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Content Delivery Networks: Protection or Threat?

  • Sipat Triukose
  • Zakaria Al-Qudah
  • Michael Rabinovich
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5789)

Abstract

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are commonly believed to offer their customers protection against application-level denial of service (DoS) attacks. Indeed, a typical CDN with its vast resources can absorb these attacks without noticeable effect. This paper uncovers a vulnerability which not only allows an attacker to penetrate CDN’s protection, but to actually use a content delivery network to amplify the attack against a customer Web site. We show that leading commercial CDNs – Akamai and Limelight – and an influential research CDN – Coral – can be recruited for this attack. By mounting an attack against our own Web site, we demonstrate an order of magnitude attack amplification though leveraging the Coral CDN. We present measures that both content providers and CDNs can take to defend against our attack. We believe it is important that CDN operators and their customers be aware of this attack so that they could protect themselves accordingly.

Keywords

Content Provider Random String Domain Name System Content Delivery Network Origin Server 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sipat Triukose
    • 1
  • Zakaria Al-Qudah
    • 1
  • Michael Rabinovich
    • 1
  1. 1.EECS DepartmentCase Western Reserve UniversityUSA

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