Amplification DDoS attacks inherently rely on IP spoofing to steer attack traffic to the victim. At the same time, IP spoofing undermines prosecution, as the originating attack infrastructure remains hidden. Researchers have therefore proposed various mechanisms to trace back amplification attacks (or IP-spoofed attacks in general). However, existing traceback techniques require either the cooperation of external parties or a priori knowledge about the attacker. We propose BGPeek-a-Boo, a BGP-based approach to trace back amplification attacks to their origin network. BGPeek-a-Boo monitors amplification attacks with honeypots and uses BGP poisoning to temporarily shut down ingress traffic from selected Autonomous Systems. By systematically probing the entire AS space, we detect systems forwarding and originating spoofed traffic. We then show how a graph-based model of BGP route propagation can reduce the search space, resulting in a 5x median speed-up and over 20x for 1/4 of all cases. BGPeek-a-Boo achieves a unique traceback result 60% of the time in a simulation-based evaluation supported by real-world experiments.
6th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy