Fairness Attacks in the Explicit Control Protocol

Christo Wilson
Chris Coakley
Ben Y. Zhao

Proceedings of Fifteenth IEEE International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS)

Nominated for Best Student Paper Award

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Paper Abstract

Protocols such as the Explicit Control Protocol (XCP) use explicit router feedback to guide endpoint transmission rates for near-optimal capacity utilization and fairness. However, non-cooperative end hosts can manipulate and ignore feedback to either obtain unfair advantages over cooperative hosts, or perform denial-of-service attacks on intervening network links. In this paper we explore the methodology behind, and construct working examples of different attack vectors on XCP, including both cheating senders and receivers. Through detailed simulations in ns, we show that misbehaving users can dominate bandwidth allocation on shared links, and our strategies allow them to successfully allocate bandwidth by either sharing or selfishly competing for the bottleneck bandwidth capacity.