Originally started by Rob Beverly while a graduate student at MIT, the Spoofer project attempts to measure the Internet’s susceptibility to spoofed source address IP packets. From Rob’s original project web page (now moved to CAIDA, see below):
Malicious users capitalize on the ability to “spoof” source IP addresses for anonymity, indirection, targeted attacks and security circumvention. Compromised hosts on networks that permit IP spoofing enable a wide variety of attacks.
The project never had dedicated funding, but Rob believed that empirical data on how many networks permitted spoofing was important, so he kept the web site alive. In collaboration with him, we submitted a proposal to improve the measurement and analysis capabilities to inform one of the most important challenges in cybersecurity today: improving network hygiene to reduce the threat of the longest standing vector of attack on Internet infrastructure.
In addition to enabling us to provide estimates of how many networks allow packets with forged source addresses to leave their networks, we can use measurements from this infrastructure, in combination with other sources of data, to analyze the geographic, economic, and governance characteristics of networks that allow spoofing, versus those that do not, as well as trends over time of this network security hygiene policy.
This month, we celebrate a transition point in this project: in collaboration with Rob, we migrated the Spoofer software services to a new server on the machine room floor at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, and, more relevant to users, we have released new clients for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. We encourage users and operators to download and run the new clients to help measure the Internet’s susceptibility to spoofed source-addressed IP packets. Feedback is greatly appreciated as we expand functionality and hopefully footprint of this critical infrastructure security analysis project.
This research and infrastructure development effort is supported by an award from the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.