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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8740217, 11 pages
Research Article

Quantitative Analysis of the Security of Software-Defined Network Controller Using Threat/Effort Model

Zhengzhou Information Science and Technology Institute, Zhengzhou 450001, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zehui Wu

Received 22 June 2016; Revised 20 November 2016; Accepted 24 January 2017; Published 1 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jean-Christophe Ponsart

Copyright © 2017 Zehui Wu and Qiang Wei. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


SDN-based controller, which is responsible for the configuration and management of the network, is the core of Software-Defined Networks. Current methods, which focus on the secure mechanism, use qualitative analysis to estimate the security of controllers, leading to inaccurate results frequently. In this paper, we employ a quantitative approach to overcome the above shortage. Under the analysis of the controller threat model we give the formal model results of the APIs, the protocol interfaces, and the data items of controller and further provide our Threat/Effort quantitative calculation model. With the help of Threat/Effort model, we are able to compare not only the security of different versions of the same kind controller but also different kinds of controllers and provide a basis for controller selection and secure development. We evaluated our approach in four widely used SDN-based controllers which are POX, OpenDaylight, Floodlight, and Ryu. The test, which shows the similarity outcomes with the traditional qualitative analysis, demonstrates that with our approach we are able to get the specific security values of different controllers and presents more accurate results.