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Network Working Group                                         Russ White
Internet Draft                                                  (editor)
Expiration Date: November 2003                             Cisco Systems
File Name: draft-white-sobgp-bgp-deployment-01.txt             June 2003

        Deployment Considerations for Secure Origin BGP (soBGP)

   Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its Areas, and its Working Groups. Note that other
   groups may also distribute working documents as Internet Drafts.

   Internet Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
   months.  Internet Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by
   other documents at any time. It is not appropriate to use Internet
   Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as a "working
   draft" or "work in progress".

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

1. Contributors

   A large number of people contributed to this draft; we've tried to
   include all of them here (but might have missed a few): James Ng, Tim
   Gage, Alvaro Retana, Dave Cook, Brian Weiss, and Iljitsch van

White, et. all                                                  [Page 1]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

2. Abstract

   There is a great deal of concern over the security of routing systems
   within the Internet, particularly in relation to the Border Gateway
   Protocol [BGP], which is used to provide routing information between
   autonomous systems. This draft addresses various deployment scenarios
   and options using the extensions to BGP outlined in [SOBGP-BGP] in
   conjunction with [SOBGP-CERTIFICATE] (which is not yet completed or
   published) and [SOBGP-RADIUS]. Each section of this draft discusses a
   different deployment situation or deployment option. The final
   section discusses how private key rollovers can be accomplished with
   no loss of routing information within soBGP deployments.

3. Overview of the Deployment Scenarios

   Each section below discusses a possible deployment option for soBGP;
   each could be seen as a separate deployment option, or they could be
   seen as a set of incremental steps from a very simple soBGP
   deployment in a small network to a large soBGP deployment across an

4. Deploying soBGP within Single Devices Along Autonomous System Edges

   In it's simplest form, soBGP can be deployed entirely within BGP
   speakers at the edge of an Autonomous System (AS).

   +-(eBGP)-+           +-(eBGP)-+
   |        |           |        |
   v        v           v        V


            ^           ^
            |           |

   In this network, A is sending all the certificates it has learned
   from other sources to B using the SECURITY message type. It is
   passing these certificates to D via iBGP, and D is passing these
   certificates to E via eBGP.

White, et. all                                                  [Page 2]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

5. Deploying soBGP with Certificate Distribution Within the BGP Protocol
   and Reflection within an AS

   A slightly more complex deployment would continue to distribute the
   certificates through the BGP protocol, using the SECURITY message
   type outlined in [SOBGP-BGP], but would offload the work of
   validating the information to a locally reachable server running

   +-(eBGP)-+|          |+-(eBGP)-+
   |        ||          ||        |
   v        vv          vv        V

             \         /
            ^ \       / ^
            |  \     /  |
            |   +-F-+   |
            |  (Server) |
            |   ^   ^   |
            |   |   |   |
         (iBGP)-+   +-(iBGP)

   In this network, A is sending soBGP certificates towards B, along
   with routing updates and other information. While B is peering
   through iBGP with D, it is not sending soBGP certificates through
   this iBGP session; it does not negotiate sending the SECURITY message
   type to D. B is peering through iBGP to F, a server, but only
   negotiates carrying the SECURITY message type along this session, so
   that F only receives soBGP certificates, and no routing updates. F
   reflects these soBGP certificates to D, which then transmits them to

   It is also possible to bypass the edge routers in distributing the
   soBGP certificates within the SECURITY message type.

   +-(eBGP)-+|          |+-(eBGP)-+
   |        ||          ||        |
   v        vv          vv        V

             \         /
   ^          \       /          ^
   |           \     /           |
   |            +-F-+            |
   |           (Server)          |

White, et. all                                                  [Page 3]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

   |            ^   ^            |
   |            |   |            |
   +-----(eBGP)-+   +-(eBGP)-----+

   Here, A and B are peering using eBGP, but are only exchanging route
   information, and not the SECURITY message type. A and F are peering
   over a multihop eBGP session, and exchanging only the SECURITY
   message type. B and D no longer have any security information at all;
   they request information on the validity of any received route from F
   using the method described in [SOBGP-RADIUS].

   Since F is relying only on the interior routing within the local AS
   to reach the edge of the AS (to reach the link between A and B), the
   eBGP multihop session is not relying on routes learned from BGP
   itself to secure BGP.

   The eBGP session which F is learning from could also be multihop to
   another soBGP server in an adjacent AS, rather than to an edge

      +-(iBGP)-+          +--(iBGP)--+
      |        |+-(eBGP)-+|          |+-(eBGP)-+
      |        ||        ||          ||        |
      v        vv        vv          vv        V

      |                   \         /
      |                    \       /          ^
      H                     \     /           |
   (Server)                  +-F-+            |
      ^                     (Server)          |
      |                      ^   ^            |
      |                      |   |            |
      +---------------(eBGP)-+   +-(eBGP)-----+

   Now, H, A, B, C, D, and E are all exchanging NLRI information only,
   while F and G are exchanging only SECURITY messages. In this case, B
   must be manually configured to trust the route to G learned from A,
   and A must be manually configured to trust the route to F learned
   from B (or they must use static routing, or some sort of temporary
   acceptance of the learned routes until the SECURITY messages are all
   exchanged), to prevent the circularity problem mentioned above. This
   is more complex than the previous deployment options discussed above.

White, et. all                                                  [Page 4]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

6. Multihoming Deployment

   Multihoming presents a special challenge to the deployment of soBGP
   within a large scale internetwork.

     (---------)            (---------)
    (  AS65401  )          (  AS65402  )
   (             )        (             )
    (           )          (           )
      (---A---)              (---B---)
          |                      |
           \                    /
            \-----+      +-----/
                  |      |
              (              )
               (   No AS    )

   Assume No AS has obtained a block of addresses,, from
   AS65401, and would like to advertise that same block of addresses
   through AS65402. Since NOAS has no AS number, it cannot generate any
   soBGP certificates, and must rely on its upstream providers to work
   out the security impact in some way. The simplest solution would be,
   of course, for NOAS to obtain an AS number, and fully participate in
   soBGP, but barring that, what other solutions are there?

   AS65401 could issue a certificate allowing AS65402 to originate just
   the prefix in question,, or AS65401 could simply list
   AS65402 in the certificate covering as an authorized
   originator for this address space (as multiple authorized originators
   are allowed).

   Proxy Advertisement of Certificates

   Note there is no requirement for a given entity which originates
   routes into the routing system to actually originate the
   corresponding certificates required for the correct origination of
   the route to be validated, and the AS Path attached to the route to
   be verified.

            ( Other Third Party )
               /             \
              /               \
     (---------)            (---------)
    (  AS65401  )          (  AS65402  )

White, et. all                                                  [Page 5]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

   (             )        (             )
    (           )          (           )
      (---A---)              (---B---)
          |                      |
           \                    /
            \-----+      +-----/
                  |      |
              (              )
               (  AS65403   )

   In this case, AS65401, AS65402, or some other third part may actually
   advertise the certificates necessary for AS65403 to originate
   validated routes.

7. Certificate Generation and Private Key Protection

   There is only one private/public key pair per entity; certificates
   are generated as determined by local policy and as required to
   account for changes in the network. Since the entity's private key is
   not used in any part of the operations verifying received
   information, or in generating information to transmit to other
   devices, these certificates could be generated on some secure central
   system in the AS, and the results, containing only public keys, can
   be transmitted throughout the network.

   Securing the private key of each entity should be relatively easy in
   this environment, since the location of the private key can be
   carefully constrained; no device other than the system which
   generates the required certificates needs use of the private key.

8. Impact on Performance and Memory Utilization

   Very little to no research has been done on the actual performance
   and memory utilization characterisitics of soBGP as outlined in this
   and other documents. However, as this is an important area of
   consideration, we present some suggested analysis below. (In other
   words, this is a guess).

   In terms of memory, each device running sobGP will need to store:

        o    Each of the Entitycerts Received. The maximum number of
             Entitycerts within the routing system would be the number
             participating autonomous systems multiplied by the number
             of outstanding Entitycerts from each autonomous system.

White, et. all                                                  [Page 6]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

             This will probably be, at most, three Entitycerts per AS,
             with a current maximum of 65,000 autonomous systems.

        o    Each of the ASPolicycerts (and Their Fragments) Received.
             The number of ASPolicycerts within the system will probably
             be similar to the number of Entitycerts within the system,
             possibly twice as many, given there is only one Policycert
             valid for any given AS at any time.

        o    Each of the PrefixPolicycerts Received. The number of Pre-
             fixPolicyCerts within the system will depend on the number
             of address blocks each participant in the routing system
             advertises, and will double during key rollover. This could
             grow to some large number, possibly eight or ten times the
             number of autonomous systems participating in the routing

   Performance will depend on the amount of cryptographic work required
   and the amount of validation which is done on each route checked. If
   all the steps taken in validating the various certificates are taken
   during network convergence, it would slow down convergence, possibly

   However, it is possible to deploy soBGP in various other modes, such

   o    Receive and prebuild all information needed to validate incoming
        routes before any routes are received, so that no cryptographic
        operations need to take place when receiving routes.

   o    Receive and accept all routes, then receive and build the vali-
        dation information required to check that the information
        received was accurate.

   o    Allow some secondary device to perform all cryptographic func-
        tions, building the validation information needed as convergence
        is taking place. Check the validity of prefixes after conver-
        gence has occured.

   Assuming that some combination of optimizations are used, such as
   precalculating the authorization data, and performing all validation
   checks after network convergence has occured. Because there are no
   cryptographic functions which need to be performed while transmitting
   routes, we anticipate that there will be very little impact on net-
   work performance through the adoption of these drafts.

White, et. all                                                  [Page 7]

INTERNET DRAFT      soBGP Deployment Considerations            June 2003

9. References

   [BGP]Rekhter, Y., and T. Li, "A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)",
        RFC 1771, March 1995.

        Ng J (editor), "Extensions to BGP to Support Secure Origin BGP
        (soBGP)", Draft-ng-sobgp-deployment-01.doc, November 2002

10. Editor's Address

   Russ White
   Cisco Systems
   7025 Kit Creek Road
   Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

White, et. all                                                  [Page 8]

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