Three Mistakes in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Outage)
Yesterday, on 12.11.2018 a BGP configuration mistake happened at Mainone Cable Company (AS37282), a Nigerian ISP. It mainly hit two content providers: Google (AS15169, AS36384, AS36492, AS43515) and Cloudflare (AS13335). Leaked routes were accepted by its direct upstream, China Telecom (AS4809), further advertised in Russia to TTK (AS20485) and finally learned by NTT (AS2914) in Europe. After reaching the Tier-1 providers level leaked prefixes propagated globally, redirecting traffic to unusual Europe-Russia-China-Nigeria route.
That is a quote from one of my favorite bands. Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode is a living proof that you can say the word “wrong” 65 times in 5 minutes and still be a rock star. Let’s see how that’s going to work for me.
DDoS attacks mitigation in the wild requires various techniques to be tested and learned. Hardware and software network solutions need to be tested in artificial environments close to real-life ones, with massive traffic streams imitating attacks. Without such experience, one would never acknowledge the specific capabilities and limitations every sophisticated tool has.
In this article, we are going to disclose certain methods of traffic generation used in Qrator Labs.
We notoriously advise any and every reader not to try any offensive use of the tools we write about in this research. Organization of DoS attacks is legally persecuted and could lead to lengthy imprisonment. Qrator Labs responsibly conducts all tests within an isolated laboratory environment.
The report explains how the outage of a single AS affects the global connectivity of the region, especially when it is the biggest ISP of a given country. Internet connectivity at the network level is driven by the interaction between autonomous systems (AS’s). As the number of alternate routes between AS’s increases, so goes the fault-resistance and stability of the internet in a given country. However, some paths become more important than others and having as many alternate routes as possible is the only viable way ensure the system is adequately robust.
The global connectivity of any AS, regardless of whether it is a minor provider or an international giant, depends on the quantity and quality of its paths to Tier-1 ISP’s. Usually, Tier-1 implies an international company offering global IP transit service over connections to other Tier-1 providers. But there is no obligation to maintain such connectivity. Only the market can motivate them to peer with other Tier-1’s to deliver the highest quality service. Is that motivation enough? We explore this question in the IPv6 section below. If an ISP loses its connection to at least one of its Tier-1 peers, it would likely become unreachable in some parts of the world.
For the last 30 years basic idea behind the Internet’ design hasn’t changed - it connects people and services with each other. However, some authorities may have a different angle on what services their citizens should be able to connect to. A regulator might require ISPs to block off selected content or IP-address space for the end-users. How is that implemented? There are many options, but the most popular one is with the help of static routes, that may be propagated locally in BGP. Mistakes in this ‘local propagation’ have happened before: most notable was the YouTube hijack back in 2008, but less famous events were continually happening all over the decade. Today we observed another one, created by Iranian ISP that affected Telegram messenger.
During the World Cup 2018 active period traffic of online stores has decreased by almost 1.5 times. Online games and Forex sites attendance felt even stronger, Qrator Labs found. The days of Russian team’s plays made the drop even more pronounced and evident. Such dynamics are tied not only to the popularity of football matches but also the holiday season, explain market participants.
Dear colleagues, we are glad to inform you that our team has finished integration with IRR data sources and ROA records. It should significantly increase the quality of hijacks detection, plus improve transparency of what is happening to route objects in different registries.
Recently, several severe routing incidents were spreading globally: hijack of the 5% of an entire IPv4 address space from Brazil, route leak between Russia and Asia through Kyrgyzstan, and at last, previous Friday there was an event that could lead to an outage of a significant part of all the BGP ecosystem. Fortunately, it didn’t happen.
A few days ago several cybersecurity resources reported details of an entirely malicious traffic redirection that combined DNS, and BGP hijacking. The primary goal of this attack was to steal money from different cryptocurrency wallets and services. Moreover, it was successful, since Amazon did not detect it in time. Today, on April 26, another significant incident happened that seems to be also unnoticed by the majority of players.
The situation we observed last week was both peculiar and strange when panic for Cisco Smart Install Protocol remote code execution vulnerability (cisco-sa-20160323-smi) started circling. There was confirmed botnet activity that was wiping configuration files exploiting this vulnerability and leaving a message “Don’t mess with our elections.” Moreover, there were rumors that significant amount of ISPs and even Internet segments get down due to this malicious actions.