Security

Detecting Malicious Packet Losses

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Executive Summary

In this paper, the authors consider the problem of detecting whether a compromised router is maliciously manipulating its stream of packets. In particular, they are concerned with a simple yet effective attack in which a router selectively drops packets destined for some victim. Unfortunately, it is quite challenging to attribute a missing packet to a malicious action because normal network congestion can produce the same effect. Modern networks routinely drop packets when the load temporarily exceeds their buffering capacities. Previous detection protocols have tried to address this problem with a user-defined threshold: too many dropped packets imply malicious intent.

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