The Coremelt Attack

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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(N 2) 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.

This research was supported in part by CyLab at Carnegie Mellon under grants DAAD19-02-1-0389 and MURI W 911 NF 0710287 from the Army Research Office, and grant CNS-0831440 from the National Science Foundation. The views and conclusions contained here are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either express or implied, of ARO, CMU, NSF, or the U.S. Government or any of its agencies.