Network Working Group                                        M. Lepinski
Internet Draft                                          BBN Technologies
Intended status: Informational                                 S. Turner
Expires: June 16, 2014                                              IECA
                                                       December 16, 2013

                         An Overview of BGPSEC


   This document provides an overview of a security extension to the
   Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) referred to as BGPSEC.  BGPSEC improves
   security for BGP routing.

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), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   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."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 8, 2012.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 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

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 1]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   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. Background.....................................................3
   3. BGPSEC Operation...............................................4
      3.1. Negotiation of BGPSEC.....................................4
      3.2. Update signing and validation.............................5
   4. Design and Deployment Considerations...........................6
      4.1. Disclosure of topology information........................7
      4.2. BGPSEC router assumptions.................................7
      4.3. BGPSEC and consistency of externally visible data.........8
   5. Security Considerations........................................8
   6. IANA Considerations............................................8
   7. References.....................................................9
      7.1. Normative References......................................9
      7.2. Informative References....................................9

1. Introduction

   BGPSEC (Border Gateway Protocol Security) is an extension to the
   Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) that provides improved security for BGP
   routing [RFC 4271]. This document contains a brief overview of BGPSEC
   and its envisioned usage.

   A more detailed discussion of BGPSEC is provided in the following set
   of documents:

     .  [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-threats]:

        A threat model describing the security context in which BGPSEC
        is intended to operate.

     .  [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-reqs]:

        A set of requirements for BGP path security, which BGPSEC is
        intended to satisfy.

     .  [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-protocol]:

        A standards track document specifying the BGPSEC extension to

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 2]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013


     .  [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-ops]:

        An informational document describing operational considerations.

     . [I-D.turner-sidr-bgpsec-pki-profiles]:

        A standards track document specifying a profile for X.509
        certificates that bind keys used in BGPSEC to Autonomous System
        numbers, as well as associated Certificate Revocation Lists
        (CRLs), and certificate requests.

     .  [I-D.turner-sidr-bgpsec-algs]

        A standards track document specifying suites of signature and
        digest algorithms for use in BGPSEC.

   In addition to this document set, some readers might be interested in
   [I-D.sriram-bgpsec-design-choices], an informational document
   describing the choices that were made the by the author team prior to
   the publication of the -00 version of draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-
   protocol. Discussion of design choices made since the publication of
   the -00 can be found in the archives of the SIDR working group
   mailing list.

2. Background

   The motivation for developing BGPSEC is that BGP does not include
   mechanisms that allow an Autonomous System (AS) to verify the
   legitimacy and authenticity of BGP route advertisements (see for
   example, [RFC 4272]).

   The Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI), described in
   [RFC6480], provides a first step towards addressing the validation of
   BGP routing data. RPKI resource certificates are issued to the
   holders of AS number and IP address resources, providing a binding
   between these resources and cryptographic keys that can be used to
   verify digital signatures. Additionally, the RPKI architecture
   specifies a digitally signed object, a Route Origination
   Authorization (ROA), that allows holders of IP address resources to
   authorize specific ASes to originate routes (in BGP) to these
   resources. Data extracted from valid ROAs can be used by BGP speakers
   to determine whether a received route was originated by an AS
   authorized to originate that route (see [RFC6483] and [I-D.sidr-

   By instituting a local policy that prefers routes with origins

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 3]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   validated using RPKI data (versus routes to the same prefix that
   cannot be so validated) an AS can protect itself from certain mis-
   utilizing RPKI data could detect this error and decline to select
   these mis-originated routes. However, use of RPKI data alone provides
   little or no protection against a sophisticated attacker. Such an
   attacker could, for example, conduct a route hijacking attack by
   appending an authorized origin AS to an otherwise illegitimate AS
   Path. (See [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-threats] for a detailed discussion of the
   BGPSEC threat model.)

   BGPSEC extends the RPKI by adding an additional type of certificate,
   referred to as a BGPSEC router certificate, that binds an AS number
   to a public signature verification key, the corresponding private key
   of which is held by one or more BGP speakers within this AS. Private
   keys corresponding to public keys in such certificates can then be
   used within BGPSEC to enable BGP speakers to sign on behalf of their
   AS. The certificates thus allow a relying party to verify that a
   BGPSEC signature was produced by a BGP speaker belonging to a given
   AS. The goal of BGPSEC is to use signatures to protect the AS Path
   attribute of BGP update messages so that a BGP speaker can assess the
   validity of the AS Path in update messages that it receives.

3. BGPSEC Operation

   The core of BGPSEC is a new optional (non-transitive) attribute,
   called BGPSEC_Path_Signatures. This attribute consists of a sequence
   of digital signatures, one for each AS in the AS Path of a BGPSEC
   update message. (The use of this new attribute is formally specified
   in [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-protocol].) A new signature is added to this
   sequence each time an update message leaves an AS. The signature is
   constructed so that any tampering with the AS path or Network Layer
   Reachability Information (NLRI) in the BGPSEC update message will
   result in the recipient being able to detect that the update is

3.1. Negotiation of BGPSEC

   The use of BGPSEC is negotiated using BGP capability advertisements
   [RFC 5492]. Upon opening a BGP session with a peer, BGP speakers who
   support (and wish to use) BGPSEC include a newly-defined capability
   in the OPEN message.

   The use of BGPSEC is negotiated separately for each address family.
   This means that a BGP speaker could, for example, elect to use BGPSEC
   for IPv6, but not for IPv4 (or vice versa). Additionally, the use of
   BGPSEC is negotiated separately in the send and receive directions.
   This means that a BGP speaker could, for example, indicate support
   for sending BGPSEC update messages but require that messages it

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 4]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   receives be traditional (non-BGPSEC) update message. (To see why such
   a feature might be useful, see Section 4.2.)

   If the use of BGPSEC is negotiated in a BGP session (in a given
   direction, for a given address family) then both BGPSEC update
   messages (ones that contain the BGPSEC_Path_Signature attribute) and
   traditional BGP update messages (that do not contain this attribute)
   can be sent within the session.

   If a BGPSEC-capable BGP speaker finds that its peer does not support
   receiving BGPSEC update messages, then the BGP speaker must remove
   existing BGPSEC_Path_Signatures attribute from any update messages it
   sends to this peer.

3.2. Update signing and validation

   When a BGP speaker originates a BGPSEC update message, it creates a
   BGPSEC_Path_Signatures attribute containing a single signature. The
   signature protects the Network Layer Reachability Information (NLRI),
   the AS number of the originating AS, the AS number of the peer AS to
   whom the update message is being sent, and a few other pieces of data
   necessary for security guarantees. Note that the NLRI in a BGPSEC
   update message is restricted to contain only a single prefix.

   When a BGP speaker receives a BGPSEC update message and wishes to
   propagate the route advertisement contained in the update to an
   external peer, it adds a new signature to the BGPSEC_Path_Signatures
   attribute. This signature protects everything protected by the
   previous signature, plus the AS number of the new peer to whom the
   update message is being sent.

   Each BGP speaker also adds a reference, called a Subject Key
   Identifier (SKI), to its BGPSEC Router certificate. The SKI is used
   by a recipient to select the public key (and selected router
   certificate data) needed for validation.

   As an example, consider the following case in which an advertisement
   for 192.0.2/24 is originated by AS 1, which sends the route to AS 2,
   which sends it to AS 3, which sends it to AS 4. When AS 4 receives a
   BGPSEC update message for this route, it will contain the following

     .  NLRI : 192.0.2/24

     .  AS_Path : 3 2 1

     .  BGPSEC_Path_Signatures Attribute with 3 signatures :
          o  Signature from AS 1 protecting

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 5]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

             192.0.2/24, AS 1 and AS 2

          o  Signature from AS 2 protecting

             Everything AS 1's signature protected, and AS 3

          o  Signature from AS 3 protecting

             Everything AS 2's signature protected, and AS 4

   When a BGPSEC update message is received by a BGP speaker, the BGP
   speaker can validate the message as follows. For each signature, the
   BGP speaker first needs to determine if there is a valid RPKI Router
   certificate matching the SKI and containing the appropriate AS
   number. (This would typically be done by looking up the SKI in a
   cache of data extracted from valid RPKI objects. A cache allows
   certificate validation to be handled via an asynchronous process,
   which might execute on another device.)

   The BGP speaker then verifies the signature using the public key from
   this BGPSEC router certificate. If all the signatures can be verified
   in this fashion, the BGP speaker is assured that the update message
   it received actually came via the path specified in the AS_Path
   attribute. Finally, the BGP speaker can check whether there exists a
   valid ROA in the RPKI linking the origin AS to the prefix in the
   NLRI. If such a valid ROA exists the BGP speaker is further assured
   that the AS at the beginning of the validated path was authorized to
   originate routes to the given prefix.

   In the above example, upon receiving the BGPSEC update message, a BGP
   speaker for AS 4 would first check to make sure that there is a valid
   ROA authorizing AS 1 to originate advertisements for 192.0.2/24. It
   would then look at the SKI for the first signature and see if this
   corresponds to a valid BGPSEC Router certificate for AS 1. Next, it
   would then verify the first signature using the key found in this
   valid certificate. Finally, it would repeat this process for the
   second and third signatures, checking to see that there are valid
   BGPSEC router certificates for AS 2 and AS 3 (respectively) and that
   the signatures can be verified with the keys found in these

4. Design and Deployment Considerations

   In this section we briefly discuss several additional topics that
   commonly arise in the discussion of BGPSEC.
4.1. Disclosure of topology information

   A key requirement in the design of BGPSEC was that BGPSEC not

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 6]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   disclose any new information about BGP peering topology.  Since many
   ISPs feel peering topology data is proprietary, further disclosure of
   it would inhibit BGPSEC adoption.

   In particular, the topology information that can be inferred from
   BGPSEC update messages is exactly the same as that which can be
   inferred from equivalent (non-BGPSEC) BGP update messages.

4.2. BGPSEC router assumptions

   In order to achieve its security goals, BGPSEC assumes additional
   capabilities in routers. In particular, BGPSEC involves adding
   digital signatures to BGP update messages, which will significantly
   increase the size of these messages. Therefore, an AS that wishes to
   receive BGPSEC update messages will require additional memory in its
   routers to store (e.g., in ADJ RIBs) the data conveyed in these large
   update messages. Additionally, the design of BGPSEC assumes that an
   AS that elects to receive BGPSEC update messages will do some
   cryptographic signature verification at its edge router. This
   verification will likely require additional capability in these edge

   Additionally, BGPSEC requires that all BGPSEC speakers will support
   4-byte AS Numbers [RFC4893]. This is because the co-existence
   strategy for 4-byte AS numbers and legacy 2-byte AS speakers that
   gives special meaning to AS 23456 is incompatible with the security
   the security properties that BGPSEC seeks to provide.

   For this initial version of BGPSEC, optimizations to minimize the
   size of BGPSEC updates or the processing required in edge routers
   have not been considered. Such optimizations may be considered in the

   Note also that the design of BGPSEC allows an AS to send BGPSEC
   update messages (thus obtaining protection for routes it originates)
   without receiving BGPSEC update messages. An AS that only sends, and
   does not receive, BGPSEC update messages will require much less
   capability in its edge routers to deploy BGPSEC. In particular, a
   router that only sends BGPSEC update messages does not need
   additional memory to store large updates and requires only minimal
   cryptographic capability (as generating one signature per outgoing
   update requires less computation than verifying multiple signatures
   on each incoming update message). See [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-ops] for
   further discussion related to Edge ASes that do not provide transit.)
4.3. BGPSEC and consistency of externally visible data

   Finally note that, by design, BGPSEC prevents parties that propagate
   route advertisements from including inconsistent or erroneous

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 7]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   information within the AS-Path (without detection).  In particular,
   this means that any deployed scenarios in which a BGP speaker
   constructs such an inconsistent or erroneous AS Path attribute will
   break when BGPSEC is used.

   For example, when BGPSEC is not used, it is possible for a single
   autonomous system to have one peering session where it identifies
   itself as AS 111 and a second peering session where it identifies
   itself as AS 222.  In such a case, it might receive route
   advertisements from the first peering session (as AS 111) and then
   add AS 222 (but not AS 111) to the AS-Path and propagate them within
   the second peering session.

   Such behavior may very well be innocent and performed with the
   consent of the legitimate holder of both AS 111 and 222.  However, it
   is indistinguishable from the following man-in-the-middle attack
   performed by a malicious AS 222. First, the malicious AS 222
   impersonates AS 111 in the first peering session (essentially
   stealing a route advertisement intended for AS 111). The malicious AS
   222 then inserts itself into the AS path and propagates the update to
   its peers.

   Therefore, when BGPSEC is used, such an autonomous system would
   either need to assert a consistent AS number in all external peering
   sessions, or else it would need to add both AS 111 and AS 222 to the
   AS-Path (along with appropriate signatures) for route advertisements
   that it receives from the first peering session and propagates within
   the second peering session.

5. Security Considerations

   This document provides an overview of BPSEC; it does not define the
   BGPSEC extension to BGP.  The BGPSEC extension is defined in [I-
   D.sidr-bgpsec-protocol].  The threat model for the BGPSEC is
   described in [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-threats].

6. IANA Considerations


7.1. Normative References

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

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 8]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   [RFC4893] Vohra, Q. and E. Chen, "BGP Support for Four-octet AS
   Numbers", RFC 4893, May 2007.

   [RFC5492] Scudder, J. and R. Chandra, "Capabilities Advertisement
   with BGP-4", RFC 5492, February 2009.

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

   [RFC6483] Huston, G., and G. Michaelson, "Validation of Route
   Origination using the Resource Certificate PKI and ROAs", February

   [I-D.sidr-origin-ops] Bush, R., "RPKI-Based Origin Validation
   Operation", draft-ietf-sidr-origin-ops, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-threats] Kent, S., and A. Chi, "Threat Model for BGP
   Path Security", draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-threats, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-protocol] Lepinski, M., Ed., "BPSEC Protocol
   Specification", draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-protocol, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-ops] Bush, R., "BGPSEC Operational Considerations",
   draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-ops, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-algs] Turner, S., "BGP Algorithms, Key Formats, &
   Signature Formats", draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-algs, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-pki-profiles] Reynolds, M. and S. Turner, S., "A
   Profile for BGPSEC Router Certificates, Certificate Revocation Lists,
   and Certification Requests", draft-sidr-bgpsec-pki-profiles, work-in-

7.2. Informative References

   [RFC4272] Murphy, S., "BGP Security Vulnerabilities Analysis", RFC
   4272, January 2006

   [I-D.sriram-bgpsec-design-choices] Sriram, K., "BGPSEC Design Choices
   and Summary of Supporting Discussions", draft-sriram-bgpsec-design-
   choices, work-in-progress.

   [I-D.sidr-bgpsec-reqs] Bellovin, S., R. Bush, and D. Ward, "Security
   Requirements for BGP Path Validation", draft-ietf-sidr-bgpsec-reqs,

Author's' Addresses

Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                    [Page 9]

Internet-Draft              BGPSEC Overview                December 2013

   Matt Lepinski
   BBN Technologies
   10 Moulton Street
   Cambridge MA 02138


   Sean Turner
   IECA, Inc.
   3057 Nutley Street, Suite 106
   Fairfax, VA 22031


Lepinski and Turner        Expires June 2014                   [Page 10]