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Detection of Covert Channel Encoding in Network Packet Delays
Vincent Berk, Annarita Giani, George Cybenko
Dartmouth TR2005-536

Abstract: Covert channels are mechanisms for communicating information in ways that are difficult to detect. Data exfiltration can be an indication that a computer has been compromised by an attacker even when other intrusion detection schemes have failed to detect a successful attack. Covert timing channels use packet inter-arrival times, not header or payload embedded information, to encode covert messages. This paper investigates the channel capacity of Internet-based timing channels and proposes a methodology for detecting covert timing channels based on how close a source comes to achieving that channel capacity. A statistical approach is then used for the special case of binary codes.

Note: This revision differs from the original only in the correction of one reference.


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   Vincent Berk, Annarita Giani, and George Cybenko, "Detection of Covert Channel Encoding in Network Packet Delays." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2005-536, August 2005.

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