Representing BGP and routing flows in XML

Bartlett, Jason D., author
Massey, Daniel F., advisor
Papadopoulos, Christos, committee member
Hayne, Stephen C., committee member
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Monitoring routing in the Internet is a significant aspect of network security today. Incorrect information that is introduced into the system can result in problems ranging from a particular service or website becoming temporarily inaccessible, to large blocks of network addresses becoming cut off from the rest of the Internet, to potentially-sensitive user information being redirected to a malicious actor. Current monitoring projects generate a huge dataset for users for sift through. A single collection point collecting routing data from a dozen routers can archive 1800 update messages every 15 minutes. The largest current monitoring projects have 12-16 collection points, some of which can have several dozen routers feeding data into them, and some of which have been saving data for a decade or more. These archives are stored in a binary format called MRT that appends metadata about the particular routing session being monitored to the raw data received by a router. They also depend on tools to convert the binary into usable, but rigid, ASCII formats. Ideally, this data could be represented in a standardized ASCII format that both human user and machine application can make use of. Furthermore, such a format ought to be able to be easily extended, whether to represent new features in the underlying data or to transport user-specific annotations, without creating compatibility problems. XML and XSD provide the mechanisms necessary to accomplish this and the framework necessary to do it in such a way that the resulting definitions can become standardized. This work presents an XSD-based generic format for representing the flow of routing data between arbitrary routers. To provide a concrete realization of this idea, additional schema are defined to describe Border Gateway Protocol messages and several common networking datatypes. All of these schema are defined to provide validation of their underlying data, but are also flexible enough to accommodate extensions within the data and additional datatypes not already included in the schema.
2013 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
Internet routing
network security
routing monitoring
routing protocols
Associated Publications