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Slowing down Internet worms

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2 Author(s)
S. Chen ; Dept. of Comput. & Inf. Sci. & Eng., Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL, USA ; Y. Tang

An Internet worm automatically replicates itself to vulnerable systems and may infect hundreds of thousands of servers across the Internet. It is conceivable that the cyber-terrorists may use a wide-spread worm to cause major disruption to our Internet economy. While much recent research concentrates on propagation models, the defense against worms is largely an open problem. We propose a distributed antiworm architecture (DAW) that automatically slows down or even halts the worm propagation. New defense techniques are developed based on behavioral difference between normal hosts and worm-infected hosts. Particularly, a worm-infected host has a much higher connection-failure rate when it scans the Internet with randomly selected addresses. This property allows DAW to set the worms apart from the normal hosts. We propose a temporal rate-limit algorithm and a spatial rate-limit algorithm, which makes the speed of worm propagation configurable by the parameters of the defense system. DAW is designed for an Internet service provider to provide the anti-worm service to its customers. The effectiveness of the new techniques is evaluated analytically and by simulations.

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Distributed Computing Systems, 2004. Proceedings. 24th International Conference on

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