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BGP Attribute Escape

The information below is for an old version of the document.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft whose latest revision state is "Active".
Expired & archived
Author Jeffrey Haas
Last updated 2024-01-10 (Latest revision 2023-07-09)
RFC stream (None)
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft is available in these formats:


BGP-4 [RFC 4271] has been very successful in being extended over the years it has been deployed. A significant part of that success is due to its ability to incrementally add new features to its Path Attributes when they are marked "optional transitive". Implementations that are ignorant of a feature for an unknown Path Attribute that are so marked will propagate BGP routes with such attributes. Unfortunately, this blind propagation of unknown Path Attributes may happen for features that are intended to be used in a limited scope. When such Path Attributes inadvertantly are carried beyond that scope, it can lead to things such as unintended disclosure of sensitive information, or cause improper routing. In their worst cases, such propagation may be for malformed Path Attributes and lead to BGP session resets or crashes. This document calls such inadvertent propagation of BGP Path Attributes, "attribute escape". This document further describes some of the scenarios that leads to this behavior and makes recommendations on practices that may limit its impact.


Jeffrey Haas

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)