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ROVER: a DNS-based method to detect and prevent IP hijacks




Gersch, Joseph E., author
Massey, Daniel, advisor
Papadopoulos, Christos, committee member
Strout, Michelle M., committee member
Hayne, Stephen C., committee member

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The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is critical to the global internet infrastructure. Unfortunately BGP routing was designed with limited regard for security. As a result, IP route hijacking has been observed for more than 16 years. Well known incidents include a 2008 hijack of YouTube, loss of connectivity for Australia in February 2012, and an event that partially crippled Google in November 2012. Concern has been escalating as critical national infrastructure is reliant on a secure foundation for the Internet. Disruptions to military, banking, utilities, industry, and commerce can be catastrophic. In this dissertation we propose ROVER (Route Origin VERification System), a novel and practical solution for detecting and preventing origin and sub-prefix hijacks. ROVER exploits the reverse DNS for storing route origin data and provides a fail-safe, best effort approach to authentication. This approach can be used with a variety of operational models including fully dynamic in-line BGP filtering, periodically updated authenticated route filters, and real-time notifications for network operators. Our thesis is that ROVER systems can be deployed by a small number of institutions in an incremental fashion and still effectively thwart origin and sub-prefix IP hijacking despite non-participation by the majority of Autonomous System owners. We then present research results supporting this statement. We evaluate the effectiveness of ROVER using simulations on an Internet scale topology as well as with tests on real operational systems. Analyses include a study of IP hijack propagation patterns, effectiveness of various deployment models, critical mass requirements, and an examination of ROVER resilience and scalability.


2013 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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IP hijacking


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