Blockchain-enabled collaborative intrusion detection in software defined networks

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

2020 IEEE 19th International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (TrustCom)



First Page


Last Page



Collaborative intrusion detection system (CIDS) shares the critical detection-control information across the nodes for improved and coordinated defense. Software-defined network (SDN) introduces the controllers for the networking control, including for the networks spanning across multiple autonomous systems, and therefore provides a prime platform for CIDS application. Although previous research studies have focused on CIDS in SDN, the real-time secure exchange of the detection-relevant information (e.g., the detection signature) remains a critical challenge. In particular, the CIDS research still lacks robust trust management of the SDN controllers and the integrity protection of the collaborative defense information to resist against the insider attacks transmitting untruthful and malicious detection signatures to other participating controllers. In this paper, we propose a blockchain-enabled collaborative intrusion detection in SDN, taking advantage of the blockchain's security properties. Our scheme achieves three important security goals: to establish the trust of the participating controllers by using the permissioned blockchain to register the controller and manage digital certificates, to protect the integrity of the detection signatures against malicious detection signature injection, and to attest the delivery/update of the detection signature to other controllers. Our experiments in CloudLab based on a prototype built on Ethereum, Smart Contract, and IPFS demonstrates that our approach efficiently shares and distributes detection signatures in real-time through the trustworthy distributed platform.

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Science Foundation


Blockchain, Detection Signature, Ethereum, IDS, Intrusion Detection, SDN, Smart Contract, Snort


Computer Engineering