Re: [TLS] draft-ietf-tls-esni feedback

Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net> Tue, 22 October 2019 18:55 UTC

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To: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>, "Salz, Rich" <rsalz@akamai.com>, Rob Sayre <sayrer@gmail.com>
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From: Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net>
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Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:55:02 -0700
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Subject: Re: [TLS] draft-ietf-tls-esni feedback
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On 10/22/2019 10:49 AM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
>
> On 22/10/2019 17:44, Salz, Rich wrote:
>> I think varying padding to some fixed multiple is a good trade-off.
> Me too. I'd go for multiples of 32 octets, with a SHOULD
> to add an extra block or two randomly, but anything of
> that kind should work.

Stephen, do you have some statistical analysis to back your "should
work" assertion?

I say that because DKG performed that analysis for the padding of DNS
messages
(https://dns.cmrg.net/ndss2017-dprive-empirical-DNS-traffic-size.pdf).
The results were non trivial. In particular, the analysis showed that
random padding was not a good way to achieve privacy. If there is only
little randomness, the attacker that observes multiple transactions
transactions can see through the randomness. If there is a lot of
randomness, then the padding policy causes a lot of overhead, which made
that policy less efficient than padding to fixed size blocks. That study
was the basis for the recommended encrypted DNS padding strategy in RFC
8467. 

I do not claim that statistics on the DNS directly inform ESNI padding
strategies, but I would say that in the absence of better analysis we
should heed DKG's recommendations for now -- and the recommendation of
padding to 260 does that. I would of course be happy to change my
opinion once we have an ESNI specific study.

-- Christian Huitema