we specify this problem of detecting routers with incorrect packet forwarding behavior and we explore the design space of protocols that implement such a detector. We further present a concrete protocol that is likely inexpensive enough for practical implementation at scale. Finally, we present a prototype system, called Fatih, that implements this approach on a PC router and describe our experiences with it. We show that Fatih is able to detect and isolate a range of malicious router actions with acceptable overhead and complexity. We believe our work is an important step in being able to tolerate attacks on key network infrastructure components


Detecting Malicious Packet Losses

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