AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM CHOKE POINTS IN COUNTRY-LEVEL NETWORK TOPOLOGY
Regnier, Eric T.
Kolsch, Mathias N.
Krenc, Thomas J.
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Internet traffic choke points within country-level logical networks exist at the Autonomous System (AS) level, with consequences and implications for country-level network topology and vulnerability to network disruption or surveillance. This thesis introduces the concept of such “Gateway ASs,” which serve to connect the logical interior of a given country’s network to the larger internet and further demonstrates it to be a well-defined and useful concept. By fully characterizing the prevalence and nature of these Gateway ASes across the internet as a whole, this study demonstrates that the internet remains highly hierarchical at the country level, despite the internet’s evolutionary trend toward a “flattened” topology. Furthermore, this conception and characterization of country-level network topology is leveraged to map vast portions of the logical internet landscape to physical country borders but ultimately fails to provide an accurate and complete heuristic for internet infrastructure geolocation based upon logical AS classification. Finally, this study provides an assessment of the country’s most susceptible-to-censorship events based upon the structure of their network topology and quantifies an upper bound (by percentage of available Internet Protocol (IP) space within the geographic confines of the country) for the effectiveness of such censorship schemes to fully sever network connectivity with the larger internet.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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