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Design of Transport Layer Based Hybrid Covert Channel Detection Engine

Author(s): Anjan K | Jibi Abraham | Mamatha Jadhav V

Journal: International Journal of Ad Hoc, Sensor & Ubiquitous Computing
ISSN 0976-2205

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 93;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Covert Channel | Subliminal Channel | Hybrid Covert Channel | Network Security | Trapdoors

Computer network is unpredictable due to information warfare and is prone to various attacks. Such attacks on network compromise the most important attribute, the privacy. Most of such attacks are devised using special communication channel called ``Covert Channel''. The word ``Covert'' stands for hidden or non-transparent. Network Covert Channel is a concealed communication path withinlegitimate network communication that clearly violates security policies laid down. The non-transparency in covert channel is also referred to as trapdoor. A trapdoor is unintended design within legitimate communication whose motto is to leak information. Subliminal channel, a variant of covert channel works similarly except that the trapdoor is set in a cryptographic algorithm. A composition of covert channel with subliminal channel is the ``Hybrid Covert Channel''. Hybrid covert channel is homogenous or heterogeneous mixture of two or more variants of covert channels either active at same instance or at different instances of time. Detecting such malicious channel activity plays a vital role in removing threat to the legitimate network. In this paper, we present a study of multi-trapdoor covert channels and introduce design of a new detection engine for hybrid covert channel in transport layer visualized in TCP and SSL.
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