CAIDA’s Annual Report for 2019

July 6th, 2020 by kc

The CAIDA annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2019, in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet mapping, performance measurement, security, economics, and policy. Our infrastructure, software development, and data sharing activities support measurement-based internet research, both at CAIDA and around the world, with focus on the health and integrity of the global Internet ecosystem. The executive summary is excerpted below:

This annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2019 in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet cartography, security and stability studies (of outages, performance, and vulnerabilities), economics, and policy. Our infrastructure, software development, and data sharing activities support measurement-based internet research, both at CAIDA and around the world, with focus on the health and integrity of the global Internet ecosystem.

Internet Mapping and Performance Measurement. We completed a study tracking IPv6 deployment over the last several decades, outlined open challenges in geolocation of BGP prefixes, and began to consider new approaches to inferring anycast prefixes. Our performance studies focused on mobile application performance, including one on the application of reinforcement learning to reconfigure edge networks to improve video streaming performance over wireless networks. We also continued development of our QUINCE system for correlating crowdsourced QOE measurement assessments with observed network performance across the same paths.

Monitoring Global Internet Security and Stability. We published several studies on outage detection, including the intentional use of DoS attacks to disrupt connectivity as a political act. We developed new methodologies for studying BGP hijacks, and in collaboration with MIT, published a study characterizing the behavior of “serial” BGP hijackers, providing insights about BGP hijacking events detected in the wild. We began a new project in collaboration with Dutch colleagues (co-funded by U.S. and Dutch governments) on mapping DNS-related DDoS vulnerabilities to improve protection of this vital core Internet infrastructure. We also continued our study of the state of source address validation (to prevent spoofed source attacks), including developing new methods to use IXP traffic data to expand visibility of compliance with source address validation best practices. We published our most important work thus far on the prospect of remediating this fundamental architectural vulnerability: a comprehensive analysis of deployment and characteristics of IP source address validation on the Internet since 2005, including an analysis of approaches taken to encouraging remediation and the challenges of evaluating their impact.

Economics and Policy. We published a series of instructional videos on Internet public policy topics, such as reasonable network management and network neutrality. We also published a preliminary although hopefully comprehensive annotated taxonomy of harms that arise in the Internet ecosystem, hoping to advance the rigor of conversations in today’s hectic and reactive Internet policy environment. In the same conference, we expanded on previous work describing the implications for regulation when platforms embed a layered communications architecture. Finally, our contribution to science policy this year: we developed a set of recommendations that the Internet scientific research community can undertake to initiate a cultural change toward reproducibility of our work.

Infrastructure Operations. We operate active and passive measurement infrastructure to provide visibility into global Internet behavior, and associated software tools that facilitate network research and security and stability analysis for the community. We continued to support the IODA platform for outage detection, and the underlying Network Telescope that serves as a data source to this platform. With accessibility as a goal, we are creating APIs to access many of our data services. With sustainability as a goal, we are migrating our data processing platforms to an OpenStack environment with a Swift storage back end. We tried to maintain the Ark active measurement infrastructure, and MANIC congestion measurement system although both ran out of funding this year. Unfortunately, we lost our backbone traffic monitor in January 2019 when the link upgraded to 100 GB, leaving our 10GB hardware incapable of capturing traces. This is our most popular data set by far in the research community; we will try to recover this capability in 2020, resources permitting.

New Projects. We began three new projects this year. The first is a collaboration with NPS to rigorously investigate, develop, and evaluate new strategies for large-scale IPv6 active mapping. This effort will include measurement strategies that can amplify topology measurement coverage by orders of magnitude; innovations in IPv6-specific algorithms to infer router-level topologies; and analysis and remediation of security and privacy risks that our measurements reveal. The second new project will develop a platform to enable discovery of the full potential value of massive raw Internet end-to-end path measurement (traceroute) data sets. Finally, we began Phase I of a project under NSF’s new Convergence Accelerator program to explore the feasibility of codifying an Open Knowledge Network (OKN) about properties of the Internet identifier system – the domain names and addresses that represent communication entities – and the rich structural relationships among these entities. We will have more to report on these projects in 2020. The proposals for all of our funded projects are available on our web site.

We engaged in a variety of tool development, data sharing, and outreach activities, including maintaining web sites, publishing 18 peer-reviewed papers, 2 workshop reports, 30 presentations, 6 blog entries. This report summarizes the status of our activities; details about our research are available in papers, presentations, and interactive resources on our web sites. We provide listings and links to software tools and data sets shared, and statistics reflecting their usage. Finally, we offer a “CAIDA in numbers” section: statistics on our performance, financial reporting, and supporting resources, including visiting scholars and students, and all funding sources.
CAIDA’s program plan for 2018-2021 is available at at www.caida.org/home/about/progplan/progplan2018/. Please feel free to send comments or questions to info at caida dot org. Please note the link to donate to CAIDA at the top of our web site; UC San Diego charges no overhead on donations; it all is tax-deductible and goes 100% to research!

For the full 2019 annual report, see https://www.caida.org/home/about/annualreports/2019/

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