Software-Defined Network Forensics: Motivation, Potential Locations, Requirements, and Challenges

Khan, Suleman, Gani, Abdullah, Wahab, Ainuddin Wahid Abdul, Abdelaziz, Ahmed, Ko, Kwangman, Khan, Muhammad Khurram and Guizani, Mohsen (2016) Software-Defined Network Forensics: Motivation, Potential Locations, Requirements, and Challenges. IEEE Network, 30 (6). pp. 6-13. ISSN 0890-8044

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The separation of the control plane from the data plane of a switch enables abstraction of a network through a logically centralized controller. The controller functions as the “brain” of a software-defined network. However, centralized control draws attackers to exploit different network devices by hijacking the controller. Security was initially not a key characteristic of SDN architecture, which left it vulnerable to various attackers. The investigation of such attacks in the newly emerging SDN architecture is a challenging task. Therefore, a comprehensive forensic mechanism is required to investigate different forms of attacks by determining their root cause. This article discusses an important area in SDN security, SDN forensics, which until now has received minimal focus. We compare traditional network forensics with SDN forensics to highlight the key differences between them. A brief motivation for SDN forensics is presented to emphasize its significance. Moreover, the potential locations with possible evidence against attackers are identified in SDN. Key requirements are highlighted for SDN forensics with respect to baseline investigation procedures. Finally, we identify challenges in SDN forensics by highlighting potential research areas for researchers, investigators, and academicians.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 11:48
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 11:48

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