Networking Investigate

Denial of Service Attacks in Networks With Tiny Buffers

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Executive Summary

Recently, several papers have studied the possibility of shrinking buffer sizes in Internet core routers to just a few dozen packets under certain constraints. If proven right, these results can open doors to building all-optical routers, since a major bottleneck in building such routers is the lack of large optical memories. However, reducing buffer sizes might pose new security risks: it is much easier to fill up tiny buffers, and thus organizing Denial of Service (DoS) attacks seems easier in a network with tiny buffers. To the best of the knowledge, such risks have not been studied before; all the focus has been on performance issues such as throughput, drop rate, and flow completion times.

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