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Allocation Schemes, Architectures, and Policies for Collaborative Port Scanning Attacks

Yu Zhang and Bharat Bhargava
Department of Computer Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA
Abstract—Most network attackers perform port scanning individually, without synchronization, to find victim hosts. Such port scanning schemes suffer from two problems: first, there are too many duplicate scannings and too much contention among different port scanners; second, a complete port scanning takes a long time to finish. In this paper, we present a fast DHT-based collaborative port scanning scheme that aims to eliminate duplicate scanning, minimize contention, and significantly increase the scanning speed. In collaborative attacks, attackers communicate and collaborate with each other to launch much more powerful attacks. In the DHT-based collaborative port scanning scheme, attackers collaborate to search the network for ports that could be exposed to attacks. We propose different collaborative scanning strategies and analyze their advantages and disadvantages.We discuss the static, dynamic, and hybrid target selection and allocation schemes. We present the algorithm details and discuss the stop and revisit policy for the collaborative port scanners. We conduct experiments to evaluate the performance and overhead of the collaborative port scanning strategies. Experimental results suggest that the proposed collaborative port scanning system significantly increases the efficiency of port scanning and provide insights into many design and implementation issues.

Index Terms—port scan, collaboration, network security

Cite: Yu Zhang and Bharat Bhargava, "Allocation Schemes, Architectures, and Policies for Collaborative Port Scanning Attacks," Journal of Emerging Technologies in Web Intelligence, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 154-167, May 2011. doi:10.4304/jetwi.3.2.154-167
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