By Grant Gross
A coalition of more than 40 companies focused on protecting online users has endorsed a global community initiative, coordinated by the Internet Society, to improve the security of the Internet’s routing system.
The goal of MANRS is to ensure a secure and resilient Internet by protecting its routing infrastructure. In 2017 alone, more than 14,000 routing outages or attacks — such as hijacking, leaks, or spoofing – resulted in stolen data, lost revenue and reputational damage.
“The new endorsement is a good first step,” said Salam Yamout, Internet Society Lead for the MANRS initiative.
“It is not enough to talk about routing security; it is time for action,” Yamout added. “Because the Internet’s routing system was built on the principles of collaboration and shared responsibility, this endorsement from the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and our new partnership is a major step forward. It clearly reflects the will of industry to be proactive in implementing safe routing practices.”
MANRS focuses on four defensive actions that can reduce the most common routing threats:
- Filtering, to help combat the propagation of incorrect routing information and to ensure the correct operator and customer routing announcements to adjacent networks;
- Anti-spoofing, a measure allowing network operators to validate source addresses, with the goal of preventing packets with an incorrect source IP address from entering and leaving the network;
- Coordination, to ensure that network operators maintain globally accessible up-to-date contact information in common routing databases; and
- Global validation, to encourage network operators to publish their routing data, so others can validate routing information on a global scale.
The Cybersecurity Tech Accord called MANRS a “fantastic example” of a partnership working toward the common good of a more secure online environment. Signatories “strongly believe that a more robust and secure global routing infrastructure demands shared responsibility and coordinated actions from the community of security-minded organizations,” said Tech Accord.
Two of Tech Accord’s signatories – KPN and Swisscom – already participate in the MANRS initiative, and many others are considering steps to become more involved, the group said.
Cybersecurity Tech Accord and MANRS have also established a working group to investigate how companies beyond network operators and IXPs can contribute to routing security.