Title

Improving the Security, Privacy, and Anonymity of a Client-Server Network through the Application of a Moving Target Defense

USMA Research Unit Affiliation

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Date of Award

5-3-2016

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Abstract

The amount of data that is shared on the Internet is growing at an alarming rate. Current estimates state that approximately 2.5 exabytes of data were generated every day in 2012. This rate is only growing as people continue to increase their on-line presence. As the amount of data grows, so too do the number of people who are attempting to gain access to the data. Attackers try many methods to gain access to information, including a number of attacks that occur at the network layer. A network-based moving target defense is a technique that obfuscates the location of a machine on the Internet by arbitrarily changing its IP address periodically. MT6D is one of these techniques that leverages the size of the IPv6 address space to make it statistically impossible for an attacker to find a specific target machine. MT6D was designed with a number of limitations that include manually generated static configurations and support for only peer to peer networks. This work presents extensions to MT6D that provide dynamically generated configurations, a secure and dynamic means of exchanging configurations, and with these new features, an ability to function as a server supporting a large number of clients. This work makes three primary contributions to the field of network-based moving target defense systems. First, it provides a means to exchange arbitrary information in a way that provides network anonymity, authentication, and security. Second, it demonstrates a technique that gives MT6D the capability to exchange configuration information by only sharing public keys. Finally, it introduces a session establishment protocol that clients can use to establish concurrent connections with an MT6D server.

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Tront

Second Advisor

Mr. Randy Marchany

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