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The Threat of Deprecated BGP Attributes.

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posted on 2024-06-05, 17:06 authored by Leigh MetcalfLeigh Metcalf, Timur SnokeTimur Snoke

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing is a core part of the mechanism by which packets are routed on the Internet. BGP routing gets email to its destination, enables domain name service (DNS) to work, and web pages to load. An important aspect of routing is that packets cross boundaries of the many autonomously controlled networks that, together, comprise the Internet. This allowing us to access, for example, the Amazon website from a phone on the Verizon network. It allows military commanders to see pictures of troop transports in one location and pictures of tanks in another. The BGP protocol, though less well known than low-level protocols such as IP, TCP, and UDP, has a critical role in facilitating – and negotiating – the flows of packets among the many autonomous networks that comprise the Internet.Consequently, vulnerabilities in  the BGP protocol are a very big deal. We have a long-standing expectation that the Internet is robust, particularly with regard to the actions of the many organizations that operate portions of the network – and therefore that a system designed to keep the traffic flowing could only be disrupted by a very large event. In this SEI Blog post, we will examine how a small issue, a deprecated path attribute, can cause a major interruption to traffic.


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