The Transition to BGP Security: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Sharon Goldberg, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Boston University

Video of lecture


Goldberg Sharon

The Internet’s interdomain routing system is notoriously insecure. After more than a decade of effort, we are finally seeing the initial deployment of the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI), which certifies IP address allocations using a centralized infrastructure of trusted authorities. To further improve security, standards bodies are developing BGPSEC, a protocol for certifying advertised routes.

In this talk, I discuss the challenges of transitioning from legacy BGP to the RPKI and then to BGPSEC. I argue that transitioning to the RPKI is the most crucial step from a security perspective, but that it raises new technical and policy challenges. My argument is based on (1) our theoretical and experimental analysis of the security benefits of BGPSEC during the transition, when BGPSEC coexists alongside legacy insecure BGP, and (2) an analysis of the RPKI in a threat model where its trusted authorities are misconfigured, compromised, or compelled (e.g. by governments) to misbehave.

Joint work with Kyle Brogle, Danny Cooper, Ethan Heilman, Robert Lychev, Leonid Reyzin and Michael Schapira appearing at SIGCOMM’13 and HotNets’13.


Sharon Goldberg is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Boston University. Her research focuses on finding practical solutions to problems in network security. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2009, her B.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2003, and has worked as a researcher at IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft, and an engineer at Bell Canada and Hydro One Networks.