Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Routing Security

It's been a few weeks since our routing section, and in a few more weeks we'll get to security. Since we're right in the middle, it seems like a good time to mention security in the context of routing.

We all know that BGP has problems with scalability and reliability, but I usually haven't focused on the security implications. It turns out that a malicious telecommunications company could cause some pretty serious problems. On April 8, 2010, BGPmon reported an incident where China Telecom "originated about ~37,000 unique prefixes that are not assigned to them" for about 15 minutes. Such incidents are fairly common in that a few times a year, some ISP causes disruption to large portions of the Internet. However, this situation was different because traffic moved through China Telecom's routers without being dropped. If an event like this were carried out intentionally, it could result in tremendous damage to individual, corporate, or national security.

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