Our new paper `Countering adaptive network covert communication with dynamic wardens' introduces a new type of active warden to combat sophisticated network covert channels, in particular those covert channels that are adaptive in the sense that they constantly probe which covert channel is un-blocked to communicate with a peer. Such covert channels determine changed filter rules of firewalls and can dynamically utilize other covert channel techniques than the blocked ones on demand. Moreover does this paper introduce a novel warden taxonomy. It just appeared in FGCS Vol. 94:
Wojciech Mazurczyk, Steffen Wendzel, Mehdi Chourib, Jörg Keller: Countering Adaptive Network Covert Communication with Dynamic Wardens, Future Generation Computer Systems (FGCS), Vol. 94, pp. 712-725, Elsevier, 2019.
Impact factor: 4.639 (at time of publication).
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covert channels are hidden communication channels in computer networks.
They influence several factors of the cybersecurity economy. For
instance, by improving the stealthiness of botnet communications, they
aid and preserve the value of darknet botnet sales. Covert channels can
also be used to secretly exfiltrate confidential data out of
organizations, potentially resulting in loss of market/research
advantage. Considering the above, efforts are needed to develop
effective countermeasures against such threats. Thus in this paper,
based on the introduced novel warden taxonomy, we present and evaluate a
new concept of a dynamic warden. Its main novelty lies in the
modification of the warden’s behavior over time, making it difficult for
the adaptive covert communication parties to infer its strategy and
perform a successful hidden data exchange. Obtained experimental results
indicate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.