HiAuth: Hidden authentication for protecting software defined networks

Osamah Ibrahiem Abdullaziz, Li Chun Wang, Yu Jia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Software defined networking (SDN) enables network function programmability for ease of configuration and maintenance, and also allows network administrators to change traffic rules on the fly. However, denial of service (DoS) attacks pose security challenges on the centralized control plane of SDN. Although the transport layer security (TLS) can help secure the control plane, it is computationally intensive, complex to configure, and not mandatory in OpenFlow protocol. In this paper, we present a lightweight authentication solution, called hidden authentication (HiAuth), to protect the SDN controller by hiding the identities of the forwarding devices into the control packets via efficient bitwise operations. HiAuth is the first to incorporate information hiding techniques into OpenFlow to provide security against DoS attacks. HiAuth exploits the IP identification field of IPv4 and the transaction identification field of OpenFlow in two authentication schemes. The experimental results show that HiAuth can effectively mitigate intruder DoS attacks and provide high undetectability to attackers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8681151
Pages (from-to)618-631
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Denial of service (DoS) attacks
  • Information hiding
  • OpenFlow
  • Software defined networking (SDN)


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