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Avoid losing your way on the information superhighway

Internet routing security has been a hot topic for many years. Can a new series of protocols released by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to operate via a framework known as the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) provide the solution to internet users’ security fears?

Imagine you are driving your car from town A to town Z. Your journey is, of course, not a straight line and you need to go through towns C, K and R before reaching Z. How misleading would it be if the directions to the intermediate towns were wrongly indicated? Worse still, imagine that vandals had introduced fake road signs that force you along unnecessary detours through dangerous areas, or simply lead you to the middle of nowhere… The internet is no different. Just as on the highway, internet traffic (data packets) requires proper and continuous directional information in order to choose the best route to its intended destination. Making sure that this information cannot be manipulated is crucial for the future of our activities on the internet. After several years of unsuccessful standardisation work, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recently released a series of protocols that should enable interdomain routing to become more secure and robust through a framework known as the Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI). In this In this article, we introduce RPKI and identify some of its deployment challenges.



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