Internet Society seeks commitment to MANRS

The Internet Society's MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security) initiative to tackle the current challenges faced with the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet's operation, is seeking the backing of network operators across the board, without which it says the full benefits of the initiative will fail to be realised.

The MANRS, recommendations recognise the interdependent nature of the global routing system and seek to integrate best practices relating to routing security and resilience. This includes mechanisms to prevent the propagation of incorrect routing information and the forwarding of traffic with a spoofed source IP address.  

Network operators that have signed up to the initiative must publicly commit to aspects of the scheme.

David Freedman, infrastructure manager at Claranet, one of the first adopters of MANRS and one of 12 networks now participating, issued a statement saying: “The absence of a single coordinating authority for the internet means that every network operator must assume responsibility for keeping their shop in order. 

"Ultimately the internet hangs together by our mutual cooperation and network operators should be accountable and contactable to other operators and take the necessary steps to clamp down on bad traffic. Without safeguards like MANRS there's every chance that we could see a repeat of the YouTube hijacking in Pakistan or see perpetrators of DoS attacks evade prosecution. Although MANRS can't address operator competency, it will at the very least create established practises to help catch issues before damage is caused. This really lies at the heart of what MANRS is all about."

Major network operators in the US, including Comcast and NTT, have adopted MANRS but uptake in the UK and Europe remains low.

“Trust between network operators is fundamental to the smooth running of the Internet, and I'd hope to see many more operators sign up to the scheme over the next few months to contribute to the Internet community as a whole and improve the availability, performance and security of applications running over it,” Freedman concluded.