June 10 – 13 , 2018, Dagstuhl Seminar 18242

Secure Routing for the Internet


Phillipa Gill (University of Massachusetts – Amherst, US)
Amir Herzberg (University of Connecticut – Storrs, US)
Adrian Perrig (ETH Zürich, CH)
Matthias Wählisch (FU Berlin, DE)

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Routing is a fundamental mechanism in communication networks, and its security is critical to ensure availability and prevent attacks; however, developing and deploying secure routing mechanism is still a challenge. Routing is the process by which information is passed via the communication network, from source to destination, via a series of intermediary nodes or routers. Routing attacks include route-hijacking, i.e., diverting traffic to an adversary-controlled router, as well as denial-of-service attacks exploiting the routing mechanism, i.e., preventing communication (in entire network, between specific parts, etc.), e.g., by malicious dropping of packets by a router. Routing, and even more secure routing, are complex problems, with many variants. In particular, the Internet is a federation of many domains (usually referred to as autonomous systems (ASes)), each managed by a separate organization (e.g., an Internet Service Provider (ISP)); there are separate standard protocols for routing inside an AS (Intra-domain routing) and for routing from a source in one AS to a destination in a different AS (Inter-domain routing). Significant efforts are dedicated to securing both Intra-domain routing protocols and Inter-domain routing protocols.

This Dagstuhl Seminar aims at bringing together, leading scientist in the area of secure routing, including scientists working on security of inter-AS routing, intra-AS routing, routing for future Internet designs, and on (secure) routing for highly-mobile scenarios including ad-hoc networks, sensor networks, robotic (swarm) networks, delay-tolerant networks and vehicular networks. To further stimulate discussion, the seminar will include also a number of prominent scientists and experts in the more general areas of network security, privacy/security, and future communication networks. At the same time, researchers and representatives from industry are invited to aid in understanding the requirements of practical routing security at Internet scale, with the hope of improving standardization and adoption of improved routing security mechanisms, and of improving the cooperation between academia and industry. The main topics which we plan to focus on in this seminar include:

  • Improving the security of the (existing) Internet's Inter-Domain Routing protocols. Inter-domain routing is challenging, as it involves multiple organizations, controlling different domains (autonomous systems); these organizations have different interests, often conflicting, and in particular may be competing or in political or other conflict. For several years already, there have been extensive standardization and deployment efforts, e.g., at the IETF’s SIDR working group, to improve the security of current inter-domain routing protocols. Progress has been made, but slower than anticipated and desired. In this topic, we will focus on understanding the challenges and exploring directions for improving adoption, possibly by new security mechanisms or modifications/extensions to existing proposals and standards.
  • New Inter-Domain Routing protocols with extended security and new requirements, including Quality of Service (QoS) and Denial of Service (DoS) requirements. An alternative approach is to change the routing protocols to new designs, designed to meet security requirements. This allows to support security requirements which inherently conflict with existing Internet routing. In particular, QoS routing is concerned with ensuring the well-defined and controllable behavior of the routing system with respect to quantitative performance parameters. However, QoS routing is typically investigated in absence of attacks and isolated from security considerations. In the presence of DoS attacks, the QoS of communications systems cannot be guaranteed in absence of suitable routing security solutions, yet, QoS and DoS are mostly regarded in isolated fashion in existing research work. This Dagstuhl Seminar aims at jointly investigating QoS and DoS aspects in routing security.
  • Intra-domain Routing Security. Much less effort has been directed at security of intra-domain routing mechanisms, since these are all under the control of the same organization. However, there are still security concerns, in particular, to deal with corruption of one or multiple routers; there are very few deployed intra-routing security mechanisms, and relatively few research-works in this area.
  • Routing Security in Mobile/Wireless Networks, and in Delay- and Disruption-tolerant Networks. Mobile and wireless networks come in many forms such as wireless sensor networks, mobile ad hoc or vehicular networks, etc. These networks typically build on mobile end systems with a low degree of physical security. The main challenge lies in the severe limitations of these systems in terms of computational capabilities or resources such as energy. Moreover, variability of network characteristics can be considered the norm rather than the exception, leading to delay- or disruption-tolerant communications. Existing solutions for secure routing cannot be considered as practical, hence, new and tailored solutions towards secure routing for mobile and wireless networks have to be designed.
  • Anonymous and Privacy-preserving Routing. Insecure routing systems facilitate surveillance as has been demonstrated by the information made public by Edward Snowden. In today’s Internet, the amount of data that can be gathered about individual users is unprecedented and leads to concerns about user’s privacy. New solutions for anonymous and privacy preserving routing have to take into account stronger adversary models, and include privacy preservation and anonymity protection directly into the routing mechanism.

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Phillipa Gill, Amir Herzberg, Adrian Perrig, and Matthias Wählisch

Related Dagstuhl Seminar


  • Networks
  • Security / Cryptology


  • Internet security
  • Secure routing
  • Communication networks
  • Future internet
  • Privacy and anonymity
  • Mobile and wireless networks

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