Computing That Serves

On the Abuse and Defense of Internet Protocols


Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 11:00am


Casey Deccio


Kent Seamons

Colloquium presented by Casey Deccio
Thursday, May 5, 2016 
11:00am 1170 TMCB


The Internet functions on the principle of interoperability.  Protocols, such as the Internet Protocol (IP), the Domain Name System (DNS), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and many others, make this interoperability possible.  These protocols have laid the foundation for the rapid global communication and expansive information resource that are today's Internet, but the success of their interoperability has also led to their abuse.  For example, by its very nature, IP is about routing to destinations and is source agnostic.  By spoofing source addresses an attacker can reflect—and amplify—traffic off of public services to unsuspecting victims and effectively overwhelm them, in a class of distributed denial of service attack (DDoS).  Deployment of mechanisms to prevent such attacks has largely been unsuccessful.  In this talk we review some examples of protocol abuse on the Internet and some solutions for combating that abuse.  We propose an incentive-based model for defending against IP spoofing attacks, targeting prevention of DNS amplification-based DDoS attacks, and we discuss future research in this area.



Dr. Casey Deccio is a Senior Research Scientist at Verisign Labs. His interests include Internet protocol analysis and improvement and tool development, with the objective of increasing stability, security, and safety of the Internet. Among his research and development focuses are DNSSEC deployment enhancements, DNS ecosystem tools/monitoring, and the measurement, modeling, and analysis of deployed Internet protocols, including DNS/DNSSEC and IPv6.

Previously, Casey was a Principal Research and Development Cyber Security Staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, where he had been employed since 2004, and where he was responsible for network-related research and development, including DNSSEC and IPv6 deployment efforts. At Sandia he developed DNSViz, the widely used Web-based tool for DNS analysis and visualization. Casey also served as an ICANN Research Fellow supporting the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) in 2013.

Casey earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Brigham Young University, and received a Ph.D. from the University of California Davis, in Computer Science. His dissertation was a study of dependencies in the DNS, which form a model for quantifying and improving DNS availability through careful deployment practices.

Outside of work, Casey enjoys making music and participating in recreational activities with his wife and five children.