Journal of Computer Science and Technology ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 839-851.doi: 10.1007/s11390-022-1495-0

Special Issue: Computer Networks and Distributed Computing

• Special Section of MASS 2020-2021 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An Efficient Scheme to Defend Data-to-Control-Plane Saturation Attacks in Software-Defined Networking

Xuan-Bo Huang1 (黄轩博), Student Member, IEEE, Kai-Ping Xue1,* (薛开平), Senior Member, CCF, IEEE, Yi-Tao Xing1 (幸一滔), Student Member, IEEE, Ding-Wen Hu1 (胡定文), Student Member, IEEE, Ruidong Li2 (李睿栋), Senior Member, IEEE, and Qi-Bin Sun1 (孙启彬), Fellow, IEEE        

  1. 1School of Cyber Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China
    2College of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
  • Received:2021-04-04 Revised:2022-04-06 Accepted:2022-05-24 Online:2022-07-25 Published:2022-07-25
  • Contact: Kai-Ping Xue E-mail:kpxue@ustc.edu.cn
  • About author:
    Kai-Ping Xue received his Bachelor's degree from the Department of Information Security, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei, in 2003, and received his Ph.D. degree in information and communication engineering from the Department of Electronic Engineering and Information Science (EEIS), USTC, Hefei, in 2007. From May 2012 to May 2013, he was a postdoctoral researcher with Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville. Currently, he is a professor in the School of Cyber Science and Technology and the Department of EEIS, USTC, Hefei. His research interests include next-generation Internet, distributed networks and network security. He serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC), the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications (TWC), and the IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management (TNSM). He has also served as a (lead) guest editor of many reputed journals/magazines, including IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC), IEEE Communications Magazine and IEEE Network. He is a fellow of the IET and a senior member of CCF and IEEE.
  • Supported by:
    The work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61972371, U19B2023 and U19B2044, and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under Grant No. Y202093.

Software-defined networking (SDN) decouples the data and control planes. However, attackers can lead catastrophic results to the whole network using manipulated flooding packets, called the data-to-control-plane saturation attacks. The existing methods, using centralized mitigation policies and ignoring the buffered attack flows, involve extra network entities and make benign traffic suffer from long network recovery delays. For these purposes, we propose LFSDM, a saturation attack detection and mitigation system, which solves these challenges by leveraging three new techniques: 1) using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and extracting a novel feature called control channel occupation rate (CCOR) to detect the attacks, 2) adopting the distributed mitigation agents to reduce the number of involved network entities and, 3) cleaning up the buffered attack flows to enable fast recovery. Experiments show that our system can detect the attacks timely and accurately. More importantly, compared with the previous work, we save 81% of the network recovery delay under attacks ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 packets per second (PPS) on average, and 87% of the network recovery delay under higher attack rates with PPS ranging from 5,000 to 30,000.

Key words: software-defined networking (SDN); saturation attack; fast recovery; linear discriminant analysis;

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