Efficacy of Noise Mitigation Strategies Against Packet-in-Packet Cybersecurity Attacks
Abstract: This paper delves into the efficacy of various external noise mitigation strategies and how they affect a network’s susceptibility to packet-in-packet (PIP) cybersecurity attacks. This style of attack is performed by embedding a malicious, but valid, Internet Protocol (IP) packet into the payload of a benign IP packet to traverse network security measures. Properly-timed bit-flip errors can cause network devices to interpret embedded packets as valid datagrams—potentially allowing malicious packets to infiltrate networks via faulty Ethernet cables. Because this style of attack relies heavily on externally induced noise, a cable’s ability to insulate itself from environmental stressors is closely tied to its susceptibility. Four common cable constructions were used in combination with both shielded and unshielded plugs and jacks to evaluate numerous short channels’ ability to mitigate external noise and prevent PIP attacks. These channels were evaluated passively with a waveform generator and an oscilloscope to determine the amount of coupling that could be induced by a variety of disturber types. Some noise sources were constructed such that coupling between them and the cable core of the channel under test were optimized. The channels under test were then subjected to PIP attacks over a 10GBASE-T link in the presence of the noise sources used for passive testing. The rate at which the embedded packets were detected was then measured.
After the passive and active testing was completed, the efficacy of each external noise mitigation strategy was evaluated. The fully shielded cable was the most effective at mitigating external noise and was, therefore, the least susceptible to packet-in-packet attacks. The cable with a continuous metallic isolation wrap enclosed in nonconductive materials was the second most effective at mitigating external noise. The cable with a discontinuous, or segmented, metallic isolation wrap was the third most effective at mitigating external noise. The completely unshielded cable was the least effective at mitigating external noise and was, therefore, the most susceptible to PIP attacks.
About the Presenter: Michael Dodds received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in 2017. He is currently a Test Engineer at Leviton’s New Holland facility.
A Sustainable Approach for Polyethylene Cable Jacket Compounds
Abstract: There is an ever-increasing trend in the wire & cable industry to become more sustainable. There are many different aspects of sustainability. For example, one approach has been incorporation of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic as a partial or complete replacement of the virgin polyethylene resins for fiber optic cable jackets. Previous work has shown that jacketing compounds based entirely on PCR feedstock are known to have wide variability in quality and can be deficient on some key properties such as long-term aging performance. The focus of this work was to evaluate performance and determine feasibility of jacket compounds based on PCR and blends with high quality virgin polyethylene resins. Blends with virgin polyethylene resin enhanced the mechanical properties and environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) of the PCR compound for jacket applications. The results from this study found that up to 50 weight percent PCR could be incorporated into virgin polyethylene as in the case with the enhanced resins, and the resulting compound meets most critical telecommunication jacket application requirements. Alternatively, low levels of high performance and quality polyethylene resin could be utilized in a compound of majority PCR to boost the mechanical, ESCR, and thermal aging resistance for certain applications allowing a balance of sustainability by maximizing recycled content and maintaining performance.
About the Presenter: Dr. Paul Brigandi is Application Technology Leader for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics Wire & Cable business in North America based in Collegeville, PA. Paul has experience in the power transmission and distribution as well as telecommunication markets focused on research and development of new insulation, jacket, conductive composites, and polymer modifier material developments. His technical expertise includes formulation and processing of polyolefins, elastomers, and polymer composites. Paul is active in several industry organizations including Insulated Conductors Committee, Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, and Fiber Broadband Association technical committees. He also serves as 1st Vice President and on the Board of Directors of the Society of Plastics Engineers Palisades-MidAtlantic Section. Paul earned a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Lehigh University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He is also an active Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University in the Material Science & Engineering department.
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