Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



IEEE ICC 2014 - Communication and Information Systems Security Symposium


©2014 IEEE


In this paper, we introduce a covert timing channel (CTC) algorithm and compare it to one of the most prevailing CTC algorithms, originally proposed by Cabuk et al. CTC is a form of covert channels – methods that exploit network activities to transmit secret data over packet-based networks – by modifying packet timing. This algorithm is a seminal work, one of the most widely cited CTCs, and the foundation for many CTC research activities. In order to overcome some of the disadvantages of this algorithm we introduce a covert timing channel technique that leverages timeout thresholds. The proposed algorithm is compared to the original algorithm in terms of channel capacity, impact on overt traffic, bit error rates, and latency. Based on our simulation results the proposed algorithm outperforms the work from Cabuk et al., especially in terms of its higher covert data transmission rate with lower latency and fewer bit errors. In our work we also address the desynchronization problem found in Cabuk et al.’s algorithm in our simulation results and show that even in the case of the synchronization-corrected Cabuk et al. algorithm our proposed method provides better results in terms of capacity and latency.