[Ndn-interest] Largest DDoS attack ever delivered by botnet of hijacked IoT devices

Christos Papadopoulos christos at colostate.edu
Wed Sep 28 13:30:38 PDT 2016

Hi Cedric,

On 09/28/2016 01:43 PM, Cedric Westphal wrote:
> Hi,
> regarding 3), it's probably too late once your under attack. Note that 
> in this case, it's Akamai that was attacked, and even though they have 
> more capacity to spread out the attack, the server still went down.
> regarding 2), many people have made this content that NDN requires 
> flow balance and that measuring flow imbalance tells you about attack. 
> There is information in the unsatisfied interests. That is true, but 
> that information is noisy and more importantly, relying on it means it 
> becomes a new vector of attacks.
> Consider a few nodes spraying interests for non existing objects. The 
> router will see a flow imbalance, and will shut down traffic, but it 
> can't discriminate between valid traffic and attack. Attack succeeds. 
> This is different from flooding the PIT, since it only attacks the 
> monitoring of the flow imbalance and the router stops forwarding not 
> under PIT exhaustion but from its observation of unsatisfied interests.

I am not sure why the single router failure scenario keeps coming up, 
but I will try this one last time. The attack *will* succeed (at least 
the type of attacks we have been discussing here) to bring down one or 
more routers. NDN, however, enables you to manage communication failure. 
In one example, we may allow routers in networks with many attackers to 
overload and fail by controlling the PIT size. That would have the 
policy effect of higher collateral damage in networks with high 
infection rate. No single policy will work for all cases, so other 
policies are also possible.

There is noting magical about NDN that will thwart all DDoS attacks (as 
much as I like unicorns). You can have crappy designs in NDN, just like 
any other architecture. As with any other system there are tradeoffs and 
compromises. The fundamental question, IMHO, is which architecture 
allows you to make the best tradeoffs. I put my money on the one that 
provides better feedback.


> New features enabled by PIT are also new risks.
> C.
> Sent from HUAWEI AnyOffice
> *From:*Paul Bellamy
> *To:*ndn-interest at lists.cs.ucla.edu,
> *Date:*2016-09-28 01:57:52
> *Subject:*Re: [Ndn-interest] Largest DDoS attack ever delivered by 
> botnet of hijacked IoT devices
> One the invariants of a DoS is that there are a lot of packets 
> depleting the resources of a single target physical machine. Which 
> means we can prevent it in two ways. Given that, there are several 
> potential solutions which jump to my mind:
> 1) Reject bad-actors sending lots of packets. Would work against a 
> DoS, but not a DDos, as each individual actor is sending a reasonable 
> amount of packets.
> 2) Stop too many packets reaching the single target. During 
> resource-exhaustion we could purge PIT entries with similar prefixes. 
> The nature of the flooded interests means they should all have a 
> similar prefix. We could limit the number of outstanding interests for 
> a given prefix.
> 3) Scale up the target. IMO, one of the big advantages of NDN for 
> service-operators is that (unlike IP) interests don't have to be 
> answered by any specific physical machine. If you've designed your 
> application well, you can easily add more capacity. This is "good 
> enough", until you run into cost-constraints.
> Of those, a combination of 2 and 3 seem the most practical.
> Regards,
> Paul
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