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Quantifying Information Exposure in Internet Routing



Peter M. Mell, Assane Gueye, Christopher A. Schanzle


Data sent over the Internet can be monitored and manipulated by intermediate entities in the data path from the source to the destination. For unencrypted communications (and some encrypted communications with known weaknesses), eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks are possible. For encrypted communication, the identification of the communicating endpoints is still revealed. In addition, encrypted communications may be stored until such time as newly discovered weaknesses in the encryption algorithm or advances in computer hardware render them readable by attackers. In this work, we evaluate both advertised and observed routes through the Internet and measure the extent to which communications between pairs of countries are exposed to other countries. We use both physical router geolocation as well as the country of registration of the companies owning each router. We find a high level of information exposure; even physically adjacent countries use routes that involve many other countries. We also found that countries that are well `connected' tend to be more exposed. Our analysis indicates that there exists a tradeoff between robustness and information exposure in the current Internet. We run experiments on all countries, but focus on providing results for the United States and Brazil.
Proceedings Title
The 17th IEEE International Conference On Trust, Security And Privacy In Computing And Communications
Conference Dates
August 1-3, 2018
Conference Location
New York, NY


Measurement, Privacy, Internet


Mell, P. , Gueye, A. and Schanzle, C. (2018), Quantifying Information Exposure in Internet Routing, The 17th IEEE International Conference On Trust, Security And Privacy In Computing And Communications, New York, NY, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created September 6, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018