Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



Defense against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks is one of the primary concerns on the Internet today. DDoS attacks are difficult to prevent because of the open, interconnected nature of the Internet and its underlying protocols, which can be used in several ways to deny service. Attackers hide their identity by using third parties such as private chat channels on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). They also insert false return IP address, spoofing, in a packet which makes it difficult for the victim to determine the packet's origin. We propose three novel and realistic traceback mechanisms which offer many advantages over the existing schemes. All the three schemes take advantage of the Autonomous System topology and consider the fact that the attacker's packets may traverse through a number of domains under different administrative control. Most of the traceback mechanisms make wrong assumptions that the network details of a company under an administrative control are disclosed to the public. For security reasons, this is not the case most of the times. The proposed schemes overcome this drawback by considering reconstruction at the inter and intra AS levels. Hierarchical Internet Traceback (HIT) and Simple Traceback Mechanism (STM) trace back to an attacker in two phases. In the first phase the attack originating Autonomous System is identified while in the second phase the attacker within an AS is identified. Both the schemes, HIT and STM, allow the victim to trace back to the attackers in a few seconds. Their computational overhead is very low and they scale to large distributed attacks with thousands of attackers. Fast Autonomous System Traceback allows complete attack path reconstruction with few packets. We use traceroute maps of real Internet topologies CAIDA's skitter to simulate DDoS attacks and validate our design.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ahmed A. El-Amawy