Software-defined networking (SDN) and Open Flow have been driving new security applications and services. However, even if some of these studies provide interesting visions of what can be achieved, they stop short of presenting realistic application scenarios and experimental results. In this paper, we discuss a novel attack detection approach that coordinates monitors distributed over a network and controllers centralized on an SDN Open Virtual Switch (OVS), selectively inspecting network packets on demand.
With different scale of network views and information availability, these two elements collaboratively detect signature constituents of an attack. Therefore, this approach is able to quickly issue an alert against potential threats followed by careful verification for high accuracy, while balancing the workload on the OVS. We have applied this method for detection and mitigation of TCP SYN flood attacks on Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI). This realistic experimentation has provided us with insightful findings helpful toward a systematic methodology of SDN-supported attack detection and containment.