[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 RFC 5363

SIPPING Working Group                                       G. Camarillo
Internet-Draft                                                  Ericsson
Expires: March 2, 2005                                          A. Roach
                                                        Estacado Systems
                                                          September 2004

 Framework and Security Considerations for Session Initiation Protocol
         (SIP) Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)-List Services

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
   of section 3 of RFC 3667.  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 become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 2, 2005.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).


   This document describes the need for SIP URI-list services and
   provides requirements for their invocation.  Additionaly, it defines
   a framework for SIP URI-List services which includes security
   considerations applicable to these services.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 1]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1   Requirements for URI-List Services Using
           Request-Contained Lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.2   General Requirements for URI-List Services . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  Framework  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     4.1   Carrying URI-Lists in SIP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     4.2   Processing of URI-Lists  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     4.3   Results  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     5.1   List Integrity and Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.2   Amplification Attacks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.3   Unsolicited Requests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     5.4   General Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   7.  Acknowledges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   8.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   8.1   Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   8.2   Informational References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 11

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 2]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

1.  Introduction

   Some applications require that, at a given moment, a SIP [2] UA (User
   Agent) performs a similar transaction with a number of remote UAs.
   For example, an instant messaging application that needs to send a
   particular message (e.g., "Hello folks") to n receivers needs to send
   n MESSAGE requests; one to each receiver.

   When the transacton that needs to be repeated consists of a large
   request, or the number of recipients is high, or both, the access
   network of the UA needs to carry a considerable amount of traffic.
   Completing all the transactions on a low-bandwidth access would
   require a long time.  This is unacceptable for a number of

   A solution to this problem consists of introducing URI-list services
   in the network.  The task of a SIP URI-list service is to receive a
   request that contains or references a URI-list (i.e., a list of one
   or more URIs) and send a number of similar requests to the
   destinations in this list.  Once the requests are sent, the URI-list
   service typically informs the UA about their status.  Effectively,
   the URI-list service behaves as a B2BUA (Back-To-Back-User-Agent).

   A given URI-list service can take as an input a URI-list contained in
   the SIP request sent by the client or an external URI-list (e.g., the
   Request-URI is a SIP URI which is associated with a URI-list at the
   server).  External URI-lists are typically set up using out-of-band
   mechanisms (e.g., XCAP [8]).  An example of a URI-list service for
   SUBSCRIBE requests that uses stored URI-lists is described in [4].

   The Advanced Instant Messaging Requirements for SIP [5] mentions the
   need for request-contained URI-list services for MESSAGE

   "REQ-GROUP-3: It MUST be possible for a user to send to an ad-hoc
   group, where the identities of the recipients are carried in the
   message itself."

   The remainder of this document provides requirements for URI-list
   services using request-contained URI-lists, external URI-lists, or

2.  Terminology

   In this document, the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
   RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" are to be interpreted as
   described in BCP 14, RFC 2119 [1] and indicate requirement levels for

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 3]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

   compliant implementations.

3.  Requirements

   Section 3.1 discusses requirements that only apply to URI-list
   services that use request-contained lists and Section 3.2 discusses
   requirements that also apply services using external lists.

3.1  Requirements for URI-List Services Using Request-Contained Lists

   REQ 1: The URI-list service invocation mechanism MUST allow the
      invoker to provide a list of destination URIs to the URI-list
   REQ 2: The invocation mechanism SHOULD NOT require more than one RTT
      (Round-Trip Time).

3.2  General Requirements for URI-List Services

   GEN 1: A URI-list service MAY include services beyond sending
      requests to the URIs in the URI-list.  That is, URI-list services
      can be modelled as application servers.  For example, a URI-list
      service handling INVITE requests may behave as a conference server
      and perform media mixing for all the participants.
   GEN 2: The interpretation of the meaning of the URI-list sent by the
      invoker MUST be at the discretion of the application to which the
      list is sent.
   GEN 3: It MUST be possible for the invoker to find out about the
      result of the operations performed by the URI-list service with
      the URI-list.  An invoker may, for instance, be interested in the
      status of the transactions initiated by the URI-list service.
   GEN 4: URI-list services MUST NOT send requests to any destination
      without authenticating the invoker.

4.  Framework

   This framework is not restricted to application servers that only
   provide request fan-out services.  Per GEN 1, this framework also
   deals with application servers that provide a particular service that
   includes a request fan-out (e.g., a conference server that INVITEs
   several participants which are chosen by a user agent).

4.1  Carrying URI-Lists in SIP

   The requirements that relate to URI-list services that use
   request-contained lists identify the need for a mechanism to provide
   a SIP URI-list service with a URI-list in a single RTT.  We define a
   new disposition type for the Content-Disposition header field:
   recipient-list.  Both requests and responses MAY carry recipient-list

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 4]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

   bodies.  Bodies whose disposition type is recipient-list carry a list
   of URIs that contains the final recipients of the requests to be
   generated by a URI-list service.

   The default format for recipient-list bodies is service specific.
   So, URI-list services specifications MUST specify a default format
   for recipient-list bodies used within a particular service.

   A UA server receiving a request with more than one recipient-list
   body parts (e.g., each body part using a different URI-list format)
   MUST behave as if it had received a single URI-list which contains
   all the URIs present in the different body parts.

   The way a UA server receiving a URI-list interprets it is service
   specific, as described in Section 4.2.

4.2  Processing of URI-Lists

   According to GEN 1 and GEN 2, URI-list services can behave as
   application servers.  That is, taking a URI-list as an input, they
   can provide arbitrary services.  So, the interpretation of the
   URI-list by the server depends on the service to be provided.  For
   example, for a conference server, the URIs in the list may identify
   the initial set of participants.  On the other hand, for a server
   dealing with MESSAGEs, the URIs in the list may identify the
   recipients of an instant message.

   At the SIP level, this implies that the behavior of application
   servers receiving requests with URI-lists SHOULD be specified on a
   per service basis.  Examples of such specifications are [9] for
   INVITE, [10] for REFER, [11] for MESSAGE, and [12] for SUBSCRIBE.

4.3  Results

   According to GEN 3, user agents should have a way to obtain
   information about the operations performed by the application server.
   Since these operations are service specific, the way user agents are
   kept informed is also service specific.  For example, a user agent
   establishing an adhoc conference with an INVITE with a URI-list may
   discover which participants were successfully brought in into the
   conference by using the conference package [7].

5.  Security Considerations

   Security plays an important role in the implementation of any
   URI-list service.  In fact, it is the most important common area
   across all types of URI-list services.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 5]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

   By definition, a URI-list service takes one request in and sends a
   potentially large number of them out.  Attackers may attempt to use
   URI-list services as traffic amplifiers to launch DoS attacks.  In
   addition, malicious users may attempt to use URI-list services to
   distribute unsolicited messages (i.e., SPAM) or to make unsolicited
   VoIP calls.  This section provides guidelines to avoid these attacks.

5.1  List Integrity and Confidentiality

   Attackers may attempt to modify URI-lists sent from clients to
   servers.  This would cause a different behavior at the server than
   expected by the client (e.g., requests being sent to different
   recipients as the ones specified by the client).  To prevent this
   attack, clients SHOULD integrity protect URI-lists using mechanisms
   such as S/MIME, which can also provide URI-list confidentiality if

5.2  Amplification Attacks

   URI-list services take a request in and send a potentially large
   number of them out.  Given that URI-list services are typically
   implemented on top of powerful servers with high-bandwidth access
   links, we should be careful to keep attackers from using them as
   amplification tools to launch DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

   Attackers may attempt to send a URI-list containing URIs whose host
   parts route to the victims of the DoS attack.  These victims do not
   need to be SIP nodes; they can be non-SIP endpoints or even routers.
   If this attack is successful, the result is that an attacker can
   flood with traffic a set of nodes, or a single node, without needing
   to generate a high volume of traffic itself.

      Note, in any case, that this problem is not specific to SIP
      URI-list services; it also appears in scenarios which relate to
      multihoming where a server needs to contact a set of IP addresses
      provided by a client (e.g., an SCTP [3] endpoint using HEARTBEATs
      to check the status of the IP addresses provided by its peer at
      association establishment).

   There are several measures that need to be taken to prevent this type
   of attack.  The first one is keeping unauthorized users from using
   URI-list services.  So, URI-list services MUST NOT perform any
   request explosion for an unauthorized user.  URI-list services MUST
   authenticate users and check whether they are authorized to request
   the service before performing any request fan-out.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 6]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

      Note that the risk of this attack also exists when a client uses
      stored URI-lists.  Application servers MUST use authentication and
      authorization mechanisms with equivalent security properties when
      dealing with stored and request-contained URI-lists.

   Even though the previous rule keeps unauthorized users from using
   URI-list services, authorized users may still launch attacks using a
   these services.  To prevent these attacks, we introduce the concept
   of opt-in lists.  That is, URI-list services should not allow a
   client to place a user (identified by his or her URI) in a URI-list
   unless the user has previously agreed to be placed in such a
   URI-list.  So, URI-list services MUST NOT send a request to a
   destination which has not agreed to receive requests from the
   URI-list service beforehand.  Users can agree to receive requests
   from a URI-list service in several ways, such as filling a web page,
   sending an email, or signing a contract.  Additionally, users MUST be
   able to further describe the requests they are willing to receive.
   For example, a user may only want to receive requests from a
   particular URI-list service on behalf of a particular user.
   Effectively, these rules make URI-lists used by URI-list services
   opt-in lists.

   When a URI-list service receives a request with a URI-list from a
   client, the URI-list service checks whether all the destinations have
   agreed beforehand to receive requests from the service on behalf of
   this client.  If the URI-list has permission to send requests to all
   of the targets in the request, it does so.  If not, the URI-list
   service rejects the request, indicating in the rejection the set of
   targets for which it did not have permission.  This allows the client
   to request permission for those targets.

   DoS amplification would still happen if the URI-list service
   automatically contacted the full set of targets for which it did not
   have permission in order to request permission.  The URI-list service
   would be receiving one SIP request and sending out a number of
   authorization request messages.  In order to avoid this
   amplification, the URI-list service must ensure that the client
   generates roughly the same amount of traffic towards the URI-list
   service as the service generates towards the destinations.
   Consequently, the URI-list service MUST require that clients send and
   individual authorization request for each destination.

   These individual authorization requests sent by the client may or may
   not be routed through the URI-list service.  In any case, the
   URI-list service MUST be informed about the destinations' responses
   to these authorization requests in order to authorize requests
   towards them.  One possible mechanism for clients to send
   authorization requests to the destinations is specified in [13],

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 7]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

   which discusses consent-based communications in SIP.  The
   requirements for consent-based communications in SIP are discussed in

5.3  Unsolicited Requests

   Opt-in lists should help fighting SPAMMERS.  Still, if a URI-list
   service is used to send unsolicited requests to one or several
   destinations, it should be possible to track down the sender of such
   requests.  To do that, URI-list services MAY provide information
   about the identity of the original sender of the request in their
   outgoing requests by using the SIP identity mechanism [6].  A
   detailed study of SPAM in SIP can be found in [15].

5.4  General Issues

   URI-list services MAY have policies that limit the number of URIs in
   the lists they accept, as a very long list could be used in a denial
   of service attack to place a large burden on the URI-list service to
   send a large number of SIP requests.

   The general requirement number 4, which states that URI-list services
   need to authenticate their clients, and the previous rules apply to
   URI-list services in general.  In addition, specifications dealing
   with individual methods MUST describe the security issues that relate
   to each particular method.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document defines a new Content-Disposition header field
   disposition type (recipient-list) in Section 4.1.  This value should
   be registered in the IANA registry for Content-Dispositions on


   with the following description:

            recipient-list    the body contains a list of URIs

7.  Acknowledges

   Duncan Mills and Miguel A.  Garcia-Martin supported the idea of 1 to
   n MESSAGEs.  Jon Peterson, Dean Willis, and Jonathan Rosenberg
   provided useful comments.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 8]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

8.  References

8.1  Normative References

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

   [2]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston, A.,
        Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M. and E. Schooler, "SIP:
        Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261, June 2002.

8.2  Informational References

   [3]   Bradner, S., "A Proposal for an MOU-Based ICANN Protocol
         Support Organization", RFC 2690, September 1999.

   [4]   Roach, A., Rosenberg, J. and B. Campbell, "A Session Initiation
         Protocol (SIP) Event Notification Extension for  Resource
         Lists", draft-ietf-simple-event-list-05 (work in progress),
         August 2004.

   [5]   Rosenberg, J., "Advanced Instant Messaging Requirements for the
         Session Initiation Protocol  (SIP)",
         draft-rosenberg-simple-messaging-requirements-01 (work in
         progress), February 2004.

   [6]   Peterson, J., "Enhancements for Authenticated Identity
         Management in the Session Initiation  Protocol (SIP)",
         draft-ietf-sip-identity-02 (work in progress), May 2004.

   [7]   Rosenberg, J. and H. Schulzrinne, "A Session Initiation
         Protocol (SIP) Event Package for Conference State",
         draft-ietf-sipping-conference-package-05 (work in progress),
         July 2004.

   [8]   Rosenberg, J., "The Extensible Markup Language (XML)
         Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP)",
         draft-ietf-simple-xcap-03 (work in progress), July 2004.

   [9]   Camarillo, G. and A. Johnston, "Conference Establishment Using
         Request-Contained Lists in the Session  Initiation Protocol
         (SIP)", draft-ietf-sipping-uri-list-conferencing-00 (work in
         progress), July 2004.

   [10]  "Refering to Multiple Resources in the Session Initiation
         Protocol (SIP)", draft-ietf-sipping-multiple-refer-00 (work in
         progress), July 2004.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                  [Page 9]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

   [11]  Garcia-Martin, M. and G. Camarillo, "Multiple-Recipient MESSAGE
         Requests in the Session Initiation Protocol  (SIP)",
         draft-ietf-sipping-uri-list-message-00 (work in progress), July

   [12]  Camarillo, G. and A. Roach, "Subscriptions to Request-Contained
         Resource Lists in the Session Initiation  Protocol (SIP)",
         draft-ietf-sipping-uri-list-subscribe-00 (work in progress),
         July 2004.

   [13]  Rosenberg, J., "A Framework for Consent-Based Communications in
         the Session Initiation  Protocol (SIP)",
         draft-rosenberg-sipping-consent-framework-00 (work in
         progress), July 2004.

   [14]  Rosenberg, J., "Requirements for Consent-Based Communications
         in the Session Initiation  Protocol (SIP)",
         draft-rosenberg-sipping-consent-reqs-00 (work in progress),
         July 2004.

   [15]  Rosenberg, J. and C. Jennings, "The Session Initiation Protocol
         (SIP) and Spam", draft-rosenberg-sipping-spam-00 (work in
         progress), July 2004.

Authors' Addresses

   Gonzalo Camarillo
   Hirsalantie 11
   Jorvas  02420

   EMail: Gonzalo.Camarillo@ericsson.com

   Adam Roach
   Estacado Systems

   EMail: adam@estacado.net

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                 [Page 10]

Internet-Draft       Framework for SIP-URI Services       September 2004

Intellectual Property Statement

   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

   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

Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  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.


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

Camarillo & Roach        Expires March 2, 2005                 [Page 11]

Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.111, available from https://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/