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Title: Adaptive Response System for Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks
Author: Thing, Vrizlynn Ling Ling
ISNI:       0000 0001 3549 3149
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2008
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The continued prevalence and severe damaging effects of the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in today’s Internet raise growing security concerns and call for an immediate response to come up with better solutions to tackle DDoS attacks. The current DDoS prevention mechanisms are usually inflexible and determined attackers with knowledge of these mechanisms, could work around them. Most existing detection and response mechanisms are standalone systems which do not rely on adaptive updates to mitigate attacks. As different responses vary in their “leniency” in treating detected attack traffic, there is a need for an Adaptive Response System. We designed and implemented our DDoS Adaptive ResponsE (DARE) System, which is a distributed DDoS mitigation system capable of executing appropriate detection and mitigation responses automatically and adaptively according to the attacks. It supports easy integrations for both signature-based and anomaly-based detection modules. Additionally, the design of DARE’s individual components takes into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of existing defence mechanisms, and the characteristics and possible future mutations of DDoS attacks. These components consist of an Enhanced TCP SYN Attack Detector and Bloom-based Filter, a DDoS Flooding Attack Detector and Flow Identifier, and a Non Intrusive IP Traceback mechanism. The components work together interactively to adapt the detections and responses in accordance to the attack types. Experiments conducted on DARE show that the attack detection and mitigation are successfully completed within seconds, with about 60% to 86% of the attack traffic being dropped, while availability for legitimate and new legitimate requests is maintained. DARE is able to detect and trigger appropriate responses in accordance to the attacks being launched with high accuracy, effectiveness and efficiency. We also designed and implemented a Traffic Redirection Attack Protection System (TRAPS), a stand-alone DDoS attack detection and mitigation system for IPv6 networks. In TRAPS, the victim under attack verifies the authenticity of the source by performing virtual relocations to differentiate the legitimate traffic from the attack traffic. TRAPS requires minimal deployment effort and does not require modifications to the Internet infrastructure due to its incorporation of the Mobile IPv6 protocol. Experiments to test the feasibility of TRAPS were carried out in a testbed environment to verify that it would work with the existing Mobile IPv6 implementation. It was observed that the operations of each module were functioning correctly and TRAPS was able to successfully mitigate an attack launched with spoofed source IP addresses.
Supervisor: Sloman, Morris Sponsor: U.S. Army Research Laboratory ; U.K. Ministry of Defence
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral