The Internet is a highly unstable and non-reliable network which requires a strong routing protocol. There are about 493870 routes on the Internet and the number is increasing every day (CIDR Report). Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the exterior gateway routing protocol used for routing over the Internet worldwide. BGP exchanges routing information between autonomous systems over the Internet. An autonomous system (AS) can be defined as network or group of routers that implement the same routing policy (Halabi, 96). Routes are announced by the AS to its connecting AS and are thus advertised further.
Even though BGP is a stable protocol, various issues such as delayed convergence, instability, inbound and outbound policy changes continuously occur in the Internet (Mahajan, Wetherall, and Anderson 1). The issues can either occur due to misconfigurations, software bugs, and faulty hardware. Misconfiguration errors such as wrong prefix advertisement, wrong attributes, incorrect policy filters occur while advertising routes to the Internet. Such errors can lead to an outage of the Internet scaling from a short time span to even days.
In this paper, the causes of misconfigurations from the origin AS are discussed. The paper further explores the probable effects of such misconfigurations on the Internet routing table and connectivity, followed by a few real life incidents that caused the Internet to shut down. The paper concludes with discussing various methods that have been proposed earlier to prevent or at least localize the effects of such misconfigurations.
Overview of BGP
BGP is a special case of distance vector protocol called the path vector protocol used for routing between autonomous systems (Halabi,...
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...res. Indianapolis: Cisco Press, 1997. Print.
Mahajan, Ratul Wetherall, David, and Tom Anderson. Understanding BGP Misconfiguration. PDF File.
Huston, Geoff. “BGP in 2013” NANOG 60, Atlanta, 10th February 2014, Conference Presentation.
Rekhter, Y., et al. "Address Allocation for Private Internets", BCP 5, RFC 1918, February 1996.
Freedman, Avi. “7007: From the Horse’s Mouth” Merit Networks Inc. North American Network Operators Group. 25th April 1997. Web. 19th March 2014.
Wikipedia. “Black Hole (networking)”. 13th January 2014. Web. 19th March 2014.
Gallagher, Sean. “Google DNS briefly hijacked to Venezuela” Ars Technica. 17th March 2014. Web. 19th March 2014.
JNCIA-JUNOS Study Guide—Part 1. Sunnyvale: Juniper Networks. 2012. PDF File.
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