Stickler: Defending Against Malicious CDNs in an Unmodified Browser

Authors: A. Levy, H. Corrigan-Gibbs, and D. Boneh

Website publishers can derive enormous performance benefits and cost savings by directing traffic to their sites through content distribution networks (CDNs). However, publishers who use CDNs today must trust their CDN not to modify the site's JavaScript, CSS, images or other media en route to end users. A CDN that violates this trust could inject ads into websites, downsample media to save bandwidth or, worse, inject malicious JavaScript code to steal user secrets it could not otherwise access. We present Stickler, a system for website publishers that guarantees the end-to-end authenticity of content served to end users while simultaneously allowing publishers to reap the benefits of CDNs. Crucially, Stickler achieves these guarantees without requiring modifications to the browser.

In IEEE Security & Privacy, Vol. 14, number 2, pp. 22-28, 2016. Extended abstract in proceedings of W2SP 2015

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