Securing ARP/NDP from the Ground Up

Dave Jing Tian, Kevin R.B. Butler, Joseph I. Choi, Patrick McDaniel, Padma Krishnaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The basis for all IPv4 network communication is the address resolution protocol (ARP), which maps an IP address to a device's media access control identifier. ARP has long been recognized as vulnerable to spoofing and other attacks, and past proposals to secure the protocol have often involved in modifying the basic protocol. Similarly, neighbor discovery protocol (NDP) is the basis for all IPv6 network communication, yet suffers from the same vulnerabilities as ARP. This paper introduces arpsec, a secure ARP/RARP protocol suite which a) does not require protocol modification, b) enables continual verification of the identity of the target (respondent) machine by introducing an address binding repository derived using a formal logic that bases additions to a host's ARP cache on a set of operational rules and properties, c) utilizes the trusted platform module (TPM), a commodity component now present in the vast majority of modern computers, to augment the logic-prover-derived assurance when needed, with TPM-facilitated attestations of system state achieved at viably low-processing cost, and d) supports IPv6 NDP (ndpsec) by extension of our previous work. Using commodity TPMs as our attestation base, we show that arpsec incurs an overhead ranging from 7% to 15.4% over the standard Linux ARP implementation, a comparable overhead against the standard Linux NDP implementation, and provides a first step towards a formally secure and trustworthy networking stack for both IPv4 and IPv6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7904631
Pages (from-to)2131-2143
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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