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Re: BGP to doom us all
From: "Steven M. Bellovin" <smb () research att com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 20:19:58 -0500


In message <3E5FDFC8.3000208 () whack org>, Bruce Pinsky writes:

Jim Deleskie wrote:

http://news.com.com/2100-1009-990608.html?tag=fd_lede1_hed

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



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