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MIT Technology Review

Detecting Covert Channels in Packet Delays

One of the classic ways to smuggle information out of a watched network is to encode the data in the time delays between packets that are sent. Vincent Berk, Annarita Giani, and George Cybenko at Dartmouth College just published a…

One of the classic ways to smuggle information out of a watched network is to encode the data in the time delays between packets that are sent.

Vincent Berk, Annarita Giani, and George Cybenko at Dartmouth College just published a technical report with techniques for ferreting out the use of such covert channels.

The problem with these channels, as the paper notes, is that they do not carry a lot of information. The advantage, of course, is that they are nearly invisible to most network managers.