Locating prefix hijackers using LOCK

  • Authors:
  • Tongqing Qiu;Lusheng Ji;Dan Pei;Jia Wang;Jun Xu;Hitesh Ballani

  • Affiliations:
  • Georgia Tech;AT&T Labs - Research;AT&T Labs - Research;AT&T Labs - Research;Georgia Tech;Cornell University

  • Venue:
  • SSYM'09 Proceedings of the 18th conference on USENIX security symposium
  • Year:
  • 2009

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Prefix hijacking is one of the top known threats on today's Internet. A number of measurement based solutions have been proposed to detect prefix hijacking events. In this paper we take these solutions one step further by addressing the problem of locating the attacker in each of the detected hijacking event. Being able to locate the attacker is critical for conducting necessary mitigation mechanisms at the earliest possible time to limit the impact of the attack, successfully stopping the attack and restoring the service. We propose a robust scheme named LOCK, for LOCating the prefix hijacKer ASes based on distributed Internet measurements. LOCK locates each attacker AS by actively monitoring paths (either in the control-plane or in the data-plane) to the victim prefix from a small number of carefully selected monitors distributed on the Internet. Moreover, LOCK is robust against various countermeasures that the hijackers may employ. This is achieved by taking advantage of two observations: that the hijacker cannot manipulate AS path before the path reaches the hijacker, and that the paths to victim prefix "converge" around the hijacker AS. We have deployed LOCK on a number of PlanetLab nodes and conducted several large scale measurements and experiments to evaluate the performance. Our results show that LOCK is able to pinpoint the prefix hijacker AS with an accuracy up to 94.3%.