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The Cooperative Defense Overlay Network: A Collaborative Automated Threat Information Sharing Framework for a Safer Internet
AdvisorHarris, Frederick C.
Computer Science and Engineering
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With the ever-growing proliferation of hardware and software-based computer security exploits and the increasing power and prominence of distributed attacks, network and system administrators are often forced to make a difficult decision: expend tremendous resources on defense from sophisticated and continually evolving attacks from an increasingly dangerous Internet with varying levels of success; or expend fewer resources on defending against common attacks on "low hanging fruit," hoping to avoid the less common but incredibly devastating zero-day worm or botnet attack. Home networks and small organizations are usually forced to choose the latter option and in so doing are left vulnerable to all but the simplest of attacks. While automated tools exist for sharing information about network-based attacks, this sharing is typically limited to administrators of large networks and dedicated security-conscious users, to the exclusion of smaller organizations and novice home users. In this thesis we propose a framework for a cooperative defense overlay network (CODON) in which participants with varying technical abilities and resources can contribute to the security and health of the internet via automated crowdsourcing, rapid information sharing, and the principle of collateral defense.