Let's say you do a traceroute scan to a network that is far away, and there a lot of intermediate hops, how do you know which one belongs to a BGP node, and which one is part of the target server? Let's say this for example, how would you know what is what?:

TRACEROUTE (using port 80/tcp)
1   3.00 ms   Linksys04870.home (
2   6.00 ms
3   ...
4   7.00 ms
5   7.00 ms
6   8.00 ms
7   8.00 ms   bundle-ether102-14.bartr2.barcelona.opentransit.net (
8   21.00 ms
9   28.00 ms  ae-7.edge1.Madrid1.Level3.net (
10  165.00 ms ae1.37.bar4.SaltLakeCity1.level3.net (
11  165.00 ms
12  164.00 ms 69-195-64-111.unifiedlayer.com (
13  164.00 ms po99.prv-leaf2a.net.unifiedlayer.com (
14  164.00 ms 162-240-147-30.unifiedlayer.com (
  • You really have no way to know how a router populates its routing table, with static BGP, OSPF, RIP, EIGRP, IS-IS, etc. All you know is the router sent back an ICMP error message to your traceoute. Remember, routing protocols do not route packets; routers route packet based on what is in their routing tables, and how a route gets into the routing table you cannot know without access to the router.
    – Ron Maupin
    Oct 31, 2023 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


Generally, you can't tell whether a node uses BGP to exchange routes or any other means.

Between providers/carriers BGP is likely used but you can't be sure.

  • How do BGP route hijackings work tho? Like do they first need to know the IP Addresses of the BGP peers?
    – 19216811
    Nov 1, 2023 at 9:59
  • That's an entirely different question. Adjacent BGP peers need to be configured in order to talk to each other.
    – Zac67
    Nov 1, 2023 at 10:49

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