Archive for the 'Security' Category

CAIDA’s Annual Report for 2017

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 by kc

The CAIDA annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2017, in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet topology, routing, security, economics, future Internet architectures, 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:

We lead with the two most exciting pieces of news. First, CAIDA celebrated its 20th anniversary this year! Perhaps no one, least of all us, thought we could keep it going this long, but each year seems to get better! Second, CAIDA director kc experienced the greatest honor of her career this year when she received the Internet Society’s Postel Service Award!

On to this year’s annual report, which summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2017, in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet topology mapping, security and stability measurement studies (of outages, interconnection performance, and configuration vulnerabilities), economics, future Internet architectures, 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 Performance Measurement. This year we leveraged our years of investment in topology measurement and analytic techniques to advance research on performance, reliability, resilience, security, and economic weaknesses of critical Internet infrastructure. We continued our study of interconnection congestion, which requires maintaining significant software, hardware, and data processing infrastructure for years to observe, calibrate and analyze trends. We also undertook several research efforts in how to identify and characterize different types of congestion and associated effects on quality of experience using a variety of our own and other (e.g., M-Lab) data.

Monitoring Global Internet Security and Stability.
Our research accomplishments in Internet security and stability monitoring in 2017 included: (1) characterizing the Denial-of-Service ecosystems, and attempts to mitigate DoS attacks via BGP blackholing; (2) continued support for the Spoofer project, including supporting the existing Spoofer measurement platform as well as developing and applying new methods to expand visibility of compliance with source address validation best practices; (3) demonstrating the continued prevalence of that long-standing TCP vulnerabilities on the global Internet; (4) new methods to identify router outages and quantify their impact on Internet resiliency; (5) a new project to quantify country-level vulnerabilities to connectivity disruptions and manipulations.

Future Internet Research. We continued to engage in long-term studies of IPv6 evolution, including adaptation of IPv4 technology to IPv4 address scarcity (e.g., CGN), and detecting Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN) in U.S. ISP networks, as well as an updated longitudinal study of IPv6 deployment. We pared down our participation in the NDN project while we wait for some NSF-funded code development to complete. We hope we will be able to use this software platform to evaluate NDN’s use in secure data sharing scenarios.

Economics and Policy. We undertook two studies related to the political and economic forces influencing interconnection in Africa, as well as several other studies on the economic modeling of peering that we are determined to publish in 2018. We also held a lively workshop on Internet economics where we continued the discussion on what a future Internet regulatory framework should look like.

Infrastructure Operations. We continued to operate active and passive measurement infrastructure with visibility into global Internet behavior, and associated software tools that facilitate network research and security vulnerability analysis for the community. We also maintained data analytics platforms for Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA) and BGP data analytics (BGPStream). We are excited about a new project we started late in 2017 (PANDA) to support integration of several of our existing measurement and data analytics platforms.

Outreach. As always, we engaged in a variety of outreach activities, including maintaining web sites, posting blog entries, publishing 14 peer-reviewed papers, 2 technical reports, 2 workshop reports, making 31 presentations, and organizing 5 workshops (and hositng 4 of them). We also received several honors from the community: an IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize for our BGPStream work in March, and kc received the Postel Service Award in November!

This report summarizes the status of our activities; details about our research are available in papers, presentations, our blog, and interactive resources on our web sites. We also 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.

Getting the next decade off to a hopefully auspicious start, CAIDA’s new program plan for 2018-2022 is available at www.caida.org/home/about/progplan/progplan2018/. Please feel free to send comments or questions to info at caida dot org.

For the full 2017 annual report, see http://www.caida.org/home/about/annualreports/2017/

CAIDA’s 2016 Annual Report

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 by kc

[Executive summary and link below]

The CAIDA annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2016, in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet topology, routing, security, economics, future Internet architectures, 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:

Mapping the Internet. We continued to expand our topology mapping capabilities using our Ark measurement infrastructure. We improved the accuracy and sophistication of our topology annotations, including classification of ISPs, business relationships between them, and geographic mapping of interdomain links that implement these relationships. We released two Internet Topology Data Kits (ITDKs) incorporating these advances.

Mapping Interconnection Connectivity and Congestion. We continued our collaboration with MIT to map the rich mesh of interconnection in the Internet in order to study congestion induced by evolving peering and traffic management practices of CDNs and access ISPs. We focused our efforts on the challenge of detecting and localizing congestion to specific points in between networks. We developed new tools to scale measurements to a much wider set of available nodes. We also implemented a new database and graphing platform to allow us to interactively explore our topology and performance measurements. We produced related data collection and analyses to enable evaluation of these measurements in the larger context of the evolving ecosystem: infrastructure resiliency, economic tussles, and public policy.

Monitoring Global Internet Security and Stability. We conducted infrastructure research and development projects that focus on security and stability aspects of the global Internet. We developed continuous fine-grained monitoring capabilities establishing a baseline connectivity awareness against which to interpret observed changes due to network outages or route hijacks. We released (in beta form) a new operational prototype service that monitors the Internet, in near-real-time, and helps identify macroscopic Internet outages affecting the edge of the network.

CAIDA also developed new client tools for measuring IPv4 and IPv6 spoofing capabilities, along with services that provide reporting and allow users to opt-in or out of sharing the data publicly.

Future Internet Architectures. We continued studies of IPv4 and IPv6 paths in the Internet, including topological congruency, stability, and RTT performance. We examined the state of security policies in IPv6 networks, and collaborated to measure CGN deployment in U.S. broadband networks. We also continued our collaboration with researchers at several other universities to advance development of a new Internet architecture: Named Data Networking (NDN) and published a paper on the policy and social implications of an NDN-based Internet.

Public Policy. Acting as an Independent Measurement Expert, we posted our agreed-upon revised methodology for measurement methods and reporting requirements related to AT&T Inc. and DirecTV merger (MB Docket No. 14-90). We published our proposed method and a companion justification document. Inspired by this experience and a range of contradicting claims about interconnection performance, we introduced a new model describing measurements of interconnection links of access providers, and demonstrated how it can guide sound interpretation of interconnection-related measurements regardless of their source.

Infrastructure operations. It was an unprecedented year for CAIDA from an infrastructure development perspective. We continued support for our existing active and passive measurement infrastructure to provide visibility into global Internet behavior, and associated software tools and platforms that facilitate network research and operational assessments.

We made available several data services that have been years in the making: our prototype Internet Outage Detection and Analysis service, with several underlying components released as open source; the Periscope platform to unify and scale querying of thousands of looking glass nodes on the global Internet; our large-scale Internet topology query system (Henya); and our Spoofer system for measurement and analysis of source address validation across the global Internet. Unfortunately, due to continual network upgrades, we lost access to our 10GB backbone traffic monitoring infrastructure. Now we are considering approaches to acquire new monitors capable of packet capture on 100GB links.

As always, we engaged in a variety of tool development, and outreach activities, including maintaining web sites, publishing 13 peer-reviewed papers, 3 technical reports, 4 workshop reports, one (our first) BGP hackathon report, 31 presentations, 20 blog entries, and hosting 6 workshops (including the hackathon). 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 also provide listings and links to software tools and data sets shared, and statistics reflecting their usage. Finally, we report on web site usage, personnel, and financial information, to provide the public a better idea of what CAIDA is and does.

For the full 2016 annual report, see http://www.caida.org/home/about/annualreports/2016/

Why IP source address spoofing is a problem and how you can help.

Friday, March 24th, 2017 by Bradley Huffaker

video: http://www.caida.org/publications/animations/security/spoofer-sav-intro
information: Software Systems for Surveying Spoofing Susceptibility
download: https://spoofer.caida.org/

This material is based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/HSARPA/CSD) BAA HSHQDC-14-R-B0005, and the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland via contract number D15PC00188. Views should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Government, or the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Help save the Internet: Install the new Spoofer client (v1.1.0)!

Sunday, December 18th, 2016 by Josh Polterock

The greatest security vulnerability of the Internet (TCP/IP) architecture is the lack of source address validation, i.e., any sender may put a fake source address in a packet, and the destination-based routing protocols that glue together the global Internet will get that packet to its intended destination. Attackers exploit this vulnerability by sending many (millions of) spoofed-source-address packets to services on the Internet they wish to disrupt (or take offline altogether). Attackers can further leverage intermediate servers to amplify such packets into even larger packets that will cause greater disruption for the same effort on the attacker’s part.

Although the IETF recommended best practices to mitigate this vulnerability by configuring routers to validate that source addresses in packets are legitimate, compliance with such practices (BCP38 and BCP84) are notoriously incentive-incompatible. That is, source address validation (SAV) can be a burden to a network who supports it, but its deployment by definition helps not that network but other networks who are thus protected from spoofed-source attacks from that network. Nonetheless, any network who does not deploy BCP38 is “part of the DDoS problem”.

Over the past several months, CAIDA, in collaboration with Matthew Luckie at the University of Waikato, has upgraded Rob Beverly’s original spoofing measurement system, developing new client tools for measuring IPv4 and IPv6 spoofing capabilities, along with services that provide reporting and allow users to opt-in or out of sharing the data publicly. To find out if your network provider(s), or any network you are visiting, implements filtering and allow IP spoofing, point your web browser at http://spoofer.caida.org/ and install our simple client.

This newly released spoofer v1.1.0 client has implemented parallel probing of targets, providing a 5x increase in speed to complete the test, relative to v.1.0. Among other changes, this new prober uses scamper instead of traceroute when possible, and has improved display of results. The installer for Microsoft Windows now configures Windows Firewall.

For more technical details about the problem of IP spoofing and our approach to measurement, reporting, notifications and remediation, see the slides from Matthew Luckie’s recent slideset, “Software Systems for Surveying Spoofing Susceptibility”, presented to the Australian Network Operators Group (AusNOG) in September 2016.

The project web page reports recently run tests from clients willing to share data publicly, test results classified by Autonomous System (AS) and by country, and a summary statistics of IP spoofing over time. We will enhance these reports over the coming months.

This material is based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/HSARPA/CSD) BAA HSHQDC-14-R-B0005, and the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland via contract number D15PC00188. Views should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Government, or the Government of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

CAIDA’s 2015 Annual Report

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 by kc

[Executive summary and link below]

The CAIDA annual report summarizes CAIDA’s activities for 2015, in the areas of research, infrastructure, data collection and analysis. Our research projects span Internet topology, routing, security, economics, future Internet architectures, 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:

Mapping the Internet. We continued to pursue Internet cartography, improving our IPv4 and IPv6 topology mapping capabilities using our expanding and extensible Ark measurement infrastructure. We improved the accuracy and sophistication of our topology annotation capabilities, including classification of ISPs and their business relationships. Using our evolving IP address alias resolution measurement system, we collected curated, and released another Internet Topology Data Kit (ITDK).

Mapping Interconnection Connectivity and Congestion.
We used the Ark infrastructure to support an ambitious collaboration with MIT to map the rich mesh of interconnection in the Internet, with a focus on congestion induced by evolving peering and traffic management practices of CDNs and access ISPs, including methods to detect and localize the congestion to specific points in networks. We undertook several studies to pursue different dimensions of this challenge: identification of interconnection borders from comprehensive measurements of the global Internet topology; identification of the actual physical location (facility) of an interconnection in specific circumstances; and mapping observed evidence of congestion at points of interconnection. We continued producing other related data collection and analysis to enable evaluation of these measurements in the larger context of the evolving ecosystem: quantifying a given ISP’s global routing footprint; classification of autonomous systems (ASes) according to business type; and mapping ASes to their owning organizations. In parallel, we examined the peering ecosystem from an economic perspective, exploring fundamental weaknesses and systemic problems of the currently deployed economic framework of Internet interconnection that will continue to cause peering disputes between ASes.

Monitoring Global Internet Security and Stability. We conduct other global monitoring projects, which focus on security and stability aspects of the global Internet: traffic interception events (hijacks), macroscopic outages, and network filtering of spoofed packets. Each of these projects leverages the existing Ark infrastructure, but each has also required the development of new measurement and data aggregation and analysis tools and infrastructure, now at various stages of development. We were tremendously excited to finally finish and release BGPstream, a software framework for processing large amounts of historical and live BGP measurement data. BGPstream serves as one of several data analysis components of our outage-detection monitoring infrastructure, a prototype of which was operating at the end of the year. We published four other papers that either use or leverage the results of internet scanning and other unsolicited traffic to infer macroscopic properties of the Internet.

Future Internet Architectures. The current TCP/IP architecture is showing its age, and the slow uptake of its ostensible upgrade, IPv6, has inspired NSF and other research funding agencies around the world to invest in research on entirely new Internet architectures. We continue to help launch this moonshot from several angles — routing, security, testbed, management — while also pursuing and publishing results of six empirical studies of IPv6 deployment and evolution.

Public Policy. Our final research thrust is public policy, an area that expanded in 2015, due to requests from policymakers for empirical research results or guidance to inform industry tussles and telecommunication policies. Most notably, the FCC and AT&T selected CAIDA to be the Independent Measurement Expert in the context of the AT&T/DirecTV merger, which turned out to be as much of a challenge as it was an honor. We also published three position papers each aimed at optimizing different public policy outcomes in the face of a rapidly evolving information and communication technology landscape. We contributed to the development of frameworks for ethical assessment of Internet measurement research methods.

Our infrastructure operations activities also grew this year. We continued to operate active and passive measurement infrastructure with visibility into global Internet behavior, and associated software tools that facilitate network research and security vulnerability analysis. In addition to BGPstream, we expanded our infrastructure activities to include a client-server system for allowing measurement of compliance with BCP38 (ingress filtering best practices) across government, research, and commercial networks, and analysis of resulting data in support of compliance efforts. Our 2014 efforts to expand our data sharing efforts by making older topology and some traffic data sets public have dramatically increased use of our data, reflected in our data sharing statistics. In addition, we were happy to help launch DHS’ new IMPACT data sharing initiative toward the end of the year.

Finally, as always, we engaged in a variety of tool development, and outreach activities, including maintaining web sites, publishing 27 peer-reviewed papers, 3 technical reports, 3 workshop reports, 33 presentations, 14 blog entries, and hosting 5 workshops. 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 also provide listings and links to software tools and data sets shared, and statistics reflecting their usage. sources. 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.

For the full 2015 annual report, see http://www.caida.org/home/about/annualreports/2015/

1st CAIDA BGP Hackathon brings students and community experts together

Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Josh Polterock

We set out to conduct a social experiment of sorts, to host a hackathon to hack streaming BGP data. We had no idea we would get such an enthusiastic reaction from the community and that we would reach capacity. We were pleasantly surprised at the response to our invitations when 25 experts came to interact with 50 researchers and practitioners (30 of whom were graduate students). We felt honored to have participants from 15 countries around the world and experts from companies such as Cisco, Comcast, Google, Facebook and NTT, who came to share their knowledge and to help guide and assist our challenge teams.

Having so many domain experts from so many institutions and companies with deep technical understanding of the BGP ecosystem together in one room greatly increased the kinetic potential for what we might accomplish over the course of our two days.

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Panel on Cyberwarfare and Cyberattacks at 9th Circuit Judicial Conference

Monday, July 20th, 2015 by kc

I had the honor of contributing to a panel on “Cyberwarfare and cyberattacks: protecting ourselves within existing limitations” at this year’s 9th Circuit Judicial Conference. The panel moderator was Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman, and the other panelists were Professor Peter Cowhey, of UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, and Professor and Lt. Col. Shane R. Reeves of West Point Academy. Lt. Col. Reeves gave a brief primer on the framework of the Law of Armed Conflict, distinguished an act of cyberwar from a cyberattack, and described the implications for political and legal constraints on governmental and private sector responses. Professor Cowhey followed with a perspective on how economic forces also constrain cybersecurity preparedness and response, drawing comparisons with other industries for which the cost of security technology is perceived to exceed its benefit by those who must invest in its deployment. I used a visualization of an Internet-wide cybersecurity event to illustrate technical, economic, and legal dimensions of the ecosystem that render the fundamental vulnerabilities of today’s Internet infrastructure so persistent and pernicious. A few people said I talked too fast for them to understand all the points I was trying to make, so I thought I should post the notes I used during my panel remarks. (My remarks borrowed heavily from Dan Geer’s two essays: Cybersecurity and National Policy (2010), and his more recent Cybersecurity as Realpolitik (video), both of which I highly recommend.) After explaining the basic concept of a botnet, I showed a video derived from CAIDA’s analysis of a botnet scanning the entire IPv4 address space (discovered and comprehensively analyzed by Alberto Dainotti and Alistair King). I gave a (too) quick rundown of the technological, economic, and legal circumstances of the Internet ecosystem that facilitate the deployment of botnets and other threats to networked critical infrastructure.
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DHS S&T PREDICT PI Meeting, Marina del Rey, CA

Friday, June 6th, 2014 by Josh Polterock

On 28-29 May 2014, DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) held a meeting of the Principal Investigators of the PREDICT (Protected Repository for the Defense of Infrastructure Against Cyber Threats) Project, an initiative to facilitate the accessibility of computer and network operational data for use in cybersecurity defensive R&D. The project is a three-way partnership among government, critical information infrastructure providers, and security development communities (both academic and commercial), all of whom seek technical solutions to protect the public and private information infrastructure. The primary goal of PREDICT is to bridge the gap between producers of security-relevant network operations data and technology developers and evaluators who can leverage this data to accelerate the design, production, and evaluation of next-generation cybersecurity solutions.

In addition to presenting project updates, each PI presented on a special topic suggested by Program Manager Doug Maughan. I presented some reflective thoughts on 10 Years Later: What Would I Have done Differently? (Or what would I do today?). In this presentation, I revisited my 2008 top ten list of things lawyers should know about the Internet to frame some proposed forward-looking strategies for the PREDICT project in 2014.

Also noted at the meeting, DHS recently released a new broad agency announcement (BAA) that will contractually require investigators contribute into PREDICT any data created or used in testing and evaluation of the funded work (if the investigator has redistribution rights, and subject to appropriate disclosure control).

Carna botnet scans confirmed

Monday, May 13th, 2013 by Alistair King

On March 17, 2013, the authors of an anonymous email to the “Full Disclosure” mailing list announced that last year they conducted a full probing of the entire IPv4 Internet. They claimed they used a botnet (named “carna” botnet) created by infecting machines vulnerable due to use of default login/password pairs (e.g., admin/admin). The botnet instructed each of these machines to execute a portion of the scan and then transfer the results to a central server. The authors also published a detailed description of how they operated, along with 9TB of raw logs of the scanning activity.

Online magazines and newspapers reported the news, which triggered some debate in the research community about the ethical implications of using such data for research purposes. A more fundamental question received less attention: since the authors went out of their way to remain anonymous, and the only data available about this event is the data they provide, how do we know this scan actually happened? If it did, how do we know that the resulting data is correct?

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Correlation between country governance regimes and the reputation of their Internet (IP) address allocations

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by Bradley Huffaker

[While getting our feet wet with D3 (what a wonderful tool!), we finally tried this analysis tidbit that’s been on our list for a while.]

We recently analyzed the reputation of a country’s Internet (IPv4) addresses by examining the number of blacklisted IPv4 addresses that geolocate to a given country. We compared this indicator with two qualitative measures of each country’s governance. We hypothesized that countries with more transparent, democratic governmental institutions would harbor a smaller fraction of misbehaving (blacklisted) hosts. The available data confirms this hypothesis. A similar correlation exists between perceived corruption and fraction of blacklisted IP addresses.

For more details of data sources and analysis, see:
http://www.caida.org/research/policy/country-level-ip-reputation/

x:Corruption Perceptions Index
y:IP population %
x:Democracy Index
y:IP population %
x:Democracy Index
y:IP infection %

Interactive graph and analysis on the CAIDA website