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Title:Resource Inflation Threats to Denial of Service Countermeasures
Author(s):Shankesi, Ravinder; Fatemieh, Omid; Gunter, Carl A.
Subject(s):Denial of Service (DoS) Defense, Hash Puzzles, Proof of Work, GPU, Resource Fairness, Computational Puzzles
Abstract:Currency-based mechanisms have been proposed as a way to use resource fairness among contenders for a service to thwart Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Under resource fairness, a server allocates its service to the clients in proportion to their payment of a resource, making the resource serve as a kind of currency. We consider the vulnerability of currency-based DoS defense mechanisms to various resource inflation attacks in which an attacker can substantially inflate its possession of the resource at low cost and in a way that may be either difficult or undesirable for a valid client to do. We provide a simple theoretical analysis of resource inflation attacks and investigate its application to a number of payment schemes to rank their likely vulnerability. We find that the threat of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for inflation attacks is especially severe: we are able to demonstrate inflation of up to 630x with common inexpensive GPUs. We also review threats from other capabilities, including multi-core processors, cloud computing, and bandwidth inflation schemes.
Issue Date:2010-10-26
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-10-26

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