Gaining Insight into AS-level Outages through Analysis of Internet Background Radiation
Internet Background Radiation (IBR) is unsolicited network traffic mostly generated by malicious software, e.g., worms, scans. In previous work, we extracted a signal from IBR traffic arriving at a large (/8) segment of unassigned IPv4 address space to identify large-scale disruptions of connectivity at an Autonomous System (AS) granularity, and used our technique to study episodes of government censorship and natural disasters. Here we explore other IBR-derived metrics that may provide insights into the causes of macroscopic connectivity disruptions. We propose metrics indicating packet loss (e.g., due to link congestion) along a path from a specific AS to our observation point. We use three case studies to illustrate how our metrics can help identify packet loss characteristics of an outage. These metrics could be used in the diagnostic component of a semi-automated system for detecting and characterizing large-scale outages.