Tarik Taleb, Zubair Md. Fadlullah, Kazuo Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Nemoto, and Nei Kato
International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference 2007 (IWCMC 2007), Hawaii, USA, Aug. 2007
Publication year: 2007-08

Attacks against encrypted protocols have become increasingly popular and sophisticated. Such attacks are often undetectable by the traditional Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs). Additionally, the encrypted attack-traffic makes tracing the source of the attack substantially more difficult. In this paper, we address these issues and devise a mechanism to trace back attackers against encrypted protocols. In our efforts to combat attacks against cryptographic protocols, we have integrated a traceback mechanism at the monitoring stubs (MSs), which were introduced in one of our previous works. While we previously focused on strategically placing monitoring stubs to detect attacks against encrypted protocols, in this work we aim at equipping MSs with a traceback feature. In our approach, when a given MS detects an attack, it starts tracing back to the root of the attack. The traceback mechanism relies on monitoring the extracted features at different MSs, i.e., in different points of the target network. At each MS, the monitored features over time provide a pattern which is compared or correlated with the monitored patterns at the neighboring MSs. A high correlation value in the patterns observed by two adjacent MSs indicates that the attack traffic propagated through the network elements covered by these MSs. Based on these correlation values and a prior knowledge of the network topology, the system can then construct a path back to the attacking hosts. The effectiveness of the proposed traceback scheme is verified by simulations.