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At a fundamental level, all Internet-based applications rely on a dependable packet delivery service provided by the Internet routing infrastructure. However, the Internet is a large-scale complex loosely coupled distributed system made of many imperfect components. Faults of varying-scale and severity occur from time to time. In this paper we survey the research efforts over the years aimed at enhancing the dependability of the routing infrastructure. To provide a comprehensive overview of the various efforts, we first introduce a threat model based on known threats, then sketch out a defense framework, and put each of the existing efforts at appropriate places in the framework based on the faults and attacks against which it can defend. Our analysis shows that although individual defense mechanisms may effectively guard against specific faults, no single fence can counter all faults. Thus, a resilient Internet routing infrastructure calls for integrating techniques from cryptographic protection mechanisms, statistical anomaly detection, protocol syntax checking, and protocol semantics checking to build a multifence defense system.
Date of Publication: Mar-Apr 2004