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KAIST Leads in SDN Security
[ Issue 150 Page 5 ] Thursday, March 30, 2017, 00:36:15 Wan Ju Kang Senior Staff Reporter soarhigh@kaist.ac.kr

At the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) World Congress, which took place in the Netherlands from October 10 to 14 and was attended by more than 2,000 participants, KAIST researchers Seungsoo Lee, Changhoon Yoon, Jaehyun Nam, and Professor Seungwon Shin of the School of Electrical Engineering were awarded the Best SDN Solution Showcase Award for their work on leading the SDN security project DELTA, a security assessment framework for SDNs.

▲ Major components of DELTA

SDN, in Cisco’s words, is a means of controlling networks by software applications. DELTA is an ongoing project that is registered as an open-source SDN project of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and developed in conjunction with participating members from ATTO-Research Inc. of Korea, Queen’s University of the UK, and Huawei Technologies of China. DELTA was designed primarily for two purposes in mind: to detect attacks against SDN elements in a variety of environments and to aid in identifying unknown security threats within an SDN deployment.

A number of things could go wrong with SDN. Attackers could breach the security of software-defined networks in order to sneak into the network and pretend to be a legitimate member of that network, or compromise the performance of the software-defined network to, say, half the original throughput.

In that regard, experts interpret the awarding of the DELTA project as a sign that SDNs could be prone to many more security threats that must be prepared for before delving too deeply into the commercializing and popularizing aspect of SDN-related research. In fact, the DELTA project is known to be the only open source SDN project led by Korean researchers. Professor Shin also noted that there have not been many SDN projects in Korea despite the rising popularity of the emerging technology. A separate announcement article by the ONF acknowledges the importance of security issues posed by SDN applications and anticipates that the DELTA tools “will be used for security conformance benchmarking of SDN devices”.

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