Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2006/087

Analysis of the SPV Secure Routing Protocol: Weaknesses and Lessons

Barath Raghavan and Saurabh Panjwani and Anton Mityagin

Abstract: We analyze a secure routing protocol, Secure Path Vector (SPV), proposed in SIGCOMM 2004. SPV aims to provide authenticity for route announcements in the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) using an efficient alternative to ordinary digital signatures, called constant-time signatures. Today, SPV is often considered the best cryptographic defense for BGP.

We find subtle flaws in the design of SPV which lead to attacks that can be mounted by 60% of Autonomous Systems in the Internet. In addition, we study several of SPV's design decisions and assumptions and highlight the requirements for security of routing protocols. In light of our analysis, we reexamine the need for constant-time signatures and find that certain standard digital signature schemes can provide the same level of efficiency for route authenticity.

Category / Keywords: routing, signatures, BGP

Publication Info: ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review, April 2007

Date: received 6 Mar 2006, last revised 26 Apr 2007

Contact author: barath at cs ucsd edu

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Version: 20070426:075241 (All versions of this report)

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