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draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomization-01.txt

draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomization-01.txt
Posted Jul 17, 2008
Authored by Fernando Gont, Michael Vittrup Larsen | Site ietf.org

This document describes a simple and efficient method for random selection of a client port number, such that the possibility of an attacker guessing the exact value is reduced. While this is not a replacement for cryptographic methods, the described port number randomization algorithms provide improved security/obfuscation with very little effort and without any key management overhead. The mechanisms described in this document are a local modification that may be incrementally deployed, and that does not violate the specifications of any of the transport protocols that may benefit from it, such as TCP, UDP, SCTP, DCCP, and RTP.

tags | paper, local, udp, tcp, protocol
SHA-256 | 1ce58606d3eddff9223fe3a488f8c0cc0f6238e521811ffc418b4dd84491b12b

draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomization-01.txt

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tsvwg M. Larsen
Internet-Draft TietoEnator
Intended status: Best Current F. Gont
Practice UTN/FRH
Expires: August 28, 2008 February 25, 2008


Port Randomization
draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomization-01

Status of this Memo

By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
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The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
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This Internet-Draft will expire on August 28, 2008.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).













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Abstract

Recently, awareness has been raised about a number of "blind" attacks
that can be performed against the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
and similar protocols. The consequences of these attacks range from
throughput-reduction to broken connections or data corruption. These
attacks rely on the attacker's ability to guess or know the five-
tuple (Protocol, Source Address, Destination Address, Source Port,
Destination Port) that identifies the transport protocol instance to
be attacked. This document describes a simple and efficient method
for random selection of the client port number, such that the
possibility of an attacker guessing the exact value is reduced.
While this is not a replacement for cryptographic methods, the
described port number randomization algorithms provide improved
security/obfuscation with very little effort and without any key
management overhead. The mechanisms described in this document are a
local modification that may be incrementally deployed, and that does
not violate the specifications of any of the transport protocols that
may benefit from it, such as TCP, UDP, SCTP, DCCP, and RTP.
































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Table of Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2. Ephemeral Ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.1. Traditional Ephemeral Port Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.2. Ephemeral port selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
3. Randomizing the Ephemeral Ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.1. Characteristics of a good ephemeral port randomization
algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3.2. Ephemeral port number range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3.3. Ephemeral Port Randomization Algorithms . . . . . . . . . 9
3.3.1. Algorithm 1: Simple port randomization algorithm . . . 9
3.3.2. Algorithm 2: Another simple port randomization
algorithm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.3.3. Algorithm 3: Simple hash-based algorithm . . . . . . . 11
3.3.4. Algorithm 4: Double-hash randomization algorithm . . . 13
3.4. Secret-key considerations for hash-based port
randomization algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.5. Choosing an ephemeral port randomization algorithm . . . . 16
4. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
6. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
6.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
6.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Appendix A. Survey of the algorithms in use by some popular
implementations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.1. FreeBSD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.2. Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.3. NetBSD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.4. OpenBSD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Appendix B. Changes from previous versions of the draft . . . . . 22
B.1. Changes from draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomisation-00 . . . 22
B.2. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-02 . . 22
B.3. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-01 . . 22
B.4. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomization-00 . . 22
B.5. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-00 . . 22
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 25













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1. Introduction

Recently, awareness has been raised about a number of "blind" attacks
(i.e., attacks that can be performed without the need to sniff the
packets that correspond to the transport protocol instance to be
attacked) that can be performed against the Transmission Control
Protocol (TCP) [RFC0793] and similar protocols. The consequences of
these attacks range from throughput-reduction to broken connections
or data corruption [I-D.ietf-tcpm-icmp-attacks] [RFC4953] [Watson].

All these attacks rely on the attacker's ability to guess or know the
five-tuple (Protocol, Source Address, Source port, Destination
Address, Destination Port) that identifies the transport protocol
instance to be attacked.

Services are usually located at fixed, 'well-known' ports [IANA] at
the host supplying the service (the server). Client applications
connecting to any such service will contact the server by specifying
the server IP address and service port number. The IP address and
port number of the client are normally left unspecified by the client
application and thus chosen automatically by the client networking
stack. Ports chosen automatically by the networking stack are known
as ephemeral ports [Stevens].

While the server IP address and well-known port and the client IP
address may be accurately guessed by an attacker, the ephemeral port
of the client is usually unknown and must be guessed.

This document describes a number of algorithms for random selection
of the client ephemeral port, that reduce the possibility of an off-
path attacker guessing the exact value. They are not a replacement
for cryptographic methods of protecting a connection such as IPsec
[RFC4301], the TCP MD5 signature option [RFC2385], or the TCP
Authentication Option [I-D.ietf-tcpm-tcp-auth-opt]. For example,
they do not provide any mitigation in those scenarios in which the
attacker is able to sniff the packets that correspond to the
transport protocol connection to be attacked. However, the proposed
algorithms provide improved obfuscation with very little effort and
without any key management overhead.

The mechanisms described in this document are local modifications
that may be incrementally deployed, and that does not violate the
specifications of any of the transport protocols that may benefit
from it, such as TCP [RFC0793], UDP [RFC0768], SCTP [RFC4960], DCCP
[RFC4340], UDP-lite [RFC3828], and RTP [RFC3550].

Since these mechanisms are obfuscation techniques, focus has been on
a reasonable compromise between level of obfuscation and ease of



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implementation. Thus the algorithms must be computationally
efficient, and not require substantial data structures.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].













































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2. Ephemeral Ports

2.1. Traditional Ephemeral Port Range

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) assigns the unique
parameters and values used in protocols developed by the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF), including well-known ports [IANA].
IANA has traditionally reserved the following use of the 16-bit port
range of TCP and UDP:

o The Well Known Ports, 0 through 1023.

o The Registered Ports, 1024 through 49151

o The Dynamic and/or Private Ports, 49152 through 65535

The range for assigned ports managed by the IANA is 0-1023, with the
remainder being registered by IANA but not assigned.

The ephemeral port range has traditionally consisted of the 49152-
65535 range.

2.2. Ephemeral port selection

As each communication instance is identified by the five-tuple
{protocol, local IP address, local port, remote IP address, remote
port}, the selection of ephemeral port numbers must result in a
unique five-tuple.

Selection of ephemeral ports such that they result in unique five-
tuples is handled by some operating systems by having a per-protocol
global 'next_ephemeral' variable that is equal to the previously
chosen ephemeral port + 1, i.e. the selection process is:


















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/* Initialization at system boot time. Initialization value could be random */
next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral;

/* Ephemeral port selection function */
count = max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1;

do {
port = next_ephemeral;
if (next_ephemeral == max_ephemeral) {
next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral;
} else {
next_ephemeral++;
}

if (five-tuple is unique)
return port;

} while (count > 0);

return ERROR;

Figure 1

This algorithm works well provided that the number of connections for
a each transport protocol that have a life-time longer than it takes
to exhaust the total ephemeral port range is small, so that five-
tuple collisions are rare.

However, this method has the drawback that the 'next_ephemeral'
variable and thus the ephemeral port range is shared between all
connections and the next ports chosen by the client are easy to
predict. If an attacker operates an "innocent" server to which the
client connects, it is easy to obtain a reference point for the
current value of the 'next_ephemeral' variable.

















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3. Randomizing the Ephemeral Ports

3.1. Characteristics of a good ephemeral port randomization algorithm

There are a number of factors to consider when designing a policy of
selection of ephemeral ports, which include:

o Minimizing the predictability of the ephemeral port numbers used
for future connections.

o Maximizing the port reuse cycle.

o Avoiding conflict with applications that depend on the use of
specific port numbers.

Given the goal of improving TCP's resistance to attack by obfuscation
of the four-tuple that identifies a TCP connection, it is key to
minimize the predictability of the ephemeral ports that will be
selected for new connections. While the obvious approach to address
this requirement would be to select the ephemeral ports by simply
picking a random value within the chosen port number range, this
straightforward policy may lead to a short reuse cycle of port
numbers, which could lead to the interoperability problems discussed
in . It is also worth noting that, provided adequate randomization
algorithms are in use, the larger the range from which ephemeral pots
are selected, the smaller the chances of an attacker are to guess the
selected port number.

A number of implementations will not allow the creation of a new
connection if there exists a previous incarnation of the same
connection in any state other than the fictional state CLOSED. This
can be problematic in scenarios in which a client establishes
connections with a specific service at server at a high rate: even if
the connections are also closed at a high rate, one of the systems
(the one performing the active close) will keep each of the closed
connection in the TIME-WAIT state for 2*MSL. If the connection rate
is high enough, at some point all the ephemeral ports at the client
will be in use by some connection in the TIME-WAIT state, thus
preventing the establishment of new connections. Therefore, the only
strategy that can be relied upon to avoid this interoperability
problem is to maximize the ephemeral port reuse cycle at a client,
with the goal of reducing the chances that a previous incarnation of
the same connection exists when a new connection is tried to be
established. A good algorithm to maximize the port reuse cycle would
consider the time a given ephemeral port number was last used, and
would avoid reusing the last recently used port numbers. A simple
approach to maximize the port reuse cycle would be to choose port
numbers incrementally, so that a given port number would not be



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reused until the rest of the port numbers in ephemeral port range
have been used for a TCP connection. However, if a single global
variable were used to keep track of the last ephemeral port selected,
ephemeral port numbers would be trivially predictable.

It is important to note that a number of applications rely on binding
specific port numbers that may be within the ephemeral ports range.
If such an application was run while the corresponding port number
was in use, the application would fail. Therefore, transport
protocols should avoid using those port numbers as ephemeral ports.

3.2. Ephemeral port number range

As mentioned in Section 2.1, the ephemeral port range has
traditionally consisted of the 49152-65535 range. However, it should
also include the range 1024-49151 range.

Since this range includes user-specific server ports, this may not
always be possible, though. A possible workaround for this potential
problem would be to maintain an array of bits, in which each bit
would correspond to each of the port numbers in the range 1024-65535.
A bit set to 0 would indicate that the corresponding port is
available for allocation, while a bit set to one would indicate that
the port is reserved and therefore cannot be allocated. Thus, before
allocating a port number, the ephemeral port selection function would
check this array of bits, avoiding the allocation of ports that may
be needed for specific applications.

Transport protocols SHOULD use the largest possible port range, since
this improves the obfuscation provided by randomizing the ephemeral
ports.

3.3. Ephemeral Port Randomization Algorithms

Transport protocols SHOULD allocate their ephemeral ports randomly,
since this help to mitigate a number of attacks that depend on the
attacker's ability to guess or know the five-tuple that identifies
the transport protocol instance to be attacked.

The following subsections describe a number of algorithms that could
be implemented in order to obfuscate the selection of ephemeral port
numbers.

3.3.1. Algorithm 1: Simple port randomization algorithm

In order to address the security issues discussed in Section 1 and
Section 2.2, a number of systems have implemented simple ephemeral
port number randomization, as follows:



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/* Ephemeral port selection function */
next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral + random()
% (max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1);

count = max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1;

do {
if(five-tuple is unique)
return next_ephemeral;

if (next_ephemeral == max_ephemeral) {
next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral;
} else {
next_ephemeral++;
}

count--;
} while (count > 0);

return ERROR;

Figure 2

We will refer to this algorithm as 'Algorithm 1'.

Since the initially chosen port may already be in use with identical
IP addresses and server port, the resulting five-tuple might not be
unique. Therefore, multiple ports may have to be tried and verified
against all existing connections before a port can be chosen.

Although carefully chosen random sources and optimized five-tuple
lookup mechanisms (e.g., optimized through hashing), will mitigate
the cost of this verification, some systems may still not want to
incur this search time.

Systems that may be specially susceptible to this kind of repeated
five-tuple collisions are those that create many connections from a
single local IP address to a single service (i.e. both of the IP
addresses and the server port are fixed). Gateways such as proxy
servers are an example of such a system.

Since this algorithm performs a completely random port selection
(i.e., without taking into account the port numbers previously
chosen), it has the potential of reusing port numbers too quickly.
Even if a given five-tuple is verified to be unique by the port
selection algorithm, the five-tuple might still be in use at the
remote system. In such a scenario, the connection request could
possibly fail ([Silbersack] describes this problem for the TCP case).



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Therefore, it is desirable to keep the port reuse frequency as low as
possible.

3.3.2. Algorithm 2: Another simple port randomization algorithm

Another algorithm for selecting a random port number is shown in
Figure 3, in which in the event a local connection-id collision is
detected, another port number is selected randomly, as follows:


/* Ephemeral port selection function */
next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral + random()
% (max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1);

count = max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1;

do {
if(five-tuple is unique)
return next_ephemeral;

next_ephemeral = min_ephemeral + random()
% (max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1);
count--;
} while (count > 0);

return ERROR;

Figure 3

We will refer to this algorithm as 'Algorithm 2'. The only
difference between this algorithm and Algorithm 1 is that the search
time for this variant may be longer than for the later, particularly
when there are a large number of port numbers already in use.

3.3.3. Algorithm 3: Simple hash-based algorithm

We would like to achieve the port reuse properties of traditional BSD
port selection algorithm, while at the same time achieve the
obfuscation properties of Algorithm 1 and Algorithm 2.

Ideally, we would like a 'next_ephemeral' value for each set of
(local IP address, remote IP addresses, remote port), so that the
port reuse frequency is the lowest possible. Each of these
'next_ephemeral' variables should be initialized with random values
within the ephemeral port range and would thus separate the ephemeral
port ranges of the connections entirely. Since we do not want to
maintain in memory all these 'next_ephemeral' values, we propose an
offset function F(), that can be computed from the local IP address,



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remote IP address, remote port and a secret key. F() will yield
(practically) different values for each set of arguments, i.e.:


/* Initialization code at system boot time. Initialization value could be random. */
next_ephemeral = 0;

/* Ephemeral port selection function */
offset = F(local_IP, remote_IP, remote_port, secret_key);
count = max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1;

do {
port = min_ephemeral + (next_ephemeral + offset)
% (max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1);
next_ephemeral++;
count--;

if(five-tuple is unique)
return port;

} while (count > 0);

return ERROR;

Figure 4

We will refer to this algorithm as 'Algorithm 3'.

In other words, the function F() provides a per-connection fixed
offset within the global ephemeral port range. Both the 'offset' and
'next_ephemeral' variables may take any value within the storage type
range since we are restricting the resulting port similar to that
shown in Figure 3. This allows us to simply increment the
'next_ephemeral' variable and rely on the unsigned integer to simply
wrap-around.

The function F() should be a cryptographic hash function like MD5
[RFC1321]. The function should use both IP addresses, the remote
port and a secret key value to compute the offset. The remote IP
address is the primary separator and must be included in the offset
calculation. The local IP address and remote port may in some cases
be constant and not improve the connection separation, however, they
should also be included in the offset calculation.

Cryptographic algorithms stronger than e.g. MD5 should not be
necessary, given that port randomization is simply an obfuscation
technique. The secret should be chosen as random as possible, see
[RFC4086] for recommendations on choosing secrets.



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Note that on multiuser systems, the function F() could include user
specific information, thereby providing protection not only on a host
to host basis, but on a user to service basis. In fact, any
identifier of the remote entity could be used, depending on
availability an the granularity requested. With SCTP both hostnames
and alternative IP addresses may be included in the association
negotiation and either of these could be used in the offset function
F().

When multiple unique identifiers are available, any of these can be
chosen as input to the offset function F() since they all uniquely
identify the remote entity. However, in cases like SCTP where the
ephemeral port must be unique across all IP address permutations, we
should ideally always use the same IP address to get a single
starting offset for each association negotiation from a given remote
entity to minimize the possibility of collisions. A simple numerical
sorting of the IP addresses and always using the numerically lowest
could achieve this. However, since most protocols most likely will
report the same IP addresses in the same order in each association
setup, this sorting is most likely not necessary and the 'first one'
can simply be used.

The ability of hostnames to uniquely define hosts can be discusses,
and since SCTP always include at least one IP address, we recommend
to use this as input to the offset function F() and ignore hostnames
chunks when searching for ephemeral ports.

3.3.4. Algorithm 4: Double-hash randomization algorithm

A tradeoff between maintaining a single global 'next_ephemeral'
variable and maintaining 2**N 'next_ephemeral' variables (where N is
the width of of the result of F()) could be achieved as follows. The
system would keep an array of, TABLE_LENGTH short integers, which
would provide a separation of the increment of the 'next_ephemeral'
variable. This improvement could be incorporated into Algorithm 3 as
follows:















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/* Initialization at system boot time */
for(i = 0; i < TABLE_LENGTH; i++)
table[i] = random % 65536;


/* Ephemeral port selection function */
offset = F(local_IP, remote_IP, remote_port, secret_key);
index = G(offset);
count = max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1;

do {
port = min_ephemeral + (offset + table[index])
% (max_ephemeral - min_ephemeral + 1);

table[index]++;
count--;

if(five-tuple is unique)
return port;

} while (count > 0);

return ERROR;

Figure 5

We will refer to this algorithm as 'Algorithm 4'.

'table[]' could be initialized with random values, as indicated by
the initialization code in Figure 5. G() would return a value
between 0 and (TABLE_LENGTH-1) taking 'offset' as its input. G()
could, for example, perform the exclusive-or (xor) operation between
all the bytes in 'offset', or could be another cryptographic hash
function such as that used in F().

The array 'table[]' assures that succesive connections to the same
end-point will use increasing ephemeral port numbers. However,
incrementation of the port numbers is separated into TABLE_LENGTH
different spaces, and thus the port reuse frequency will be
(probabilistically) lower than that of Algorithm 2. That is, a
connection established with some remote end-point will not
necessarily cause the 'next_ephemeral' variable corresponding to
other end-points to be incremented.

It is interesting to note that the size of 'table[]' does not limit
the number of different port sequences, but rather separates the
*increments* into TABLE_LENGTH different spaces. The actual port
sequence will result from adding the corresponding entry of 'table[]'



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to the variable 'offset', which actually selects the actual port
sequence (as in Algorithm 3).

3.4. Secret-key considerations for hash-based port randomization
algorithms

Every complex manipulation (like MD5) is no more secure than the
input values, and in the case of ephemeral ports, the secret key. If
an attacker is aware of which cryptographic hash function is being
used by the victim (which we should expect), and the attacker can
obtain enough material (e.g. ephemeral ports chosen by the victim),
the attacker may simply search the entire secret key space to find
matches.

To protect against this, the secret key should be of a reasonable
length. Key lengths of 32-bits should be adequate, since a 32-bit
secret would result in approximately 65k possible secrets if the
attacker is able to obtain a single ephemeral port (assuming a good
hash function). If the attacker is able to obtain more ephemeral
ports, key lengths of 64-bits or more should be used.

Another possible mechanism for protecting the secret key is to change
it after some time. If the host platform is capable of producing
reasonable good random data, the secret key can be changed
automatically.

Changing the secret will cause abrupt shifts in the chosen ephemeral
ports, and consequently collisions may occur. Thus the change in
secret key should be done with consideration and could be performed
whenever one of the following events occur:

o Some predefined/random time has expired.

o The secret has been used N times (i.e. we consider it insecure).

o There are few active connections (i.e., possibility of collision
is low).

o There is little traffic (the performance overhead of collisions is
tolerated).

o There is enough random data available to change the secret key
(pseudo-random changes should not be done).








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3.5. Choosing an ephemeral port randomization algorithm

The algorithm sketched in Figure 1 is the traditional ephemeral port
selection algorithm implemented in BSD-derived systems. It generates
a global sequence of ephemeral port numbers, which makes it trivial
for an attacker to predict the port number that will be used for a
future transport protocol instance.

Algorithm 1 and Algorithm 2 have the advantage that they provide
complete randomization. However, they may increase the chances of
port number collisions, which could lead to failure of the connection
establishment attempts.

Algorithm 3 provides complete separation in local and remote IP
addresses and remote port space, and only limited separation in other
dimensions (See Section Section 3.4), and thus may scale better than
Algorithm 1 and Algorithm 2. However, implementations should
consider the performance impact of computing the cryptographic hash
used for the offset.

Algorithm 4 improves Algorithm 3, usually leading to a lower port
reuse frequency, at the expense of more processor cycles used for
computing G(), and additional kernel memory for storing the array
'table[]'.

Finally, a special case that precludes the utilization of Algorithm 3
and Algorithm 4 should be analyzed. There exist some applications
that contain the following code sequence:


s = socket();
bind(s, IP_address, port = *);


Figure 6

This code sequence results in the selection of an ephemeral port
number. However, as neither the remote IP address nor the remote
port will be available to the ephemeral port selection function, the
hash function F() used in Algorithm 3 and Algorithm 4 will not have
all the required arguments, and thus the result of the hash function
will be impossible to compute.

Transport protocols implementing Algorithm 3 or Algorithm 4 should
consider using Algorithm 2 when facing the scenario just described.
This policy has been implemented by Linux [Linux].





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4. Security Considerations

Randomizing ports is no replacement for cryptographic mechanisms,
such as IPsec [RFC4301], in terms of protecting transport protocol
instances against blind attacks.

An eavesdropper, which can monitor the packets that correspond to the
connection to be attacked could learn the IP addresses and port
numbers in use (and also sequence numbers etc.) and easily attack the
connection. Randomizing ports does not provide any additional
protection against this kind of attacks. In such situations, proper
authentication mechanisms such as those described in [RFC4301] should
be used.

If the local offset function F() results in identical offsets for
different inputs, the port-offset mechanism proposed in this document
has no or reduced effect.

If random numbers are used as the only source of the secret key, they
must be chosen in accordance with the recommendations given in
[RFC4086].

If an attacker uses dynamically assigned IP addresses, the current
ephemeral port offset (Algorithm 3 and Algorithm 4) for a given five-
tuple can be sampled and subsequently used to attack an innocent peer
reusing this address. However, this is only possible until a re-
keying happens as described above. Also, since ephemeral ports are
only used on the client side (e.g. the one initiating the
connection), both the attacker and the new peer need to act as
servers in the scenario just described. While servers using dynamic
IP addresses exist, they are not very common and with an appropriate
re-keying mechanism the effect of this attack is limited.



















Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 17]

Internet-Draft Port Randomization February 2008


5. Acknowledgements

The offset function was inspired by the mechanism proposed by Steven
Bellovin in [RFC1948] for defending against TCP sequence number
attacks.

The authors would like to thank (in alphabetical order) Mark Allman,
Lars Eggert, Gorry Fairhurst, Alfred Hoenes, Carlos Pignataro, Joe
Touch, and Dan Wing for their valuable feedback on earlier versions
of this document.

The authors would like to thank FreeBSD's Mike Silbersack for a very
fruitful discussion about ephemeral port selection techniques.






































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6. References

6.1. Normative References

[RFC0768] Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768,
August 1980.

[RFC0793] Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol", STD 7,
RFC 793, September 1981.

[RFC1321] Rivest, R., "The MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm", RFC 1321,
April 1992.

[RFC1948] Bellovin, S., "Defending Against Sequence Number Attacks",
RFC 1948, May 1996.

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

[RFC2385] Heffernan, A., "Protection of BGP Sessions via the TCP MD5
Signature Option", RFC 2385, August 1998.

[RFC2960] Stewart, R., Xie, Q., Morneault, K., Sharp, C.,
Schwarzbauer, H., Taylor, T., Rytina, I., Kalla, M.,
Zhang, L., and V. Paxson, "Stream Control Transmission
Protocol", RFC 2960, October 2000.

[RFC3550] Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V.
Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, July 2003.

[RFC3828] Larzon, L-A., Degermark, M., Pink, S., Jonsson, L-E., and
G. Fairhurst, "The Lightweight User Datagram Protocol
(UDP-Lite)", RFC 3828, July 2004.

[RFC4086] Eastlake, D., Schiller, J., and S. Crocker, "Randomness
Requirements for Security", BCP 106, RFC 4086, June 2005.

[RFC4301] Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for the
Internet Protocol", RFC 4301, December 2005.

[RFC4340] Kohler, E., Handley, M., and S. Floyd, "Datagram
Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP)", RFC 4340, March 2006.

[RFC4960] Stewart, R., "Stream Control Transmission Protocol",
RFC 4960, September 2007.





Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 19]

Internet-Draft Port Randomization February 2008


6.2. Informative References

[FreeBSD] The FreeBSD Project, "http://www.freebsd.org".

[IANA] "IANA Port Numbers",
<http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers>.

[I-D.ietf-tcpm-icmp-attacks]
Gont, F., "ICMP attacks against TCP",
draft-ietf-tcpm-icmp-attacks-02 (work in progress),
May 2007.

[RFC4953] Touch, J., "Defending TCP Against Spoofing Attacks",
RFC 4953, July 2007.

[Linux] The Linux Project, "http://www.kernel.org".

[NetBSD] The NetBSD Project, "http://www.netbsd.org".

[OpenBSD] The OpenBSD Project, "http://www.openbsd.org".

[Silbersack]
Silbersack, M., "Improving TCP/IP security through
randomization without sacrificing interoperability.",
EuroBSDCon 2005 Conference , 2005.

[Stevens] Stevens, W., "Unix Network Programming, Volume 1:
Networking APIs: Socket and XTI, Prentice Hall", 1998.

[I-D.ietf-tcpm-tcp-auth-opt]
Touch, J., Mankin, A., and R. Bonica, "The TCP
Authentication Option", draft-ietf-tcpm-tcp-auth-opt-00
(work in progress), November 2007.

[Watson] Watson, P., "Slipping in the Window: TCP Reset attacks",
december 2003.















Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 20]

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Appendix A. Survey of the algorithms in use by some popular
implementations

A.1. FreeBSD

FreeBSD implements Algorithm 2. with a 'min_port' of 49152 and a
'max_port' of 65535. If the selected port number is in use, the next
available port number is tried next [FreeBSD].

A.2. Linux

Linux implements Algorithm 3. If the algorithm is faced with the
corner-case scenario described in Section 3.5, Algorithm 2 is used
instead [Linux].

A.3. NetBSD

NetBSD does not randomize ehemeral port numbers. It selects
ephemeral port numbers from the range 49152-65535, starting from port
65535, and decreasing the port number for each ephemeral port number
selected [NetBSD].

A.4. OpenBSD

OpenBSD implements Algorithm 2. with a 'min_port' of 1024 and a
'max_port' of 49151. If the selected port number is in use, the next
available port number is tried next [OpenBSD].
























Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 21]

Internet-Draft Port Randomization February 2008


Appendix B. Changes from previous versions of the draft

B.1. Changes from draft-ietf-tsvwg-port-randomisation-00

o Added Section 3.1.

o Changed Intended Status from "Satandards Track" to "BCP".

o Miscellaneous editorial changes.

B.2. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-02

o Draft resubmitted as draft-ietf.

o Included references and text on protocols other than TCP.

o Added the second variant of the simple port randomization
algorithm

o Reorganized the algorithms into different sections

o Miscellaneous editorial changes.

B.3. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-01

o No changes. Draft resubmitted after expiration.

B.4. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomization-00

o Fixed a bug in expressions used to calculate number of ephemeral
ports

o Added a survey of the algorithms in use by popular TCP
implementations

o The whole document was reorganizaed

o Miscellaneous editorial changes

B.5. Changes from draft-larsen-tsvwg-port-randomisation-00

o Document resubmitted after original document by M. Larsen expired
in 2004

o References were included to current WG documents of the TCPM WG

o The document was made more general, to apply to all transport
protocols



Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 22]

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o Miscellaneous editorial changes


















































Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 23]

Internet-Draft Port Randomization February 2008


Authors' Addresses

Michael Vittrup Larsen
TietoEnator
Skanderborgvej 232
Aarhus DK-8260
Denmark

Phone: +45 8938 5100
Email: michael.larsen@tietoenator.com


Fernando Gont
Universidad Tecnologica Nacional / Facultad Regional Haedo
Evaristo Carriego 2644
Haedo, Provincia de Buenos Aires 1706
Argentina

Phone: +54 11 4650 8472
Email: fernando@gont.com.ar































Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 24]

Internet-Draft Port Randomization February 2008


Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).

This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
retain all their rights.

This document and the information contained herein are provided on an
"AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS
OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY, THE IETF TRUST AND
THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF
THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


Intellectual Property

The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
made any independent effort to identify any such rights. Information
on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at
http://www.ietf.org/ipr.

The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at
ietf-ipr@ietf.org.


Acknowledgment

Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF
Administrative Support Activity (IASA).





Larsen & Gont Expires August 28, 2008 [Page 25]


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