Using bursty announcements for detecting BGP routing anomalies

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P. Moriano, R. Hill, and L. J. Camp. Using bursty announcements for detecting BGP routing anomalies. Computer Networks, vol. 188, p. 107835, 2021.


Despite the robust structure of the Internet, it is still susceptible to disruptive routing updates that prevent network traffic from reaching its destination. Our research shows that BGP announcements that are associated with disruptive updates tend to occur in groups of relatively high frequency, followed by periods of infrequent activity. We hypothesize that we may use these bursty characteristics to detect anomalous routing incidents. In this work, we use manually verified ground truth metadata and volume of announcements as a baseline measure, and propose a burstiness measure that detects prior anomalous incidents with high recall and better precision than the volume baseline. We quantify the burstiness of inter-arrival times around the date and times of four large-scale incidents: the Indosat hijacking event in April 2014, the Telecom Malaysia leak in June 2015, the Bharti Airtel Ltd. hijack in November 2015, and the MainOne leak in November 2018; and three smaller scale incidents that led to traffic interception: the Belarusian traffic direction in February 2013, the Icelandic traffic direction in July 2013, and the Russian telecom that hijacked financial services in April 2017. Our method leverages the burstiness of disruptive update messages to detect these incidents. We describe limitations, open challenges, and how this method can be used for routing anomaly detection.

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Last Updated: February 1, 2021 - 4:12 pm