The Journal of Supercomputing

, Volume 75, Issue 8, pp 4829–4874 | Cite as

Toward secure software-defined networks against distributed denial of service attack

  • Kshira Sagar Sahoo
  • Sanjaya Kumar PandaEmail author
  • Sampa Sahoo
  • Bibhudatta Sahoo
  • Ratnakar Dash


The newly emerged software-defined networking (SDN) paradigm provides a flexible network management by decoupling the network control logic from the data plane, which could effectively resolve many security issues of legacy networks. One of such security issues is distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which is a rapidly growing network threat. This is usually performed on a target system to make an online service unavailable to the users. SDN can easily detect the DDoS attack due to the centralized control provisioning and network visibility. At the same time, the changes of fundamental architecture and the developments of various design entities pose a severe DDoS threat to the SDN platform. This paper presents a concise up-to-date review of security concerns of SDN, possible DDoS attack in individual layers of SDN and ongoing research efforts on SDN-enabled DDoS detection solutions. Based on the findings, an information distance-based flow discriminator framework has been discussed, which can discriminate the DDoS traffic during flash events, a similar looking legitimate traffic, in SDN environment. The information distance metric is used to describe the variations of traffic behavior of such events. The simulation results show that the information distance metric can effectively identify the DDoS traffic in comparison with other metrics with a higher detection rate. The proposed solution can detect the traffic at the edge switch so that the attack alert can be raised at the earliest.


Software-defined networking Distributed denial of service attack Security threat Security attack Infrastructure layer Control layer Application layer 



The first version of this paper has appeared in one of the chapters of Handbook of e-Business Security [67]. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and future research directions, which greatly help us to extend this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringNational Institute of Technology RourkelaRourkelaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Information TechnologyVeer Surendra Sai University of TechnologyBurlaIndia

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