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Microsoft vs. Apple: Resilience against Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks
March/April 2012 (vol. 10 no. 2)
pp. 60-64
Sanjeev Kumar, The University of Texas-Pan American
Sirisha Surisetty, University of Texas - Pan American
Both Microsoft's Windows 7 and Apple's Snow Leopard operating systems claim to provide users with a safer and more reliable environment, but no work has evaluated and compared their resilience against common DDoS attack traffic. The authors compare the effect of this type of attack traffic on both systems installed on the same iMac hardware platform under the same network attack conditions. In particular, they consider common DDoS traffic at different layers of the TCP/IP protocol stack—namely, ARP flood, ping flood, and TCP-SYN flood attacks, which correspond to layers 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Interestingly, the iMac computer with its native Snow Leopard system was found to exhaust more computing resources when compared to that of Windows 7 installed on the same platform and under the same attack conditions.

1. S. Kumar and R. Gade, "Experimental Evaluation of Juniper Network's Netscreen-5GT Security Device against Layer4 Flood Attacks," J. Information Security, vol. 2, no. 1, 2011, pp. 50–58.
2. S. Kumar and O. Gomez, "Denial of Service Due to Direct and Indirect ARP Storm Attacks in LAN Environment," J. Information Security, vol. 1, no. 2, 2010, pp. 88–94.
3. S. Surisetty and S. Kumar, "Is Apple's iMac Leopard Operating System Secure under ARP-Based Flooding Attacks?," Proc. 5th Int'l Conf. Internet Monitoring and Protection, IEEE, 2010, pp. 60–64.
4. S. Kumar, "PING Attack: How Bad Is It?" Computers & Security J., vol. 25, July 2006, pp. 332–337.
5. S. Kumar and E. Petana, "Mitigation of TCP-SYN Attacks with Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack2 (SP2) Software," Proc. 7th Int'l Conf. Networking, IEEE, 2008, pp. 238–242.

Index Terms:
flood attack, ping, TCP-SYN, ARP, Snow Leopard, DDoS, Windows 7, Apple, denial-of-service, DoS, distributed denial-of-service, DDoS
Citation:
Sanjeev Kumar, Sirisha Surisetty, "Microsoft vs. Apple: Resilience against Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks," IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 60-64, March-April 2012, doi:10.1109/MSP.2011.147
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