Major BGP Leak Affects Thousand of Networks and Websites Globally

Thousands of websites and networks around the world are temporarily unavailable due to a large-scale leakage of BGP (dynamic routing protocols) routes. 

Initially, the problems started with the Vodafone Autonomous System (AS55410) in India, but it affected large enterprises in the USA also, including Google.

Operators of the Cisco BGPMon real-time BGP routing information monitoring tool have discovered inconsistencies in the routing systems of Internet traffic, indicating an attacker attempting to intercept BGP routes.

BGP Leak Causes 13 Spike

The head of the security team at Kentik, Doug Madori has confirmed BGPMon’s data on the social network. According to him, the volume of traffic passing through ASN 55410 autonomous system has increased 13 times.

The system mistakenly announced support for more than 30,000 BGP prefixes or routes, and as a result, it was “flooded” with traffic that was not intended for it, and this autonomous network is owned by Vodafone India Limited.

BGPMon asserted that “the prefix 24.152.117.0/24 is usually announced by the AS270497 RUTE MARIA DA CUNHA, BR. However, starting at 2021-04-16 15:07:01, the same prefix (24.152.117.0/24) was also announced by ASN 55410.”

Networks Globally Impacted

In the below image you can see all the networks that are impacted by this BGP leak globally:-

Guard Against BGP Leak

The security researchers at Kentik security firm has shared some common safeguards and security mechanisms that the companies can use to protect themselves against this type of BGP leaks.

Here are the security mechanisms that the security analysts have recommended the companies to protect against this type of BGP leaks:-

  • Setting MAXPREF – When a downstream network abruptly starts sending a large number of BGP routes, this security mechanism will help the organisations to disable a BGP connection automatically.
  • Configuring filters – By using AS1273 and AS9498 companies can filter all the routes that are received from AS55410.
  • Deploying RPKI – The routes that are leaked with ROAs (Route Origin Authorizations) can be configured in the RPKI that have been released using this security mechanism.

The event lasted for 10 minutes, and during this 10 minutes, users around the world have experienced difficulties connecting to Internet resources with IP addresses in leaked routes that mistakenly directed traffic to the AS55410 autonomous system in India. 

Moreover, one of the known BGP experts, Anurag Bhatia have identified 20,000 prefixes around the world that are affected by this BGP leak incident.

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