Internet-Draft TCP-AO Protection for BGP Monitoring Pro February 2024
Sharma Expires 13 August 2024 [Page]
Intended Status:
H. Sharma

TCP-AO Protection for BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP)


This document outlines the utilization of the Transmission Control Protocol - Authentication Option (TCP-AO), as prescribed in RFC5925, for the authentication of Border Gateway Protocol Monitoring Protocol (BMP) sessions, as specified in RFC7854. The intent is to heighten security within the underlying Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) transport layer, ensuring the authentication of BMP sessions established between routers and BMP stations.

Discussion Venues

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Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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This Internet-Draft will expire on 13 August 2024.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP), as specified in RFC7854, advocates for the implementation of Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) from RFC4303 to address security issues concerning the BMP session between routers and the BMP station managing BGP route collection. This document underscores the use of Transmission Control Protocol - Authentication Option (TCP-AO) as the authentication mechanism ensuring end-to-end authentication of BMP sessions between the routers and the BMP stations. TCP-AO is also the choice of authentication for TCP-based network protocols such as BGP and LDP. A comprehensive discussion of TCP-AO is provided in RFC5925.

2. TCP-AO Protection for BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP)

The BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP) outlined in RFC7854 plays a crucial role in network management by allowing routers to share information about their BGP tables, helping operators monitor and troubleshoot their networks effectively. However, the security considerations associated with BMP have become increasingly critical in light of evolving cyber threats. This document proposes that these concerns be addressed by introducing a framework that utilizes the Transmission Control Protocol - Authentication Option (TCP-AO), specified in RFC5925, to safeguard BMP sessions.

Extending this security measure to BMP helps mitigate risks associated with unauthorized access, tampering, and other potential security vulnerabilities. By integrating TCP-AO into BMP implementations, network operators can establish a more resilient and trustworthy foundation for BGP monitoring activities.

TCP-AO is not intended as a direct substitute for IPSec, nor is it suggested as such in this document.

As outlined in section "3.2. Connection Establishment and Termination" of RFC 7854, BMP operates as a unidirectional protocol, meaning no messages are transmitted from the monitoring station to the monitored router. Consequently, BMP lacks an effective means of tracking a session between the router and the station. It relies on the underlying TCP session, supported by TCP keepalives (RFC1122), to maintain session activity. Therefore, it is recommended to authenticate the end-to-end TCP session between the router and the BMP station using TCP-AO.

3. Security Considerations

The security of the BMP session gets a boost with TCP-AO, seamlessly implemented over the existing TCP transport, ensuring heightened protection without any additional load.

4. IANA Considerations

This document has no IANA actions.

5. Informative References

Touch, J., Mankin, A., and R. Bonica, "The TCP Authentication Option", RFC 5925, DOI 10.17487/RFC5925, , <>.
Scudder, J., Ed., Fernando, R., and S. Stuart, "BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP)", RFC 7854, DOI 10.17487/RFC7854, , <>.


This document is an outcome of the experiences gained through implementing BMP. While TCP-AO safeguards other TCP protocols, BMP lacks the same level of protection within this context.

Author's Address

Hemant Sharma