[TLS] DTLS lost connection on server side

Hauke Mehrtens <hauke@hauke-m.de> Wed, 21 August 2013 10:54 UTC

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Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:54:10 +0200
From: Hauke Mehrtens <hauke@hauke-m.de>
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Subject: [TLS] DTLS lost connection on server side
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This problem is similar to the problem described in RFC6347 section
4.2.8. Establishing New Associations with Existing Parameters.

We have a DTLS Server S and a DTLS Client C which did a successful
handshake and have an encrypted connection.


1. S looses its state (e.g., after a reboot) and C does not get informed
about that.
2. C send an encrypted application data package to S, because C does not
know that S lost its state and it has some new data.
3. S send a unencrypted fatal unexpected_message alert, because it does
not have any connection with C and is unable to decrypt the message or
encrypt the alert.

What should C now do with this alert?

A: Ignore it, because it thinks it has an encrypted channel with the
other peer.
	Then it will never be able to send a package to the other peer.

B: Handle it and try to do a new DTLS handshake with the peer.
	Now any attacker would be able to reset the connection with just
sending an unencrypted alert.

C: Ignore it and wait till some timeout and do a new handshake.
	It takes some time till the new connection will be established.

Hauke