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Wiretapping the Internet

By C.J. Antonelli and P. Honeyman

Abstract

With network security threats and vulnerabilities increasing, solutions based on online detection remain attractive. A complete, durable record of all activity on a network can be used to evaluate and train intrusion detection algorithms, assist in responding to an intrusion in progress, and, if properly constructed, serve as evidence in legal proceedings. This paper describes the Advanced Packet Vault, a technology for creating such a record by collecting and securely storing all packets observed on a network, with a scalable architecture intended to support network speeds in excess of 100 Mbps. Encryption is used to preserve users' security and privacy, permitting selected traffic to be made available without revealing other traffic. The Vault implementation, based on Linux and OpenBSD, is open-source. A Vault attached to a heavily loaded 100 Mbps network must capture, process, and store about a terabyte each day, so we have to be very sensitive to the recurring cost of operation and the reliability issues of 24x7 operation. We must also be sensitive to the admissibility of information collected by the Vault in support of legal proceedings; the legal ramifications of operating a vault, particularly at a public institution; and the public perception of its use

Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:deepblue.lib.umich.edu:2027.42/107911

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