Web-Armour: Mitigating Reconnaissance and Vulnerability Scanning with Injecting Scan-Impeding Delays in Web Deployments

Student Name: Yousif Dafalla
Defense Date:
Location: Nichols Hall, Room 250 (Gemini Room)
Chair: Alex Bardas

Drew Davidson

Fengjun Li

Bo Luo

ZJ Wang


Scanning hosts on the internet for vulnerable devices and services is a key step in numerous cyberattacks. Previous work has shown that scanning is a widespread phenomenon on the internet and commonly targets web application/server deployments. Given that automated scanning is a crucial step in many cyberattacks, it would be beneficial to make it more difficult for adversaries to perform such activity.

In this work, we propose Web-Armour, a mitigation approach to adversarial reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning of web deployments. The proposed approach relies on injecting scanning impeding delays to infrequently or rarely used portions of a web deployment. Web-Armour has two goals: First, increase the cost for attackers to perform automated reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning; Second, introduce minimal to negligible performance overhead to benign users of the deployment. We evaluate Web-Armour on live environments, operated by real users, and on different controlled (offline) scenarios. We show that Web-Armour can effectively lead to thwarting reconnaissance and internet-wide scanning.

Degree: PhD Comprehensive Defense (CS)
Degree Type: PhD Comprehensive Defense
Degree Field: Computer Science