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Title: Choreographer Pre-Testing Code Analysis and Operational Testing.

Choreographer is a "moving target defense system", designed to protect against attacks aimed at IP addresses without corresponding domain name system (DNS) lookups. It coordinates actions between a DNS server and a Network Address Translation (NAT) device to regularly change which publicly available IP addresses' traffic will be routed to the protected device versus routed to a honeypot. More details about how Choreographer operates can be found in Section 2: Introducing Choreographer. Operational considerations for the successful deployment of Choreographer can be found in Section 3. The Testing & Evaluation (T&E) for Choreographer involved 3 phases: Pre-testing, Code Analysis, and Operational Testing. Pre-testing, described in Section 4, involved installing and configuring an instance of Choreographer and verifying it would operate as expected for a simple use case. Our findings were that it was simple and straightforward to prepare a system for a Choreographer installation as well as configure Choreographer to work in a representative environment. Code Analysis, described in Section 5, consisted of running a static code analyzer (HP Fortify) and conducting dynamic analysis tests using the Valgrind instrumentation framework. Choreographer performed well, such that only a few errors that might possibly be problematic in a given operating situation weremore » identified. Operational Testing, described in Section 6, involved operating Choreographer in a representative environment created through EmulyticsTM . Depending upon the amount of server resources dedicated to Choreographer vis-á-vis the amount of client traffic handled, Choreographer had varying degrees of operational success. In an environment with a poorly resourced Choreographer server and as few as 50-100 clients, Choreographer failed to properly route traffic over half the time. Yet, with a well-resourced server, Choreographer handled over 1000 clients without missrouting. Choreographer demonstrated sensitivity to low-latency connections as well as high volumes of traffic. In addition, depending upon the frequency of new connection requests and the size of the address range that Choreographer has to work with, it is possible for all benefits of Choreographer to be ameliorated by its need to allow DNS servers rather than the end client to make DNS requests. Conclusions and Recommendations, listed in Section 7, address the need to understand the specific use case where Choreographer would be deployed to assess whether there would be problems resulting from the operational considerations described in Section 3 or performance concerns from the results of Operational Testing in Section 6. Deployed in an appropriate architecture with sufficiently light traffic volumes and a well-provisioned server, it is quite likely that Choreographer would perform satisfactorily. Thus, we recommend further detailed testing, to potentially include Red Team testing, at such time a specific use case is identified« less
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  1. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States