AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Optimal Personalized Defense Strategy Against Man-In-The-Middle Attack
Xiaohong Li, Shuxin Li, Jianye Hao, Zhiyong Feng, Bo An

Last modified: 2017-02-10


The Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack is one of the most common attacks employed in the network hacking. MITM attackers can successfully invoke attacks such as denial of service (DoS) and port stealing, and lead to surprisingly harmful consequences for users in terms of both financial loss and security issues. The conventional defense approaches mainly consider how to detect and eliminate those attacks or how to prevent those attacks from being launched in the first place. This paper proposes a game-theoretic defense strategy from a different perspective, which aims at minimizing the loss that the whole system sustains given that the MITM attacks are inevitable. We model the interaction between the attacker and the defender as a Stackelberg security game and adopt the Strong Stackelberg Equilibrium (SSE) as the defender's strategy. Since the defender's strategy space is infinite in our model, we employ a novel method to reduce the searching space of computing the optimal defense strategy. Finally, we empirically evaluate our optimal defense strategy by comparing it with non-strategic defense strategies. The results indicate that our game-theoretic defense strategy significantly outperforms other non-strategic defense strategies in terms of decreasing the total losses against MITM attacks.


Stackelberg security game;Strong Stackelberg Equilibrium;Man-In-The-Middle attack

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