Re: [lisp] John Scudder's No Objection on draft-ietf-lisp-6834bis-14: (with COMMENT)

Luigi Iannone <> Mon, 27 June 2022 12:59 UTC

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From: Luigi Iannone <>
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Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 14:59:45 +0200
Cc: The IESG <>,,,, Padma Pillay-Esnault <>
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Subject: Re: [lisp] John Scudder's No Objection on draft-ietf-lisp-6834bis-14: (with COMMENT)
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Thanks John,

I’ll fix the nits.



> On 24 Jun 2022, at 23:16, John Scudder via Datatracker <> wrote:
> John Scudder has entered the following ballot position for
> draft-ietf-lisp-6834bis-14: No Objection
> When responding, please keep the subject line intact and reply to all
> email addresses included in the To and CC lines. (Feel free to cut this
> introductory paragraph, however.)
> Please refer to 
> for more information about how to handle DISCUSS and COMMENT positions.
> The document, along with other ballot positions, can be found here:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the detailed discussion and the updates. I've cleared my DISCUSS.
> I'm not going to reply to the various individual messages because the net of
> the whole thing is "LGTM".
> A few small nits on -14:
> 1. §A.1:
>   The ETR checks only the Dest Map-Version number, ignoring the Source
>   Map-Version number as specified in the final sentence of Section 7.2,
>   ignoring the Source Map-Version number.
> The source map-version number is getting double ignored, it must feel sad. :-)
> Probably should be:
>   The ETR checks only the Dest Map-Version number, ignoring the Source
>   Map-Version number as specified in the final sentence of Section 7.2.
> 2. §A.2:
>   Map-Versioning is compatible with the LISP interworking between LISP
>   and non-LISP sites as defined in [RFC6832].  LISP interworking
>   defines three techniques to allow communication LISP sites and non-
> Insert "between" between "communication" and "LISP sites", so:
>   Map-Versioning is compatible with the LISP interworking between LISP
>   and non-LISP sites as defined in [RFC6832].  LISP interworking
>   defines three techniques to allow communication between LISP sites and non-
> --
> Original DISCUSS:
> This spec makes liberal use of the approach of dropping any packet received
> with an unloved Map-Version number, for example (but not limited to)
>   2.  The packet arrives with a Dest Map-Version number newer (as
>       defined in Section 6) than the one stored in the EID-to-RLOC
>       Database.  Since the ETR is authoritative on the mapping, meaning
>       that the Map-Version number of its mapping is the correct one,
>       this implies that someone is not behaving correctly with respect
>       to the specifications.  In this case, the packet carries a
>       version number that is not valid and packet MUST be silently
>       dropped.
> Isn’t it the case that by definition the packet has arrived at a valid ETR for
> the mapping (since as the text says, “the ETR is authoritative”)? Isn’t the
> map-version more in the nature of a hint than a critical-for-correctness field?
> What bad behavior is being protected against by silently dropping this traffic,
> that has arrived at a correct endpoint albeit with an incorrect hint?
> At various points in the document there's a kind of vague assertion that
> incorrect map-versions could be an attack. While I don't deny that, the
> assertion isn't supported or elaborated on anywhere that I saw, which is
> worrying and also makes it less convincing. Shouldn't the Security
> Considerations talk about this? I did also go have a look at the Security
> Considerations in draft-ietf-lisp-rfc6833bis-31, which also didn't help me. RFC
> 7835 §3.3 does touch on this, suggesting that maybe an attacker could use a
> spoofed Map-Version to trigger a DoS attack. But this, too, is an unsatisfying
> rationale, since as you take pains to point out, rate limiting of Map-Requests
> and such is required. Furthermore, if triggering Map-Requests is the concern,
> couldn't the packet still be delivered, without triggering a Map-Request?
> When this was an Experimental protocol this kind of thing was probably less
> crucial to justify and explain, but I would have expected the experiment to
> produce results that could be fed into this document. At the moment, the "drop
> any packet that doesn't comply with expectations" design feels arbitrary and
> potentially brittle. I would appreciate some discussion of this design choice,
> thanks in advance.
> (I do acknowledge that security matters can be subtle, and I'm not a SEC AD
> after all... but all the more reason for the document to be explicit about what
> the security concerns are instead of just gesturing toward them and leaving the
> reader to guess.)
> Original COMMENT:
> I support Roman Danyliw's DISCUSS position.
> I have a number of further questions and comments --
> 1. In §6.1:
>           If an ETR receives LISP-encapsulated packets with the V-bit
>   set, when the original mapping in the EID-to-RLOC Database has the
>   version number set to the Null Map-Version value, then those packets
>   MUST be silently dropped.
> What does “original” mean in this context? Couldn’t the mapping in the db once
> have had a value but in a later revision, had its value changed to the null
> value? Presumably in such a situation packets would be lost until the ITR
> decided to issue a new map-request.
> 2. In §7.1 (3):
>                                                    According to rate
>       limitation policy defined in [I-D.ietf-lisp-rfc6833bis] for Map-
>       Request messages, after 10 retries Map-Requests are sent every 30
>       seconds, if in the meantime the Dest Map-Version number in the
>       packets is not updated, the ETR SHOULD drop packets with a stale
>       Map-Version number.
> What exactly is “the meantime”? Does that mean “after 10 retries”? After 30
> seconds? Basically, what precisely is the grace period extended to the ITR have
> to come into compliance before being blocked? This seems important to be clear
> about -- even if the clarity is in the form of "it's implementation-dependent".
> 3. In §7.1, final paragraph:
>   LISP-encapsulated packets cannot transport a Dest Map-Version number
>   equal to the Null Map-Version number, because in this case the ETR is
>   signaling that Map-Version numbers are not used for the mapping of
>   the destination EID (see Section 6.1).
> Considering that the Null Map-Version number is just the distinguished value 0,
> the first clause is prima facie wrong -- it's possible to encode 0 in that
> field. I think what you mean is something more along the lines of
>   It is a protocol violation for LISP-encapsulated packets to contain a
>   Dest Map-Version number equal to the Null Map-Version number, see
>   Section 6.1.
> Please don't try to explain it again in-line as you've done, it just confuses
> the reader (well, it confused me!). Instead, refer them back to the place where
> you specified the rule.
> It does seem unfortunate that in this case, it's not possible to include a
> Source Map-Version number, even if that would be helpful to do, since the V bit
> is required to be set to 0 and covers both Source and Dest.
> 4. §7.1 (3), nit: s/The packets arrive/The packet arrives/
> 5. In §7.1 and §7.2:
>                             A check on this version number SHOULD be
>   done, where the following cases can arise:
> and
>                             If the ETR has an entry in its EID-to-RLOC
>   Map-Cache for the source EID, then a check SHOULD be performed and
>   the following cases can arise:
> What are the cases under which the check can be omitted? Please consider adding
> discussion about those cases. Alternately, consider making the SHOULD a MUST if
> there are no such cases.
> 6. In §7.2:
>   3.  The packet arrives with a Source Map-Version number smaller
>       (i.e., older) than the one stored in the local EID-to-RLOC Map-
>       Cache.  Such a case is not valid with respect to the
>       specifications.
> The final sentence ("not valid") seems like it must be wrong: consider for
> example the case of out-of-order packets. Other scenarios also exist, such as
> transient non-synchronization between ETRs during convergence. I notice that §9
> talks about the lack of synchronization mechanisms in LISP, other than diligent
> consistency of configuration. So, I guess there's a good chance that
> "convergence" means "someone updating mapping configurations by hand" and so
> version skew could exist for human-scale periods of time. Of greatest concern
> is if "human-scale periods of time" means "hours or days" in the case where a
> mistake with operational procedures leaves the hand-configured databases on two
> ETRs out of sync with one another.
> I guess a minimum fix would be to simply cut the wrong sentence and slightly
> re-word, e.g.:
>   3.  The packet arrives with a Source Map-Version number smaller
>       (i.e., older) than the one stored in the local EID-to-RLOC Map-
>       Cache.  Note that if the mapping is already present in the
>       EID-to-RLOC Map-Cache, this means that an explicit Map-Request
>       has been sent and a Map-Reply has been received from an
>       authoritative source.  In this situation, the packet SHOULD be
>       silently dropped.  Operators can configure exceptions to this
>       recommendation, which are outside the scope of this document.
> 7. In §7.2:
>   If the ETR does not have an entry in the EID-to-RLOC Map-Cache for
>   the source EID, then the Source Map-Version number MUST be ignored.
> I think it would be nice to have an xref to §A.1, where the reason for this is
> explained. Otherwise it seems rather arbitrary.
> 8. In §8:
> I see that in -12 you cut the text that in -11 used to say
>   Map-Versioning MUST NOT be used over the public Internet and SHOULD
>   only be used in trusted and closed deployments.
> I note that the requirement continues to exist however, since normative
> reference draft-ietf-lisp-rfc6830bis-38 §4.1 says
>   Several of the mechanisms in this document are intended for
>   deployment in controlled, trusted environments, and are insecure for
>   use over the public Internet.  In particular, on the public internet
>   xTRs:
> ...
>   *  MUST NOT use Gleaning or Locator-Status-Bits and Map-Versioning,
>      as described in Section 13 to update the EID-to-RLOC Mappings.
>      Instead relying solely on control-plane methods.
> Thus it still seems to me that the questions others raised about this
> requirement may be relevant.
> So, I question whether cutting the text is the right way to fix the concerns.
> It makes sense in an Experimental document, but perhaps not in a Standards
> Track one.
> 9. In §9:
>   LISP requires ETRs to provide the same mapping for the same EID-
>   Prefix to a requester.
> What does this mean? Same as what? I guess maybe what you mean here is "LISP
> requires multiple ETRs within the same site to provide identical mappings for a
> given EID-Prefix"? If so, please say that (or something else clearer than
> what's there now). If not, please help?
> 10. In §A.1:
>   The ETR checks only the Dest Map-Version number as described in
>   Section 7, ignoring the Source Map-Version number.
> I would rewrite as
>   The ETR checks only the Dest Map-Version number,
>   ignoring the Source Map-Version number as specified in
>   the final sentence of Section 7,.
> 11. In §A.2:
>                                                LISP interworking
>   defines three techniques to make LISP sites and non-LISP sites,
>   namely Proxy-ITR, LISP-NAT, and Proxy-ETR.
> This isn't a complete sentence. I guess what you mean is something like "LISP
> interworking defines three techniques to allow communication between LISP and
> non-LISP sites"?
> 12. In §A.2.1:
>   With this setup, LISP Domain A is able to check whether the PITR is
>   using the latest mapping.
> First, how does Domain A check this? Second, the latest mapping for what? I
> suppose you might mean something like "Domain A is able to check whether the
> PITR is using the latest mapping for the destination EID, by inspecting the
> Destination Map-Version as detailed in Section 7.1"?
> 13. In §A.2.3:
>   With this setup, the Proxy-ETR, by looking at the Source Map-Version
>   Number, is able to check whether the mapping has changed.
> Again, what mapping, and how? I guess it must be the source EID. (The version
> 12 text, which I've quoted here, makes that clearer, although it would still be
> even clearer to write "... check whether the Source EID-to-RLOC mapping has
> changed.") Why does the ETR care about that? I guess there's the assumption it
> might be an ITR/ETR passing traffic bidirectionally, in which case the source
> EID might be useful, but if that's the reason then some words to that effect
> would help.