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Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) 22 May 2019

Improving Routing Security: Microsoft Joins MANRS

Salam Yamout
By Salam YamoutFormer Regional Bureau Director, Middle East

In November, a routing incident in Nigeria caused Internet traffic to be rerouted through Russia and China. It lasted for just over an hour, but during that time, it significantly affected some cloud and search services globally, including Spotify and Google’s Search. It was one of more than 10,000 incidents, such as route hijacking and leaks, that occurred in 2018. Past events have led to large-scale Denial of Service attacks, stolen data, and financial losses.

The global routing system is the backbone of the Internet. It determines how everything – from email messages to videoconferences to website content – moves from network to network. The November event, caused by a configuration mistake with a small ISP in Nigeria, shows that routing incidents can have significant global effects – impacting the security of the Internet itself.

A number of network operators around the world – including Oracle, GÉANT, and Comcast – have joined MANRS to address these types of routing threats. The Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative, supported by the Internet Society, does this through technical and collaborative action across the Internet. Those who join agree to take meaningful action to keep the Internet safe for everyone – by taking four concrete steps to improve routing resiliency.

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft is one of the latest to join the MANRS initiative – working with other industry giants to improve routing security globally. They join a community of security-minded organizations committed to making the global routing infrastructure – and the Internet itself – more robust and secure.

“Microsoft has long been committed to increasing cybersecurity online. We are therefore excited to be joining the MANRS community in addressing the very real challenges related to routing security, which impact businesses and consumers on a daily basis. In addition to having implemented the existing MANRS framework in our operations, we are also partnering with Internet Society, the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, and others to examine how actors beyond network operators and IXPs can effectively contribute to routing security,” said Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking.

Collaboration and shared responsibility are key to the success of MANRS. So far 152 network operators and 32 IXPs have signed on. By joining, these companies are working hard to secure the fabric of the Internet.

Routing security is vital to the future and stability of the Internet. We’re thrilled that Microsoft has joined MANRS, and we hope that they will lead the way for other network operators around the world.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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