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NANOG Meeting Presentation Abstract

BGP Vulnerability Testing: Separating Fact from FUD
Meeting: NANOG28
Date / Time: 2003-06-03 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Room: Seasons Ballroon
Presenters: Speakers:

Sean Convery, Cisco Systems

Sean Convery is a security researcher in Cisco\'s Critical Infrastructure Assurance Group (CIAG). The research arm of the CIAG is tasked to collaborate with various groups on security issues 3-5 years in the future. Before coming to the CIAG, Sean worked primarily on the SAFE blueprint, and is an author of several whitepapers on the subject. Prior to his five years at Cisco, Sean held various positions in both IT and security consulting during his 11 years in networking.

Matthew Franz, Cisco Systems

Matthew Franz is a security researcher in Cisco Systems\' Critical Infrastructure Assurance Group in Austin, Texas. Apart from work on BGP, interests include industrial automation (SCADA/DCS/Industrial Ethernet), security, and automated protocol test tools. Before joining CIAG, Matthew was senior security engineer in the Security Technologies Assessment team, where he conducted product security evaluations on a variety of Cisco products and network protocols. Before coming to Cisco in 2000, Matthew was a network security consultant and taught technical network security courses to government information warfare customers in San Antonio, Texas.
Abstract: Recently the security of BGP has been called into question by the government, security experts, and the media. Perhaps by assuming that a compromise of the Internet routing infrastructure would be relatively trivial to accomplish, most of the recent attention has focused on replacements to BGP rather than ways we can do the best with what we have. Because any possible replacement for BGP will not be widely deployed in the near-term, an understanding of the key threats and mitigation techniques against current BGP deployments needs to be better understood. Furthermore, since most of the existing work related to BGP vulnerabilities is largely theoretical in nature, any new effort should be based in real testing on implementations that are commonly deployed by ISPs.

This talk presents the results of research in the area of BGP attacks. This research includes three main areas. First, specific attacks as outlined in the BGP Attack Tree draft were tested against lab networks to gauge attack results, difficulty, and the availability of best practices which mitigate the attack\'s effects. Where appropriate, these attacks were done against multiple BGP implementations to measure variations in response. Second, multiple implementations were tested using a BGP malformed message generator in an attempt to measure the resilience of BGP implementations against unexpected input. Third, the prevalence of generally accepted best practices on the Internet was measured by querying a representative set of the Internet\'s BGP routers on key management interfaces.

Analysis of this data will be useful for operators looking to improve the security of their BGP networks today and to evaluate potential improvements to BGP in the future, especially given the challenge of balancing scalability and ease of deployment with security in any future \"secure BGP.\"
Files: youtubeBGP Vulnerability Testing: Separating Fact from FUD
pdfRevised PDF presentation(PDF)
Sponsors: None.

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