Technical Report MSC-2014-17

Title: When a Router Tells Different Stories to Different Neighbors: A New Partition Attack on Link-State Routing Protocols
Authors: Raziel Hess-Green
Supervisors: Reuven Cohen
Abstract: The Internet consists of a large number of interconnected heterogeneous ASs (Autonomous Systems), each owned and administered by an autonomous organization. Traffic in each AS is forwarded by routers that maintain a coherent picture of the network topology using an intra-AS routing protocol. The most popular intra-AS routing protocols are link-state protocols, such as OSPF and IS-IS. In this work we propose and analyze a new attack, referred to as a “partition attack,” in which a compromised router sends different LSAs to different neighbors. This enables a single compromised router to prevent the other routers from building a correct and consistent picture of the network topology. The attack cannot be prevented even if LSAs are encrypted and digitally signed with current schemes.
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