RIP Authentication: A Comprehensive Guide to Secure Data Access

RIP authentication is an important feature of RIP protocol because it identifies the legitimacy of routing updates which is exchanged between RIP’s speaking routers. It enables a router to ensure that only an authorized route is allowed to be installed into a router’s routing table. Authentication protects the network against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats.

User credential cryptographic keys, card swapping, fingerprint or facial recognition, and other types of biometric recognition are involved in the authentication process.

Types of RIP authentication

There are two main methods of authentication that RIP uses. However, there are a few other methods which we don’t write about that.

1) Clear Text Authentication:

This method supports plain text format within the RIP network. Plain text authentication is easily susceptible. This method has a simple configuration.

2) MD5 Authentication:

MD5 (Message Digest Algorithm 5) has stronger security than clear text authentication. This method encrypts the password before sending it over the network. MD5 authentication ensures integrity and confidentiality by hashing passwords with a shared secret key.

Lab topology of RIP authentication

Below is the lab topology of RIP authentication. R1 and R5 will not use any authentication between them. Similarly, R1 and R2 will use plain text authentication. R2, R3, R4 and R5  will use MD5 authentication. However, R2, R3, and R4 will use MD5 authentication with key1. R4 and R5 will use MD5 authentication with different keys i.e. key 2.

  • Configure all the IP addresses as given in the image.
  • Run RIP version 2 on all the routers.
RIP authentication lab topology

After configuring IP addresses and running RIP on them. Check the routing table of the R1 and ping R6 interface.

R1 Routes

Now check authentication on any of the routers.

R2 routes

There will be no authentication between R1 and R5, while authentication between R1 and R2 will be plain text authentication. Run authentication on R1 on interface fastethernet 0/0.

Run the plain text authentication on R2’s fastethernet 0/0, while MD5 authentication on R2’s fastethernet 0/1. Similarly run MD5 on authentication on R3’s both interfaces.

Similarly, R4 will run MD5 authentication with Two keys i.e. test1 and test2. R4 connects with R3 through test1 key-chain, while R4 connects with R6 through the test2 key-chain.

Now check authentication on R2, which was not configured prior.

Now we will check authentication on the Router, which type of authentication is enabled on the router e.g. on R1, R2, and R3. But first, check authentication on R1.

R1 has no authentication on interface fastethernet 0/1. While, it has authentication on fastethernet 0/0, which is plain text authentication.

Next check on R2.

R2 uses two types of authentication e.g. plain text and MD5 authentication. It uses text authentication on interface fastethernet 0/0, while it uses MD5 on authentication at Fa 0/1. Similarly, check authentication on R4.

You have noticed that R5 is receiving R6’s routes. We know that R5 is not running any MD5 authentication but it is receiving other router routes which is running MD5 authentication. The reason behind this, R5 is accepting the other router entries through router R1. Similarly, R1 is receiving it through R2.

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