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Security Requirements for BGP Path Validation

The information below is for an old version of the document.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 7353.
Authors Steven Bellovin , Randy Bush , David Ward
Last updated 2014-07-10 (Latest revision 2014-05-22)
Replaces draft-ymbk-bgpsec-reqs
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Network Working Group                                        S. Bellovin
Internet-Draft                                       Columbia University
Intended status: Informational                                   R. Bush
Expires: November 24, 2014                     Internet Initiative Japan
                                                                 D. Ward
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                            May 23, 2014

             Security Requirements for BGP Path Validation


   This document describes requirements for a BGP security protocol
   design to provide cryptographic assurance that the origin AS had the
   right to announce the prefix and to provide assurance of the AS Path
   of the announcement.

Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119] only when they
   appear in all upper case.  They may also appear in lower or mixed
   case as English words, without normative meaning.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 24, 2014.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  General Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  BGP UPDATE Security Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   RPKI-based Origin Validation, [RFC6811], provides a measure of
   resilience to accidental mis-origination of prefixes.  But it
   provides neither cryptographic assurance (announcements are not
   signed), nor assurance of the AS Path of the announcement.

   This document describes requirements to be placed on a BGP security
   protocol, herein termed BGPsec, intended to rectify these gaps.

   The threat model assumed here is documented in [RFC4593] and

   As noted in the threat model, [I-D.ietf-sidr-bgpsec-threats], this
   work is limited to threats to the BGP protocol.  Issues of business
   relationship conformance, while quite important to operators, are not
   security issues per se, and are outside the scope of this document.
   It is hoped that these issues will be better understood in the

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2.  Recommended Reading

   This document assumes knowledge of the RPKI see [RFC6480], the RPKI
   Repository Structure, see [RFC6481].

   This document assumes ongoing incremental deployment of ROAs, see
   [RFC6482], the RPKI to Router Protocol, see [RFC6810], and RPKI-based
   Prefix Validation, see [RFC6811].

   And, of course, a knowledge of BGP [RFC4271] is required.

3.  General Requirements

   The following are general requirements for a BGPsec protocol:

   3.1   A BGPsec design must allow the receiver of a BGP announcement
         to determine, to a strong level of certainty, that the
         originating AS in the received PATH attribute posessed the
         authority to announce the prefix in the announcement.

   3.2   A BGPsec design must allow the receiver of a BGP announcement
         to determine, to a strong level of certainty, that the received
         PATH attribute accurately represents the sequence of eBGP
         exchanges that propagated the prefix from the origin AS to the
         receiver, particularly if an AS has added or deleted any AS
         number other than its own in the path attribute.  This includes
         modification to the number of AS prepends.

   3.3   BGP attributes other than the AS_PATH are used only locally, or
         have meaning only between immediate neighbors, may be modified
         by intermediate systems, and figure less prominently in the
         decision process.  Consequently, it is not appropriate to try
         to protect such attributes in a BGPsec design.

   3.4   A BGPsec design MUST be amenable to incremental deployment.
         This implies that incompatible protocol capabilities MUST be

   3.5   A BGPsec design MUST provide analysis of the operational
         considerations for deployment and particularly of incremental
         deployment, e.g, contiguous islands, non-contiguous islands,
         universal deployment, etc.

   3.6   As proofs of possession and authentication may require
         cryptographic payloads and/or storage and computation, likely
         increasing processing and memory requirements on routers, a
         BGPsec design MAY require use of new hardware.  I.e.

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         compatibility with current hardware abilities is not a
         requirement that this document imposes on a solution.

   3.7   A BGPsec design need not prevent attacks on data plane traffic.
         It need not provide assurance that the data plane even follows
         the control plane.

   3.8   A BGPsec design MUST resist attacks by an enemy who has access
         to the inter-router link layer, per Section of
         [RFC4593].  In particular, such a design must provide
         mechanisms for authentication of all data, including protecting
         against message insertion, deletion, modification, or replay.
         Mechanisms that suffice include TCP sessions authenticated with
         TCP-AO [RFC5925], IPsec [RFC4301], or TLS [RFC5246].

   3.9   It is assumed that a BGPsec design will require information
         about holdings of address space and ASNs, and assertions about
         binding of address space to ASNs.  A BGPsec design MAY make use
         of a security infrastructure (e.g., a PKI) to distribute such
         authenticated data.

   3.10  It is entirely OPTIONAL to secure AS SETs and prefix
         aggregation.  The long range solution to this is the
         deprecation of AS-SETs, see [RFC6472].

   3.11  If a BGPsec design uses signed prefixes, given the difficulty
         of splitting a signed message while preserving the signature,
         it need NOT handle multiple prefixes in a single UPDATE PDU.

   3.12  A BGPsec design MUST enable each BGPsec speaker to configure
         use of the security mechanism on a per-peer basis.

   3.13  A BGPsec design MUST provide backward compatibility in the
         message formatting, transmission, and processing of routing
         information carried through a mixed security environment.
         Message formatting in a fully secured environment MAY be
         handled in a non-backward compatible manner.

   3.14  While the trust level of a route should be determined by the
         BGPsec protocol, local routing preference and policy MUST then
         be applied to best path and other routing decisions.

   3.15  A BGPsec design MUST support 'transparent' route servers,
         meaning that the AS of the route server is not counted in
         downstream BGP AS-path-length tie-breaking decisions.

   3.16  A BGPsec design MUST support AS aliasing.  This technique is
         not well-defined or universally implemented, but is being

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         documented in [].  A BGPsec design
         SHOULD accommodate AS 'migration' techniques such as common
         proprietary and non-standard methods which allow a router to
         have two AS identities, without lengthening the effective AS

   3.17  If a BGPsec design makes use of a security infrastructure, that
         infrastructure SHOULD enable each network operator to select
         the entities it will trust when authenticating data in the
         security infrastructure.  See, for example,

   3.18  A BGPsec design MUST NOT require operators to reveal more than
         is currently revealed in the operational inter-domain routing
         environment, other than the inclusion of necessary security
         credentials to allow others to ascertain for themselves the
         necessary degree of assurance regarding the validity of NLRI
         received via BGPsec.  This includes peering, customer, and
         provider relationships, an ISP's internal infrastructure, etc.
         It is understood that some data are revealed to the savvy
         seeker by BGP, traceroute, etc.  today.

   3.19  A BGPsec design MUST signal (logging, SNMP, ...) security
         exceptions which are significant to the operator.  The specific
         data to be signaled are an implementation matter.

   3.20  Any routing information database MUST be re-authenticated
         periodically or in an event-driven manner, especially in
         response to events such as, for example, PKI updates.

   3.21  Any inter-AS use of cryptographic hashes or signatures, MUST
         provide mechanisms for algorithm agility.

   3.22  A BGPsec design SHOULD NOT presume to know the intent of the
         originator of a NLRI, nor that of any AS on the AS Path, other
         than that they intended to pass it to the next AS in the Path.

   3.23  A BGPsec listener SHOULD NOT trust non-BGPsec markings, such as
         communities, across trust boundaries.

4.  BGP UPDATE Security Requirements

   The following requirements MUST be met in the processing of BGP
   UPDATE messages:

   4.1  A BGPsec design MUST enable each recipient of an UPDATE to
        formally validate that the origin AS in the message is

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        authorized to originate a route to the prefix(es) in the

   4.2  A BGPsec design MUST enable the recipient of an UPDATE to
        formally determine that the NLRI has traversed the AS path
        indicated in the UPDATE.  Note that this is more stringent than
        showing that the path is merely not impossible.

   4.3  Replay of BGP UPDATE messages need not be completely prevented,
        but a BGPsec design SHOULD provide a mechanism to control the
        window of exposure to replay attacks.

   4.4  A BGPsec design SHOULD provide some level of assurance that the
        origin of a prefix is still 'alive', i.e. that a monkey in the
        middle has not withheld a WITHDRAW message or the effects

   4.5  The AS Path of an UPDATE message SHOULD be able to be
        authenticated as the message is processed.

   4.6  Normal sanity checks of received announcements MUST be done,
        e.g. verification that the first element of the AS_PATH list
        corresponds to the locally configured AS of the peer from which
        the UPDATE was received.

   4.7  The output of a router applying BGPsec validation to a received
        UPDATE MUST be unequivocal and conform to a fully specified
        state in the design.

5.  IANA Considerations

   This document asks nothing of the IANA.

6.  Security Considerations

   If an external "security infrastructure" is used, as mentioned in
   Paragraph 9 and Paragraph 17 above, the authenticity and integrity of
   the data of such an infrastructure MUST be assured.  And the
   integrity of those data MUST be assured when they are used by BGPsec,
   e.g. in transport.

   The data plane might not follow the control plane.

   Security for subscriber traffic is outside the scope of this
   document, and of BGP security in general.  IETF standards for payload
   data security should be employed.  While adoption of BGP security
   measures may ameliorate some classes of attacks on traffic, these
   measures are not a substitute for use of subscriber-based security.

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7.  Acknowledgments

   The authors wishe to thank the authors of [I-D.ietf-rpsec-bgpsecrec]
   from whom we liberally stole, Roque Gagliano, Russ Housley, Geoff
   Huston, Steve Kent, Sandy Murphy, Eric Osterweil, John Scudder,
   Kotikalapudi Sriram, Sam Weiler, and a number of others.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

              Kent, S. and A. Chi, "Threat Model for BGP Path Security",
              draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-threats-05 (work in progress),
              March 2013.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC4593]  Barbir, A., Murphy, S., and Y. Yang, "Generic Threats to
              Routing Protocols", RFC 4593, October 2006.

   [RFC5925]  Touch, J., Mankin, A., and R. Bonica, "The TCP
              Authentication Option", RFC 5925, June 2010.

8.2.  Informative References

              George, W. and S. Amante, "Autonomous System (AS)
              Migration Features and Their Effects on the BGP AS_PATH
              Attribute", draft-ga-idr-as-migration-01 (work in
              progress), February 2013.

              Christian, B. and T. Tauber, "BGP Security Requirements",
              draft-ietf-rpsec-bgpsecrec-10 (work in progress), November

              Bush, R., "RPKI Local Trust Anchor Use Cases", draft-ietf-
              sidr-lta-use-cases-00 (work in progress), February 2014.

   [RFC4271]  Rekhter, Y., Li, T., and S. Hares, "A Border Gateway
              Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 4271, January 2006.

   [RFC4301]  Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for the
              Internet Protocol", RFC 4301, December 2005.

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   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

   [RFC6472]  Kumari, W. and K. Sriram, "Recommendation for Not Using
              AS_SET and AS_CONFED_SET in BGP", BCP 172, RFC 6472,
              December 2011.

   [RFC6480]  Lepinski, M. and S. Kent, "An Infrastructure to Support
              Secure Internet Routing", RFC 6480, February 2012.

   [RFC6481]  Huston, G., Loomans, R., and G. Michaelson, "A Profile for
              Resource Certificate Repository Structure", RFC 6481,
              February 2012.

   [RFC6482]  Lepinski, M., Kent, S., and D. Kong, "A Profile for Route
              Origin Authorizations (ROAs)", RFC 6482, February 2012.

   [RFC6810]  Bush, R. and R. Austein, "The Resource Public Key
              Infrastructure (RPKI) to Router Protocol", RFC 6810,
              January 2013.

   [RFC6811]  Mohapatra, P., Scudder, J., Ward, D., Bush, R., and R.
              Austein, "BGP Prefix Origin Validation", RFC 6811, January

Authors' Addresses

   Steven M. Bellovin
   Columbia University
   1214 Amsterdam Avenue, MC 0401
   New York, New York  10027

   Phone: +1 212 939 7149

   Randy Bush
   Internet Initiative Japan
   5147 Crystal Springs
   Bainbridge Island, Washington  98110


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   David Ward
   Cisco Systems
   170 W. Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134


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