ceClub: How Secure are Secure Internet Routing Protocols?

Sharon Goldberg (Computer Science Department at Boston University)
Wednesday, 18.5.2011, 11:30
EE Meyer Building 861

A decade of research has been devoted to addressing vulnerabilities in global Internet routing system. The result is a plethora of security proposals, each providing a different set of security guarantees. To inform decisions about which proposal should be deployed in the Internet, we present the first side-by-side quantitative comparison of the major security variants. We evaluate security variants on the basis of their ability to prevent one of the most fundamental forms of attack, where attacker manipulates routing messages in order to attract traffic to a node it controls (so that it can tamper, drop, or eavesdrop on traffic). We combine a graph-algorithmic analysis with simulations on real network data to show that prior analysis has underestimated the severity of attacks, even when the strongest known secure routing protocol is fully deployed in the network. We find that simple access control mechanisms can be as effective as strong cryptographic approaches, and it is really the combination of these two competing approaches that leads to a significant improvement in security. Time permitting, we will also discuss some of the economic and engineering issues that must be addressed before any of these proposals can realistically be deployed in the Internet.

Based on joint work with Michael Schapira, Pete Hummon, Jennifer Rexford and Phillipa Gill.

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