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Re: BGP to doom us all

  • From: Steven M. Bellovin
  • Date: Fri Feb 28 20:21:52 2003

In message <>, Bruce Pinsky writes:
>Jim Deleskie wrote:
>> Seems the BGP will be the down fall of the internet, the sky is falling the
>> sky is falling
>What a crock of crap.  Knowing who someone is doesn't stop them from causing 
>intentional or unintentional problems.  In fact, authentication is more likely

The problem that sBGP is trying to solve is *authorization*, not 
identification.  Briefly -- and please read the papers and the specs 
before flaming -- every originating AS would have a certificate chain
rooted at their local RIR stating that they own a certain address 
block.  If an ISP SWIPs a block to some customer, that ISP (which owns 
a certificate from the RIR for the parent block) would sign a 
certificate granting the subblock to the customer.  The customer could 
then announce it via sBGP.  

The other part sBGP is that it provides a chain of signatures of the 
entire ASpath back to the originator.

Now -- there are clearly lots of issues here, including the fact that 
the the authoritative address ownership data for old allocations is, 
shall we say, a bit dubious.  And the code itself is expensive to run, 
since it involves a lot of digital signatures and verifications, 
especially when things are thrashing because of a major backhoe hit.

But -- given things like the AS7007 incident, and given the possibility 
-- probability? -- that it can happen again, can we afford to not do 
sBGP?  My own opinion is that sophisticated routing attacks are the 
single biggest threat to the Internet.

		--Steve Bellovin, (me) (2nd edition of "Firewalls" book)

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