Defensive programming: Using an annotation toolkit to build Dos-Resistant software

Xiaohu Qie, Ruoming Pang, Larry Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This paper describes a toolkit to help improve the robustness of code against DoS attacks. We observe that when developing software, programmers primarily focus on functionality. Protecting code from attacks is often considered the responsibility of the 0S, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. As a result, many DoS vulnerabilities are not discovered until the system is attacked and the damage is done. Instead of reacting to attacks after the fact, this paper argues that a better solution is to make software defensive by systematically injecting protection mechanisnls into the code itself. Our toolkit provides an API that programmers use to annotate their code. At runtime, these annotations serve as both sensors and actuators: watching for resource abuse and taking the appropriate action should abuse be detected. This paper presents the design and implementation of tile toolkit, as well as evaluation of its effectiveness with three widely-deployed network services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalOperating Systems Review (ACM)
Issue numberSpecial Issue
StatePublished - Dec 31 2002
Event5th Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation, OSDI 2002 - Boston, United States
Duration: Dec 9 2002Dec 11 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Defensive programming: Using an annotation toolkit to build Dos-Resistant software'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this