CAIDA’s 2022 Annual Report

July 10th, 2023 by kc

The CAIDA annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2022 in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. The executive summary is excerpted below:

Research. Our research primarily focused on security, resilience, and performance studies of the underlying transport systems of the Internet: forwarding, BGP routing, naming (DNS), and TLS certificates. Each of these systems has critical flaws that leave the Internet ecosystem vulnerable to a variety of attacks. Our research in these areas focused on independent assessment of the extent of the problem and effectiveness of mitigations.

BGP Routing. Focused on the routing system, we used cryptographically authenticated RPKI information to analyze the inaccuracy of Internet Route Registries databases which are still commonly used to support route filtering to protect against hijacks and route leaks. We also analyzed what public blacklists can tell us about the effectiveness of IRR/RPKI as a routing security mechanism. Finally, We provided the first independent look into the efficacy of collective action efforts to advance routing security, revealing significant room for improvement.

DNS. We took a similar approach with the DNS, undertaking four studies to ascertain what an independent party can analyze regarding DNS vulnerabilities and their exploitation. Each study required joining one or more DNS data sets with other diverse sources of data – Internet wide scans, darknet traffic data, TLS certificates, BGP data, AS metadata, and geolocation data. One study introduced a new approach to analyzing the impact of (Distributed) Denial of Service attacks against DNS infrastructure. Another study measured longitudinal changes in the makeup of naming, hosting and certificate issuance for domains in the Russian Federation since the hostilities in Ukraine.

Traffic Analysis. We developed new collaborations to broaden the impact of our Network Telescope data, including collaborations that spanned industry, government, and academic stakeholders to compare phenomena seen with what is seen in industry honeypot data sources. The observations suggest a correlated high frequency concentration of suspicious sources that drifts on time scales of months. We began development of a new machine learning framework to scale event detection in this traffic data, and examined Internet-wide scan traffic through a reactive network telescope, finding that today’s scans are highly targeted and vary across regions.

Performance. We published a unified and configurable framework for facilitating automatic test execution and cross-layer analysis of test results for five major web-based speed test platforms, and applied it to investigate impediments to accuracy of latency measurements, which play a vital role in today’s speed tests. We also created a jitter-based congestion inference framework called Jitterbug, and applied it to a range of traffic scenarios to identify both recurrent and one-off congestion events.

Policy. We participated in policy research and discussions related to these security issues. We published an analysis of the role of measurement in informing public policy about the Internet, including different stakeholders’ approaches to measurements and associated challenges.
We also published a taxonomy of harms at the Internet transport layer and measurements that currently inform their analysis. We participated in FCC’s Notice of Inquiry related to routing security, which continues into 2023.

Infrastructure Operations and Design. Our NSF mid-scale design effort allowed us to make progress with our infrastructure, software development, and data sharing activities to support Internet research, both at CAIDA and around the world. We continued to support and enhance our infrastructure components that create data products in the most demand by the community, including Ark, AS Rank, AS-to-Org mapping, BGPStream, DNS Zone Database, Internet Topology Data Kit, MIDAR, Periscope, Spoofer, and the UCSD Network Telescope. We introduced new tools including an improved inference engine for hostname-based geolocation. We continued expanding our rich-context Resource Catalog for CAIDA Internet Data Science Resources. We engaged with partners from industry, academia, and government to gain insights into measurement needs and data acquisition infrastructure design.

Everything Else. As always, we engaged in a variety of tool development, data sharing, and outreach activities, including publishing 16 peer-reviewed papers. We provide select highlights in this report; details are available in papers, presentations, blog, and interactive resources on our web sites. We list and link to publications, tools and data sets shared. Finally, we offer a “CAIDA in numbers” section: statistics on our performance, collaborators, finances and funding sources.

We are still developing CAIDA’s program plan for 2023-2027. 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 is tax-deductible and goes 100% to research (no university overhead)!

For the full 2022 annual report, see

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