Efficient Detection of Delay-Constrained Relay Nodes

Baris Coskun
Polytechnic University

Nasir Memon
Polytechnic University

Relay nodes are a potential threat to networks since
they are used in many malicious situations like stepping stone
attacks, botnet communication, peer-to-peer streaming etc. Quick and
accurate detection of relay nodes in a network can significantly
improve security policy enforcement. There has been significant work
done and novel solutions proposed for the problem of identifying
relay flows active within a node in the network. In this paper, a
related problem of identifying relay nodes is investigated where a
relay node is defined as a node in the network that has an active
relay flow. The problem is formulated as a variance estimation
problem and a statistical approach is proposed for the solution. The
proposed solution requires linear time and space in the number of
flows and therefore can be employed in large scale implementations.
It can be used on its own to identify relay nodes or as a first step
in a scalable relay flow detection solution that performs known
quadratic time analysis techniques for relay flow detection only on
nodes that have been detected as relay nodes. Experimental results
show that the proposed scheme is able to detect relay nodes even in
the presence of intentional inter-packet delays and chaff packets
introduced by adversaries in order to defeat timing based detection

Keywords: Network Security, Relay Detection, Linear Time, Stepping Stones, Statistical Approach

Read Paper Read Paper (in PDF)