Mitigating congestion based DoS attacks with an enhanced AQM technique


Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are currently one of the biggest risks any organization connected to the Internet can face. Hence, the congestion handling techniques at the edge router(s), such as Active Queue Management (AQM) schemes must take into account such attacks. Ideally, an AQM scheme should (a) ensure that each network flow gets its fair share of bandwidth, and (b) identify attack flows so that corrective actions (e.g. drop flooding traffic) can be explicitly taken against them to further mitigate the DoS attacks. This paper presents a proof-of-concept work on devising such an AQM scheme, which we name Deterministic Fair Sharing (DFS). Most of the existing AQM schemes do not achieve the above goals or have significant room for improvement. DFS uses the concept of weighted fair share (wfs) that allows it to dynamically self-adjust the router buffer usage based on the current level of congestion, while aiding in identifying malicious flows. By using multiple data structures (a comprehensive repository and a cache) for keeping state of legitimate and malicious flows, DFS is able to optimize its runtime performance (e.g. higher bandwidth flows being handled by the cache). We demonstrate the performance advantage of DFS via extensive simulation while comparing against other existing AQM techniques.

Publication Title

Computer Communications