A Technique for Network Topology Deception

Samuel Trassare, Robert Beverly, and David Alderson
Proceedings of the Military Communications Conference (MILCOM 2013),
San Diego, CA, November 2013.

Civilian and military networks are continually probed for vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals, and autonomous botnets under their control, regularly scan networks in search of vulnerable systems to co-opt. Military and more sophisticated adversaries may also scan and map networks as part of reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. This paper focuses on adversaries attempting to map a network's \emph{infrastructure}, \ie the critical routers and links supporting a network. We develop a novel methodology, rooted in principles of military deception, for deceiving a malicious traceroute probe and influencing the structure of the network as inferred by a mapping adversary. Our Linux-based implementation runs as a kernel module at a border router to present a deceptive external topology. We construct a proof-of-concept test network to show that a remote adversary using traceroute to map a defended network can be presented with a false topology of the defender's choice.

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