Re: [tcpm] tcp-security: Request for feedback on the outline of the document

Joe Touch <touch@ISI.EDU> Tue, 25 August 2009 19:38 UTC

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Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 12:35:06 -0700
From: Joe Touch <touch@ISI.EDU>
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To: Fernando Gont <fernando@gont.com.ar>
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Subject: Re: [tcpm] tcp-security: Request for feedback on the outline of the document
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Fernando Gont wrote:
> Eddy, Wesley M. (GRC-MS00)[Verizon] wrote:
> 
> 
>>> Then it'd be useful to break down TCP into its component parts, as
>>> introduced in 2a:
>>>
>>> 	3 control attacks
>>> 		header fields
>>> 		option fields
>>> 		connection establishment
>>> 		connection termination
>>> 		port scanning
> [....]
>> I like the hierarchy that Joe suggests; it groups similar issues and
>> recommendations together, and I agree with  him that it would pose
>> no difficulty for implementers to use.
> 
> I think that for many attacks, the outline Joe is proposing becomes
> ambiguous.
> 
> e.g., think about the "Rose attack" described in the MSS section. The
> attack employs the TCP MSS option (and thus would be included in
> "control attacks" according to Joe's outline). However, the attack
> attempts to degrade performance. So.. where would the attack be finally
> included?
> 
> Joe argues that "info leaking" and that port scanning is a "control
> attack". But one might argue that port scanning is, in some sense, an
> info leaking attack.

That's a property of any way of organizing the topics - there are bound
to be overlapping cases. The issue to me is that the outline I proposed
has easily recognized structure to it, and I at least know where various
attacks should go (even if they go in one place and are cross-referenced
and also discussed in others).

Joe

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