2021 51st Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (Virtual Event) | DSN 2021


Numerous measurement researches have been performed to discover the IPv4 network security issues by leveraging the fast Internet-wide scanning techniques. However, IPv6 brings the 128-bits address space and renders brute-force network scanning impractical. Although significant efforts have been dedicated to enumerating active IPv6 hosts, limited by technique efficiency and probing accuracy, large-scale empirical measurement studies under the increasing IPv6 networks are infeasible now.
To fill this research gap, by leveraging the extensively adopted IPv6 address allocation strategy, we propose a novel IPv6 network periphery discovery approach. Specifically, XMap, a fast network scanner, is developed to find the periphery, such as a home router. We evaluate it on twelve prominent Internet service providers and harvest 52M active peripheries. Grounded on these found devices, we explore IPv6 network risks of the unintended exposed security services and the flawed traffic routing strategies. First, we demonstrate the unintended exposed security services in IPv6 networks, such as DNS, and HTTP, have become emerging security risks by analyzing 4.7M peripheries. Second, by inspecting the periphery’s packet routing strategies, we present the flawed implementations of IPv6 routing protocol affecting 5.8M router devices. Attackers can exploit this common vulnerability to conduct effective routing loop attacks, inducing DoS to the ISP’s and home routers with an amplification factor of >200. We responsibly disclose those issues to all involved vendors and ASes and discuss mitigation solutions. Our research results indicate that the security community should revisit IPv6 network strategies immediately.

Jun 21, 2021 12:00 AM — Jun 24, 2021 11:45 PM

In the 2021 51st Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN 2021, virtually), I presented paper “Fast IPv6 Network Periphery Discovery and Security Implications” to the audiences.

Xiang Li
Xiang Li
Ph.D. Candidate in Cyberspace Security (Tsinghua University)

Xiang Li is a 4th-year Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Network Science and Cyberspace, Tsinghua University, advised by Professors Qi Li and Haixin Duan. He belongs to the Network and Information Security Lab (NISL). He is a visiting scholar at UC Irvine as a project specialist, working with Professor Zhou Li. He is also working as a security research intern at Qi-An-Xin Technology Company. Additionally, he is the author of the fast IPv6 network device scanner XMap, open-sourced on GitHub. His research interests include network security, protocol security, IPv6 security, DNS security, Internet measurement, and network & protocol fuzzing. As the first author, he has published many research papers at top security conferences like USENIX Security, NDSS, and DSN. As the co-author, he also published multiple papers in top conferences like USENIX Security and SIGMETRICS. He also gets his presentations accepted by top industry security conferences like Black Hat. He likes to attend talks and workshops like IDS, OARC, and VehicleSec to share his research. He has obtained over 140 CVE/CNVD vulnerability numbers for a variety of influential IPv6 and DNS vulnerabilities, which have impacted over 20 home router vendors and all DNS implementations and resolver vendors. He received acknowledgements and more than $10,600 rewards from those vendors, like Google, Microsoft, Cloudflare, and Akamai, and is working for the improvement of DNS protocols (related work has been referenced in RFC).