Photonic Network Communications

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 198–213 | Cite as

BHP flooding vulnerability and countermeasure

  • Maha Sliti
  • Noureddine Boudriga


Optical burst switching (OBS) is a switching technology that can efficiently operate in the optical core network using WDM technology and can also develop the future optical internet. The OBS switching technology presents a trade-off between the two switching technologies: optical circuit switching (OCS) and optical packet switching (OPS). This switching approach increases resource utilization compared with OCS technology and avoids the technological barriers of OPS networks. In OBS networks, many packets are assembled into one data burst at the edge node and a burst header packet (BHP) is sent before the burst transmission by an offset time in order to reserve the required resources in core nodes. This can cause security issues in the network and more specifically denial of service attacks that can occur if a source node is compromised. In this paper, we study a specific denial of service attack which we refer to as “BHP flooding attack”, which prevents legitimate traffics from reserving the required resources at intermediate core nodes. We also propose the design of a reconfigurable BHP flooding countermeasure module that allows to counter against this type of attacks in an OBS network.


OBS networks Denial of service attacks Optical codewords Tunable decoder Virtual optical memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication Networks and Security Research LabUniversity of CarthageTunisTunisia

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