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How Small Groups Can Secure Interdomain Routing

Report ID:
November 2007
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Although the Internet's routing system has serious security vulnerabilities, none of the existing proposals for a secure variant of BGP has been successfully deployed in practice. This is not surprising since deploying protocols that require the cooperation of tens of thousands of independently-operated networks is problematic. Instead, we argue that small groups should be the basis for securing BGP and we offer an alternative design in which interdomain routing is secured by a few (e.g., 5--10) participating ASes. We conduct extensive simulations on a realistic Internet topology to identify conditions for small groups to be effective. Even though the non-participants outnumber the group members by several orders of magnitude, the participants can achieve remarkable security gains by filtering compromised interdomain routes, cooperating to expose additional path diversity, inducing non-participants to select valid routes, and enlisting a few large ISPs to participate. We also propose two novel mechanisms that the group members can employ to achieve these goals, namely secure overlay routing and the cooperative announcement of each other's address space. Our experiments show that combining these two techniques allows small groups to secure interdomain routing.

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