PDL Abstract

On the Feasibility of Intrusion Detection Inside Workstation Disks

Carnegie Mellon University Parallel Data Lab Technical Report CMU-PDL-03-106, December, 2003.

John Linwood Griffin, Adam Pennington, John S. Bucy, Deepa Choundappan,
Nithya Muralidharan, Gregory R. Ganger

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Storage-based intrusion detection systems (IDSes) can be valuable tools in monitoring for and notifying
administrators of malicious software executing on a host computer, including many common intrusion toolkits. This paper makes a case for implementing IDS functionality in the firmware of workstations’ locally attached disks, on which the bulk of important system files typically reside. To evaluate the feasibility of this approach, we built a prototype disk-based IDS into a SCSI disk emulator. Experimental results from this prototype indicate that it would indeed be feasible, in terms of CPU and memory costs, to include IDS functionality in low-cost desktop disk drives.

KEYWORDS: Computer security, intrusion detection, IDS, local disk, disk firmware.

FULL PAPER: pdf / postscript