Computer Security – ESORICS 2009

Volume 5789 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 37-52

The Coremelt Attack

  • Ahren StuderAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University
  • , Adrian PerrigAffiliated withCarnegie Mellon University

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Current Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks are directed towards a specific victim. The research community has devised several countermeasures that protect the victim host against undesired traffic.

We present Coremelt, a new attack mechanism, where attackers only send traffic between each other, and not towards a victim host. As a result, none of the attack traffic is unwanted. The Coremelt attack is powerful because among N attackers, there are O(N2) connections, which cause significant damage in the core of the network. We demonstrate the attack based on simulations within a real Internet topology using realistic attacker distributions and show that attackers can induce a significant amount of congestion.