Vesper: Using Echo-Analysis to Detect Man-in-the-Middle Attacks in LANs

Yisroel Mirsky, Naor Kalbo, Yuval Elovici, Asaf Shabtai

IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 1-16, 2018

The man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack is a cyber attack in which an attacker intercepts traffic, thus harming the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the network. It remains a popular attack vector due to its simplicity. However, existing solutions are either not portable, suffer from a high false positive rate, or simply not generic. In this paper, we propose Vesper: a novel plug-and-play MitM detector for local area networks. Vesper uses a technique inspired from impulse response analysis used in the domain of acoustic signal processing. Analogous to how echoes in a cave capture the shape and construction of the environment, so to can a short and intense pulse of ICMP echo requests model the link between two network hosts. Vesper uses neural networks called autoencoders to model the normal patterns of the echoed pulses and detect when the environment changes. Using this technique, Vesper is able to …