Final report for the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) control plane security LDRD project.

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As rapid Internet growth continues, global communications becomes more dependent on Internet availability for information transfer. Recently, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) introduced a new protocol, Multiple Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), to provide high-performance data flows within the Internet. MPLS emulates two major aspects of the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology. First, each initial IP packet is 'routed' to its destination based on previously known delay and congestion avoidance mechanisms. This allows for effective distribution of network resources and reduces the probability of congestion. Second, after route selection each subsequent packet is assigned a label at each hop, which ... continued below

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48 p.

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Torgerson, Mark Dolan; Michalski, John T.; Tarman, Thomas David; Black, Stephen P. & Pierson, Lyndon George September 1, 2003.

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Description

As rapid Internet growth continues, global communications becomes more dependent on Internet availability for information transfer. Recently, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) introduced a new protocol, Multiple Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), to provide high-performance data flows within the Internet. MPLS emulates two major aspects of the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology. First, each initial IP packet is 'routed' to its destination based on previously known delay and congestion avoidance mechanisms. This allows for effective distribution of network resources and reduces the probability of congestion. Second, after route selection each subsequent packet is assigned a label at each hop, which determines the output port for the packet to reach its final destination. These labels guide the forwarding of each packet at routing nodes more efficiently and with more control than traditional IP forwarding (based on complete address information in each packet) for high-performance data flows. Label assignment is critical in the prompt and accurate delivery of user data. However, the protocols for label distribution were not adequately secured. Thus, if an adversary compromises a node by intercepting and modifying, or more simply injecting false labels into the packet-forwarding engine, the propagation of improperly labeled data flows could create instability in the entire network. In addition, some Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions take advantage of this 'virtual channel' configuration to eliminate the need for user data encryption to provide privacy. VPN's relying on MPLS require accurate label assignment to maintain user data protection. This research developed a working distributive trust model that demonstrated how to deploy confidentiality, authentication, and non-repudiation in the global network label switching control plane. Simulation models and laboratory testbed implementations that demonstrated this concept were developed, and results from this research were transferred to industry via standards in the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF).

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48 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2003-3457
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/918346 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 918346
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888306

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  • September 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 3:41 p.m.

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Torgerson, Mark Dolan; Michalski, John T.; Tarman, Thomas David; Black, Stephen P. & Pierson, Lyndon George. Final report for the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) control plane security LDRD project., report, September 1, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888306/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.