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Detecting Scans at the ISP Level

Abstract

Scans are often used by adversaries to determine the potential weaknesses in a target network or system prior to an intrusion attempt. In other cases, exploits are packaged with the scans themselves. This report presents a novel approach to detecting scans (including very stealthy scans) against, or passing through, very large networks. It meets operational requirements that are particular to detecting scans in ISP level networks. 

This scan-detection approach performs an ongoing, incremental analysis of flow-level data regarding traffic inbound to a network. It is multi-dimensional and flexible, based on up to 21 characteristics describing traffic collected from any single source.  

The report describes in detail a method developed to provide a probability that a particular traffic sample contains a scan. In validation testing using a manual analysis of traffic collected from a high-volume network, this method correctly classified 99.3% of TCP traffic samples.

Cite This Report

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SEI

Gates, Carrie; Kadane, Joseph; McNutt, Josh; & Kellner, Marc. Detecting Scans at the ISP Level (CMU/SEI-2006-TR-005). Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=8073

IEEE

Gates. Carrie, Kadane. Joseph, McNutt. Josh, and Kellner. Marc, "Detecting Scans at the ISP Level," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2006-TR-005, 2006. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=8073

APA

Gates, Carrie., Kadane, Joseph., McNutt, Josh., & Kellner, Marc. (2006). Detecting Scans at the ISP Level (CMU/SEI-2006-TR-005). Retrieved October 25, 2014, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=8073

CHI

Carrie Gates, Joseph Kadane, Josh McNutt, & Marc Kellner. Detecting Scans at the ISP Level (CMU/SEI-2006-TR-005). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2006. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=8073

MLA

Gates, Carrie., Kadane, Joseph., McNutt, Josh., & Kellner, Marc. 2006. Detecting Scans at the ISP Level (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2006-TR-005). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=8073