Login | Register

Darknet as a Source of Cyber Threat Intelligence: Investigating Distributed and Reflection Denial of Service Attacks


Darknet as a Source of Cyber Threat Intelligence: Investigating Distributed and Reflection Denial of Service Attacks

Fachkha, Claude (2015) Darknet as a Source of Cyber Threat Intelligence: Investigating Distributed and Reflection Denial of Service Attacks. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Fachkha_PhD_S2016.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Fachkha_PhD_S2016.pdf - Accepted Version


Cyberspace has become a massive battlefield between computer criminals and computer security experts. In addition, large-scale cyber attacks have enormously matured and became capable to generate, in a prompt manner, significant interruptions and damage to Internet resources and infrastructure. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are perhaps the most prominent and severe types of such large-scale cyber attacks. Furthermore, the existence of widely available encryption and anonymity techniques greatly increases the difficulty of the surveillance and investigation of cyber attacks. In this context, the availability of relevant cyber monitoring is of paramount importance. An effective approach to gather DoS cyber intelligence is to collect and analyze traffic destined to allocated, routable, yet unused Internet address space known as darknet. In this thesis, we leverage big darknet data to generate insights on various DoS events, namely, Distributed DoS (DDoS) and Distributed Reflection DoS (DRDoS) activities. First, we present a comprehensive survey of darknet. We primarily define and characterize darknet and indicate its alternative names. We further list other trap-based monitoring systems and compare them to darknet. In addition, we provide a taxonomy in relation to darknet technologies and identify research gaps that are related to three main darknet categories: deployment, traffic analysis, and visualization. Second, we characterize darknet data. Such information could generate indicators of cyber threat activity as well as provide in-depth understanding of the nature of its traffic. Particularly, we analyze darknet packets distribution, its used transport, network and application layer protocols and pinpoint its resolved domain names. Furthermore, we identify its IP classes and destination ports as well as geo-locate its source countries. We further investigate darknet-triggered threats. The aim is to explore darknet inferred threats and categorize their severities. Finally, we contribute by exploring the inter-correlation of such threats, by applying association rule mining techniques, to build threat association rules. Specifically, we generate clusters of threats that co-occur targeting a specific victim. Third, we propose a DDoS inference and forecasting model that aims at providing insights to organizations, security operators and emergency response teams during and after a DDoS attack. Specifically, this work strives to predict, within minutes, the attacks’ features, namely, intensity/rate (packets/sec) and size (estimated number of compromised machines/bots). The goal is to understand the future short-term trend of the ongoing DDoS attacks in terms of those
features and thus provide the capability to recognize the current as well as future similar situations and hence appropriately respond to the threat. Further, our work aims at investigating DDoS campaigns by proposing a clustering approach to infer various victims targeted by the same campaign and predicting related features. To
achieve our goal, our proposed approach leverages a number of time series and fluctuation analysis techniques, statistical methods and forecasting approaches. Fourth, we propose a novel approach to infer and characterize Internet-scale DRDoS attacks by leveraging the darknet space. Complementary to the pioneer work on inferring
DDoS activities using darknet, this work shows that we can extract DoS activities without relying on backscattered analysis. The aim of this work is to extract cyber security intelligence related to DRDoS activities such as intensity, rate and geographic location in addition to various network-layer and flow-based insights. To achieve this task, the proposed approach exploits certain DDoS parameters to detect the attacks and the expectation maximization and k-means clustering techniques in an attempt to identify campaigns of DRDoS attacks. Finally, we conclude this work by providing some discussions and pinpointing some future work.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Fachkha, Claude
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Electrical and Computer Engineering
Date:18 December 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Debbabi, Mourad
ID Code:980810
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:44
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top