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PROPOSED STANDARD

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                           F. Gont
Request for Comments: 7112                           Huawei Technologies
Updates: 2460                                                  V. Manral
Category: Standards Track                                 Ionos Networks
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                R. Bonica
                                                        Juniper Networks
                                                            January 2014


              Implications of Oversized IPv6 Header Chains

Abstract

   The IPv6 specification allows IPv6 Header Chains of an arbitrary
   size.  The specification also allows options that can, in turn,
   extend each of the headers.  In those scenarios in which the IPv6
   Header Chain or options are unusually long and packets are
   fragmented, or scenarios in which the fragment size is very small,
   the First Fragment of a packet may fail to include the entire IPv6
   Header Chain.  This document discusses the interoperability and
   security problems of such traffic, and updates RFC 2460 such that the
   First Fragment of a packet is required to contain the entire IPv6
   Header Chain.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7112.














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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Requirements Language ...........................................3
   3. Terminology .....................................................3
   4. Motivation ......................................................4
   5. Updates to RFC 2460 .............................................5
   6. IANA Considerations .............................................5
   7. Security Considerations .........................................6
   8. Acknowledgements ................................................6
   9. References ......................................................7
      9.1. Normative References .......................................7
      9.2. Informative References .....................................7

1.  Introduction

   With IPv6, optional internet-layer information is carried in one or
   more IPv6 Extension Headers [RFC2460].  Extension Headers are placed
   between the IPv6 header and the Upper-Layer Header in a packet.  The
   term "Header Chain" refers collectively to the IPv6 header, Extension
   Headers, and Upper-Layer Header occurring in a packet.  In those
   scenarios in which the IPv6 Header Chain is unusually long and
   packets are fragmented, or scenarios in which the fragment size is
   very small, the Header Chain may span multiple fragments.

   While IPv4 had a fixed maximum length for the set of all IPv4 options
   present in a single IPv4 packet, IPv6 does not have any equivalent
   maximum limit at present.  This document updates the set of IPv6
   specifications to create an overall limit on the size of the
   combination of IPv6 options and IPv6 Extension Headers that is
   allowed in a single IPv6 packet.  Namely, it updates RFC 2460 such
   that the First Fragment of a fragmented datagram is required to
   contain the entire IPv6 Header Chain.



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   It should be noted that this requirement does not preclude the use of
   large payloads but, instead, merely requires that all headers,
   starting from the IPv6 base header and continuing up to the Upper-
   Layer Header (e.g., TCP or the like) be present in the First
   Fragment.

2.  Requirements Language

   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].

3.  Terminology

   For the purposes of this document, the terms Extension Header, IPv6
   Header Chain, First Fragment, and Upper-Layer Header are used as
   follows:

   Extension Header:

      Extension Headers are defined in Section 4 of [RFC2460].  As a
      result of [RFC7045], [IANA-PROTO] provides a list of assigned
      Internet Protocol Numbers and designates which of those protocol
      numbers also represent Extension Headers.

   First Fragment:

      An IPv6 fragment with Fragment Offset equal to 0.

   IPv6 Header Chain:

      The IPv6 Header Chain contains an initial IPv6 header, zero or
      more IPv6 Extension Headers, and optionally, a single Upper-Layer
      Header.  If an Upper-Layer Header is present, it terminates the
      header chain; otherwise, the "No Next Header" value (Next Header =
      59) terminates it.

      The first member of the IPv6 Header Chain is always an IPv6
      header.  For a subsequent header to qualify as a member of the
      header chain, it must be referenced by the "Next Header" field of
      the previous member of the header chain.  However, if a second
      IPv6 header appears in the header chain, as is the case when IPv6
      is tunneled over IPv6, the second IPv6 header is considered to be
      an Upper-Layer Header and terminates the header chain.  Likewise,
      if an Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) header appears in the
      header chain, it is considered to be an Upper-Layer Header, and it
      terminates the header chain.




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   Upper-Layer Header:

      In the general case, the Upper-Layer Header is the first member of
      the header chain that is neither an IPv6 header nor an IPv6
      Extension Header.  However, if either an ESP header, or a second
      IPv6 header occur in the header chain, they are considered to be
      Upper-Layer Headers, and they terminate the header chain.

      Neither the upper-layer payload, nor any protocol data following
      the upper-layer payload, is considered to be part of the IPv6
      Header Chain.  In a simple example, if the Upper-Layer Header is a
      TCP header, the TCP payload is not part of the IPv6 Header Chain.
      In a more complex example, if the Upper-Layer Header is an ESP
      header, neither the payload data, nor any of the fields that
      follow the payload data in the ESP header are part of the IPv6
      Header Chain.

4.  Motivation

   Many forwarding devices implement stateless firewalls.  A stateless
   firewall enforces a forwarding policy on a packet-by-packet basis.
   In order to enforce its forwarding policy, the stateless firewall may
   need to glean information from both the IPv6 and upper-layer headers.

   For example, assume that a stateless firewall discards all traffic
   received from an interface unless it is destined for a particular TCP
   port on a particular IPv6 address.  When this firewall is presented
   with a fragmented packet that is destined for a different TCP port,
   and the entire header chain is contained within the First Fragment,
   the firewall discards the First Fragment and allows subsequent
   fragments to pass.  Because the First Fragment was discarded, the
   packet cannot be reassembled at the destination.  Insomuch as the
   packet cannot be reassembled, the forwarding policy is enforced.

   However, when the firewall is presented with a fragmented packet and
   the header chain spans multiple fragments, the First Fragment does
   not contain enough information for the firewall to enforce its
   forwarding policy.  Lacking sufficient information, the stateless
   firewall either forwards or discards that fragment.  Regardless of
   the action that it takes, it may fail to enforce its forwarding
   policy.










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5.  Updates to RFC 2460

   When a host fragments an IPv6 datagram, it MUST include the entire
   IPv6 Header Chain in the First Fragment.

   A host that receives a First Fragment that does not satisfy the
   above-stated requirement SHOULD discard the packet and SHOULD send an
   ICMPv6 error message to the source address of the offending packet
   (subject to the rules for ICMPv6 errors specified in [RFC4443]).
   However, for backwards compatibility, implementations MAY include a
   configuration option that allows such fragments to be accepted.

   Likewise, an intermediate system (e.g., router or firewall) that
   receives an IPv6 First Fragment that does not satisfy the above-
   stated requirement MAY discard that packet, and it MAY send an ICMPv6
   error message to the source address of the offending packet (subject
   to the rules for ICMPv6 error messages specified in [RFC4443]).
   Intermediate systems having this capability SHOULD support
   configuration (e.g., enable/disable) of whether or not such packets
   are dropped by the intermediate system.

   If a host or intermediate system discards a First Fragment because it
   does not satisfy the above-stated requirement and sends an ICMPv6
   error message due to the discard, then the ICMPv6 error message MUST
   be Type 4 ("Parameter Problem") and MUST use Code 3 ("First Fragment
   has incomplete IPv6 Header Chain").  The Pointer field contained by
   the ICMPv6 Parameter Problem message MUST be set to zero.  The format
   for the ICMPv6 error message is the same regardless of whether a host
   or intermediate system originates it.

   As a result of the above-mentioned requirement, a packet's header
   chain length cannot exceed the Path MTU associated with its
   destination.  Hosts discover the Path MTU using procedures such as
   those defined in [RFC1981] and [RFC4821].  Hosts that do not discover
   the Path MTU MUST limit the IPv6 Header Chain length to 1280 bytes.
   Limiting the IPv6 Header Chain length to 1280 bytes ensures that the
   header chain length does not exceed the IPv6 minimum MTU [RFC2460].

6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has added the following "Type 4 - Parameter Problem" message to
   the "Internet Control Message Protocol version 6 (ICMPv6) Parameters"
   registry:

      CODE     NAME/DESCRIPTION
       3       IPv6 First Fragment has incomplete IPv6 Header Chain





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7.  Security Considerations

   No new security exposures or issues are raised by this document.
   This document describes how undesirably fragmented packets can be
   leveraged to evade stateless packet filtering.  Having made that
   observation, this document updates [RFC2460] so that undesirably
   fragmented packets are forbidden.  Therefore, a security
   vulnerability is removed.

   This specification allows nodes that drop the aforementioned packets
   to signal such packet drops with ICMPv6 "Parameter Problem, IPv6
   First Fragment has incomplete IPv6 header chain" (Type 4, Code 3)
   error messages.

   As with all ICMPv6 error/diagnostic messages, deploying Source
   Address Forgery Prevention filters helps reduce the chances of an
   attacker successfully performing a reflection attack by sending
   forged illegal packets with the victim's/target's IPv6 address as the
   IPv6 source address of the illegal packet [RFC2827] [RFC3704].

   A firewall that performs stateless deep packet inspection (i.e.,
   examines application payload content) might still be unable to
   correctly process fragmented packets, even if the IPv6 Header Chain
   is not fragmented.

8.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank Ran Atkinson for contributing text
   and ideas that were incorporated into this document.

   The authors would like to thank (in alphabetical order) Ran Atkinson,
   Fred Baker, Stewart Bryant, Brian Carpenter, Benoit Claise, Dominik
   Elsbroek, Wes George, Mike Heard, Bill Jouris, Suresh Krishnan, Dave
   Thaler, Ole Troan, Eric Vyncke, and Peter Yee, for providing valuable
   comments on earlier versions of this document.
















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9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC1981]  McCann, J., Deering, S., and J. Mogul, "Path MTU Discovery
              for IP version 6", RFC 1981, August 1996.

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

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

   [RFC4443]  Conta, A., Deering, S., and M. Gupta, "Internet Control
              Message Protocol (ICMPv6) for the Internet Protocol
              Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", RFC 4443, March 2006.

   [RFC4821]  Mathis, M. and J. Heffner, "Packetization Layer Path MTU
              Discovery", RFC 4821, March 2007.

   [RFC7045]  Carpenter, B. and S. Jiang, "Transmission and Processing
              of IPv6 Extension Headers", RFC 7045, December 2013.

9.2.  Informative References

   [RFC2827]  Ferguson, P. and D. Senie, "Network Ingress Filtering:
              Defeating Denial of Service Attacks which employ IP Source
              Address Spoofing", BCP 38, RFC 2827, May 2000.

   [RFC3704]  Baker, F. and P. Savola, "Ingress Filtering for Multihomed
              Networks", BCP 84, RFC 3704, March 2004.

   [IANA-PROTO]
              Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, "Protocol Numbers",
              <http://www.iana.org/assignments/protocol-numbers>.
















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Authors' Addresses

   Fernando Gont
   Huawei Technologies
   Evaristo Carriego 2644
   Haedo, Provincia de Buenos Aires  1706
   Argentina

   Phone: +54 11 4650 8472
   EMail: fgont@si6networks.com


   Vishwas Manral
   Ionos Networks
   Sunnyvale, CA  94089
   US

   Phone: 408-447-1497
   EMail: vishwas@ionosnetworks.com


   Ronald P. Bonica
   Juniper Networks
   2251 Corporate Park Drive
   Herndon, VA  20171
   US

   Phone: 571 250 5819
   EMail: rbonica@juniper.net






















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