Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Levi Perigo

Second Advisor

Joe McManus

Third Advisor

Charles Cook


Software-defined networking (SDN) has the potential to greatly reduce the cost and increase the manageability of large networks. However, there are multiple security concerns holding back its wide-scale adoption. While previous research has mainly examined securing the data and application planes of SDN, we argue that the controller itself is the most vulnerable component in the SDN architecture because it is both the most central and the most software-reliant component. Therefore, research into better securing the controller is central to any effort at securing the SDN architecture. This paper examines the question of how to better secure the controller by developing a practical framework for finding vulnerabilities in the underlying software of the OpenDaylight controller. By finding vulnerabilities in its software, we aim to not only improve the security of the controller software, but also build a foundation to allow previous research to implement better solutions to secure other SDN components.