Date Approved

11-20-2020

Embargo Period

11-24-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Heydari, Vahid

Second Advisor

Qiu, Chenxi

Third Advisor

McKee, Patrick

Keywords

Covert channel, Hash functions, Moving target, Network steganography, Permutations, Storage channel network steganography

Subject(s)

Cryptography; Computer networks

Disciplines

Computer Sciences | Information Security

Abstract

A branch of information hiding that has gained traction in recent years is network steganography. Network steganography uses network protocols are carriers to hide and transmit data. Storage channel network steganography manipulates values in protocol header and data fields and stores covert data inside them. The timing channel modulates the timing of events in the protocol to transfer covert information. Many current storage channel network steganography methods have low bandwidths and they hide covert data directly into the protocol which allows discoverers of the channel to read the confidential information. A new type of storage channel network steganography method is proposed and implemented which abstracts the idea of hiding data inside the network protocol. The addition of a moving target mechanism rotates the locations of data to be evaluated preventing brute force attacks. The bandwidth of the algorithm can also be controlled by increasing or decreasing the rate of packet transmission. A proof of concept is developed to implement the algorithm. Experimental run times are compared with their theoretical equivalents to compare the accuracy of the proof of concept. Detailed probability and data transfer analysis is performed on the algorithm to see how the algorithm functions in terms of security and bandwidth. Finally, a detection and mitigation analysis is performed to highlight the flaws with the algorithm and how they can be improved.

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