Network Support for IP Traceback

Stefan Savage, David Wetherall, Anna Karlin, and Thomas Anderson.  Network Support for IP Traceback.  IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol. 9, no. 3, June 2001, pages 226 - 237.  Also appeared in Proceedings of the 2000 ACM SIGCOMM Conference, pages 295-306, August 2000.

This paper describes a technique for tracing anonymous packet flooding attacks in the Internet back toward their source. This work is motivated by the increased frequency and sophistication of denial-of-service attacks and by the difficulty in tracing packets with incorrect, or “spoofed,” source addresses. In this paper, we describe a general purpose traceback mechanism based on probabilistic packet marking in the network. Our approach allows a victim to identify the network path(s) traversed by attack traffic without requiring interactive operational support from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Moreover, this traceback can be performed “post mortem”—after an attack has completed. We present an implementation of this technology that is incrementally deployable, (mostly) backward compatible, and can be efficiently implemented using conventional technology.