Security Techniques

Targeted Internet Traffic Misdirection

Targeted Internet Traffic Misdirection: For years, we’ve observed that there was potential for someone to weaponize the classic Pakistan-and-Youtube style route hijack. Why settle for simple denial of service, when you can instead steal a victim’s traffic, take a few milliseconds to inspect or modify it, and then pass it along to the intended recipient?

This year, that potential has become reality. We have actually observed live Man-In-the-Middle (MITM) hijacks on more than 60 days so far this year. About 1,500 individual IP blocks have been hijacked, in events lasting from minutes to days, by attackers working from various countries.

Simple BGP alarming is not sufficient to distinguish MITM from a generic route hijacking or fat-finger routing mistake; you have to follow up with active path measurements while the attack is underway in order to verify that traffic is being simultaneously diverted and then redelivered to the victim. We’ve done that here.