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Versions: (draft-hoffman-behave-tcp) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 RFC 5382

Network Working Group                                       S. Guha, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                Cornell U.
Intended status: Best Current                                  K. Biswas
Practice                                                   Cisco Systems
Expires: October 30, 2007                                        B. Ford
                                                                  M.I.T.
                                                            S. Sivakumar
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                            P. Srisuresh
                                                              Consultant
                                                          April 28, 2007


                  NAT Behavioral Requirements for TCP
                      draft-ietf-behave-tcp-07.txt

Status of this Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on October 30, 2007.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

Abstract

   This document defines a set of requirements for NATs that handle TCP



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   that would allow many applications, such as peer-to-peer applications
   and on-line games, to work consistently.  Developing NATs that meet
   this set of requirements will greatly increase the likelihood that
   these applications will function properly.


Table of Contents

   1.  Applicability Statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  TCP Connection Initiation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     4.1.  Address and Port Mapping Behavior  . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     4.2.  Internally Initiated Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     4.3.  Externally Initiated Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  NAT Session Refresh  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  Application Level Gateways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.  Other Requirements Applicable to TCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     7.1.  Port Assignment  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     7.2.  Hairpinning Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     7.3.  ICMP Responses to TCP Packets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   8.  Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   9.  Security considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   10. IANA considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   11. Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   12. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     12.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     12.2. Informational References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 21





















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1.  Applicability Statement

   This document is adjunct to [BEHAVE-UDP], which defines many terms
   relating to NATs, lays out general requirements for all NATs, and
   sets requirements for NATs that handle IP and unicast UDP traffic.
   The purpose of this document is to set requirements for NATs that
   handle TCP traffic.

   The requirements of this specification apply to Traditional NATs as
   described in [RFC2663].

   This document only covers the TCP aspects of NAT traversal.  Middle-
   box behavior that is not necessary for network address translation of
   TCP is out-of-scope.  Firewalls, and packet inspection above the TCP
   layer are out-of-scope except for Application Level Gateways (ALG)
   behavior that may interfere with NAT traversal.  Application and OS
   aspects of TCP NAT traversal are out-of-scope.  Signaling based
   approaches to NAT traversal such as MIDCOM and UPnP that directly
   control the NAT are out-of-scope.  Finally, TCP connections intended
   for the NAT (e.g. an HTTP or SSH management interface) and TCP
   connections initiated by the NAT (e.g. reliable syslog client) are
   out-of-scope.


2.  Introduction

   Network Address Translators (NATs) hinder connectivity in
   applications where sessions may be initiated to internal hosts.
   Readers may refer to [RFC3022] for detailed information on
   traditional NATs.  [BEHAVE-UDP] lays out the terminology and
   requirements for NATs in the context of IP and UDP.  This document
   supplements these by setting requirements for NATs that handle TCP
   traffic.  All definitions and requirements in [BEHAVE-UDP] are
   inherited here.

   [RFC4614] chronicles the evolution of TCP from the original
   definition [RFC0793] to present day implementations.  While much has
   changed in TCP with regards to congestion control and flow control,
   security, and support for high-bandwidth networks, the process of
   initiating a connection (i.e. the 3-way handshake or simultaneous-
   open) has changed little.  It is the process of connection initiation
   that NATs affect the most.  Experimental approaches such as T/TCP
   [RFC1644] have proposed alternate connection initiation approaches,
   but, have been found to be complex and susceptible to denial-of-
   service attacks.  Modern operating systems and NATs consequently
   primarily support the 3-way handshake and simultaneous-open modes of
   connection initiation as described in [RFC0793].




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   Recently, many techniques have been devised to make peer-to-peer TCP
   applications work across NATs.  [STUNT], [NATBLASTER], and [P2PNAT]
   describe Unilateral Self-Address Fixing (UNSAF) mechanisms that allow
   peer-to-peer applications to establish TCP through NATs.  These
   approaches require only endpoint applications to be modified and work
   with standards compliant OS stacks.  The approaches, however, depend
   on specific NAT behavior that is usually, but not always, supported
   by NATs (see [TCPTRAV] and [P2PNAT] for details).  Consequently a
   complete TCP NAT traversal solution is sometimes forced to rely on
   public TCP relays to traverse NATs that do not cooperate.  This
   document defines requirements that ensure that TCP NAT traversal
   approaches are not forced to use data relays.


3.  Terminology

   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 [RFC2119].

   This document uses the term "NAT session" as defined in [RFC2663].
   "NAT" in this specification includes both "Basic NAT" and "Network
   Address/Port Translator (NAPT)" [RFC2663].

   This document uses the term "TCP connection" (or just "connection")
   to refer to individual TCP flows identified by the 4-tuple (source
   and destination IP address and TCP port) and the initial sequence
   numbers (ISN).

   This document uses the term "address and port mapping" (or just
   "mapping") as defined in [BEHAVE-UDP] to refer to state at the NAT
   necessary for network address and port translation of TCP
   connections.  This document also uses the terms "endpoint independent
   mapping", "address dependent mapping", "address and port dependent
   mapping", "filtering behavior", "endpoint independent filtering",
   "address dependent filtering", "address and port dependent
   filtering", "port assignment", "port overloading", "hairpinning", and
   "external source IP address and port" as defined in [BEHAVE-UDP].


4.  TCP Connection Initiation

   This section describes various NAT behaviors applicable to TCP
   connection initiation.







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4.1.  Address and Port Mapping Behavior

   A NAT uses a mapping to translate packets for each TCP connection.  A
   mapping is dynamically allocated for connections initiated from the
   internal side, and potentially reused for certain subsequent
   connections.  NAT behavior regarding when a mapping can be reused
   differs for different NATs as described in [BEHAVE-UDP].

   Consider an internal IP address and TCP port (X:x) that initiates a
   TCP connection to an external (Y1:y1) tuple.  Let the mapping
   allocated by the NAT for this connection be (X1':x1').  Shortly
   thereafter, the endpoint initiates a connection from the same (X:x)
   to an external address (Y2:y2) and gets the mapping (X2':x2') on the
   NAT.  As per [BEHAVE-UDP], if (X1':x1') equals (X2':x2') for all
   values of (Y2:y2) then the NAT is defined to have "Endpoint
   Independent Mapping" behavior.  If (X1':x1') equals (X2':x2') only
   when Y2 equals Y1 then the NAT is defined to have "Address Dependent
   Mapping" behavior.  If (X1':x1') equals (X2':x2') only when (Y2:y2)
   equals (Y1:y1), possible only for consecutive connections to the same
   external address shortly after the first is terminated and if the NAT
   retains state for connections in TIME_WAIT state, then the NAT is
   defined to have "Address and Port Dependent Mapping" behavior.  This
   document introduces one additional behavior where (X1':x1') never
   equals (X2':x2'), that is, for each connection a new mapping is
   allocated; in such a case, the NAT is defined to have "Connection
   Dependent Mapping" behavior.

   REQ-1:  A NAT MUST have an "Endpoint Independent Mapping" behavior
      for TCP.

   Justification:  REQ-1 is necessary for UNSAF methods to work.
      Endpoint independent mapping behavior allows peer-to-peer
      applications to learn and advertise the external IP address and
      port allocated to an internal endpoint such that external peers
      can contact it (subject to the NAT's security policy).  The
      security policy of a NAT is independent of its mapping behavior
      and is discussed later in Section 4.3.  Having endpoint
      independent mapping behavior allows peer-to-peer applications to
      work consistently without compromising the security benefits of
      the NAT.

4.2.  Internally Initiated Connections

   An internal endpoint initiates a TCP connection through a NAT by
   sending a SYN packet.  The NAT allocates (or reuses) a mapping for
   the connection, as described in the previous section.  The mapping
   defines the external IP address and port used for translation of all
   packets for that connection.  In particular, for client-server



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   applications where an internal client initiates the connection to an
   external server, the mapping is used to translate the outbound SYN,
   the resulting inbound SYN-ACK response, the subsequent outbound ACK,
   and other packets for the connection.  This method of connection
   initiation corresponds to the 3-way handshake (defined in [RFC0793])
   and is supported by all NATs.

   Peer-to-peer applications use an alternate method of connection
   initiation termed simultaneous-open (Fig. 8, [RFC0793]) to traverse
   NATs.  In the Simultaneous-Open mode of operation, both peers send
   SYN packets for the same TCP connection.  The SYN packets cross in
   the network.  Upon receiving the other end's SYN packet each end
   responds with a SYN-ACK packet, which also cross in the network.  The
   connection is considered established once the SYN-ACKs are received.
   From the perspective of the NAT, the internal host's SYN packet is
   met by an inbound SYN packet for the same connection (as opposed to a
   SYN-ACK packet during a 3-way handshake).  Subsequent to this
   exchange, both an outbound and an inbound SYN-ACK are seen for the
   connection.  Some NATs erroneously block the inbound SYN for the
   connection in progress.  Some NATs block or incorrectly translate the
   outbound SYN-ACK.  Such behavior breaks TCP simultaneous-open and
   prevents peer-to-peer applications from functioning correctly behind
   a NAT.

   In order to provide network address translation service for TCP, it
   is necessary for a NAT to correctly receive, translate, and forward
   all packets for a connection that conform to valid transitions of the
   TCP State-Machine (Fig. 6, [RFC0793]).

   REQ-2:  A NAT MUST support all valid sequences of TCP packets
      (defined in [RFC0793]) for connections initiated both internally
      as well as externally when the connection is permitted by the NAT.
      In particular:
      a) In addition to handling the TCP 3-way handshake mode of
         connection initiation, A NAT MUST handle the TCP simultaneous-
         open mode of connection initiation.

   Justification:  The intent of this requirement is to allow standards
      compliant TCP stacks to traverse NATs no matter what path the
      stacks take through the TCP state-machine and no matter which end
      initiates the connection as long as the connection is permitted by
      the filtering policy of the NAT (filtering policy is described in
      the following section).
      a) In addition to TCP packets for a 3-Way Handshake, A NAT must be
         prepared to accept an inbound SYN and an outbound SYN-ACK for
         an internally initiated connection in order to support
         Simultaneous-Open.




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4.3.  Externally Initiated Connections

   The NAT allocates a mapping for the first connection initiated by an
   internal endpoint to an external endpoint.  In some scenarios, the
   NAT's policy may allow this mapping to be reused for connections
   initiated from the external side to the internal endpoint.  Consider
   as before an internal IP address and port (X:x) that is assigned (or
   reuses) a mapping (X1':x1') when it initiates a connection to an
   external (Y1:y1).  An external endpoint (Y2:y2) attempts to initiate
   a connection with the internal endpoint by sending a SYN to
   (X1':x1').  A NAT can choose to either allow the connection to be
   established, or to disallow the connection.  If the NAT chooses to
   allow the connection, it translates the inbound SYN and routes it to
   (X:x) as per the existing mapping.  It also translates the SYN-ACK
   generated by (X:x) in response and routes it to (Y2:y2) and so on.
   Alternately, the NAT can disallow the connection by filtering the
   inbound SYN.

   A NAT may allow an existing mapping to be reused by an externally
   initiated connection if its security policy permits.  Several
   different policies are possible as described in [BEHAVE-UDP].  If a
   NAT allows the connection initiation from all (Y2:y2) then it is
   defined to have "Endpoint Independent Filtering" behavior.  If the
   NAT allows connection initiations only when Y2 equals Y1 then the NAT
   is defined to have "Address Dependent Filtering" behavior.  If the
   NAT allows connection initiations only when (Y2:y2) equals (Y1:y1),
   then the NAT is defined to have "Address and Port Dependent
   Filtering" behavior (possible only shortly after the first connection
   has been terminated but the mapping is still active).  One additional
   filtering behavior defined in this document is when the NAT does not
   allow any connection initiations from the external side; in such
   cases, the NAT is defined to have "Connection Dependent Filtering"
   behavior.  The difference between "Address and Port Dependent
   Filtering" and "Connection Dependent Filtering" behavior is that the
   former permits an inbound SYN during the TIME_WAIT state of the first
   connection to initiate a new connection while the latter does not.

   REQ-3:  If application transparency is most important, it is
      RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Endpoint independent filtering"
      behavior for TCP.  If a more stringent filtering behavior is most
      important, it is RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Address dependent
      filtering" behavior.
      a) The filtering behavior MAY be an option configurable by the
         administrator of the NAT.







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      b) The filtering behavior for TCP MAY be independent of the
         filtering behavior for UDP.

   Justification:  The intent of this requirement is to allow peer-to-
      peer applications that do not always initiate connections from the
      internal side of the NAT to continue to work in the presence of
      NATs.  This behavior also allows applications behind a BEHAVE
      compliant NAT to inter-operate with remote endpoints that are
      behind non-BEHAVE compliant (legacy) NATs.  If the remote
      endpoint's NAT does not have endpoint independent mapping behavior
      but has only one external IP address, then an application can
      still traverse the combination of the two NATs if the local NAT
      has address dependent filtering.  Section 9 contains a detailed
      discussion on the security implications of this requirement.

   If the inbound SYN packet is filtered, either because a corresponding
   mapping does not exist or because of the NAT's filtering behavior, a
   NAT has two basic choices: to ignore the packet silently, or to
   signal an error to the sender.  Signaling an error through ICMP
   messages allows the sender to quickly detect that the SYN did not
   reach the intended destination.  Silently dropping the packet, on the
   other hand, allows applications to perform Simultaneous-Open more
   reliably.

   Silently dropping the SYN aids Simultaneous-Open as follows.
   Consider that the application is attempting a Simultaneous-Open and
   the outbound SYN from the internal endpoint has not yet crossed the
   NAT (due to network congestion or clock skew between the two
   endpoints); this outbound SYN would otherwise have created the
   necessary mapping at the NAT to allow translation of the inbound SYN.
   Since the outbound SYN did not reach the NAT in time, the inbound SYN
   cannot be processed.  If a NAT responds to the premature inbound SYN
   with an error message that forces the external endpoint to abandon
   the connection attempt, it hinders applications performing a TCP
   simultaneous-open.  If instead the NAT silently ignores the inbound
   SYN, the external endpoint retransmits the SYN after a TCP timeout.
   In the meantime, the NAT creates the mapping in response to the
   (delayed) outbound SYN such that the retransmitted inbound SYN can be
   routed and simultaneous-open can succeed.  The down-side to this
   behavior is that in the event the inbound SYN is erroneous, the
   remote side does not learn of the error until after several TCP
   timeouts.

   NAT support for simultaneous-open as well as quickly signaling errors
   are both important for applications.  Unfortunately, there is no way
   for a NAT to signal an error without forcing the endpoint to abort a
   potential simultaneous-open: TCP RST and ICMP Port Unreachable
   packets require the endpoint to abort the attempt while ICMP Host and



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   Network Unreachable errors may adversely affect other connections to
   the same host or network [RFC1122].

   In addition, when an unsolicited SYN is received by the NAT, the NAT
   may not know whether the application is attempting a simultaneous-
   open (and that it should therefore silently drop the SYN) or whether
   the SYN is in error (and that it should notify the sender).

   REQ-4:  A NAT MUST NOT respond to an unsolicited inbound SYN packet
      for at least 6 seconds after the packet is received.  If during
      this interval the NAT receives and translates an outbound SYN for
      the connection the NAT MUST silently drop the original unsolicited
      inbound SYN packet.  Otherwise the NAT SHOULD send an ICMP Port
      Unreachable error (Type 3, Code 3) for the original SYN, unless
      REQ-4a applies.
      a) The NAT MUST silently drop the original SYN packet if sending a
         response violates the security policy of the NAT.

   Justification:  The intent of this requirement is to allow
      simultaneous-open to work reliably in the presence of NATs as well
      as to quickly signal an error in case the unsolicited SYN is in
      error.  As of writing this memo, it is not possible to achieve
      both; the requirement therefore represents a compromise.  The NAT
      should tolerate some delay in the outbound SYN for a TCP
      simultaneous-open, which may be due to network congestion or loose
      synchronization between the endpoints.  If the unsolicited SYN is
      not part of a simultaneous-open attempt and is in error, the NAT
      should endeavor to signal the error in accordance with [RFC1122].
      a) There may, however, be reasons for the NAT to rate-limit or
         omit such error notifications, for example in the case of an
         attack.  Silently dropping the SYN packet when under attack
         allows simultaneous-open to work without consuming any extra
         network bandwidth or revealing the presence of the NAT to
         attackers.  Section 9 mentions the security considerations for
         this requirement.

   For NATs that combine NAT functionality with end-host functionality
   (e.g. an end-host that also serves as a NAT for other hosts behind
   it), REQ-4 above applies only to SYNs intended for the NAT'ed hosts
   and not to SYNs intended for the NAT itself.  One way to determine
   whether the inbound SYN is intended for a NAT'ed host is to allocate
   NAT mappings from one port range, and allocate ports for local
   endpoints from a different non-overlapping port range.  More dynamic
   implementations can be imagined.







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5.  NAT Session Refresh

   A NAT maintains state associated with in-progress and established
   connections.  Because of this, a NAT is susceptible to a resource-
   exhaustion attack whereby an attacker (or virus) on the internal side
   attempts to cause the NAT to create more state than it has resources
   for.  To prevent such an attack, a NAT needs to abandon sessions in
   order to free the state resources.

   A common method that is applicable only to TCP is to preferentially
   abandon sessions for crashed endpoints, followed by closed TCP
   connections and partially-open connections.  A NAT can check if an
   endpoint for a session has crashed by sending a TCP keep-alive packet
   and receiving a TCP RST packet in response.  If the NAT cannot
   determine whether the endpoint is active, it should not abandon the
   session until the TCP connection has been idle for some time.  Note
   that an established TCP connection can stay idle (but live)
   indefinitely; hence there is no fixed value for an idle-timeout that
   accommodates all applications.  However, a large idle-timeout
   motivated by recommendations in [RFC1122] can reduce the chances of
   abandoning a live session.

   A TCP connection passes through three phases: partially-open,
   established, and closing.  During the partially-open phase, endpoints
   synchronize initial sequence numbers.  The phase is initiated by the
   first SYN for the connection and extends until both endpoints have
   sent a packet with the ACK flag set (TCP states: SYN_SENT and
   SYN_RCVD).  ACKs in both directions mark the beginning of the
   established phase where application data can be exchanged
   indefinitely (TCP states: ESTABLISHED, FIN_WAIT_1, FIN_WAIT_2, and
   CLOSE_WAIT).  The closing phase begins when both endpoint have
   terminated their half of the connection by sending a FIN packet.
   Once FIN packets are seen in both directions, application data can no
   longer be exchanged but the stacks still need to ensure that the FIN
   packets are received (TCP states: CLOSING and LAST_ACK).

   TCP connections can stay in established phase indefinitely without
   exchanging any packets.  Some end-hosts can be configured to send
   keep-alive packets on such idle connections; by default, such keep-
   alive packets are sent every 2 hours if enabled [RFC1122].
   Consequently, a NAT that waits for slightly over 2 hours can detect
   idle connections with keep-alive packets being sent at the default
   rate.  TCP connections in the partially-open or closing phases, on
   the other hand, can stay idle for at most 4 minutes while waiting for
   in-flight packets to be delivered [RFC1122].

   The "established connection idle-timeout" for a NAT is defined as the
   minimum time a TCP connection in the established phase must remain



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   idle before the NAT considers the associated session a candidate for
   removal.  The "transitory connection idle-timeout" for a NAT is
   defined as the minimum time a TCP connection in the partially-open or
   closing phases must remain idle before the NAT considers the
   associated session a candidate for removal.  TCP connections in the
   TIME_WAIT state are not affected by the "transitory connection idle-
   timeout".

   REQ-5:  If a NAT cannot determine whether the endpoints of a TCP
      connection are active, it MAY abandon the session if it has been
      idle for some time.  In such cases, the value of the "established
      connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be less than 2 hours 4 minutes.
      The value of the "transitory connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be
      less than 4 minutes.
      a) The value of the NAT idle-timeouts MAY be configurable.

   Justification:  The intent of this requirement is to minimize the
      cases where a NAT abandons session state for a live connection.
      While some NATs may choose to abandon sessions reactively in
      response to new connection initiations (allowing idle connections
      to stay up indefinitely in the absence of new initiations), other
      NATs may choose to proactively reap idle sessions.  In cases where
      the NAT cannot actively determine if the connection is alive, this
      requirement ensures that applications can send keep-alive packets
      at the default rate (every 2 hours) such that the NAT can
      passively determine that the connection is alive.  The additional
      4 minutes allows time for in-flight packets to cross the NAT.

   NAT behavior for handling RST packets, or connections in TIME_WAIT
   state is left unspecified.  A NAT MAY hold state for a connection in
   TIME_WAIT state to accommodate retransmissions of the last ACK.
   However, since the TIME_WAIT state is commonly encountered by
   internal endpoints properly closing the TCP connection, holding state
   for a closed connection may limit the throughput of connections
   through a NAT with limited resources.  [RFC1337] describes hazards
   associated with TIME_WAIT assassination.

   The handling of non-SYN packets for connections for which there is no
   active mapping is left unspecified.  Such packets may be received if
   the NAT silently abandons a live connection, or abandons a connection
   in TIME_WAIT state before the 4 minute TIME_WAIT period expires.  The
   decision to either silently drop such packets or to respond with a
   TCP RST packet is left up to the implementation.

   NAT behavior for notifying endpoints when abandoning live connections
   is left unspecified.  When a NAT abandons a live connection, for
   example due to a timeout expiring, the NAT MAY either send TCP RST
   packets to the endpoints or MAY silently abandon the connection.



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   Sending a RST notification allows endpoint applications to recover
   more quickly, however, notifying the endpoints may not always be
   possible if, for example, session state it lost due to a power
   failure.


6.  Application Level Gateways

   Application Level Gateways (ALGs) in certain NATs modify IP addresses
   and TCP ports embedded inside application protocols.  Such ALGs may
   interfere with UNSAF methods or protocols that try to be NAT-aware
   and must therefore be used with extreme caution.

   REQ-6:  If a NAT includes ALGs that affect TCP, it is RECOMMENDED
      that all of those ALGs (except for FTP [RFC0959]) be disabled by
      default.

   Justification:  The intent of this requirement is to prevents ALGs
      from interfering with UNSAF methods.  The default state of a FTP
      ALG is left unspecified because of legacy concerns: as of writing
      this memo, a large fraction of legacy FTP clients do not enable
      passive (PASV) mode by default and require an ALG to traverse
      NATs.


7.  Other Requirements Applicable to TCP

   A list of general and UDP specific NAT behavioral requirements are
   described in [BEHAVE-UDP].  A list of ICMP specific NAT behavioral
   requirements are described in [BEHAVE-ICMP].  The requirements listed
   below reiterate the requirements from these two documents that
   directly affect TCP.  The following requirements do not relax any
   requirements in [BEHAVE-UDP] or [BEHAVE-ICMP].

7.1.  Port Assignment

   NATs that allow different internal endpoints to simultaneously use
   the same mapping are defined in [BEHAVE-UDP] to have a "Port
   assignment" behavior of "Port overloading".  Such behavior is
   undesirable as it prevents two internal endpoints sharing the same
   mapping from establishing simultaneous connections to a common
   external endpoint.

   REQ-7  A NAT MUST NOT have a "Port assignment" behavior of "Port
      overloading" for TCP.






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   Justification:  This requirement allows two applications on the
      internal side of the NAT to consistently communicate with the same
      destination.

   NAT behavior for preserving the source TCP port range for connections
   is left unspecified.  Some applications expect the source TCP port to
   be in the well-known range (TCP ports from 0 to 1023).  The "r"
   series of commands (rsh, rcp, rlogin, etc.) are an example.  NATs
   that preserve the range from which the source port is picked allow
   such applications to function properly through the NAT, however, by
   doing so the NAT may compromise the security of the application in
   certain situations; applications that depend only on the IP address
   and source TCP port range for security (the "r" commands for example)
   cannot distinguish between an attacker and a legitimate user behind
   the same NAT.

7.2.  Hairpinning Behavior

   NATs that forward packets originating from an internal address,
   destined for an external address that matches the active mapping for
   an internal address, back to that internal address are defined in
   [BEHAVE-UDP] as supporting "hairpinning".  If the NAT presents the
   hairpinned packet with an external source IP address and port (i.e.
   the mapped source address and port of the originating internal
   endpoint), then it is defined to have "External source IP address and
   port" for hairpinning.  Hairpinning is necessary to allow two
   internal endpoints (known to each other only by their external mapped
   addresses) to communicate with each other.  "External source IP
   address and port" behavior for hairpinning avoids confusing
   implementations that expect the external source address and port.

   REQ-8:  A NAT MUST support "Hairpinning" for TCP.
      a) A NAT's Hairpinning behavior MUST be of type "External source
         IP address and port".

   Justification:  This requirement allows two applications behind the
      same NAT that are trying to communicate with each other using
      their external addresses.
      a) Using the external source address and port for the hairpinned
         packet is necessary for applications that do not expect to
         receive a packet from a different address than the external
         address they are trying to communicate with.

7.3.  ICMP Responses to TCP Packets

   Several TCP mechanisms depend on the reception of ICMP error messages
   triggered by the transmission of TCP segments.  One such mechanism is



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   path MTU discovery [RFC1191], which is required for the correct
   operation of TCP.  The current path MTU discovery mechanism requires
   the sender of TCP segments to be notified of ICMP "Datagram Too Big"
   responses.

   REQ-9:  If a NAT translates TCP, it SHOULD translate ICMP Destination
      Unreachable (Type 3) messages.

   Justification:  Translating ICMP Destination Unreachable messages,
      particularly the "Fragmentation Needed and Don't Fragment was Set"
      (Type 3, Code 4) message avoids communication failures ("black
      holes" [RFC2923]).  Furthermore, TCP's connection establishment
      and maintenance mechanisms also behave much more efficiently when
      ICMP Destination Unreachable messages arrive in response to
      outgoing TCP segments.

   REQ-10:  Receipt of any sort of ICMP message MUST NOT terminate the
      NAT mapping or TCP connection for which the ICMP was generated.

   Justification:  This is necessary for reliably performing TCP
      simultaneous-open where a remote NAT may temporarily signal an
      ICMP error.


8.  Requirements

   A NAT that supports all of the mandatory requirements of this
   specification (i.e., the "MUST") and is compliant with [BEHAVE-UDP],
   is "compliant with this specification".  A NAT that supports all of
   the requirements of this specification (i.e., included the
   "RECOMMENDED") and is fully compliant with [BEHAVE-UDP] is "fully
   compliant with all the mandatory and recommended requirements of this
   specification".

   REQ-1:  A NAT MUST have an "Endpoint Independent Mapping" behavior
      for TCP.
   REQ-2:  A NAT MUST support all valid sequences of TCP packets
      (defined in [RFC0793]) for connections initiated both internally
      as well as externally when the connection is permitted by the NAT.
      In particular:
      a) In addition to handling the TCP 3-way handshake mode of
         connection initiation, A NAT MUST handle the TCP simultaneous-
         open mode of connection initiation.
   REQ-3:  If application transparency is most important, it is
      RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Endpoint independent filtering"
      behavior for TCP.  If a more stringent filtering behavior is most
      important, it is RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Address dependent
      filtering" behavior.



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      a) The filtering behavior MAY be an option configurable by the
         administrator of the NAT.
      b) The filtering behavior for TCP MAY be independent of the
         filtering behavior for UDP.
   REQ-4:  A NAT MUST NOT respond to an unsolicited inbound SYN packet
      for at least 6 seconds after the packet is received.  If during
      this interval the NAT receives and translates an outbound SYN for
      the connection the NAT MUST silently drop the original unsolicited
      inbound SYN packet.  Otherwise the NAT SHOULD send an ICMP Port
      Unreachable error (Type 3, Code 3) for the original SYN, unless
      REQ-4a applies.
      a) The NAT MUST silently drop the original SYN packet if sending a
         response violates the security policy of the NAT.
   REQ-5:  If a NAT cannot determine whether the endpoints of a TCP
      connection are active, it MAY abandon the session if it has been
      idle for some time.  In such cases, the value of the "established
      connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be less than 2 hours 4 minutes.
      The value of the "transitory connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be
      less than 4 minutes.
      a) The value of the NAT idle-timeouts MAY be configurable.
   REQ-6:  If a NAT includes ALGs that affect TCP, it is RECOMMENDED
      that all of those ALGs (except for FTP [RFC0959]) be disabled by
      default.
   REQ-7  A NAT MUST NOT have a "Port assignment" behavior of "Port
      overloading" for TCP.
   REQ-8:  A NAT MUST support "Hairpinning" for TCP.
      a) A NAT's Hairpinning behavior MUST be of type "External source
         IP address and port".
   REQ-9:  If a NAT translates TCP, it SHOULD translate ICMP Destination
      Unreachable (Type 3) messages.
   REQ-10:  Receipt of any sort of ICMP message MUST NOT terminate the
      NAT mapping or TCP connection for which the ICMP was generated.


9.  Security considerations

   Security concerns specific to handling TCP packets are discussed in
   this section.

   Security considerations for REQ-1:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.

   Security considerations for REQ-2:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.  Simultaneous-open
      and other transitions in the TCP state machine are by-design and
      necessary for TCP to work correctly in all scenarios.  Further,
      this requirement only affects connections already in progress as
      authorized by the NAT in accordance with its policy.



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   Security considerations for REQ-3:  The security provided by the NAT
      is governed by its filtering behavior as addressed in
      [BEHAVE-UDP].  Connection dependent filtering behavior is most
      secure from a firewall perspective, but severely restricts
      connection initiations through a NAT.  Endpoint independent
      filtering behavior, which is most transparent to applications,
      requires an attacker to guess the IP address and port of an active
      mapping in order to get his packet to an internal host.  Address
      dependent filtering, on the other hand, is less transparent than
      endpoint independent filtering but more transparent than
      connection dependent filtering; it is more secure than endpoint
      independent filtering as it requires an attacker to additionally
      guess the address of the external endpoint for a NAT session
      associated with the mapping and be able to receive packets
      addressed to the same.  While this protects against most attackers
      on the Internet, it does not necessarily protect against attacks
      that originate from behind a remote NAT with a single IP address
      that is also translating a legitimate connection to the victim.

   Security considerations for REQ-4:  This document recommends a NAT to
      respond to unsolicited inbound SYN packets with an ICMP error
      delayed by a few seconds.  Doing so may reveal the presence of a
      NAT to an external attacker.  Silently dropping the SYN makes it
      harder to diagnose network problems and forces applications to
      wait for the TCP stack to finish several retransmissions before
      reporting an error.  An implementer must therefore understand and
      carefully weigh the effects of not sending an ICMP error or rate-
      limiting such ICMP errors to a very small number.

   Security considerations for REQ-5:  This document recommends that a
      NAT that passively monitors TCP state keep idle sessions alive for
      at least 2 hours 4 minutes or 4 minutes depending on the state of
      the connection.  If a NAT is under attack, it may attempt to
      actively determine the liveliness of a TCP connection or let the
      NAT administrator configure more conservative timeouts.

   Security considerations for REQ-6:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.

   Security considerations for REQ-7:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.

   Security considerations for REQ-8:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.






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   Security considerations for REQ-9:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.

   Security considerations for REQ-10:  This requirement does not
      introduce any TCP-specific security concerns.

   NAT implementations that modify TCP sequence numbers (e.g., for
   privacy reasons or for ALG support) must ensure that TCP packets with
   SACK notifications [RFC2018] are properly handled.

   NAT implementations that modify local state based on TCP flags in
   packets must ensure that out-of-window TCP packets are properly
   handled.  [TCP-ANTISPOOF] summarizes and discusses a variety of
   solutions designed to prevent attackers from affecting TCP
   connections.


10.  IANA considerations

   This document does not change or create any IANA-registered values.


11.  Acknowledgments

   Joe Touch contributed the mechanism for handling unsolicited inbound
   SYNs.  Thanks to Mark Allman, Francois Audet, Lars Eggert, Paul
   Francis, Fernando Gont, Sam Hartman, Paul Hoffman, Dave Hudson,
   Cullen Jennings, Philip Matthews, Tom Petch, Magnus Westerlund, and
   Dan Wing for their many contributions, comments and suggestions.


12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

   [BEHAVE-ICMP]
              Srisuresh, P., Ford, B., Sivakumar, S., and S. Guha, "NAT
              Behavioral Requirements for ICMP protocol",
              draft-ietf-behave-nat-icmp (work in progress).

   [BEHAVE-UDP]
              Audet, F. and C. Jennings, "Network Address Translation
              (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for Unicast UDP", BCP 127,
              RFC 4787, January 2007.

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



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   [RFC0959]  Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "File Transfer Protocol",
              STD 9, RFC 959, October 1985.

   [RFC1122]  Braden, R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122, October 1989.

   [RFC1191]  Mogul, J. and S. Deering, "Path MTU discovery", RFC 1191,
              November 1990.

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

12.2.  Informational References

   [NATBLASTER]
              Biggadike, A., Ferullo, D., Wilson, G., and A. Perrig,
              "NATBLASTER: Establishing TCP connections between hosts
              behind NATs", Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Asia
              Workshop (Beijing, China), April 2005.

   [P2PNAT]   Ford, B., Srisuresh, P., and D. Kegel, "Peer-to-peer
              communication across network address translators",
              Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical
              Conference (Anaheim, CA), April 2005.

   [RFC1337]  Braden, B., "TIME-WAIT Assassination Hazards in TCP",
              RFC 1337, May 1992.

   [RFC1644]  Braden, B., "T/TCP -- TCP Extensions for Transactions
              Functional Specification", RFC 1644, July 1994.

   [RFC2018]  Mathis, M., Mahdavi, J., Floyd, S., and A. Romanow, "TCP
              Selective Acknowledgment Options", RFC 2018, October 1996.

   [RFC2663]  Srisuresh, P. and M. Holdrege, "IP Network Address
              Translator (NAT) Terminology and Considerations",
              RFC 2663, August 1999.

   [RFC2923]  Lahey, K., "TCP Problems with Path MTU Discovery",
              RFC 2923, September 2000.

   [RFC3022]  Srisuresh, P. and K. Egevang, "Traditional IP Network
              Address Translator (Traditional NAT)", RFC 3022,
              January 2001.

   [RFC4614]  Duke, M., Braden, R., Eddy, W., and E. Blanton, "A Roadmap
              for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Specification
              Documents", RFC 4614, September 2006.



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   [STUNT]    Guha, S. and P. Francis, "NUTSS: A SIP based approach to
              UDP and TCP connectivity", Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM
              Workshop on Future Directions in Network
              Architecture (Portland, OR), August 2004.

   [TCP-ANTISPOOF]
              Touch, J., "Defending TCP Against Spoofing Attacks",
              draft-ietf-tcpm-tcp-antispoof (work in progress).

   [TCPTRAV]  Guha, S. and P. Francis, "Characterization and Measurement
              of TCP Traversal through NATs and Firewalls", Proceedings
              of the Internet Measurement Conference (Berkeley, CA),
              October 2005.


Authors' Addresses

   Saikat Guha (editor)
   Cornell University
   331 Upson Hall
   Ithaca, NY  14853
   US

   Phone: +1 607 255 1008
   Email: saikat@cs.cornell.edu


   Kaushik Biswas
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 West Tasman Dr.
   San Jose, CA  95134
   US

   Phone: +1 408 525 5134
   Email: kbiswas@cisco.com


   Bryan Ford
   M.I.T.
   Laboratory for Computer Science
   77 Massachusetts Ave.
   Cambridge, MA  02139
   US

   Phone: +1 617 253 5261
   Email: baford@mit.edu





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   Senthil Sivakumar
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   7100-8 Kit Creek Road
   PO Box 14987
   Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-4987
   US

   Phone: +1 919 392 5158
   Email: ssenthil@cisco.com


   Pyda Srisuresh
   Consultant
   20072 Pacifica Dr.
   Cupertino, CA  95014
   US

   Phone: +1 408 836 4773
   Email: srisuresh@yahoo.com
































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Full Copyright Statement

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