DDoS defense system for web services in a cloud environment
Recently, a new kind of vulnerability has surfaced: application layer Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks targeting web services. These attacks aim at consuming resources by sending Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) requests that contain malicious XML content. These requests cannot be detected on the network or transportation (TCP/IP) layer, as they appear as legitimate packets. Until now, there is no web service security specification that addresses this problem. Moreover, the current WS-Security standard induces crucial additional vulnerabilities threatening the availability of certain web service implementations. First, this paper introduces an attack-generating tool to test and confirm previously reported vulnerabilities. The results indicate that the attacks have a devastating impact on the web service availability, even whilst utilizing an absolute minimum of attack resources. Since these highly effective attacks can be mounted with relative ease, it is clear that defending against them is essential, looking at the growth of cloud and web services. Second, this paper proposes an intelligent, fast and adaptive system for detecting against XML and HTTP application layer attacks. The intelligent system works by extracting several features and using them to construct a model for typical requests. Finally, outlier detection can be used to detect malicious requests. Furthermore, the intelligent defense system is capable of detecting spoofing and regular flooding attacks. The system is designed to be inserted in a cloud environment where it can transparently protect the cloud broker and even cloud providers. For testing its effectiveness, the defense system was deployed to protect web services running on WSO2 with Axis2: the defacto standard for open source web service deployment. The proposed defense system demonstrates its capability to effectively filter out the malicious requests, whilst generating a minimal amount of overhead for the total response time.
Source (journal)
Future generation computer systems: the international journal of grid computing: theory, methods & applications. - Amsterdam
Amsterdam : 2014
37(2014), p. 37-45
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 08.07.2014
Last edited 04.11.2017
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