Security Investigate

How Well Can Congestion Pricing Neutralize Denial of Service Attacks?

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Executive Summary

Denial of service protection mechanisms usually requires classifying malicious traffic, which can be difficult. Another approach is to price scarce resources. However, while congestion pricing has been suggested as a way to combat DoS attacks, it has not been shown quantitatively how much damage a malicious player could cause to the utility of benign participants. In this paper, the authors quantify the protection that congestion pricing affords against DoS attacks, even for powerful attackers that can control their packets' routes. Specifically, they model the limits on the resources available to the attackers in three different ways and, in each case, quantify the maximum amount of damage they can cause as a function of their resource bounds.

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