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Chapter 6. Hardening IPv6 Network Device... > Threats Against Interior Routing Pro...

Threats Against Interior Routing Protocol

The control plane of a router involves the signaling protocols that are used to assist the network’s ability to function. At Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Layer 3, the signaling can be Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) or Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP), but it also includes the routing protocols the routers use to converge the IP forwarding database. The security of this communication is essential to the function of the entire IP network.

A router is simply a special-purpose computer that is optimized for forwarding packets toward destinations. The routing protocols that run on routers are applications listening to the network that can be vulnerable to attack just like any software that can be running on a computer. Routers are, therefore, susceptible to disruption attacks, attacks to consume their computing resources, and buffer overflow attacks. Routers could be disrupted and have their traffic rerouted in undetermined ways and otherwise controlled by the attacker. Routing loops, black holes, detours, asymmetry, and network partitioning all create DoS situations or suboptimal routing of packets. Routers can be bombarded with injections of extra updates, route requests, or traffic that could bog down their performance. The attacker’s goal is typically to put himself in the path of the traffic flow to perform man-in-the-middle attacks.


  

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