Isolation and Recovery for Secure SDN


This project started in Autumn 2014 and ended in Spring 2017.


Daniele E. Asoni (ETH)
Jason Lee (ETH)
Prof. Adrian Perrig (ETH)
Takayuki Sasaki (NEC)


Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a paradigm that has recently gained tremendous importance.
It allows scalable and flexible network management without requiring expensive hardware by separating the data plane, which handles end-hosts communications, from the control plane, which manages the network components. However, this technology is relatively new and certain security risks have not yet been fully addressed. In particular, in current SDN designs a single compromised component can affect the whole SDN network (due to its centralized architecture), and these designs also do not allow recovery of compromised components. To solve these problems we propose a secure SDN architecture which limits the possible impact of a compromised component by using strong isolation mechanisms, and which includes a recovery mechanism that allows rollback of compromised components to a pristine state. We apply these mechanisms both to the devices on the data plane (switches) and to the devices on the control plane (controllers). In this project we are trying to clearly define this architecture, to implement it as a full prototype, and to evaluate its performance. Furthermore we intend to study possible security enhancements based on cryptographic protocols, and analyze their security benefits and performance costs.


Daniele E. Asoni, Takayuki Sasaki and Adrian Perrig. Alcatraz: Data Exfiltration-Resilient Corporate Network Architecture. In 4th IEEE International Conference on Collaboration and Internet Computing (CIC) 2018. Takayuki Sasaki, Daniele E. Asoni and Adrian Perrig. Control-plane isolation and recovery for a secure SDN architecture. In IEEE NetSoft Conference and Workshops (NetSoft) 2016.