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Network Time Protocol (ntp) Working Group                        F. Gont
Internet-Draft                                                   G. Gont
Obsoletes: rfc5905 (if approved)                            SI6 Networks
Intended status: Standards Track                            May 20, 2019
Expires: November 21, 2019


       Port Randomization in the Network Time Protocol Version 4
                  draft-gont-ntp-port-randomization-01

Abstract

   The Network Time Protocol can operate in several modes.  Some of
   these modes are based on the receipt of unsolicited packets, and
   therefore require the use of a service/well-known port as the local
   port number.  However, in the case of NTP modes where the use of a
   service/well-known port is not required, employing such well-known/
   service port unnecessarily increases the ability of attackers to
   perform blind/off-path attacks, since knowledge of such port number
   is typically required for such attacks.  This document formally
   updates RFC5905, recommending the use of port randomization for those
   modes where use of the NTP service port is not required.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 21, 2019.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2019 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
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of



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   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   This document may not be modified, and derivative works of it may not
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Update to RFC5905 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Implementation Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   7.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

1.  Introduction

   The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is one of the oldest Internet
   protocols, and currently specified in [RFC5905].  Since its its
   original implementation, standardization and deployment, a number of
   vulnerabilities have been found both in the NTP specification and in
   some of its implementations [NTP-VULN].  Some of these
   vulnerabilities allow for off-path/blind attacks, where an attacker
   can send forged packets to one or both NTP peers for achieving Denial
   of Service (DoS), time-shifts, and other undesirable outcomes.  Many
   of these attacks require the attacker to guess or know at least a
   target association, typically identified by the tuple {srcaddr,
   srcport, dstaddr, dstport, keyid}. Some of these parameters may be
   easily known or guessed.

   NTP can operate in several modes.  Some of these modes rely on the
   ability to receive unsolicited packets, and therefore require the use
   of a service/well-known port number.  However, for modes where the
   use of a service/well-known port is not required, employing such
   well-known/service port improves the ability of an attacker to
   perform blind/off-path attacks (since knowledge of such port number
   is typically required for such attacks).  A recent study [NIST-NTP]
   that analyzes the port numbers employed by NTP peers suggests that a
   considerable number of NTP peers employ the NTP service/well-known



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   port as their local port, or select predictable ephemeral port
   numbers, thus improving the ability of attackers to perform blind/
   off-path attacks against NTP.

   This document formally updates [RFC5905], recommending the use of
   port randomization for those NTP modes where use of the NTP service
   port is not required.

2.  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].

3.  Update to RFC5905

   The specification of the "srcport" and "dstport" peer process
   variables from Section 9.1 ("Peer Process Variables") of [RFC5905] is
   updated as follows:

   srcport: UDP port number of the server or reference clock.  This
   becomes the destination port number in packets sent from this
   association.  When operating in symmetric modes (1 and 2), this field
   must contain the NTP port number PORT (123) assigned by the IANA.  In
   other modes, it SHOULD contain a randomized port number, as specified
   in [RFC6056].

   dstport: UDP port number of the client.  In the case of broadcast
   server mode (5) and symmetric modes (1 and 2), it must contain the
   NTP port number PORT (123) assigned by the IANA.  In other cases, it
   SHOULD contain a randomized port number, as specified in [RFC6056].
   The value in this variable becomes the source port number in packets
   sent from this association.

   NOTES:
      The port number is to be randomized on a per-association basis.
      That is, a random port number is selected when an association is
      first mobilized, and the selected port number is expected to
      remain constant during the life of an association.

      On most current operating systems (that implement ephemeral port
      randomization [RFC6056]), an NTP peer may normally rely on the
      operating system for performing port randomization.  For example,
      NTP implementations employing the Sockets API may achieve port
      randomization by *not* specifying the local port for the
      corresponding socket, or bind()ing the local socket to the
      "special" port 0 (which for the Sockets API has the special
      meaning of "any port").



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4.  Implementation Status

   [RFC Editor: Please remove this section before publication of this
   document as an RFC.]

   This section records the status of known implementations of the
   protocol defined by this specification at the time of posting of this
   Internet-Draft, and is based on a proposal described in [RFC7942].
   The description of implementations in this section is intended to
   assist the IETF in its decision processes in progressing drafts to
   RFCs.  Please note that the listing of any individual implementation
   here does not imply endorsement by the IETF.  Furthermore, no effort
   has been spent to verify the information presented here that was
   supplied by IETF contributors.  This is not intended as, and must not
   be construed to be, a catalog of available implementations or their
   features.  Readers are advised to note that other implementations may
   exist.

   OpenNTPD:
      [OpenNTPD] has never explictly set the local port of NTP clients,
      and thus employs the ephemeral port selection algorithm
      implemented by the operating system.  Thus, on all operating
      systems that implement port randomization (such as current
      versions of OpenBSD, Linux, and FreeBSD), OpenNTPD will employ
      port randomization for client ports.

   chrony:
      [chrony] has never explictly set the local port of NTP clients,
      and thus employs the ephemeral port selection algorithm
      implemented by the operating system.  Thus, on all operating
      systems that implement port randomization (such as current
      versions of OpenBSD, Linux, and FreeBSD), chrony will employ port
      randomization for client ports.

   nwtime.org's sntp client:
      sntp does not explictly set the local port, and thus employs the
      ephemeral port selection algorithm implemented by the operating
      system.  Thus, on all operating systems that implement port
      randomization (such as current versions of OpenBSD, Linux, and
      FreeBSD), it will employ port randomization for client ports.

5.  IANA Considerations

   There are no IANA registries within this document.  The RFC-Editor
   can remove this section before publication of this document as an
   RFC.





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6.  Security Considerations

   The security implications of predictable numeric identifiers
   [I-D.gont-predictable-numeric-ids] (and of predictable transport-
   protocol port numbers [RFC6056] in particular) have been known for a
   long time now.  However, the NTP specification have traditionally
   followed a pattern of employing common settings and code even when
   not strictly necessary, which at times has resulted in negative
   security and privacy implications (see e.g.
   [I-D.ietf-ntp-data-minimization]).  The use of the NTP service port
   (123) for the srcport and dstport variables is not required for all
   operating modes, and such unnecessary usage comes at the expense of
   reducing the amount of work required for an attacker to successfully
   perform off-path/blind attacks against NTP.  Therefore, this document
   formally updates [RFC5905], recommending the use of transport-
   protocol port randomization when use of the NTP service port is not
   required.

   This issue has been tracked by US-CERT with VU#597821, and has been
   assigned CVE-2019-11331.

7.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank (in alphabetical order) Miroslav
   Lichvar, and Steven Sommars, for providing valuable comments on
   earlier versions of this document.

   The authors would like to thank Harlan Stenn for answering questions
   about nwtime.org's NTP implementation.

   Fernando would like to thank Nelida Garcia and Jorge Oscar Gont, for
   their love and support.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC5905]  Mills, D., Martin, J., Ed., Burbank, J., and W. Kasch,
              "Network Time Protocol Version 4: Protocol and Algorithms
              Specification", RFC 5905, DOI 10.17487/RFC5905, June 2010,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5905>.





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   [RFC6056]  Larsen, M. and F. Gont, "Recommendations for Transport-
              Protocol Port Randomization", BCP 156, RFC 6056,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6056, January 2011,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6056>.

8.2.  Informative References

   [chrony]   "chrony", <https://chrony.tuxfamily.org/>.

   [I-D.gont-predictable-numeric-ids]
              Gont, F. and I. Arce, "Security and Privacy Implications
              of Numeric Identifiers Employed in Network Protocols",
              draft-gont-predictable-numeric-ids-03 (work in progress),
              March 2019.

   [I-D.ietf-ntp-data-minimization]
              Franke, D. and A. Malhotra, "NTP Client Data
              Minimization", draft-ietf-ntp-data-minimization-04 (work
              in progress), March 2019.

   [NIST-NTP]
              Sherman, J. and J. Levine, "Usage Analysis of the NIST
              Internet Time Service", Journal of Research of the
              National Institute of Standards and Technology Volume 121,
              March 2016, <https://tf.nist.gov/general/pdf/2818.pdf>.

   [NTP-VULN]
              Network Time Foundation, "Security Notice", Network Time
              Foundation's NTP Support Wiki ,
              <https://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Main/SecurityNotice>.

   [OpenNTPD]
              "OpenNTPD Project", <https://www.openntpd.org>.

   [RFC7942]  Sheffer, Y. and A. Farrel, "Improving Awareness of Running
              Code: The Implementation Status Section", BCP 205,
              RFC 7942, DOI 10.17487/RFC7942, July 2016,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7942>.

Authors' Addresses











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   Fernando Gont
   SI6 Networks
   Evaristo Carriego 2644
   Haedo, Provincia de Buenos Aires  1706
   Argentina

   Phone: +54 11 4650 8472
   Email: fgont@si6networks.com
   URI:   https://www.si6networks.com


   Guillermo Gont
   SI6 Networks
   Evaristo Carriego 2644
   Haedo, Provincia de Buenos Aires  1706
   Argentina

   Phone: +54 11 4650 8472
   Email: ggont@si6networks.com
   URI:   https://www.si6networks.com































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