Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis (Ph.D.)


Department of Computer Science


The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) that manages inter-domain routing on the Internet lacks security. Protective measures using public key cryptography introduce complexities and costs. To support authentication and other security functionality in large networks, we need public key infrastructures (PKIs). Protocols that distribute and validate certificates introduce additional complexities and costs. The certification path building algorithm that helps users establish trust on certificates in the distributed network environment is particularly complicated. Neither routing security nor PKI come for free. Prior to this work, the research study on performance issues of these large-scale distributed security systems was minimal. In this thesis, we evaluate the performance of BGP security protocols and PKI systems. We answer the questions about how the performance affects protocol behaviors and how we can improve the efficiency of these distributed protocols to bring them one step closer to reality. The complexity of the Internet makes an analytical approach difficult; and the scale of Internet makes empirical approaches also unworkable. Consequently, we take the approach of simulation. We have built the simulation frameworks to model a number of BGP security protocols and the PKI system. We have identified performance problems of Secure BGP (S-BGP), a primary BGP security protocol, and proposed and evaluated Signature Amortization (S-A) and Aggregated Path Authentication (APA) schemes that significantly improve efficiency of S-BGP without compromising security. We have also built a simulation framework for general PKI systems and evaluated certification path building algorithms, a critical part of establishing trust in Internet-scale PKI, and used this framework to improve algorithm performance.


Originally posted in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series, number TR2005-559.