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Title: Defence against Denial of Service (DoS) attacks using Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) and Domain Name System (DNS)
Author: Shehzad, Khawar
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 1779
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2019
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This research considered a novel approach to network security by combining a new networking architecture based on the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) and the existing Domain Name System (DNS). Specifically, the investigations considered the mitigation of network-level and transport-level based Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. The solutions presented for DoS are applicable to secure servers that are visible externally from an enterprise network. DoS was chosen as an area of concern because in recent years DoS has become the most common and hard to defend against attacks. The novelty of this approach was to consider the way the DNS and ILNP can work together, transparently to the application, within an enterprise scenario. This was achieved by the introduction of a new application-level access control function - the Capability Management System (CMS) - which applies configuration at the application level (DNS data) and network level (ILNP namespaces). CMS provides dynamic, ephemeral identity and location information to clients and servers, in order to effectively partition legitimate traffic from attack traffic. This was achieved without modifying existing network components such as switches and routers and making standard use of existing functions, such as access control lists, and DNS servers, all within a single trust domain that is under the control of the enterprise. The prime objectives of this research were: • to defend against DoS attacks with the use of naming and DNS within an enterprise scenario. • to increase the attacker's effort in launching a successful DoS attack. • to reduce the visibility of vulnerabilities that can be discovered by an attacker by active probing approaches. • to practically demonstrate the effectiveness of ILNP and DNS working together to provide a solution for DoS mitigation. The solution methodology is based on the use of network and transport level capabilities, dynamic changes to DNS data, and a Moving Target Defence (MTD) paradigm. There are three solutions presented which use ILNP namespaces. These solutions are referred to as identifier-based, locator-based, and combined identifier-locator based solutions, respectively. ILNP-based node identity values were used to provide transport-level per-client server capabilities, thereby providing per-client isolation of traffic. ILNP locator values were used to allow a provision of network-level traffic separation for externally accessible enterprise services. Then, the identifier and locator solutions were combined, showing the possibility of protecting the services, with per-client traffic control and topological traffic path separation. All solutions were site-based solutions and did not require any modification in the core/external network, or the active cooperation of an ISP, therefore limiting the trust domain to the enterprise itself. Experiments were conducted to evaluate all the solutions on a test-bed consisting of off-the-shelf hardware, open-source software, an implementation of the CMS written in C, all running on Linux. The discussion includes considering the efficacy of the solutions, comparisons with existing methods, the performance of each solution, and critical analysis highlighting future improvements that could be made.
Supervisor: Bhatti, Saleem Noel Sponsor: University of St Andrews ; Verisign, Inc.
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) ; Domain Name System (DNS) ; Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks ; Transport-level DoS attacks ; Network-level DoS attacks ; Moving Target Defence (MTD) ; ILNP namespace-based Capabilities ; Enterprise-host security ; Enterprise-network security ; Capabilities Management System (CMS) ; DNS Capabilities ; DoS mitigation ; Per-client traffic control ; Topological traffic path separation ; Access Control Lists (ACLs) ; DNS fast-flux ; Computer Networking ; Linux ; ILNP Mobility