PathFinder: Capturing DDoS Traffic Footprints on the Internet


While distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are easy to launch and are becoming more damaging, the defense against DDoS attacks often suffers from the lack of relevant knowledge of the DDoS traffic, including the paths the DDoS traffic has used, the source addresses (spoofed or not) that appear along each path, and the amount of traffic per path or per source. Though IP traceback and path inference approaches could be considered, they are either expensive and hard to deploy or inaccurate. We propose PathFinder, a service that a DDoS defense system can use to obtain the footprints of the DDoS traffic to the victim as is. It introduces a PFTrie data structure with multiple design features to log traffic at line rate, and is easy to implement and deploy on today’s Internet. We show that PathFinder can significantly improve the efficacy of a DDoS defense system, while PathFinder itself is fast and has a manageable overhead, as shown in the evaluations via both synthetic and real-world DDoS traces.

Accepted in International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Networking 2018.