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Securing Model-C Inter-Provider VPNs with Label Hopping and TicToc

Document type: Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Document stream: No stream defined
Last updated: 2013-10-10 (latest revision 2013-04-08)
Intended RFC status: Unknown
Other versions: (expired, archived): plain text, pdf, html

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IESG State: Expired
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found here:


In certain models of inter-provider Multi- Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) based Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) spoofing attack against VPN sites is a key concern. For example, MPLS-based VPN inter- provider model "C" is not favoured, owing to security concerns in the dataplane, even though it can scale with respect to maintenance of routing state. Since the inner labels associated with VPN sites are not encrypted during transmission, a man-in-themiddle attacker can spoof packets to a specific VPN site. In this paper, we propose a label-hopping technique which uses a set of randomized labels and a method for hopping amongst these labels using the time instant the packet leaves the port from a sending Provider Edge Router. To prevent the attacker from identifying the labels in polynomial time, we also use an additional label. The proposed technique can be applied to other variants of inter-provider MPLS based VPNs where Multi-Protocol exterior-BGP (MP-eBGP) multi-hop is used. As we address a key security concern, we can make a case for the deployment of MPLS based VPN inter-provider model "C". Specifically we use the TicToc based Precision Time Protocol LSP to provide the timing for determining the time instant at which the packet is sent from the remote end Provider Edge Router and hence calculating when it must have left that peer at the Provider Edge Router in the near / receiving end. This version of the document suggests a better method for gaining more finely granular time slices. This is done by running the PTP LSP between the ASBRs in the ASes that are providing the inter-AS L3VPN service.


Shankar Raman <>
Balaji Venkat <>
Gaurav Raina <>

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