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2014-09-17
King, Jason, Williams, Laurie.  2014.  Log Your CRUD: Design Principles for Software Logging Mechanisms. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :5:1–5:10.

According to a 2011 survey in healthcare, the most commonly reported breaches of protected health information involved employees snooping into medical records of friends and relatives. Logging mechanisms can provide a means for forensic analysis of user activity in software systems by proving that a user performed certain actions in the system. However, logging mechanisms often inconsistently capture user interactions with sensitive data, creating gaps in traces of user activity. Explicit design principles and systematic testing of logging mechanisms within the software development lifecycle may help strengthen the overall security of software. The objective of this research is to observe the current state of logging mechanisms by performing an exploratory case study in which we systematically evaluate logging mechanisms by supplementing the expected results of existing functional black-box test cases to include log output. We perform an exploratory case study of four open-source electronic health record (EHR) logging mechanisms: OpenEMR, OSCAR, Tolven eCHR, and WorldVistA. We supplement the expected results of 30 United States government-sanctioned test cases to include log output to track access of sensitive data. We then execute the test cases on each EHR system. Six of the 30 (20%) test cases failed on all four EHR systems because user interactions with sensitive data are not logged. We find that viewing protected data is often not logged by default, allowing unauthorized views of data to go undetected. Based on our results, we propose a set of principles that developers should consider when developing logging mechanisms to ensure the ability to capture adequate traces of user activity.

Kurilova, Darya, Omar, Cyrus, Nistor, Ligia, Chung, Benjamin, Potanin, Alex, Aldrich, Jonathan.  2014.  Type-specific Languages to Fight Injection Attacks. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :18:1–18:2.

Injection vulnerabilities have topped rankings of the most critical web application vulnerabilities for several years [1, 2]. They can occur anywhere where user input may be erroneously executed as code. The injected input is typically aimed at gaining unauthorized access to the system or to private information within it, corrupting the system's data, or disturbing system availability. Injection vulnerabilities are tedious and difficult to prevent.

Cao, Phuong, Chung, Key-whan, Kalbarczyk, Zbigniew, Iyer, Ravishankar, Slagell, Adam J..  2014.  Preemptive Intrusion Detection. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :21:1–21:2.

This paper presents a system named SPOT to achieve high accuracy and preemptive detection of attacks. We use security logs of real-incidents that occurred over a six-year period at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to evaluate SPOT. Our data consists of attacks that led directly to the target system being compromised, i.e., not detected in advance, either by the security analysts or by intrusion detection systems. Our approach can detect 75 percent of attacks as early as minutes to tens of hours before attack payloads are executed.

Cao, Phuong, Li, Hongyang, Nahrstedt, Klara, Kalbarczyk, Zbigniew, Iyer, Ravishankar, Slagell, Adam J..  2014.  Personalized Password Guessing: A New Security Threat. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :22:1–22:2.

This paper presents a model for generating personalized passwords (i.e., passwords based on user and service profile). A user's password is generated from a list of personalized words, each word is drawn from a topic relating to a user and the service in use. The proposed model can be applied to: (i) assess the strength of a password (i.e., determine how many guesses are used to crack the password), and (ii) generate secure (i.e., contains digits, special characters, or capitalized characters) yet easy to memorize passwords.

Kästner, Christian, Pfeffer, Jürgen.  2014.  Limiting Recertification in Highly Configurable Systems: Analyzing Interactions and Isolation Among Configuration Options. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :23:1–23:2.

In highly configurable systems the configuration space is too big for (re-)certifying every configuration in isolation. In this project, we combine software analysis with network analysis to detect which configuration options interact and which have local effects. Instead of analyzing a system as Linux and SELinux for every combination of configuration settings one by one (>102000 even considering compile-time configurations only), we analyze the effect of each configuration option once for the entire configuration space. The analysis will guide us to designs separating interacting configuration options in a core system and isolating orthogonal and less trusted configuration options from this core.

Forget, Alain, Komanduri, Saranga, Acquisti, Alessandro, Christin, Nicolas, Cranor, Lorrie Faith, Telang, Rahul.  2014.  Building the Security Behavior Observatory: An Infrastructure for Long-term Monitoring of Client Machines. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :24:1–24:2.

We present an architecture for the Security Behavior Observatory (SBO), a client-server infrastructure designed to collect a wide array of data on user and computer behavior from hundreds of participants over several years. The SBO infrastructure had to be carefully designed to fulfill several requirements. First, the SBO must scale with the desired length, breadth, and depth of data collection. Second, we must take extraordinary care to ensure the security of the collected data, which will inevitably include intimate participant behavioral data. Third, the SBO must serve our research interests, which will inevitably change as collected data is analyzed and interpreted. This short paper summarizes some of our design and implementation benefits and discusses a few hurdles and trade-offs to consider when designing such a data collection system.

Khalaj, Ebrahim, Vanciu, Radu, Abi-Antoun, Marwan.  2014.  Is There Value in Reasoning About Security at the Architectural Level: A Comparative Evaluation. Proceedings of the 2014 Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security. :30:1–30:2.

We propose to build a benchmark with hand-selected test-cases from different equivalence classes, then to directly compare different approaches that make different tradeoffs to better understand which approaches find security vulnerabilities more effectively (better recall, better precision).

Mazurek, Michelle L., Komanduri, Saranga, Vidas, Timothy, Bauer, Lujo, Christin, Nicolas, Cranor, Lorrie Faith, Kelley, Patrick Gage, Shay, Richard, Ur, Blase.  2013.  Measuring Password Guessability for an Entire University. Proceedings of the 2013 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer &\#38; Communications Security. :173–186.
Despite considerable research on passwords, empirical studies of password strength have been limited by lack of access to plaintext passwords, small data sets, and password sets specifically collected for a research study or from low-value accounts. Properties of passwords used for high-value accounts thus remain poorly understood. We fill this gap by studying the single-sign-on passwords used by over 25,000 faculty, staff, and students at a research university with a complex password policy. Key aspects of our contributions rest on our (indirect) access to plaintext passwords. We describe our data collection methodology, particularly the many precautions we took to minimize risks to users. We then analyze how guessable the collected passwords would be during an offline attack by subjecting them to a state-of-the-art password cracking algorithm. We discover significant correlations between a number of demographic and behavioral factors and password strength. For example, we find that users associated with the computer science school make passwords more than 1.5 times as strong as those of users associated with the business school. while users associated with computer science make strong ones. In addition, we find that stronger passwords are correlated with a higher rate of errors entering them. We also compare the guessability and other characteristics of the passwords we analyzed to sets previously collected in controlled experiments or leaked from low-value accounts. We find more consistent similarities between the university passwords and passwords collected for research studies under similar composition policies than we do between the university passwords and subsets of passwords leaked from low-value accounts that happen to comply with the same policies.
Fahl, Sascha, Harbach, Marian, Perl, Henning, Koetter, Markus, Smith, Matthew.  2013.  Rethinking SSL Development in an Appified World. Proceedings of the 2013 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer &\#38; Communications Security. :49–60.
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is widely used to secure data transfers on the Internet. Previous studies have shown that the state of non-browser SSL code is catastrophic across a large variety of desktop applications and libraries as well as a large selection of Android apps, leaving users vulnerable to Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MITMAs). To determine possible causes of SSL problems on all major appified platforms, we extended the analysis to the walled-garden ecosystem of iOS, analyzed software developer forums and conducted interviews with developers of vulnerable apps. Our results show that the root causes are not simply careless developers, but also limitations and issues of the current SSL development paradigm. Based on our findings, we derive a proposal to rethink the handling of SSL in the appified world and present a set of countermeasures to improve the handling of SSL using Android as a blueprint for other platforms. Our countermeasures prevent developers from willfully or accidentally breaking SSL certificate validation, offer support for extended features such as SSL Pinning and different SSL validation infrastructures, and protect users. We evaluated our solution against 13,500 popular Android apps and conducted developer interviews to judge the acceptance of our approach and found that our solution works well for all investigated apps and developers.
2014-09-26
Rossow, C., Dietrich, C.J., Grier, C., Kreibich, C., Paxson, V., Pohlmann, N., Bos, H., van Steen, M..  2012.  Prudent Practices for Designing Malware Experiments: Status Quo and Outlook. Security and Privacy (SP), 2012 IEEE Symposium on. :65-79.

Malware researchers rely on the observation of malicious code in execution to collect datasets for a wide array of experiments, including generation of detection models, study of longitudinal behavior, and validation of prior research. For such research to reflect prudent science, the work needs to address a number of concerns relating to the correct and representative use of the datasets, presentation of methodology in a fashion sufficiently transparent to enable reproducibility, and due consideration of the need not to harm others. In this paper we study the methodological rigor and prudence in 36 academic publications from 2006-2011 that rely on malware execution. 40% of these papers appeared in the 6 highest-ranked academic security conferences. We find frequent shortcomings, including problematic assumptions regarding the use of execution-driven datasets (25% of the papers), absence of description of security precautions taken during experiments (71% of the articles), and oftentimes insufficient description of the experimental setup. Deficiencies occur in top-tier venues and elsewhere alike, highlighting a need for the community to improve its handling of malware datasets. In the hope of aiding authors, reviewers, and readers, we frame guidelines regarding transparency, realism, correctness, and safety for collecting and using malware datasets.

Kashyap, V., Wiedermann, B., Hardekopf, B..  2011.  Timing- and Termination-Sensitive Secure Information Flow: Exploring a New Approach. Security and Privacy (SP), 2011 IEEE Symposium on. :413-428.

Secure information flow guarantees the secrecy and integrity of data, preventing an attacker from learning secret information (secrecy) or injecting untrusted information (integrity). Covert channels can be used to subvert these security guarantees, for example, timing and termination channels can, either intentionally or inadvertently, violate these guarantees by modifying the timing or termination behavior of a program based on secret or untrusted data. Attacks using these covert channels have been published and are known to work in practiceâ as techniques to prevent non-covert channels are becoming increasingly practical, covert channels are likely to become even more attractive for attackers to exploit. The goal of this paper is to understand the subtleties of timing and termination-sensitive noninterference, explore the space of possible strategies for enforcing noninterference guarantees, and formalize the exact guarantees that these strategies can enforce. As a result of this effort we create a novel strategy that provides stronger security guarantees than existing work, and we clarify claims in existing work about what guarantees can be made.

2014-10-24
Kothari, Vijay, Blythe, Jim, Smith, Sean, Koppel, Ross.  2014.  Agent-based Modeling of User Circumvention of Security. 1st International Workshop on Agents and CyberSecurity. :5:1–5:4.

Security subsystems are often designed with flawed assumptions arising from system designers' faulty mental models. Designers tend to assume that users behave according to some textbook ideal, and to consider each potential exposure/interface in isolation. However, fieldwork continually shows that even well-intentioned users often depart from this ideal and circumvent controls in order to perform daily work tasks, and that "incorrect" user behaviors can create unexpected links between otherwise "independent" interfaces. When it comes to security features and parameters, designers try to find the choices that optimize security utility–-except these flawed assumptions give rise to an incorrect curve, and lead to choices that actually make security worse, in practice. We propose that improving this situation requires giving designers more accurate models of real user behavior and how it influences aggregate system security. Agent-based modeling can be a fruitful first step here. In this paper, we study a particular instance of this problem, propose user-centric techniques designed to strengthen the security of systems while simultaneously improving the usability of them, and propose further directions of inquiry.

Omar, Cyrus, Chung, Benjamin, Kurilova, Darya, Potanin, Alex, Aldrich, Jonathan.  2013.  Type-directed, whitespace-delimited parsing for embedded DSLs. Proceedings of the First Workshop on the Globalization of Domain Specific Languages. :8–11.
Domain-specific languages improve ease-of-use, expressiveness and verifiability, but defining and using different DSLs within a single application remains difficult. We introduce an approach for embedded DSLs where 1) whitespace delimits DSL-governed blocks, and 2) the parsing and type checking phases occur in tandem so that the expected type of the block determines which domain-specific parser governs that block. We argue that this approach occupies a sweet spot, providing high expressiveness and ease-of-use while maintaining safe composability. We introduce the design, provide examples and describe an ongoing implementation of this strategy in the Wyvern programming language. We also discuss how a more conventional keyword-directed strategy for parsing of DSLs can arise as a special case of this type-directed strategy.
Nistor, Ligia, Kurilova, Darya, Balzer, Stephanie, Chung, Benjamin, Potanin, Alex, Aldrich, Jonathan.  2013.  Wyvern: A Simple, Typed, and Pure Object-oriented Language. Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on MechAnisms for SPEcialization, Generalization and inHerItance. :9–16.
The simplest and purest practical object-oriented language designs today are seen in dynamically-typed languages, such as Smalltalk and Self. Static types, however, have potential benefits for productivity, security, and reasoning about programs. In this paper, we describe the design of Wyvern, a statically typed, pure object-oriented language that attempts to retain much of the simplicity and expressiveness of these iconic designs. Our goals lead us to combine pure object-oriented and functional abstractions in a simple, typed setting. We present a foundational object-based language that we believe to be as close as one can get to simple typed lambda calculus while keeping object-orientation. We show how this foundational language can be translated to the typed lambda calculus via standard encodings. We then define a simple extension to this language that introduces classes and show that classes are no more than sugar for the foundational object-based language. Our future intention is to demonstrate that modules and other object-oriented features can be added to our language as not more than such syntactical extensions while keeping the object-oriented core as pure as possible. The design of Wyvern closely follows both historical and modern ideas about the essence of object-orientation, suggesting a new way to think about a minimal, practical, typed core language for objects.
2015-03-03
Abbas, W., Koutsoukos, X..  2015.  Efficient Complete Coverage Through Heterogeneous Sensing Nodes. Wireless Communications Letters, IEEE. 4:14-17.

We investigate the coverage efficiency of a sensor network consisting of sensors with circular sensing footprints of different radii. The objective is to completely cover a region in an efficient manner through a controlled (or deterministic) deployment of such sensors. In particular, it is shown that when sensing nodes of two different radii are used for complete coverage, the coverage density is increased, and the sensing cost is significantly reduced as compared to the homogeneous case, in which all nodes have the same sensing radius. Configurations of heterogeneous disks of multiple radii to achieve efficient circle coverings are presented and analyzed.

Li, Bo, Vorobeychik, Yevgeniy.  2014.  Feature Cross-Substitution in Adversarial Classification. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27. :2087–2095.

The success of machine learning, particularly in supervised settings, has led to numerous attempts to apply it in adversarial settings such as spam and malware detection. The core challenge in this class of applications is that adversaries are not static data generators, but make a deliberate effort to evade the classifiers deployed to detect them. We investigate both the problem of modeling the objectives of such adversaries, as well as the algorithmic problem of accounting for rational, objective-driven adversaries. In particular, we demonstrate severe shortcomings of feature reduction in adversarial settings using several natural adversarial objective functions, an observation that is particularly pronounced when the adversary is able to substitute across similar features (for example, replace words with synonyms or replace letters in words). We offer a simple heuristic method for making learning more robust to feature cross-substitution attacks. We then present a more general approach based on mixed-integer linear programming with constraint generation, which implicitly trades off overfitting and feature selection in an adversarial setting using a sparse regularizer along with an evasion model. Our approach is the first method for combining an adversarial classification algorithm with a very general class of models of adversarial classifier evasion. We show that our algorithmic approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art alternatives.

2015-04-30
Vamsi, P.R., Kant, K..  2014.  Sybil attack detection using Sequential Hypothesis Testing in Wireless Sensor Networks. Signal Propagation and Computer Technology (ICSPCT), 2014 International Conference on. :698-702.

Sybil attack poses a serious threat to geographic routing. In this attack, a malicious node attempts to broadcast incorrect location information, identity and secret key information. A Sybil node can tamper its neighboring nodes for the purpose of converting them as malicious. As the amount of Sybil nodes increase in the network, the network traffic will seriously affect and the data packets will never reach to their destinations. To address this problem, researchers have proposed several schemes to detect Sybil attacks. However, most of these schemes assume costly setup such as the use of relay nodes or use of expensive devices and expensive encryption methods to verify the location information. In this paper, the authors present a method to detect Sybil attacks using Sequential Hypothesis Testing. The proposed method has been examined using a Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing (GPSR) protocol with analysis and simulation. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed method is robust against detecting Sybil attacks.

Vamsi, P.R., Kant, K..  2014.  Sybil attack detection using Sequential Hypothesis Testing in Wireless Sensor Networks. Signal Propagation and Computer Technology (ICSPCT), 2014 International Conference on. :698-702.

Sybil attack poses a serious threat to geographic routing. In this attack, a malicious node attempts to broadcast incorrect location information, identity and secret key information. A Sybil node can tamper its neighboring nodes for the purpose of converting them as malicious. As the amount of Sybil nodes increase in the network, the network traffic will seriously affect and the data packets will never reach to their destinations. To address this problem, researchers have proposed several schemes to detect Sybil attacks. However, most of these schemes assume costly setup such as the use of relay nodes or use of expensive devices and expensive encryption methods to verify the location information. In this paper, the authors present a method to detect Sybil attacks using Sequential Hypothesis Testing. The proposed method has been examined using a Greedy Perimeter Stateless Routing (GPSR) protocol with analysis and simulation. The simulation results demonstrate that the proposed method is robust against detecting Sybil attacks.

Sasidharan, B., Kumar, P.V., Shah, N.B., Rashmi, K.V., Ramachandran, K..  2014.  Optimality of the product-matrix construction for secure MSR regenerating codes. Communications, Control and Signal Processing (ISCCSP), 2014 6th International Symposium on. :10-14.

In this paper, we consider the security of exact-repair regenerating codes operating at the minimum-storage-regenerating (MSR) point. The security requirement (introduced in Shah et. al.) is that no information about the stored data file must be leaked in the presence of an eavesdropper who has access to the contents of ℓ1 nodes as well as all the repair traffic entering a second disjoint set of ℓ2 nodes. We derive an upper bound on the size of a data file that can be securely stored that holds whenever ℓ2 ≤ d - k + 1. This upper bound proves the optimality of the product-matrix-based construction of secure MSR regenerating codes by Shah et. al.

Kia, S.S., Cortes, J., Martinez, S..  2014.  Periodic and event-triggered communication for distributed continuous-time convex optimization. American Control Conference (ACC), 2014. :5010-5015.

We propose a distributed continuous-time algorithm to solve a network optimization problem where the global cost function is a strictly convex function composed of the sum of the local cost functions of the agents. We establish that our algorithm, when implemented over strongly connected and weight-balanced directed graph topologies, converges exponentially fast when the local cost functions are strongly convex and their gradients are globally Lipschitz. We also characterize the privacy preservation properties of our algorithm and extend the convergence guarantees to the case of time-varying, strongly connected, weight-balanced digraphs. When the network topology is a connected undirected graph, we show that exponential convergence is still preserved if the gradients of the strongly convex local cost functions are locally Lipschitz, while it is asymptotic if the local cost functions are convex. We also study discrete-time communication implementations. Specifically, we provide an upper bound on the stepsize of a synchronous periodic communication scheme that guarantees convergence over connected undirected graph topologies and, building on this result, design a centralized event-triggered implementation that is free of Zeno behavior. Simulations illustrate our results.

Kia, S.S., Cortes, J., Martinez, S..  2014.  Periodic and event-triggered communication for distributed continuous-time convex optimization. American Control Conference (ACC), 2014. :5010-5015.

We propose a distributed continuous-time algorithm to solve a network optimization problem where the global cost function is a strictly convex function composed of the sum of the local cost functions of the agents. We establish that our algorithm, when implemented over strongly connected and weight-balanced directed graph topologies, converges exponentially fast when the local cost functions are strongly convex and their gradients are globally Lipschitz. We also characterize the privacy preservation properties of our algorithm and extend the convergence guarantees to the case of time-varying, strongly connected, weight-balanced digraphs. When the network topology is a connected undirected graph, we show that exponential convergence is still preserved if the gradients of the strongly convex local cost functions are locally Lipschitz, while it is asymptotic if the local cost functions are convex. We also study discrete-time communication implementations. Specifically, we provide an upper bound on the stepsize of a synchronous periodic communication scheme that guarantees convergence over connected undirected graph topologies and, building on this result, design a centralized event-triggered implementation that is free of Zeno behavior. Simulations illustrate our results.

Okada, Kazuya, Hazeyama, Hiroaki, Kadobayashi, Youki.  2014.  Oblivious DDoS Mitigation with Locator/ID Separation Protocol. Proceedings of The Ninth International Conference on Future Internet Technologies. :8:1–8:6.

The need to keep an attacker oblivious of an attack mitigation effort is a very important component of a defense against denial of services (DoS) and distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks because it helps to dissuade attackers from changing their attack patterns. Conceptually, DDoS mitigation can be achieved by two components. The first is a decoy server that provides a service function or receives attack traffic as a substitute for a legitimate server. The second is a decoy network that restricts attack traffic to the peripheries of a network, or which reroutes attack traffic to decoy servers. In this paper, we propose the use of a two-stage map table extension Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to realize a decoy network. We also describe and demonstrate how LISP can be used to implement an oblivious DDoS mitigation mechanism by adding a simple extension on the LISP MapServer. Together with decoy servers, this method can terminate DDoS traffic on the ingress end of an LISP-enabled network. We verified the effectiveness of our proposed mechanism through simulated DDoS attacks on a simple network topology. Our evaluation results indicate that the mechanism could be activated within a few seconds, and that the attack traffic can be terminated without incurring overhead on the MapServer.

Cepheli, O., Buyukcorak, S., Kurt, G.K..  2014.  User behaviour modelling based DDoS attack detection. Signal Processing and Communications Applications Conference (SIU), 2014 22nd. :2186-2189.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are one of the most important threads in network systems. Due to the distributed nature, DDoS attacks are very hard to detect, while they also have the destructive potential of classical denial of service attacks. In this study, a novel 2-step system is proposed for the detection of DDoS attacks. In the first step an anomaly detection is performed on the destination IP traffic. If an anomaly is detected on the network, the system proceeds into the second step where a decision on every user is made due to the behaviour models. Hence, it is possible to detect attacks in the network that diverges from users' behavior model.

Jingtang Luo, Xiaolong Yang, Jin Wang, Jie Xu, Jian Sun, Keping Long.  2014.  On a Mathematical Model for Low-Rate Shrew DDoS. Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on. 9:1069-1083.

The shrew distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is very detrimental for many applications, since it can throttle TCP flows to a small fraction of their ideal rate at very low attack cost. Earlier works mainly focused on empirical studies of defending against the shrew DDoS, and very few of them provided analytic results about the attack itself. In this paper, we propose a mathematical model for estimating attack effect of this stealthy type of DDoS. By originally capturing the adjustment behaviors of victim TCPs congestion window, our model can comprehensively evaluate the combined impact of attack pattern (i.e., how the attack is configured) and network environment on attack effect (the existing models failed to consider the impact of network environment). Henceforth, our model has higher accuracy over a wider range of network environments. The relative error of our model remains around 10% for most attack patterns and network environments, whereas the relative error of the benchmark model in previous works has a mean value of 69.57%, and it could be more than 180% in some cases. More importantly, our model reveals some novel properties of the shrew attack from the interaction between attack pattern and network environment, such as the minimum cost formula to launch a successful attack, and the maximum effect formula of a shrew attack. With them, we are able to find out how to adaptively tune the attack parameters (e.g., the DoS burst length) to improve its attack effect in a given network environment, and how to reconfigure the network resource (e.g., the bottleneck buffer size) to mitigate the shrew DDoS with a given attack pattern. Finally, based on our theoretical results, we put forward a simple strategy to defend the shrew attack. The simulation results indicate that this strategy can remarkably increase TCP throughput by nearly half of the bottleneck bandwidth (and can be higher) for general attack patterns.

Hammi, B., Khatoun, R., Doyen, G..  2014.  A Factorial Space for a System-Based Detection of Botcloud Activity. New Technologies, Mobility and Security (NTMS), 2014 6th International Conference on. :1-5.

Today, beyond a legitimate usage, the numerous advantages of cloud computing are exploited by attackers, and Botnets supporting DDoS attacks are among the greatest beneficiaries of this malicious use. Such a phenomena is a major issue since it strongly increases the power of distributed massive attacks while involving the responsibility of cloud service providers that do not own appropriate solutions. In this paper, we present an original approach that enables a source-based de- tection of UDP-flood DDoS attacks based on a distributed system behavior analysis. Based on a principal component analysis, our contribution consists in: (1) defining the involvement of system metrics in a botcoud's behavior, (2) showing the invariability of the factorial space that defines a botcloud activity and (3) among several legitimate activities, using this factorial space to enable a botcloud detection.