Shoot at a pigeon and kill a crow: On strike precision of link flooding attacks

Jiahao Peng, Xiaobo Ma, Jianfeng Li, Lei Xue, Wenjun Hu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The emerging link flooding attacks (LFAs) increasingly attract significant attention in both academia and industry, due to their huge threat to the routing infrastructure. Compared with traditional distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) that target servers, LFAs target critical links. Stemming from coordinated flows between bots and public servers or among bots, the attack traffic flows are aggregated at a critical link, thereby gradually making a network connected to the critical link disconnected as the aggregated attack traffic flows grow intensified. It is commonly believed that LFAs are far more sophisticated than traditional DDoS attacks. Nevertheless, whether such sophistication comes without a downside has never been investigated. In this paper, we advance the notion of strike precision of LFAs, and reveal that LFAs may exhibit attack interference which might restrict their applicability from the adversary’s standpoint. Due to attack interference, strike precision of LFAs would be lowered. That is, while disconnecting a network, LFAs may unexpectedly interfere the connectivity of innocent networks nearby, undermining the stealthiness and persistence of LFAs. We tackle a series of questions surrounding strike precision, for fostering more research concerning the practical aspects of LFAs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNetwork and System Security - 12th International Conference, NSS 2018, Proceedings
EditorsMan Ho Au, Xiapu Luo, Jin Li, Kamil Kluczniak, Siu Ming Yiu, Cong Wang, Aniello Castiglione
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783030027438
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Event12th International Conference on Network and System Security, NSS 2018 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 27 Aug 201829 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11058 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference12th International Conference on Network and System Security, NSS 2018
CityHong Kong


  • Crossfire
  • Link flooding attack
  • Strike precision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this