DDOS Attacks


Countering Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks is becoming ever more challenging with the vast resources and techniques increasingly available to attackers. In this paper, we consider sophisticated attacks that are protocol-compliant, non-intrusive, and utilize legitimate application-layer requests to overwhelm system resources. We characterize application-layer resource attacks as either request flooding, asymmetric, or repeated one-shot, on the basis of the application workload parameters that they exploit. To protect servers from these attacks, we propose a counter-mechanism that consists of a suspicion assignment mechanism and a DDoS-resilient scheduler, DDoS Shield. In contrast to prior work, our suspicion mechanism assigns a continuous valued vs. binary measure to each client session, and the scheduler utilizes these values to determine if and when to schedule a session’s requests. Using testbed experiments on a web application, we demonstrate the potency of these resource attacks and evaluate the efficacy of our counter-mechanism. For instance, we effect an asymmetric attack which overwhelms the server resources, increasing the response time of legitimate clients from 0.1 seconds to 10 seconds. Under the same attack scenario, DDoS Shield limits the effects of false-negatives and false-positives and improves the victims’ performance to 0.8 seconds.

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