The Internet has become a critical communication infrastructure which we are increasingly reliant upon. As the world moves into a converged network where voice, video, and data are all transmitted over the same network, disruption of the Internet can cause more severe damage. Therefore, it is critical to protect the Internet from potential service disruption in order to ensure its continous functioning.
The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the standard and only inter-domain routing protocol used on the Internet. BGP discovers and maintains routing information used for transmitting traffic across the Internet, thus, it is widely considered as a crucial component of the Internet infrastructure. Attacks on BGP can result in large scale service disruption. In this paper, we study BGP security. Specifically, we study 1) the BGP protocol and its real world operations; 2) BGP security vulnerabilities and threats; and 3) BGP security mechanisms, including S-BGP from BBN, soBGP from Cisco, and psBGP from Carleton University. This paper aims to provide sufficient background information for understanding BGP security issues, and to better understand the differences between existing BGP security proposals and the challenges faced in the design and practical deployment of a more secure BGP. We also provide comments regarding the role the government may play in helping to address security issues in BGP.
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