Static and dynamic analysis of the Internet's susceptibility to faults and attacks

Seung Taek Park, Alexy Khrabrov, David M. Pennock, Steve Lawrence, C. Lee Giles, Lyle H. Ungar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We analyze the susceptibility of the Internet to random faults, malicious attacks, and mixtures of faults and attacks. We analyze actual Internet data, as well as simulated data created with network models. The network models generalize previous research, and allow generation of graphs ranging from uniform to preferential, and from static to dynamic. We introduce new metrics for analyzing the connectivity and performance of networks which improve upon metrics used in earlier research. Previous research has shown that preferential networks like the Internet are more robust to random failures compared to uniform networks. We find that preferential networks, including the Internet, are more robust only when more than 95% of failures are random faults, and robustness is measured with average diameter. The advantage of preferential networks disappears with alternative metrics, and when a small fraction of faults are attacks. We also identify dynamic characteristics of the Internet which can be used to create improved network models. This model should allow more accurate analysis for the future Internet, for example facilitating the design of network protocols with optimal performance in the future, or predicting future attack and fault tolerance. We find that the Internet is becoming more preferential as it evolves. The average diameter has been stable or even decreasing as the number of nodes has been increasing. The Internet is becoming more robust to random failures over time, but has also become more vulnerable to attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2144-2154
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
StatePublished - 2003
Event22nd Annual Joint Conference on the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 30 2003Apr 3 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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