The Map-and-Encap Locator/Identifier Separation Paradigm: A Security Analysis

The Map-and-Encap Locator/Identifier Separation Paradigm: A Security Analysis

Damien Saucez (Inria Sophia Antipolis, France), Luigi Iannone (Telecom ParisTech, France) and Olivier Bonaventure (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4305-5.ch008
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The chapter does not overview the merits of the Locator/Identifier separation paradigm. Rather, the aim is to provide a thorough analysis of the security aspects, assessing the security level of the architecture and providing recommendations on possible practices to improve it.
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Since its creation, the Internet has grown at a rapid pace and the protocols, whose principles have been designed more than thirty years ago at the dawn of the Internet, are starting to show their scalability and maintainability limits (Meyer, Zhang, & Fall, 2007; BGP Routing Table Analysis Report).

To give the Internet a second birth, removing (or at least evading) current limitations, allowing continuing its growth, improving its scalability and performance, Future Internet architectures are under consideration, mostly (if not always) based on the Locator/Identifier separation paradigm. It exists a general consensus in the research community, but also among Internet operators and manufacturers, that such a paradigm is the most promising technology that, if correctly engineered, can be incrementally deployed, enhancing Internet’s scalability and even providing additional benefits (e.g., scalable support for multi-homing and flexible traffic engineering) (Li, 2011; Quoitin, Iannone, de Launois, & Bonaventure, 2007; Saucez, Donnet, Iannone, & Bonaventure, 2008).

Due to its open nature, in the Internet attacks and security threats are commonplace, and where their number is relentlessly growing (Wood et al., 2012). Therefore, for every proposed Future Internet architecture, its security model and threats analysis becomes of primary importance, and should be carried out with care, preferably even before any commercial deployment (Bos et al., 2009). Unfortunately, reality is different. Current research activities on Future Internet seldom tackle security aspects, very often providing only a very short and high-level analysis.

In the aim of bridging this gap, this chapter presents a security analysis for map-and-encap based Locator/Identifier separation approaches, taking the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) as running example of such kind of architectures in order to provide real and concrete cases.

The Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) (Farinacci, Fuller, Meyer, & Lewis, 2012), first proposed by Cisco at the IRTF (Internet Research Task Force) and now under specification at the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), is an instantiation of the paradigm separating locators and identifier. Its success is also due to its inherent properties of incremental deployability, which is a very important adoption incentive factor for any new architecture. Indeed, in order to design a viable solution, existing constrains (e.g., current OS protocol stack implementations, inter-domain routing, and prefix allocation policies) have to be taken into account, avoiding disrupting the existing communication infrastructure, whilst providing benefits, hence incentives, for early adopters (Iannone & Levä, 2010).

The present chapter starts by providing some background information, describing the map-and-encap Locator/Identifier separation in its LISP instantiation. Except for the LISP specific header, the main functioning of the protocol is valid for any other solution in the same class (e.g., Menth, Hartman, & Klein, 2010; Frejborg, 2011; Jen, Meisel, Massey, Wang, Zhang, & Zhang, 2007). The reader familiar with LISP or the general Locator/Identifier separation paradigm can safely skip this overview. Then, a brief introduction on the main class of attacks (at network layer) and the way they are carried out is proposed.

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