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HIDE_DHCP: Covert Communications Through Network Configuration Messages

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2012
Type of Publication: In Proceedings Keywords: Covert channels, Network Security, System Information Security
  • Rios, Ruben
  • Onieva, Jose A.
  • Lopez, Javier
Editor: Dimitris Gritzalis and Steve Furnell and Marianthi Theoharidou Volume: 376
Book title: Proceedings of the 27th IFIP TC 11 International Information Security and Privacy Conference (SEC 2012)
Series: IFIP AICT Pages: 162-173
Address: Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Month: June
ISBN: 978-3-642-30435-4 ISSN: 1868-4238
partner: UMA projects: NESSoS, ARES, SACO, TIER: B, citations: 1
Covert channels are a form of hidden communication that may violate the integrity of systems. Since their birth in multilevel security systems in the early 70{\textquoteright}s they have evolved considerably, such that new solutions have appeared for computer networks mainly due to vague protocols specifications. We analyze a protocol extensively used today, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), in search of new forms of covert communication. From this analysis we observe several features that can be effectively exploited for subliminal data transmission. This results in the implementation of HIDE_DHCP, which integrates three covert channels that accommodate to different stealthiness and bandwidth requirements