A Distributed Defense Mechanism Against Low-Bandwidth TCP SYN Flooding Attacks

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1 A Distributed Defense Mechanism Against Low-Bandwidth TCP SYN Flooding Attacks

2 1. General presentation of the Connection Request Distribution system 2. The CRD system in depth 3. Carrying out the tests 4. Results and analyses

3 1. General presentation of the Connection Request Distribution system

4 DoS attacks are one of the main security issues in today's networks. TCP SYN flooding is a well known and still very used attack method to perform DoS. There is currently no complete defense against DoS attacks in general, TCP SYN flooding in particular. 1. General presentation of the CRD system

5 Focus: 1. General presentation of the CRD system The TCP SYN flooding exhausts the half-open connection queue capacity. Proposal: Increasing the backlog queue capacity by distributing the connection request load on other computers in the same LAN.

6 Focus: 1. General presentation of the CRD system The TCP SYN flooding exhausts the half-open connection queue capacity. Proposal: The Connection Request Distribution system

7 1. General presentation of the CRD system End system defense -> low-bandwidth attacks Focused on TCP SYN flooding Firewall (NAPT) based Transparent to every host except the firewall Easily deployable (only an upgrade of the firewall software is required)

8 2. The CRD system in depth

9 2. The CRD system in depth A server, which has to be protected. Relays, which are computers on which connection requests will be distributed. A firewall (the core element), which is located at the interface between the defended network and the outer network.

10 2. The CRD system in depth Attackers Firewall Server Relays SYNx SYNy, ACKx+1 SYNx From calculation: The half-open connection queue in the server is getting full (e.g. 95%) SYNy, ACKx+1 SYNy, ACKx+1

11 2. The CRD system in depth Client Firewall Server Relay SYNy, ACKx+1 SYNx+1, ACKy+1 data 1 IP source = IP client; forged by the firewall SYNx SYNz, ACKx+1 SYNx+1, ACKz+1 data 1 SYNx RST The firewall analyzes the messages from the other parties, then it drops them Translate server sequence numbers: y <-> z data ACK data

12 NAPT enables message distribution. NAPT enables transparency for clients. (Forging addresses enables transparency for the server). Normal security properties of NAPT are effective. 2. The CRD system in depth

13 ! Counting half-open connections. -> queue states in the server and the relays Translating the server's sequence numbers -> ISS, SACK, timestamps Storing data 2. The CRD system in depth -> tracking connections, forging messages

14 2. The CRD system in depth Half-open connections queue length (1) TCP retransmit timeout (2) Information about the relays in the firewall: (1) + (2) + TCP ports

15 3. Carrying out the tests

16 3. Carrying out the tests " Targeted service: HTTP All the stations were Linux PCs with Pentium I/II processors Server Relay 1 Relay Mb/s ethernet links Firewall Client Attacker kernel level TCP SYN flooder

17 3. Carrying out the tests 1. The attacker start to emit, aiming the server Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

18 3. Carrying out the tests 2. The firewall distributes the connection request load Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

19 3. Carrying out the tests 3. The client tries to connect to the server Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

20 3. Carrying out the tests 4. The firewall redirects the client request to a relay; with which the connection is established Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

21 3. Carrying out the tests 5. The firewall moves the connection to the real server and it cancels the connection with the relay. Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

22 3. Carrying out the tests 6. The connection with the server is established and proceeds normally. Server Relay 1 Relay 2 Firewall Client Attacker

23 4. Results and analyses

24 4. Results and analyses The main result: it works. 3 computers (server + 2 relays) withstanded at maximum 650 msg/s (280 kb/s) flooding. (Theory was 682 msg/s)

25 4. Results and analyses "# During an attack, the client always succeeded to connect to the server Connection delay increased by 1.26ms when using a relay.

26 4. Results and analyses $ %" Further development and optimization of the prototype Additional performance tests Applying the idea to other similar issues

27 5. Thank you for your attention.

28 6. Any tricky questions?

29 7. Have a nice trip back home!

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