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An Empirical Analysis of Target-Resident DoS Filters

May 2004 White Paper
Michael Collins, Michael K. Reiter

In this paper, the authors provide an empirical analysis of proposed techniques for filtering network traffic.


Software Engineering Institute


Numerous techniques have been proposed by which an end-system, subjected to a denial-of-service flood, filters the offending traffic. In this paper, we provide an empirical analysis of several such proposals, using traffic recorded at the border of a large network and including real DoS traffic. We focus our analysis on four filtering techniques, two based on the addresses from which the victim server typically receives traffic (static clustering and network-aware clustering), and two based on coarse indications of the path each packet traverses (hop-count filtering and path identifiers). Our analysis reveals challenges facing the proposed techniques in practice, and the implications of these issues for effective filtering. In addition, we compare techniques on equal footing, by evaluating the performance of one scheme under assumptions made by another. We conclude with an interpretation of the results and suggestions for further analysis.