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Attacks against distributed systems frequently start at the network layer by gathering network related information (such as open TCP ports) and continue on by exhausting resources, or abusing protocols. Defending against network-based attacks is a major focus area in the APOD (Application That Participate in Their Own Defense) project, which set out to develop technologies that increase an application's resilience against cyber attacks. This paper gives an overview of APOD's current set of network-level defenses. Specific network-based defense mechanisms are described first, followed by a discussion on how to use them in local defensive behavior. Defense strategies, which specify coordinated defensive behavior across a distributed system, are discussed next, followed by results from initial experimental evaluation.
Date of Conference: 16-18 April 2003