EIGRP MD5 Authentication
By default, no authentication is used for EIGRP packets. You can configure EIGRP to use MD5 authentication.
When EIGRP neighbor authentication has been configured on a router, the router authenticates the source of each routing update packet that it receives. The MD5 keyed digest in each EIGRP packet prevents the introduction of unauthorized or false routing messages from unapproved sources.
For EIGRP MD5 authentication, you must configure an authenticating key and a key ID on both the sending router and the receiving router. Each key has its own key ID, which is stored locally. The combination of the key ID and the interface associated with the message uniquely identifies the authentication algorithm and MD5 authentication key in use.
EIGRP allows keys to be managed using key chains. Each key definition within the key chain can specify a time interval for which that key will be activated (known as its lifetime). Then, during a given key’s lifetime, routing update packets are sent with this activated key. Only one authentication packet is sent, regardless of how many valid keys exist. The software examines the key numbers in order from lowest to highest, and it uses the first valid key it encounters.
Keys cannot be used during time periods for which they are not activated. Therefore, it is recommended that for a given key chain, key activation times overlap to avoid any period of time for which no key is activated. If a time period occurs during which no key is activated, neighbor authentication cannot occur, and therefore routing updates will fail.
Configuring EIGRP Authentication
You can prevent your router from receiving fraudulent route updates by configuring neighbor router authentication. You can configure EIGRP neighbor authentication (also called neighbor router authentication or route authentication) such that routers can participate in routing based on predefined passwords.
This section first describes router authentication in general, followed by a discussion of how to configure and troubleshoot EIGRP Message Digest 5 (MD5) authentication.
Neighbor router authentication can be configured such that routers only participate in routing based on predefined passwords.
By default, no authentication is used for routing protocol packets. When neighbor router authentication has been configured on a router, the router authenticates the source of each routing update packet that it receives. This is accomplished by the exchange of an authentication key (also called a password) that is known to both the sending and the receiving router.