rpkiller: Threat Analysis of the BGP Resource Public Key Infrastructure

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The Resource Public Key Infrastucture (RPKI) has been created to solve security shortcomings of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This creates an infrastructure where resource holders (autonomous systems) can make attestations about their resources (IP-subnets). RPKI Certificate Authorities make these attestations available at Publication Points. Relying Party software retrieves and processes the RPKI-related data from all publication points, validates the data and makes it available to routers so they can make secure routing decisions. We contribute to this work by doing a threat analysis for Relying Party software, where an attacker controls a Certificate Authority and Publication Point. We implement a prototype testbed to analyse how current Relying Party software implementations react to scenarios originating from that threat model.

Our results show that all current Relying Party software was susceptible to at least one of the identified threats. In addition to this, we also identified threats stemming from choices made in the protocol itself. Taken together, these threats potentially allowed an attacker to fully disrupt all RPKI Relying Party software on a global scale. We elaborate on our process, and we discuss the types of responses we received from other parties. We performed a Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure to the implementers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalDigital Threats
Issue number4
Early online date20 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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