In information theory, entropies make up of the basis for distance and divergence measures among various probability densities. In this paper we propose a novel metric to detect DDoS attacks in networks by using the function of order α of the generalized (Rényi) entropy to distinguish DDoS attacks traffic from legitimate network traffic effectively. Our proposed approach can not only detect DDoS attacks early (it can detect attacks one hop earlier than using the Shannon metric while order α=2, and two hops earlier to detect attacks while order α=10.) but also reduce both the false positive rate and the false negative rate clearly compared with the traditional Shannon entropy metric approach.
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