A firewall-adversarial testing approach for software defined networks

Rami Malkawi, Izzat Alsmadi, Ahmed Aleroud, Pavel Petrov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Software Defined Networks (SDN) recently evolves to give more roles to software in network control and management. It is feared that such significant roles may risk those networks in terms of reliability and security. As a new architecture, thorough testing and evaluation should take place to ensure that those networks are robust and reliable. In this paper, we focused on testing firewall modules built on top of SDN. We modeled typical interactions between those modules and the network based on flow and firewall rules. We believe that, in future, all security controls including firewalls should be deployed as software services, created in real time, as instances and deployed without any human intervention. This paper describes also an approach that generates synthetic attacks that can target SDNs using an Adversarial approach. It can be used to create models that test SDNs to detect different attack variations. It is based on the most recent OpenFlow models/algorithms and it utilizes similarity with known attack patterns to identify attacks. Such synthesized variations of at-tack signatures are shown to attack SDNs using adversarial approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-241
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Model based testing
  • OpenFlow
  • SDN
  • Software evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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