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A novel software-defined network packet security tunnel forwarding mechanism

Zhengzhou Institute of Information Science and Technology, Zhengzhou, 450001, China

Special Issues: Security and Privacy in Smart Computing

The OpenFlow protocol match field capacity is fixed and limited, and packet forwarding in software-defined network lacks valid authentication of data source, integrity verification, and confidentiality protection mechanism. OpenFlow only supports the MPLS label tunnel establishment, and therefore cannot establish a secure tunnel flexibly. In order to solve these problems, we propose P4Sec, a novel software-defined network packet security tunnel forwarding mechanism. As P4 allows the data plane to be reprogrammed to realize the characteristics of packet forwarding, we build a software-defined network security tunnel to prevent data malicious tampering, stealing, forgery and other malicious network behavior, implementing packet routing and forwarding based on gateway identity. Finally, we construct a P4Sec prototype system based on the software switch BMv2, verify the effectiveness of the mechanism through experimental analysis, and evaluate the overhead of the mechanism. The results demonstrate that P4Sec security mechanism ensure the authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of forwarded data, and realize the secure forwarding requirements of data packets in software-defined network.
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