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Detecting Pulsing Denial-of-Service Attacks with Nondeterministic Attack Intervals


This paper addresses the important problem of detecting pulsing denial of service (PDoS) attacks which send a sequence of attack pulses to reduce TCP throughput. Unlike previous works which focused on a restricted form of attacks, we consider a very broad class of attacks. In particular, our attack model admits any attack interval between two adjacent pulses, whether deterministic or not. It also includes the traditional flooding-based attacks as a limiting case (i.e., zero attack interval). Our main contribution is Vanguard, a new anomaly-based detection scheme for this class of PDoS attacks. The Vanguard detection is based on three traffic anomalies induced by the attacks, and it detects them using a CUSUM algorithm. We have prototyped Vanguard and evaluated it on a testbed. The experiment results show that Vanguard is more effective than the previous methods that are based on other traffic anomalies (after a transformation using wavelet transform, Fourier transform, and autocorrelation) and detection algorithms (e.g., dynamic time warping).

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Correspondence to Rocky K. C. Chang.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Luo, X., Chan, E.W.W. & Chang, R.K.C. Detecting Pulsing Denial-of-Service Attacks with Nondeterministic Attack Intervals. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2009, 256821 (2009).

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