Google published the first release of the Bottleneck Bandwidth and Round-trip Time (BBR) congestion control algorithm in 2016. Since then, BBR has gained a widespread attention due to its ability to operate efficiently in the presence of packet loss and in scenarios where routers are equipped with small buffers. These characteristics were not attainable with traditional loss-based congestion control algorithms such as CUBIC and Reno. BBRv2 is a recent congestion control algorithm proposed as an improvement to its predecessor, BBRv1. Preliminary work suggests that BBRv2 maintains the high throughput and the bounded queueing delay properties of BBRv1. However, the literature has been missing an evaluation of BBRv2 under different network conditions. This paper presents an experimental evaluation of BBRv2 Alpha (v2alpha-2019-07-28) on Mininet, considering alternative active queue management (AQM) algorithms, routers with different buffer sizes, variable packet loss rates and round-trip times (RTTs), and small and large numbers of TCP flows. Emulation results show that BBRv2 tolerates much higher random packet loss rates than loss-based algorithms but slightly lower than BBRv1. The results also confirm that BBRv2 has better coexistence with loss-based algorithms and lower retransmission rates than BBRv1, and that it produces low queuing delay even with large buffers.more »
aBBRate: Automating BBR Attack Exploration Using a Model-Based Approach
BBR is a new congestion control algorithm proposed by Google that builds a model of the network path consisting of its bottleneck bandwidth and RTT to govern its sending rate rather than packet loss (like CUBIC and many other popular congestion control algorithms). Loss-based congestion control has been shown to be vulnerable to acknowledgment manipulation attacks. However, no prior work has investigated how to design such attacks for BBR, nor how effective they are in practice. In this paper we systematically analyze the vulnerability of BBR to acknowledgement manipulation attacks. We create the first detailed BBR finite state machine and a novel algorithm for inferring its current BBR state at runtime by passively observing network traffic.We then adapt and apply a TCP fuzzer to the Linux TCP BBR v1.0 implementation. Our approach generated 30,297 attack strategies, of which 8,859 misled BBR about actual network conditions. From these, we identify 5 classes of attacks causing BBR to send faster, slower or stall. We also found that BBR is immune to acknowledgment burst, division and duplication attacks that were previously shown to be effective against loss-based congestion control such as TCP New Reno.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- The 23rd International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions and Defenses (RAID 2020)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Much of our understanding of congestion control algorithm (CCA) throughput and fairness is derived from models and measurements that (implicitly) assume congestion occurs in the last mile. That is, these studies evaluated CCAs in “small scale” edge settings at the scale of tens of flows and up to a few hundred Mbps bandwidths. However, recent measurements show that congestion can also occur at the core of the Internet on inter-provider links, where thousands of flows share high bandwidth links. Hence, a natural question is: Does our understanding of CCA throughput and fairness continue to hold at the scale found in the core of the Internet, with 1000s of flows and Gbps bandwidths? Our preliminary experimental study finds that some expectations derived in the edge setting do not hold at scale. For example, using loss rate as a parameter to the Mathis model to estimate TCP NewReno throughput works well in edge settings, but does not provide accurate throughput estimates when thousands of flows compete at high bandwidths. In addition, BBR – which achieves good fairness at the edge when competing solely with other BBR flows – can become very unfair to other BBR flows at the scale of the coremore »
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