Re: [rtcweb] Consent alternative

"Muthu Arul Mozhi Perumal (mperumal)" <> Tue, 03 December 2013 04:30 UTC

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From: "Muthu Arul Mozhi Perumal (mperumal)" <>
To: Martin Thomson <>, Magnus Westerlund <>
Thread-Topic: [rtcweb] Consent alternative
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Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2013 04:30:13 +0000
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Cc: "Cullen Jennings (fluffy)" <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Consent alternative
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|2. B (the attacker) triggers an "ICE restart" with A, though really
|this generates a new ICE negotiation with a victim, C.  C consents to
|talk to B, but not necessarily with A.  This arrangement is easy to
|achieve on the drive-by web.
|3. A completes ICE with C and expects to continue the DTLS connection
|over the newly discovered 5-tuple.

Assuming this is a regular ICE restart, the STUN binding requests sent as part of the ICE connectivity checks from A to C would have randomly generated transaction IDs. Unless B is on the A-C path or can guess those transaction IDs, it wouldn't be able to generate legitimate binding responses to cause ICE to conclude b/w A and C.


|-----Original Message-----
|From: rtcweb [] On Behalf Of Martin Thomson
|Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 4:14 AM
|To: Magnus Westerlund
|Cc: Cullen Jennings (fluffy);
|Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Consent alternative
|On 29 November 2013 05:40, Magnus Westerlund
|<> wrote:
|> I have looked briefly on this and wonder if this isn't vulnerable to
|> active attacks from a attacker (Alice) that likes to use a set of WebRTC
|> browsers, including (Bob) to generate DDOS traffic towards the target
|> (Charlie).
|Hi Magnus,
|I think that you did manage to hit on something critical here.
|The basic security primitive in play with ICE consent is proof of
|receipt.  That is the key piece at play here as well.  We require
|proof of receipt simply because that elevates the requirements for an
|attacker to the point that they have to basically be on-path.  At that
|point, they (likely) already have the ability to generate traffic
|toward a victim of an equal (or maybe greater) volume to the sender
|and gain little by mounting the attack.
|That's why I'm not particularly interested in the part where you talk
|about attackers intercepting binding requests.
|The actual attack that you have hit upon (or caused me to think about)
|is not quite as you described, but it does rely on the fact that the
|proposed change to the consent mechanism no longer actively depends on
|proof of receipt.
|It also relies on the possibility that a DTLS connection can be moved
|without requiring proof of receipt on the new path.  That, to me, is
|the fundamental problem to be solved.  From my reread of RFC 6347, it
|appears as though the only consideration given to DoS was at the
|handshake.  Once something like ICE is in play (and MICE makes this
|worse), the ability to "move" the connection presents an attacker with
|an opportunity.  (I have to point out that this also confirms my fears
|about the mechanism used to signal ICE restarts, but I'll get back to
|Here is the attack as I understand it:
|1. A talks to B, establishing a DTLS connection using ICE.  There is
|no need for lots of data to flow at this point, this is the "warm-up"
|phase of the attack.
|2. B (the attacker) triggers an "ICE restart" with A, though really
|this generates a new ICE negotiation with a victim, C.  C consents to
|talk to B, but not necessarily with A.  This arrangement is easy to
|achieve on the drive-by web.
|3. A completes ICE with C and expects to continue the DTLS connection
|over the newly discovered 5-tuple.  C is confused, but really has no
|recourse at this point.  Even if the DTLS connection fails, C is now
|the victim on the other end of an unending stream of bits.  B spoofs
|the source address of the necessary packets to continue consent, A
|continues to send to C, and nothing that C does can stop the flood
|because they don't have access to the master secret and cannot
|therefore produce an authenticated packet that terminates the
|connection.  B can continue the attack as long as A is willing, at the
|bargain-basement price of a (spoofed) DTLS heartbeat response every
|10-20 seconds.
|The key here is the lack of a proof of receipt from A toward C for the
|DTLS connection that is moved.  There is nothing inherent to DTLS that
|provides proof that C received data from A and is also willing to
|continue to communicate... Almost.
|The DTLS heartbeat extension does provide such a thing:
|All we need to do to close this little loophole is to require that a
|DTLS heartbeat request be sent after any change in underlying 5-tuple.
| That request MUST contain sufficient entropy that guessing would be
|difficult for an off-path attacker; noting that this is also covered
|by TLS record layer encryption and authentication, limiting the number
|of parties that are even allowed to make a guess.  I'm a big fan of
|128 bits, but less is almost certainly OK.  If no response is received
|within N seconds, consent is expired.  The basic consent timer seems
|appropriate here, i.e., N=30.
|DTLS renegotiation would also work, but I consider that to be a little
|heavyweight.  I'm not sure that it's that widely implemented either.
|rtcweb mailing list