A Vulnerability Taxonomy for Network Protocols: Corresponding Engineering Best Practice Countermeasures

V. Pothamsetty and B. Akyol (USA)


Protocol security, Vulnerability taxonomy, Engineeringbest practices, Protocol testing, Internet security


Vulnerabilities arising from in-secure network pro tocol design and implementation present significant chal lenges to the network protocol community. Yet much of the focus is on software vulnerabilities and engineering best practices related to general purpose operating systems and applications. A large number of network protocol re lated vulnerabilities are being repeated in network devices as well as the poor engineering design and implementation errors which make these vulnerabilities possible. This paper attempts to document and classify such vulnerabilities and the corresponding engineering(design, implementation and testing) countermeasures, with a goal of helping the engineering teams not repeat the errors that are the root causes of these vulnerabilities. We have studied about 500 protocol related vulnerabilities to develop this taxonomy. We assume that the reader has basic familiarity with software design, networking and programming languages.

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