[AusNOG] BGP injection / IP Hijacking / Peer Trust

Edwin Groothuis edwin at mavetju.org
Thu Sep 4 08:54:21 EST 2008

The ISC (Internet Storm Center, not the Internet Software Consortium)
has written a weblog entry about it:


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Several news sources have been carrying a story about the DEFCON
BGP hijack. While that "trick" was pretty cool it was not new.
Original DEFCON paper is here:

Wired article here:
As Pieter Zatko (aka Mundge of L0pht) is quoted in this article:
"I went around screaming my head about this about ten or twelve
 years ago.... We described this to intelligence agencies and to the
 National Security Council, in detail."

What is new here?
The TTL adjustment was cool and new to me.
Getting the data back to the hijacked network was also kind of cool
but as prepending isn't new just not used in this way in the past
as far as I know:)

The rest is old very OLD.

BGP4 was always capable of directing traffic that is what it was
designed to do.

Path-prepending is a technique that's equally well known.
This is no easy to attack this as you need to be trusted by your
upstream ISPs. Since those ISPs have neither the interest nor the
need to trust their customers to announce only their own BGP
information many ISPs filter what customers can announce to them.

Large ISPs are in a position to do it as they are trusted but have
even less motivation in performing BGP hijacking. A successful BGP
hijack by a large ISP would result in peers publicly mocking them
and front page headlines that would not be good for business.
Attracting a substantial amount of traffic and sending it out again
is going to get noticed. Both on your bandwidth usage with the
potential for a self inflicted fill the pipe ddos and by people
watching traffic patterns/announcements in BGP.

Here is one of the early bgp hijacks it was an accident but in 1997
this accident caused major outages and traffic to be redirected
when as7007 hijacked a large portion of the internet.

If you want to prevent what they did at DEFCON implementing the
following template should help.

Additionally ISPs should add router-filter statements (junos)
 policy-statement CUSTOMER.COM.AS201020 {
      term 10 {
          from {
              as-path CUSTOMER.COM.AS201020;
              route-filter orlonger;
          then next policy;
      term 20 {
          then reject;

Or cisco prefix-lists
ip prefix-list 201020 seq 10 permit le 24
To limit what your customers can announce to you. It is described
here: http://puck.nether.net/bgp/cisco-config.html

A more complete PKI based solution is being developed by the sidr working group at IETF. Here is several of the drafts others are available at ietf.org.


A good collection of BGP security papers is available here:

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Edwin Groothuis      |            Personal website: http://www.mavetju.org
edwin at mavetju.org    |              Weblog: http://www.mavetju.org/weblog/

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