On Metrics to Distinguish Skype Flows from HTTP Traffic

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Abstract

Skype is a Voice over IP (VoIP) Internet application that is gaining huge popularity in recent years. A key point to Skype popularity is its capability to dynamically adapt itself to operate behind firewalls or network proxies. A common way adopted by Skype to delude these network devices is to use port 80, normally expected to comprise HTTP traffic. In this paper, we propose metrics and investigate statistical tests intended to clearly distinguish Skype flows from HTTP traffic. We validate our study using real-world experimental datasets gathered at a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP). Our experimental results suggest that the proposed methodology may be seen as a promising building block towards a system to detect general protocol anomalies in HTTP traffic.

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