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Re: BGP to doom us all

  • From: Steven M. Bellovin
  • Date: Fri Feb 28 21:33:24 2003

In message <000301c2df98$1f5dcfe0$4413180a@cisco.com>, "Barry Raveendran Greene
" writes:
>
>
>> 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 - show me an operational environment on the Internet were this authorizati
>on
>chain is _working_ today. RIRs and RADB do not count. As you mention before,
>those databases and keeping them up to date are a "pulling teeth" exercise.

It doesn't exist -- and we have routing problems, due mostly to 
carelessness, but...

>
>> 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?  
>
>AS 7007 can be solved with our existing tool set. 
>
>As mentioned here and NANOGs in the past, our biggest problem are providers no
>t
>using the tools that they have to build incident resistance into today's
>network. 

But not against more sophisticated variants.
>
>> My own opinion is that sophisticated routing attacks are the
>> single biggest threat to the Internet.
>
>My opinion is that lazy operational practices are the single biggest threat to
>the Internet. What's the point of building security and robustness into a syst
>em
>when people choose not to turn it on?
>

"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence".

		--Steve Bellovin, http://www.research.att.com/~smb (me)
		http://www.wilyhacker.com (2nd edition of "Firewalls" book)






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